Speaking IndianGreg Chappell reacts to comments by MPs (who made them in Parliament, no less): "MPs are paid to raise such questions". Predictably, a storm has arisen. Though completely comprehensible and easy to chart, this is unbelievable in its ridiculousness.
What's wrong in what he said? If you go by the idiom of "being paid", it means in the sense of "drawing a salary". And we do know our MPs are paid to raise questions about the state of affairs (that they choose to talk about cricket in a Parliament where each minute is worth thousands of rupees and is easily a waste of time is another matter). However, if you believe that he was literally accusing them of "being paid money" to discredit the team, then well, first I'm sure you are wrong, and second, our Hon. MPs probably have only themselves to blame - a guilty conscience emanating out of the cash-for-questions scandals is perhaps at the root of it all.
What you could also clearly see is another example of how the now "globalised" Indian media works. Ask a question, draw a response, use it to remove the pin and lob the grenade into an open field by "flashing" the news (this on a night when media channels were wetting themselves over seeing Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan in the same room - leave them alone!) all over.
In the midst of this, it was a little comforting to see some of the BCCI top brass take a sobering view, but for how long will that remain? You have nutters like Gurudas Dasgupta accusing Chappell of not understanding the "democratic culture" of the country. What in 'eck's name is he talking about?
The mainstream news media in this country stinks. The Slimes of India now has made its last page into a sports-version of the Mid-Day Mate by printing photos of the Ashley Cole's first cousin's third daughter in a two-piece (I have more respect for tabloids like Mid-Day and the Sun - at least they don't pretend to be "respectful"), thus making the traditional turn-to-last-page-first no longer possible.
An Aussie boor allegedly told Monty Panesar to speak Indian a week ago. Perhaps Greg Chappell needs to learn to speak Indian - part of which is to keep your mouth shut, or to treat a bunch of old fuddy-duddies with mock respect just because they're a bunch of people who like to be in control, don't like to be challenged by outsiders, and like a fuss. And yes, that's what we've always suspected they've been paid for.
(and to those non-MPs amongst us who like to quabble about Indian cricketers and their hefty packages, I have this for you to read. Oh yeah, I would like Rahul Dravid to say for once that "the players played crap cricket", but looks like that will only get him defenestrated by an panchayati board president or something)