Sunday, May 27, 2012

Indian Premier League (IPL) Final Held on Pandith Nehru's Death Anniversary

India is a land of stark contrasts. The largest democracy of the world commemorates one of its founding fathers on his 48th death anniversary by having various events including the final of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Pandith Jawaharlal Nehru was the most important figure in the struggle for independence after Mahatma Gandhi. He entered the struggle at quite a young age and was at the forefront of it until their goal was achieved. From 1947, he was the Prime Minister of the country through the turbulent formative years until his death on May 27, 1964.

In 1947, Nehru inherited a country of 389 million people with a rising population of around half a dozen million per year. Poverty was widespread and so were social inequalities. Nehru faced the challenge of converting a colonial society into a modern society while preserving the unity of the country after the partition and immediate war over Kashmir. He kept the Union together, saw it being transformed to a Republic, initiated the industrialization and raised the education levels of the people. The Indian Institutes of Technology was a concept of Nehru by which he aimed to improve the technical know-how of Indian people, a prerequisite for industrialization. It was he who laid the foundation for the current stage of development to which India has reached.

The Indian Premier League is one sign of such development. It involves big financial interests, big money, big cricket and big crowds. The matches are played under lights in big grounds with thousands of spectators attending. Millions more are watching on their televisions. The IPL is ending as people are taking to the streets in protest over the rising fuel prices. Many thousands more are taking up arms and following the hammer and sickle banner of the Maoists in the heartland of India. The rich are getting richer and the poor poorer. The rich are holding extravaganzas like the IPL to make more money out of the poor and also help the poor people forget their troubles. All this is happening while the country is ruled by a government led by the Indian National Congress, the party Nehru led for many years.

It was Pandith Nehru who laid the foundation on which India is built today. However, the building was not done according to his plans. Nehru did not envisage a nation where the rich becomes richer and the poor, poorer. Yet, that is what is happening. Therefore, it is not surprising that the Indian cricket authorities have forgotten the death anniversary of Nehru.

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