It’s rare for countries to actually have to choose between public priorities and loves, but India faces a whopper: on the one hand, its national obsession and quasi-religion, cricket, and on the other, its, um, political democracy.
For a month now, the IPL (and the BCCI) have argued with various Indian agencies that argue that there simply are not enough security personnel to spare in election season for a safe tournament to be held. The IPL argues otherwise (or something), but we have here a real dilemma.
I’ve argued before — on many occasions — that we Indians take our cricket too seriously, and we’re far too quick to hitch on to any episode and claim it to either besmirch or shine our “national honor” (whatever that means). Here, though, we simply have to face the reality: our security agencies, under-funded and politically undermined at every turn, cannot protect both our loves. We have to choose. And if we choose, you know, that whole safe, democratic thing, we’re doing the right thing. (I’d also argue we’re doing the IPL a favor, but that’s for another post.)
(And in that spirit, let me take this moment to unnecessarily politicize this otherwise charmingly apathetic blog and say: vote Congress.)