I was browsing through the online news today morning. I read an article where the Rajasthan government is considering asking the IPL team of Rajasthan Royals to give up the first name – RAJASTHAN and opt for something else. The logic – the team is now involved in too many wrong deeds that is spoiling the image and pride of the government and the people of Rajasthan. Fair enough. But this amounts to looking at only one side of the story.
It seems that the government has plainly forgotten that when the same team did well in the inaugural season of 2008, it provided a great boost to the image and the tourism of the state. Shane Warne’s captaincy and the title win had reverberated across the nation and the cricketing world. Jaipur and Rajasthan had suddenly become a known entity for many. Stories of how the team had enjoyed practicing in Jaipur made the news. Also the team building sessions (which was considered as the main reason for the team jelling under Shane Warne) of going around the forts of Jaipur were published. The IPL team had made Rajasthan and Jaipur famous by winning the title.
Over the next few years, RR lost its touch and began to fade away, only to resurrect in the 2013 edition, where they were among the top 3 teams. But the cricketing success was not without the blemishes of betting and spot fixing. Cricketers and team players got called for inquiry. The owners got involved in betting charges. Suddenly Rajasthan Royals was being discussed in the wrong sense.
And the government smartly decided to put an end to this cricketing nonsense. The result – ask the team to drop RAJASTHAN from its name. A unique solution to the mess. It hurts the image, pride and prestige of the state. The team should be called ‘Something Else Royals’. The state claims that no one can use the name of the state without official approval. Using this as a premise, it will ask for the team to drop Rajasthan from the team name.
I know that one cannot use INDIA as a part of a company’s name being formed. It is very strictly adhered to and no one will succeed. Maybe one is also not allowed to use the name of the state while forming a company. Whatever the logic, these things should be nipped in the bud. Not after six years. Yes, if a wrong was committed six years ago, it is okay to rectify it now. Better late than never, they say. But the wrong done was not because of lack of knowledge or information but because of lack of empathy towards one’s people, one’s state and one’s nation. The attitude is – ‘Feign ignorance if it helps’. As long as the benefits are coming in, let us take it. The moment the benefits dry out, let us use rules to justify our position. These days this has become the mindset of many people. Unless we get out of this mindset of being opportunists, as a nation we will always remain where we are. Time and again, such incidents will remind us of our lowest common thinking denominator.
My thoughts on this – incidents like these have to be avoided or even clipped the first time they occur. Though it is never too late to mend, one has to be conscious about the implications of a late arrived decision. Decisions like these set a precedent. These cannot be taken based on convenience or the opportunities presented. These have to be taken based on the rules that are formed. If these decisions cannot be taken the first time, they cannot be taken the next time as well. Only then we will see the world and the events the way we are supposed to see them. Whether the name is Rajasthan Royals or something else, it will remain cricket. It is us, who need to change more than Rajasthan Royals.
Finally, I will leave you all with a ‘punny’ quote on the above news. As I was browsing through the various reader comments on the online version of the story, I found one comment very interesting. The author of the comment said – “Instead of asking RR to give up the first name, the government should ask them to give up the second name” – ironical but true.
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