Wednesday, 14 November 2012
I am fundamentally against bodies snatching the camera out of the hands of spectators and fans of the game of cricket. I have often written about this and moaned about the same on twitter. I don't know how it is in other countries, since I haven't traveled much outside India, but in India, the camera-in-the-ground went out of the ordinary cricket watcher's grasp thanks to security issues first. Part of the charm of visiting the ground and watching action live was taking pictures, the picnic hampers and taking autographs. All of them are now impossible in India unless you are part of an elite set maybe. This lack of fun and memories could be an additional factor in dwindling crowds at cricket grounds. Then, when that lobby was stronger, the Gettyization of cricket photography happened, ensuring the ordinary cricket fan could never take pictures at the cricket ground anymore; and now, by logical extension of this line of philosophy, a much stronger BCCI has exhibited a preference to sell its own photos instead of ceding space to a monopoly operator from outside the borders. This has caused some fuss it appears and the monopolists..or former monopolists...from other lands are throwing a hissy-fit to arm-twist.
If you ask me, from a cricket watcher's point of view, I care neither for the Gettys of the world nor BCCI's in-house syndication. Gettyization itself, to start with, was a monstrous tool trampling rights of the ordinary cricket fan. For that, in India, was further excuse to prevent a spectator at the ground from taking photos from his seat in the stands...maybe even the top tier with his home camera, whatever that photographic memory would be worth. But those days are not going to come back in India. Those days when we graced cricket matches - Test or Ranji or Irani or Duleep - in droves...groups of friends and family..who, through cricket, wanted nothing more than a memorable weekend. Those days are gone and I am not stupid enough to imagine they'll be back. The world has changed since then,
So now that we all are reduced to being mere pawns in this game of cricket, all a spectator can do is take, as per his judgement, a stand on one side or the other of the profit driven scrapping between monopolist commercial bodies. I choose to side by the lesser evil - the BCCI.
Is there a nationalistic slant in this stand of yours? you might ask. Fair enough a question. After careful consideration and examining my own feelings upon all that is unfolding in the public space on this topic, I can safely say, no. And, when I say so, I am not biased either by the foul-mouthed, ill-tempered responses of members of the pushier, vocal side of the debate, to straight soul-searching questions on social media forums. Why is it wrong to stand up to being taken for granted and plied with unreasonable demands? Why is it right for one party to do something that is wrong for another party to do the same? are all my opinion has focused on.
BCCI may be bothered only about making more money, like these consortia have historically done using others. On the other hand, it might be a stand to break this dastardly monopoly. Be that as it may, I see this scrap, including the appending of the other matter of demanding more, far over and above what was purchased by them, without having to foot the additional bill, to this matter by this front, as unreasonable arm twisting by this so-called independent news front, to have their own intolerant covetous way...like the East India Company did ages before. And in this re-hashed episode of history, like back then, there are enough Indians as in the past to encourage and promote the monopoly of this intruder. This "front" has to learn to live with competition and defense of territory. Must learn to defend what is fair and correct and not what it has been put up to. Time to grow up for many people methinks.