Sunday, 6 April 2008

IPL Discussion

I recently responded to a bloggers post criticising the IPL. While I trust I've employed critical reasoning techniques and logic that I've learned over the last two years to refute this blogger's arguments, I still think that this whole IPL issue is open for discussion.

Here's what I had to say. If anyone does read this, please feel free to contribute, to find holes in or to disagree with what I've said:


I disagree with your views on the new IPL. You say that our country has problems and that the owners of these teams should not be throwing money away on useless cricketers. I find no relation between the problems of our country that you mention and a legitimate investment that a person or organisation makes in a business venture.

The IPL is, at the end of the day, nothing but a business venture that needs investment, just like millions of other businesses in this country. By your logic, do I now approach my neighbourhood grocery store owner and tell him to shut shop because his profits go only to himself and not the poor? Going by your logic, no person, businessman or other wise, can invest in any business involved in personal gain. Going by your logic, schools and hospitals themselves, which also function like private organisations, and also work on profits and a bottom line, should also shut shop.

Doesn't the building and functioning of schools and hospitals also involve huge sums of money? True, schools, hospitals and parks are noble causes that help society; investing in them is essentially investing in a better society, unlike investing in the IPL league, which largely only benefits the cricketers, their owners, and management. But many schools and hospitals are also privately funded, profit making ventures. So the difference that you make between the two is really one of purpose. Though they both function as greedy capitalist ruthlessly efficient organisations and employ the same methods and amount of money, the main difference between them is that schools and hospitals help people.

But this difference in itself does not invalidate the need for pouring money into the IPL. Why? Because people have a right to make as much money as they possibly can, without having to be forced to achieve this by always investing in a good cause. Don't you agree? Just because the companies we invest in or whose products we buy (like Reliance, Tata, Birla, etc.) are focused on selfish profit making, does not mean that we abandon all this selfish profit making and work, invest in or buy products from companies that only serve the country's need. That is silly.

Business is business. Just because funding a hospital is better than funding a cricket team, does not mean that we should spend the rest of our lives seeking out and funding or working for only organisations that help society at large and may or may not be able to support their employees and investors and their families in the long run.

You see, there is a limit to the amount of money that rich people can pour into charitable or 'low return' or society friendly organisations. Sooner or later, they will have to make money. That, after all, is the function of businessmen - they spend money to make money. You can't go up to an IPL owner or investor and accuse them of not doing enough for the country. For all you know, these individuals could be donating a larger part of their personal income to the poor than you are. 

Their job is to make money. If the way to make that money is by tapping venture capitalists or spending their life savings on a bunch of over hyped, overpaid cricketers, this does not make them bad people. It makes them smart business people. We need such smart people in this country. We need to teach our kids to be as smart as they are. We won't rid this country of poverty without smart people like these.



Bits and Pieces said...

I don't see anything wrong or bad in being rich. Hell - aren't we all slogging our asses off to make more money and become richer?

What I do object to, is lifestyle and value disintegration. Cricket used to be a gentleman's game. Now, they're only in it for the money and the fame. There are players who prefer playing for clubs/IPL rather than for their country, simply because of more lucrative monetary benefits. Its quite sickening really.

As far as the rich giving to the poor is concerned - there is a limit. Nothing is going to happen in India, nothing is going to change, not for a long time. The rich are gonna keep getting richer, the middle class will stay that way, and people will keep living in slums or dying on the streets. I know tha everything cannot be blamed on population, but this is indeed a root cause of various economic issues faced here.

Rajesh (@R113) said...

I agree with Daniel regarding the pouring of money into any venture, be it IPL. The trickle down effect that any investment / activity creates is what sustains the economy. Organising an event like the IPL requires services of airlines, hotels, transportation and logistics companies, event managers, ad agencies (for their sponsors etc.) small time people who print those "4" and "6" placards etc. South Africa was not a fool to lay the red carpet for IPL 2009 and offer them a good deal.
So play on guys, we need more IPL's ...

Daniel D'Mello said...

Thanks guys. This issue is still relevant two years later. Some would say more relevant, looking at the recent Kochi and Pune bids.

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