Awards from attention-seekers follow the win:
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) took the lead announcing a Rs one crore award for each player and several state governments followed suit. Coach Gary Kirsten and other support staff will get Rs 50 lakh each as reward for their contribution, while the selectors will be given Rs 25 lakh each, BCCI President Shashank Manohar said.
To quote a friend: You can give crores and crores to the BCCI and they’ll still find a way to show how cheap their thinking is. (Or to quote Aakar Patel: The caste system is ingrained in our collective minds.)
Besides the difference in rewards being in bad taste, I have no issues. Moving on:
- Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit announced a award of Rs two crore for Captain M S Dhoni and Rs one crore each for four Delhi players after their historic victory.
- Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chauhan announced award of Rs one crore each for Sachin Tendulkar and Zaheer Khan, who hail from the state.
- Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh will be given a cash award of Rs one crore.
- Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa announced his government would honour the victorious cricket players with a residential plot each from the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA).
- Uttarakhand Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhrayal Nishank promised a residential plot or a house in Mussoorie hill station for Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar, who has been a regular visitor there with his family. He also announced that a stadium will be built in the state to be named after Dhoni.
- Gujarat Government announced its highest sports honour Eklavya Award for Yousuf Pathan and Munaf Patel. The award carries Rs one lakh and a citation.
- A Railway Ministry official said, “The First AC pass will be valid for each member with one companion for unlimited free travel to anywhere in the country.”
- Jharkhand Government said it would give a plot of land to Dhoni to set up a cricket academy in the state.
- Haryana government said it will honour Sehwag and Nehra with the state’s best sportsperson of the year award. The Haryana Government has decided to institute “Best Sportsperson of the Year award” from this year to honour outstanding sportspersons. Sehwag and Nehra have their roots at Jhajjar and Gurgaon respectively, he added.
- The Uttar Pradesh government said it will felicitate Suresh Raina and Piyush Chawla with Kanshiram International Sports award.
For regular readers, I won’t even frame an argument why this is an outrageous use of taxpayer money.
As Nitin Pai points out, these politicians appear to have the disposition of medieval kings, honouring subjects who make them proud. Is it a way of showing who’s the boss; a way of showing everyone they are above these cricketers?
My answer is yes. You may disagree.
Ah well, what’s not medieval about our netas.