Monday, April 20, 2009

How many ways do I dislike thee, Lalit Modi?

Reader Subhash asks (in a rather irate tone of voice) in response to my post below complaining of having to put up with too much Lalit Modi on the television during the IPL:
you have to explain your hatred for Lalit Modi...The man has turned an idea in to a money printing machine. He seems to find ways out of tight corners...Don't give me cop out reasons like, "Oh! It has become all about the money!".. Whether people like to believe it or not, Cricket is a business. People need to get off their high horses!
Phew. Where do I begin? I feel like responding "No, you explain your liking for the man". But let me try. First off, money-making talent is no particular reason to like someone. None whatsoever. Some acknowledgment of talents, perhaps, but liking them? No sir. Donald Trump is a freaking millionaire. But he is an arrogant twat. Steve Ballmer is a billionaire. But he is, guess what, an arrogant twat. I know professors who've published dozens of books and are geniuses. But plenty of them are arrogant twats.

Modi is a zamindar incarnate. If he didn't have to wear a suit, and be bound by law, he'd be running around flogging peasants and repossessing their homes. He doesn't give a rat's arse about test cricket. He doesn't give a rat's arse about developing cricket at the grassroots level in India. Why doesn't he, rather than concentrating all his energies on the IPL, put up a cricket net in every single residential neighborhood in all major metropolitan centers in India? Modi is a corporate suit, who happens to be running a game. He'll make money. Good for him. And his family. If he happens to shit all over the game that matters the most to me, he wouldn't give a damn. Don't expect me to like someone who sounds like a prick, talks like a prick, walks like a prick. Even if he happens to be a rich one.



Blogger Satish Srinivasan said...

"Steve Ballmer is a billionaire. But he is, guess what, an arrogant twat."


Humor is good for health, Enjoy.

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Suave said...

the fact that he's been a drug taking, kidnapping gangster in his life, also makes him more of a prize c*nt than just about anybody.

10:38 AM  
Blogger Samir Chopra said...

Suave: I got no problem with the drug taking :)

Satish: Thanks for those!

10:59 AM  
Blogger Cricket Tragic said...

Right between the eyes, Samir! In response to whoever had posted that comment, the Wanderer's stadium officials are on the cusp of kicking Modi in the balls as he has been nothing but arrogant, trying to take much more liberties than he should...they are even willing to forsake the finals if it means getting rid of the cockaroach known as Lalit Modi!

1:06 PM  
Blogger achettup said...

I am so tired of all these Modi sycophants who know crap about him and praise him endlessly as the genius messiah of Indian cricket. There was this really good article about all the BS that went on during Raje's reign as Rajasthan CM on outlook, but it looks like you need a subscription to access that now.
Forget about repossessing homes Samir, if that article was accurate he was outright stealing them. When your family is worth $1 billion, you're childhood socialite friend is CM, you sure don't need to do incredible things to get into the BCCI. From there its just a matter of applying age-old sporting ideas, just because the guys before you were dumb, that doesn't make you a genius.
I think the funniest thing I ever saw was that ad of Modi. The oddest thing I ever heard about him is that he almost caused a riot by slapping a police officer who dared to enter the VVIP section after being given a pass by one of Modi's rivals. Some people might find reasons to praise him even after that.

2:16 PM  
Blogger Subash said...

Thanks Samir for making a post out of my comment. I wanted explanation from you on your hatred of him. Your point is well taken. However, if he is as bad as you and others have said in the comments, you are wasting your emotions "hating" him! I am no Modi sycophant but you have to hand it to the guy for churning out money. No one has to like anybody, but you have to be man enough to tip your hat when its due. I'll respond to your views on Modi taking a dump on test cricket at a later time. gotta go now.

2:45 PM  
Blogger Subash said...

@achettup -- I never claimed I know about the guy. I don't know him and I don't care. I am looking from the outside and I see the business model he has put to use. He is achieving the ends he set out to do and that's make money. End of story. I was interested in knowing Samir's reasons for his hatred of Modi.

2:48 PM  
Blogger samir said...

Subash: To be honest, I'm not "hating" him. Thats a very strong word. I just dislike him. As for making money in the cricketing context, Dalmiya is the real boss. Modi ripped off the ICL idea; he just had bigger players, the BCCI coffers, and the Indian economy to thank for his balance sheets. And yes, all our emotions directed at him are entirely pointless in a larger sense; blog postings are just a bit cathartic, thats all.

3:10 PM  
Blogger Homer said...

Samir, Achettup,

Forget the money making.. How about crediting Modi's organizational genius?

Putting together the IPL from scratch in under 6 months.. Moving the tourney to South Africa in 2 weeks.. Considering the logistics involved in both operations, and the number of failure points in each, the fact that he has managed to make both happen is surely a credit to him?


8:02 PM  
Anonymous Chidanandarupah Shivoham Shivoham said...

Modi will not be able to escape the laws of karma. He will pay for his sins in hell. Tamasika and Rajasika gunas are predominant in this vile soul known as Lalit Modi.
He shall reap what he sows.

3:05 AM  
Blogger Subash said...

@Homer -- I logged on to post a comment saying exactly what you have said. The shift to SA in 2 weeks time and making it happen is a phenomenal accomplishment for any size tournament/league.

9:53 AM  
Blogger samir said...

I don't doubt Modi's talents (though I reserve judgment on how much credit he is grabbing by placing himself in the limelight all the time). I don't doubt Bill Gates' and Steve Ballmer's marketing and technical talents either. Despite that I dislike their their monopolistic behavior, the damage they have caused to computer science, the way they treat consumers, and for their consistently underhanded, dishonest dealings in many different spheres.

Acknowledging someone's talents and disliking them are not mutually exclusive, especially if those talents happen to impinge negatively on something I dearly value.

11:03 AM  
Blogger Subash said...

Let's see here.. Something you dearly value is Cricket (of the Test kind, specifically, I think). How is Modi product-placing himself, while organizing a t20 tournament (for sheer commercial output) negatively affect your experience? If he achieves his success by breaking the law, only then, its wrong. Otherwise, he can do whatever he wants and however he wants to achieve his set goals. Isn't that how you would wanna run a business, Samir?

11:33 AM  
Blogger Cricket Tragic said...


When doing business, there is an ethical way of doing it. You don't just impose yourself on the hosts, plaster your disguisting smile all over the TV and try to act as if you know cricket.

When I sell a second hand phone, I could either sell it without telling the customer that there is a small defect in the charger port (he may not have asked about it) or I could come clean and tell him that there is a problem and ask him whether he still wants it. Now that's what is doing business in a professional manner.

I too, like Samir, do admire what Modi has done, the fact that he has managed to find so many damn avenues of getting money. However, I just don't like the things that he does to get his money, such as pressurizing a government to stretch security to the limits, or to ask the official name sponsor of a stadium to pay for supplying beer for the IPL matches (Johannesburg).

Hope you have got my point! :)

1:04 PM  
Blogger Jaunty said...

Stick to your guns, Samir. Don't forget the shoddy (and discriminatory) way in in which the Lalit Modi and his men have treated the ICL.

2:55 PM  
Blogger Samir Chopra said...

Subash: I think you and I are arguing at cross-purposes. It should be evident by now that I find arrogance and self-promotion, even if its entirely legal, in the pursuit of profit, distasteful. Perhaps this is a purely aesthetic preference but it does not diminish its standing in my hierarchy of values. I can easily conceive of someone achieving the same results as Modi, and not doing it in the same way (unless you want to make the added claim that Modi's achievements are somehow conceptually dependent on his personality style). I started disliking Modi around the time he went on his anti-ICL rampage, and he has given me no reason to change my mind. Its no improvement in the lot of cricket if one set of imperialists (the old ICC) is replaced by another set.

3:20 PM  
Blogger achettup said...

@Subash: I didn't mean you in particular and also I never claimed you knew anything about him. But I'm curious, what business model is it that you see? We can all see the numbers they choose to show openly... but thats as much as we see.

@samir: I actually don't believe Modi ripped off the ICL idea, rather I think it was the other way around, Chandra heard of the idea when his highness was bragging in Goa and decided they had to move quickly to get it since they were not likely to get tv rights for it. From all indications, Modi was drawing up plans before the 2007 World Cup, as early as April 2006, possibly earlier. Here's an article by Atherton for the telegraph illustrating as much. Thats not to say I think its an original idea either.

@Homer: Its amazing how the CEO usually takes credit when things go smoothly, but receives a golden parachute the minute things fall apart. I doubt the BCCI will fall apart anytime soon, but if it did, Modi might take a gold jet out. For the two week shift to Safferland, IMG should take the credit, Modi for using their services. For the 6 month organization... as my above link shows, the planning behind that had been going on for years, they rushed into action when Chandra decided to wreck a few youngster's careers. Credit to them for getting it done as soon as they did, that can be admired - as Samir says you can admire someone's talent, but that doesn't mean you can't disapprove of their other doings - but as you'll notice with a lot of the top businesses worldwide, when you're as rich and powerful as the BCCI are, you'd have to be incredibly unlucky to fail. And timing was certainly on Modi's side... if Chandra hadn't forced their hand, we might never have seen the IPL thanks to the global recession.

5:30 PM  
Anonymous donthaveaclue said...

Making money from cricket..hmm...that's a helluva stretch in india eh?!

All modi has done is to cash in on a talented bunch of individuals with star power. In return he's impoverishing the game by dictating to boards about schedules. Modi's grand venture will hit a wall once a few retirements set in and few other players decide no amount of money is worth demeaning the game like this.

I'd done a satirical piece on Modi and his cronies a while ago:

12:46 AM  
Blogger Vatsheel said...

Why are we giving credit to Modi for making money? IPL is successful only because it is recognized by cricket boards all over the world. If money making is the criterion, Jaggu Dada (Jagmohan Dalmiya) is much better than Modi. Now he is facing all kinds of charges of embezzlement. Modi is yet another dirty BCCI politician who decimated the greater evils in Rajasthan. Yes I am talking of Rungtas. This is the only silver lining about this cloud.

5:30 PM  
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5:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree with your view. The IPL has its monetary benefits agreed but still is an opportunity for national level players to get selected in the team by proving their worth. Nurturing cricket at the grass root level is a different ball game. you want cricket nets in all residential homes... get practical!!! In short having the IPL is still benificial to indian cricket than it not being there. Maybe its not as beneficial as you ideally expect it to be but its still a benefit

2:22 PM  

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