Friday, March 28, 2014

Omerta & Indian Cricket

Omerta - Or the Code of Silence
As per wikipedia, Omertà implies "the categorical prohibition of cooperation with state authorities or reliance on its services, even when one has been victim of a crime".

There is a Godfather like figure heading the organisation. He has appointed his key consigliori all around himself. Key henchmen are given important positions in his own organisations. His immediate family are also brought in. They bring with them their own addictions (gambling issues). But the Godfather manages to run the business. He has also built relations with other Mafia families around the world mostly based on being the head of the richest mafia family. Politicians across the spectrum have been given minor stakes in the mafiadom as well as various businesses. There is also enough glamour quotient brought in by the movie stars He also has enough influence to ensure that anyone not showing him respect are isolated. The organisation also presents some nice, honest people as their public faces. 

All was going on fine till the authorities managed to catch some foot soldiers doing petty crimes with towels as tell-tale evidence. The authorities tried and tried hard but the Omerta prevails. Law makes headway but dislodging the Godfather is not an easy task. A bunch of lawyers from the Godfather side goes on the overdrive. Investigating officers get suspended, some of the media gets gagged. But the efforts of the Judges do bear some fruit. Law yet prevails but only manages to ensure that the Godfather is not in direct command. The chief business will be run as usual because that is what the public wants.

Sounds like a plot from a Mario Puzo novel. Or it could also be the tale of the Indian cricket administration. It is not too hard to extend this corollary from the Italian Mafia Clans to Indian Cricket. Given all the goings on, specially off the field, one will not be surprised if one fine day, somebody does break the all encompassing "Omerta" and we find that the board was being run more like a mafia style organisation than a body for managing the administration of cricket in India.

The latest Supreme Court decisions hopefully should be the beginning of a massive clean up of Indian cricket. Another opportunity has presented itself to all the stakeholders to come out with the truth. Hopefully truth prevails. There should be only one winner in this increasingly murky state of affairs - the Indian cricket fan - the only genuine stakeholder in this game.

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