Exposes murky face of rotten corrupt capitalism

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Exposes murky face of rotten corrupt capitalism Powered By Docstoc
					Volume 43 No. 20             Organ of the SOCIALIST UNITY CENTRE OF INDIA (COMMUNIST)
June 15, 2010                      Founder Editor-in-Chief : COMRADE SHIBDAS GHOSH                                                             Price : Rs. 2.00

                 INDIAN PREMIERE LEAGUE SCAM                                                                    SUCI(C) strongly denounced
                                                                                                                 Bhopal gas tragedy verdict,
   Exposes murky face of                                                                                            demanded stringent
                                                                                                                  punishment of the culprits
  rotten corrupt capitalism                                                                                      and called for observing All
                                                                                                               India Protest Day on 9th June
    Sport, as we all know, is a great character         Cricket — latest prey of moribund                          Reacting to the verdict of the Bhopal
building tool. It is a device to sustain physical and   capitalism                                             District Court on the Bhopal gas tragedy that
mental nourishment—a means to create a healthy              But sport today is being packaged, advertised      occurred in the Union Carbide plant in 1984,
mind in a healthy body and foster the spirit of         and sold no different from a bunch of toiletries or    Comrade Provash Ghosh, General Secretary,
cordiality and friendship. Sport is a source of         a pack of junk food. Sport is now a product, to        SUCI(C) in course of a statement issued on 8
refreshing entertainment right from the children to     be marketed and sold in whichever way as to            June said that while the countrymen expected
the aged. Sportsmanship is an attitude that strives     fetch maximum profit for the operators.                that a crime of such magnitude which caused
for fair play, courtesy toward teammates and            Beautiful, uplifting sport is being methodically,      death to nearly 25,000 people and maimed,
opponents, ethical behaviour and integrity, and         mercilessly squeezed, its essence adulterated and      injured, slow poisoned and seriously affected in
grace in victory or defeat. Fair play refers to all     sold in the market to the highest bidder. After        some way or other over 5.5 lakh more would be
participants having an equitable chance to pursue       being immersed in an insoluble market crisis           thoroughly investigated with due promptitude
victory and acting toward others in an honest,          endemic of the system, moribund decadent               and the culprits hauled up, tried and swiftly
straightforward, and a firm and dignified manner        capitalism in order to satiate its greed for profit    meted out stringent punishment, the judiciary-
even when others do not play fairly. It includes        maximization is on a prowl—predating on newer          administration combine showed unusual
respect for others including team members,              areas of investment to drag its gasping existence,     lethargy in carrying out the proceedings, diluted
opponents, and officials. Character refers to           and the accompanying rot is spreading thick and        the importance of the case by shifting it from
dispositions, values and habits that determine the      fast. Its latest target has been the arena of sports   the charge of ‘culpable homicide’ to ‘causing
way that person normally responds to desires,           particularly those games which are more popular        death by negligence’ and then allowed legal
fears, challenges, opportunities, failures and          and hence promise “better” business prospect. As       process to meander on its tortuous path for 26
successes and is typically seen in polite behaviour     testament to modern sport’s impending                  long years to ultimately end in a travesty of
toward others such as helping an opponent up or         submersion into the quagmire of corrupt                justice. Stunned people of the country find that
shaking hands after a match. Aim of education,          capitalism, no finer instances can be had than the     the eight accused found responsible for the
we know, is to develop a person as a socially           recently broken mega-scale scam of Indian              biggest industrial disaster in the history were
responsible human being with consummate                 Premiere League (IPL). Noticing the increased          only asked to pay Rs 1 lakh as fine and undergo
knowledge about life and how to approach it from        obssession of a sizeable part of sports-loving         imprisonment for just two years. And the height
a social perspective. Sport too is a time-tested        populace in the world, it was Australian media         of mockery was that all the accused were
device for bringing about social integration and        baron Kerry Packer who first toyed with the idea       granted bail against personal bond of just Rs
sense of fraternity. That is why sport has always       of converting cricket from a sporting event in to      25,000 immediately after the verdict was read
been regarded as complementary to education. We         dazzling display of an item number of modern           out. It may be recalled, observed Comrade
have seen in history how imbibing true spirit of        show business that seeks to define entertainment       Ghosh, that Chairman and CEO of Union
sports spurred one in discharging his social            in terms of artificially stimulated excitement,        Carbide, giant US multinational now owned by
obligation. During the days of our freedom              incitement of perverse proclivities and a kind of      Dow Chemicals, another notorious US MNC,
movement, the urge for liberating the motherland        riotous amusement of imposed glamour and               who was arrested after the deadly leak of
from the tentacles of foreign imperial rule was         gaiety. It was he who first floated a parallel         poisonous gas was immediately released on bail
often expressed in the arena of sports when teams       cricket extravaganza luring top notch cricketers       and then allowed a safe passage to US to
charged with nationalist fervour scored                 with huge monetary offer so much so as to be           quietly avoid all legal actions as his extradition,
impressive if not iconoclastic victory over much        able to whisk away many of them from the               the government knew, would be denied by the
powerful rivals sponsored by the exploitative           officially recognized arena of international           US government citing provisions of bilateral
rulers. Such a victory in a sport event symbolized      cricket. ‘Pajama cricket’ or ‘Kerry Packer’s           treaty between the two countries. Also in order
victory against oppression and suppression,             circus’, as it was being called those days soon        to suppress the entire crime, the central
victory of the just and justice against tyranny and     became the major trend and International Cricket       government in 1989 dropped all criminal
terror. Sport also inculcates a spirit of mutual        Council (ICC) struck a compromise with Packer,         charges filed against the Union Carbide
cooperation and coordination in both national and       granted approval to the format of a 50-over one        authorities and instead entered into an out of
international spheres. This is how sport plays a        day match as against five day long Test cricket        court settlement in which the accused US
role in stimulating human spirit and propelling         and endorsed large-scale commercialization of          multinational got away by paying on average
society and human civilization forward.                                                    Contd. on page 2                                      Contd. on page 6
PAGE TWO                                                                 JUNE 15, 2010                                                     PROLETARIAN ERA

     Cricket stripped of essence of sports and
     made pompous commercial extravaganza
Contd. from page 1                         and Lalit Modi, a person of dubious      the game of cricket which once             2008 and pay 10 per cent of the
the game. Since then, cricket no           past floated the idea of IPL. Several    epitomized these virtues. Cricketers       amount each year to the IPL before
more remained a sport but assumed          big monopolists as well as big film      are “purchased” for each year’s            the tournament begins. IPL also gets
the character of a commercial              personalities either with their own      tournament by the franchises for           20 per cent share of what Sony Set
venture where pomp and grandeur            resource or financed by big              their respective teams through             Max earns from telecast rights. The
and not essence of sport dominates         corporates and ‘secret’ investors        auction at fabulous prices, as if they     IPL also gets a similar share from
with notorious audacity. Soon, it          have floated cricket clubs on            are cattle or horses. Their cricketing     central sponsors like DLF or
was felt by the quarters of vested         ownership basis and hired cricketers     talent and skill have become               Vodafone. Add to this the new rights
interest that in keeping with the          round the world through open             purchasable commodities in the             sold this year for telecasting the
present day capitalist practice of not     market purchase based on highest         capitalist sports market. MUMBAI           matches live on YouTube and for
producing goods of long standing           bid. To make the sector yet more         Indians spent a staggering $750,000        multiplex rights. The IPL has also
use but the preferred ‘use and             attractive, monopolists romped in        to acquire Kieron Pollard, the all-        levied a licensing fee from Viacom
throw’ stuff so as to mint super-          glamorous film stars to add              rounder from Trinidad and Tobago,          network, which has the right to
profit through augmented repeat            ‘elegance to the show’. Also, it is      for IPL Season 3 in a tightly              show the after-match parties. These
purchase, one-dayers should give           common knowledge that in order to        contested bid. The huge sums paid          add upto a few more billions. The
way to a still more truncated format       sell their products, capitalists use     to the players, coaches and even           IPL website has a market worth of
of T-20. In sync with the vulgar           attractive wraps and unique              support        staff     like      the     about Rs.800 crores ($175 million).
consumerism world imperialism-             advertising and promotional tactics      physiotherapists and ‘vocal tonic’         Whereas in 2008, India’s top
capitalism fostered to suit its sinister   even crossing limits of decency and      providers for a tournament of such         business house Mukesh Ambani’s
class motive, a new adage, “Eat,           sobriety. As is the common practice      small duration cannot but turn them        Reliance Industries made the highest
Sleep and Drink cricket” was coined        to display women scantily dressed        into conceited self-seekers and            bid of $99 billion to bag the
to make people crazy about the             or provocatively posed even for          corrupt them. Their participation in       franchise for the Mumbai team, this
modern version of the game so that         marketing a shaving blade or             post-match parties is mandatory and        year, the Sahara Group and a
it could easily be “sold”. The craze       antiseptic cream, cheergirls and         such late-night drunken revelries          consortium including Rendezvous
is sought to be raised to such a           fashion models were introduced           cannot but debauch them as some            Sports World bid $370 million and $
height that the people in following        both on field and in the                 latest incidents of cricketers getting     333 million to bag the two new
the cricketers cross the thin line that    commentator box. The purpose was         involved in brawls in the pubs and         franchises for the Pune team and the
exists between a fan and a fanatic.        two-fold. One was to buttress            their tryst with call girls vindicate.     Kochi team respectively that have
                                           commercial agenda and the other to       Also they become pliable and fall          been awarded. Besides corporate
IPL—metamorphosis of                       degenerate the morality and culture      easy prey to lucrative offers for          world, the Mumbai film world, as
cricket                                    of the people so that anything and       match-fixing from the betting rings        stated above, is also deeply involved
    India has been a cricket playing       everything no matter how depraved        organized by speculative capital           in this 3-hour commercial package
country for long and so there is a         and debased could be passed as           which rules the roost in present-day       of a costly IPL tamasha! The
fondness of the game here. It could        entertainment or art.                    capitalist economic activities.            glamour of the film world attracts.
be seen within no time that one-day            Of all the IPL’s innovations –           Television commercials and             So the cine superstars are made the
cricket with coloured dress, white         cheergirls, city-based teams studded     shows, movie industry, fashion             faces of some of the franchises.
ball, black screen, choice of power        with international stars, player         industry and many more have begun          Presence of many of these screen
play overs and day-and-night play          auction – the most significant, and      to eye the cricketers as the money         heroes and heroines during the
timing became popular among the            until recently the least commented       making pie. Not even a single              matches is working as a crowd
larger section of the masses not for       on, was the introduction of private      industry is left untouched. Special        puller. The nexus between the film
love for the game per se but because       ownership of teams. For the first        telecasts on news channels are             industry and black money and the
of the craftily woven ‘entertainment       time, representative cricket entities    covered and pre-match and post-            criminal world is well-known. And
package’ it offered thanks to the          had become private assets.               match preparations are done not            as a corollary, IPL’s connection
courtesy of the sports merchants in        Modernization was equated with           only by cricket teams but also by          with the underworld and black
the country and outside. Revenue           privileging of the private sector,       news channels to increase their            money operation is only but natural.
earned from cricket matches held in        with maximizing of profit that could     Television Rating Point (TRP). And             It is clear that the IPL is a cartel
India was found to be highest in the       be extracted from the game. The          the huge cash generated in the             – a group of supposedly
world. Obviously, it occurred to a         franchise concept of the IPL had         process inflate the bursting coffers       independent        private    interests
section of the ruling capitalists and      given an uncalled for twist to the       of the BCCI officials, IPL bigwigs         colluding to control and carve up
their agents that why not capitalize       gentleman’s game, pegged as it was       and their associates, corrupt              the market. At the same time, it was
on the opportunities unfolding             on profits for the private owners of     bourgeois politicians and domestic         being murmured for quite some time
before them by introducing a still         the teams. Earlier, sordid monetary      and foreign monopolists financing          that there were serious conflicts of
more palatable 20-over version so          affairs were disguised behind the        the mega project.                          interests within the IPL, and vested
that, cricket, by metamorphosis,           cult of amateurism. The difference                                                  interests lobbying for, and acting,
could become a billion-dollar fiesta       with IPL has been that money is in       IPL—a money spiller                        clandestinely on behalf of, big
in keeping with the laws of the            the forefront of the game, its power         The IPL was thus projected as          business and powerful politicians.
capitalist market economy and              shameless and explicit.                  an ingeniously conceived and
coffers of “those who matter” could            Whatever the virtues of the          spectacularly executed show, with a        Scam breaks out
swell overnight.                           cricket played in the IPL, the culture   lot of frills and thrills. The financial       Proving that the murmurs were
    So the Board of Cricket Control        of the IPL – the packaging of the        scale of operations of the IPL, the        not baseless, startling disclosures
of India (BCCI) which comprised            cricket – was soulless and contrived.    amount of money invested, is truly         began on April 11, 2010 when Lalit
and still comprises people having          The common cricket fan by no             mind-boggling. It is reported to be a      Modi, IPL commissioner and BCCI
least concern for the game but more        means remained a stakeholder in          $4.1 billion cricketing extravaganza.      vice-president     tweeted on his
concentration on personal gains            this venture. Sportsmanship and          The eight franchises together bid          website details of the stake holding
immediately nodded affirmatively           fairplay have been banished from         Rs.28.53 billion ($640.9 million) in                             Contd. on page 3
PROLETARIAN ERA                                                           JUNE 15, 2010                                                           PAGE THREE

     Franchise concept of the IPL pegs cricket
        on profits for private team owners
Contd. from page 2                         Lalit Modi. Besides, Burman’s             more broadly the commercial                in to show Pawar and his family’s
in the new Kochi IPL team that was         brother Mohit is a co-owner of            deregulation of the game which             involvement in the bidding and
sold for Rs.1530 crore ($370               Kings XI Punjab — one of the              apparently created the morass, it is       franchise ownership. He and his
million) on 21 March this year.            eight original franchises awarded         now exposed that behind lies a             family own 3.6 lakh shares (out of
Modi said that Rendezvous Sports           under the stewardship of Lalit Modi       tangle of conflicts of interest, with      2.07 crore shares) in City
World had been given 25 per cent of        as the IPL Commissioner. Further,         IPL and BCCI officials and their           Corporation,       a     Pune-based
the franchise ownership free of cost,      Modi’s brother-in-law Suresh              relatives financially involved in the      construction company which bid Rs
out of which Rendezvous “gifted”           Chelaram,        a     Nigeria-based      private       franchises     and     the   1,176 crore for a franchise in March.
(technically       termed       “sweat     businessman, owns a sizable stake         broadcasting rights-holders. There         These shares are held through two
equity”)18 per cent to one Sunanda         in Rajasthan Royals, another of the       have been manipulations of every           companies, Lap Finance and
Pushkar, a Dubai-based beautician          eight original franchises. It was also    sort on a stupendous scale for             Consultancy Pvt. Ltd. and Namratta
who was close to Sashi Tharoor,            alleged that Modi was deeply              funding the bidders and to influence       Film Enterprises Pvt. Ltd., which
Minister of State for External             embroiled in generation of black          the bid results for securing the           are 100% owned by the Union
Affairs in the UPA government, and         money, money laundering, and              franchises. It is a web that allegedly     agriculture minister, his wife and
who was expected to marry him              betting in cricket (match fixing of       involves ministers, the CEOs of            daughter Supriya Sule, also an MP.
soon. Lalit further tweeted that           certain IPL matches). Allegations         some         of      India’s     biggest   To shield Pawar, the Managing
during the bidding evaluation stage        against Modi included bribery,            corporations, media powers and             Director of City Corporation
prior to award of the franchise,           kickbacks, insider trading, tax           Bollywood stars. As we have said           claimed that though the bid
Tharoor had advised Lalit not to           evasion, offshore tax scams and           earlier, it is the big corporate houses,   document was bought and submitted
check up and investigate the               violations of foreign exchange            business tycoons and speculators           in the name of City Corp., it was in
background of “controversial”              regulations, rigging bids in aborted      who own the IPL teams. Almost all          his “personal capacity”. Incredible
buyers like Rendezvous. This was a         round of auction, encouraging and         the BCCI board members or office           indeed! A tender was bought in the
serious allegation that Tharoor,           attempting      collusive     bidding,    bearers have direct or indirect stake      name of a company. Subsequently,
using his position as an Union             breaching confidentiality clause,         in the cricket franchisees. BCCI           the board did not agree to the bid,
minister, had influenced the bidding       arm-twisting successful bidder, non-      Secretary N Srinivasan owns the            but permitted the MD to use the
and award procedure so that the            disclosure of interest or stake in the    Chennai team. After Modi, BCCI             company’s name for bidding
franchise right could the granted to       franchises, misappropriation of           has appointed Chirayu Amin,                purposes out of his personal
the bidding consortium in which            funds, irregularities in awarding         another BCCI top official, as chief        finance—an act precluded in the
Rendezvous was a major partner             broadcast and internet rights,            of IPL. But Amin is no cricketing          relevant corporate law.
without checking its background            ignoring irregularities in one of the     personality. He is also a big
and ownership details. Why?                franchises in which his kin holds         industrialist, chairman of the             How do the shady operations
Because, 18 per cent free ownership        stake, unexplained $80 million            pharmaceutical giant Alembic and           take place?
of Sunanda virtually meant 18 per          facilitation fee about which BCCI         former president of the Federation             Let us have some idea as to how
cent free ownership of Sashi               was kept in the dark. Modi was            of Indian Chambers of Commerce             the ring of dubious operations and
Tharoor himself by proxy. Stung,           suspended from the post of IPL            and Industry. Can it be said that he       money making operates. First one is
Sashi Tharoor hit back and the             chairman by the BCCI but that does        unlike his other colleagues does not       of chain contracts that are awarded
Kochi franchise too joined in the          not mean the buck stops at that.          have any interest in any of the            through intermediacy of multiple
fray. Tharoor also alleged that Modi                                                 teams?                                     companies including fictitious
and others had tried to pressurize the     IPL —a hotbed of financial                     And now it has come to light          entities which are owned by the
winning consortiums to abandon             irregularities                            that Sharad Pawar, the NCP chief           echelons in the hierarchy of the
their bid in favour of another city,           By its very constitution, the IPL     and union minister of agriculture          operations and their financiers. For
Ahmedabad.           Through         the   could not but be a hotbed of              who had been the BCCI chief earlier        example, World Sports Group-
allegations and counter-allegations        financial               irregularities,   and is now frantically trying to           Mauritius (WSG) and IMG, two
between them and Lalit Modi,               manipulations and corruption of           occupy the chair of ICC president          companies that received BCCI
Pandora’s box was opened revealing         every sort on a massive scale. The        has interest in one of the franchisees     contracts, are both old business
widespread corruption prevalent in         basic feature which distinguishes         albeit through proxy. Praful Patel,        partners in Modi’s own businesses.
the IPL affairs. But Tharoor had           IPL      from      earlier     cricket    another NCP stalwart and union             Modi Entertainment Networks runs
hardly any escape route from the           tournaments, as we said earlier, has      civil aviation minister is also under      Fashion TV in India. IMG did
pressure       mounted       on      the   been the introduction of private          scanner. The BCCI has all along            business with Fashion TV for years
government by the opposition               ownership of the teams. This is           been at great pains to ensure that         before it won the contract for
seeking his removal. The Congress-         privatization of sports in the worst      Sharad Pawar’s involvement in the          managing IPL. IMG, a powerful
led UPA also found that continuing         form. By selling the franchises, the      scam does not become public. At the        global firm with interests in sports,
with Tharoor would entail more             BCCI has been permitting the              initial stage, Pawar tried to protect      media and entertainment, was to get
infamy for it. So he was made to           groups of successful bidders to           Lalit Modi. But IT and Enforcement         10% of IPL’s revenues as
resign from the ministry. But the          exploit the huge market of the game       Directorate investigations, prima          management fee. The two parties
scandal did not die down.                  for commercial gain. With the             facie, substantiated allegations of        later renegotiated and IMG was
    Meanwhile, disclosures about           staggeringly high prices of the           financial irregularities, nepotism and     back in the game with a
Lalit Modi’s misdeeds had been             franchises going around with the          abuse of political authority by            substantially      reduced       fee.
piling up. It transpired that the rights   prospect of matching high super           Pawar and Praful Patel. Perturbed at       Meanwhile, Multi-Screen Media
for developing and maintaining the         profits, IPL has become the play          the revelations, Congress leaders          (MSM),          formerly       Sony
IPL website had been bagged by a           ground of monopoly capital, joint         Pranab            Mukherjee         and    Entertainment Television, had
company called Global Cricket              corporate houses with immense             Chidambaram are stated to have             bagged the broadcast rights for 10
Ventures – a Mauritius-based               money power and close connections         bluntly asked Pawar to give up             years, starting 2008, with a bid of
company that is co-owned by                at highest levels.                        protecting Lalit Modi. But of late,        $918 million and a commitment to
Gaurav Burman, step-son-in-law of              Though private franchising, and       documentary evidences are pouring                              Contd. on page 4
PAGE FOUR                                                                 JUNE 15, 2010                                                   PROLETARIAN ERA

      An unholy nexus of corrupt sports officials-politicians-
     corporate barons-speculators-smugglers forms IPL cartel
Contd. from page 3                          entity. Even Indian operators use        states that the company shall not        parking, speculative finance— all
spend another $108 million on               this channel to deploy their black       issue sweat equity shares for more       are used without any accountability
promoting the event. However, the           money back in India by way of            than 15% of its total paid-up capital    of disclosure. What could be more
deal was scrapped a few months              ‘Hawala’ transaction. A customer         in a year or shares whose value was      attractive than a project of this kind
before IPL 2009 was to begin,               approaches a Hawala broker in one        not more than Rs 5 crore, that too       for multiplying illegally acquired
leading to a legal battle between           Indian city and gives a sum of           only after the government’s              wealth?
MSM and IPL. MSM lost the case              money to be transferred to a             approval. But Sunanda was given              Moreover,        under     private
in court as rights were already             recipient in a foreign destination.      Rs 80 crores worth of sweat equity.      ownership, management is less
created in favour of WSG. BCCI              The Hawala broker calls another              The fourth aspect is ‘flight’ of     hedged in by non-commercial
sold the telecast rights for the            Hawala broker in the recipient’s         important documents to undisclosed       concerns, like ensuring wider access
second season of the IPL to WSG-            destination,     gives     disposition   destinations stated to be beyond the     to facilities; they have neither a
Mauritius in March 2010 for over            instructions of the funds (usually       reach     of    the     investigating    mandate for nor an interest in
Rs 335 crore, 50% higher than its           minus a small commission), and           authorities. Are we to believe that      promoting the welfare of the game
deal with Sony Max, a channel               promises to settle the debt at a later   our intelligence wings are so            as a whole. Inevitably, franchise
owned by MSM. The contract was              date. The “unique’ feature of the        inefficient as not to be able to trace   holdings become part of larger
for a nine-year period as opposed to        system is that no promissory             such ‘missing’ documents? Among          investment portfolios and are treated
last year’s 10-year contract. WSG           instruments are exchanged between        the scores of papers that have           accordingly. In English Premier
India, last year, paid about USD 900        the hawala brokers; the transaction      allegedly gone missing from the          League (EPL) football, the putative
million and WSG Mauritius, it is            takes place entirely on the honour       BCCI headquarters here, are the          model for the IPL, owners have
learnt, had paid the BCCI USD 1.8           system.        Hawala works by           papers relating to the highly            proved extraordinarily reckless in
billion this year for the contract. It is   transferring money without actually      controversial $1.64 billion TV rights    exploiting their assets. The
alleged that by awarding WSG                moving it. What a novel conduit to       contract between BCCI, Multi-            American owners of Manchester
rights at favourable terms, Modi was        make unaccounted money multiply          Screen Media (MSM) and World             United and Liverpool have both
settling the old dues from his private      through dubious transaction! Apart       Sports Group (WSG) involving a           used their clubs as financial
business. But then MSM opened               from this, large amounts of              suspect “facilitation” fee of $80        leverage for other sections of their
fresh negotiations with BCCI to             IPL money are alleged to be coming       million. They are not with BCCI,         corporate empires. The IPL has,
regain the broadcast rights within          from “dubious sources”, including        nor apparently with suspended IPL        however, left everybody behind in
days. A new agreement was created           Mauritius and Dubai, and even            chief Lalit Modi. In absence of          this regard. In it, each franchise has
and MSM allegedly paid a                    black money in Swiss banks is            evidence, all the cases will as usual    been given an exclusive right to
“facilitation fee” (read kickback) of       being laundered into white money         either be buried or delayed err long     exploit a designated market, which
$80 million to WSG to re-acquire            through this “caricature” of             allowing the culprits to move            does not happen in the EPL. The
IPL TV rights. The payment is               “commercialized cricket”.                around freely without a shade of         franchises are city or region specific
reported to have been by MSM                     Violation of law is also rampant.   anxiety.                                 and named accordingly like
Singapore to WSG Mauritius.                 Section 79A(c) of the Companies                                                   Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super
According to the report, WSG,               Act, 1956 (1 of 1956) clearly states     Nature of money operation                King or Kolkata Knight Riders.
which owns IPL’s overseas rights,           that a company may issue sweat               The nature of money operation        With its team salary cap, local
was owed $2.5 million by Modi               equity shares only after completing      is worth noting. Idle capital in the     quotas and annual player auction,
Entertainment Network from an               a year since its incorporation.          hands of monopolists, surplus funds      the IPL provides a heavily protected
earlier transaction. One can well see       Rendezvous Cricket Management            of the large corporate houses,           environment for the franchises.
how cluttered and convoluted is the         Pvt Ltd was incorporated on August       unaccounted accretions in the wallet         These are but some examples of
whole operation and how money               23, 2009. It was renamed as              of the blackmarketers, smugglers,        how laws are either flouted or
changes hands or how money                  Rendezvous Sports World Pvt Ltd          underworld kingpins and market           circumvented by the shady
accumulating from different sources         on March 3, 2010. Even if one            speculators are pooled together to       operators to mint money and how
is ultimately funneled to the               considers the earlier avatar, one year   create financial muscle of the           political bigwigs misuse their
concerned          beneficiary        or    of its incorporation would have been     franchises. Since there are many         position to secure undue favours to
beneficiaries working underhand.            completed only on August 22 this         stakeholders in most of the              the self and associates even at the
     Why the payment made to WSG            year and hence not entitled to allot     franchises, the ownership of these is    cost of public exchequer.
Mauritius? There is a big reason for        the sweat equity to anyone. Sweat        in the form of consortium. The bid
that. India has a double taxation           equity could be offered only after a     is given by A, the document signed       IPL-a huge drain on public
treaty with Mauritius which                 special resolution was passed by the     by B, who has nothing to do with         exchequer
stipulates that no capital gains tax        company, and it could be issued          the bid and then, separate companies         It may be added that though
(tax to be paid on financial gains          only to the directors of the company     floated in tax havens come in to         BCCI operates as a business and not
arising by sale of immovable                or its employees. “There were two        receive payment. Immediately after       a public service, it enjoys the status
properties or shares) to be imposed         Form 32s submitted by Rendezvous,        winning bids, shares of some of the      of a charitable organization and
in Mauritius. Long term capital             the second one merely 15 days            companies        constituting    the     hence out of the tax net. It is also
gains from shares are exempted              before the date of auction. Name of      consortium are sold to other             revealed that the BCCI allocates
from tax in India. So any Mauritius-        Sunanda Pushkar, Tharoor’s girl          individuals or companies changing        only 8 per cent of its engorged
based company can earn completely           friend, does not figure in any. Under    the ownership pattern overnight.         revenues to the actual development
tax free capital gains income from          what provision was the sweat equity      Many of these transferee companies       of cricket confirming that cricket is
sale of shares of Indian company.           allocated? Moreover, unlisted            are fictitious. So tracing the real      only incidental to its scheme of
That is why many big corporates             companies could issue sweat equity       beneficiaries      becomes      near     things and the actual objective is
and monopolists get a company               only in accordance with the              impossible. No law mandates to           conducting a roaring trade in the
registered in Mauritius and route           provisions      of    the     Unlisted   disclose the source of funds of the      name of cricket. A pure commercial
their investment in shares in Indian        Companies (Issue of Sweat Equity         bidders. So the hawala route, Dubai      project like IPL also besides
market through that Mauritius               Shares) Rules, 2003. Rule 6 clearly      or Mauritius channel, black money                             Contd. on page 5
PROLETARIAN ERA                                                        JUNE 15, 2010                                                                 PAGE FIVE

 Laws are either flouted or circumvented
   by shady operators to mint money
Contd. from page 4                       and minted fortunes through match        that if we assume that gambling in          whenever a scam surfaces, the
enjoying plethora of tax and tariff      fixing. The skippers of India and        India would be of a proportionate           parliamentary opposition parties,
concessions draws heavily on public      South Africa were fixed under that       scale if it were legalized (that is, 1%     themselves corrupt to the bones, cry
resources as well. Huge police           charge and banned. The South             of GDP), that would imply revenues          foul and raise a clamour as if they
contingents are posted at the venues,    African skipper who divulged many        of the order of Rs 62,000 crore. This       are apostles of honesty and the
hotels, airports and other places to     of the secrets including existence of    once again exposes the murky face           government is forced to make a
provide security to the stars which      an Indian betting syndicate later        of corrupt capitalism. On the one           show of taking some steps to keep
include besides the cricketers the       died in an accident under mysterious     hand, the economy is being                  up the pretence of its “clean”
film personalities, industrialists and   circumstances       raising      many    gradually made a punter’s den while         governance.
key figures of murky bourgeois           questions      that    still   remain    on the other hand, a public opinion             It is idle to presume that Lalit
politics. There is a drain on public     unanswered. And now the same             is sought to be mobilized by                Modi has been engaged in corrupt
exchequer for the purpose. IPL           thing is resurfacing again. In this      advancing such a gangster’s logic of        activities of such magnitude without
matches in Mumbai and Nagpur             year’s IPL, for instance, an             according legal sanction to all such        the knowledge, connivance or even
were granted duty waiver by Sunil        estimated Rs 5,000 crore has already     murky acts. One wonders where the           participation of at least those high-
Dattatraya Tatkare of Sharad             been bet in India and another £2         country would be led to if such             ups in the government with whom
Pawar’s NCP, who holds the finance       million (about Rs 13.5 crore)            “prudent” advices of the pliant             he had to work in close association.
ministry in the Congress-NCP             through bookmakers in the UK.            media are accepted.                         In fact, all these orders of
coalition        government         of   Many of the matches are stated to            Even after all these, we are sure       investigation, suspension of Modi,
Maharashtra. Before the IPL              have been fixed.                         we have seen only the tip of the            changing executives of BCCI or
controversy broke out, a finance              And curiously enough, a section     iceberg. More are in the offing. This       apparent belligerence of Sashank
department official disclosed that       of the bourgeois media instead of        IPL scam, observed one media                Manohar, the BCCI president, are
the state would lose around Rs 60-       rallying behind the just demand of       commentator, is like an onion: you          mere eyewash. Everyone is in the
70 crore. When questioned about          imposing blanket ban on such             can peel layer after layer and be           know of all things. Everyone is in
payment of facilitation fee to WSG,      gambling and for prosecution of the      stunned by the masala.                      connivance or collusion with each
Mauritius, the MSM defended itself       involved criminals is shamelessly                                                    other. As the saying goes, one raven
by saying that the payments have         pleading in favour of legalizing the     Government of India’s frail                 will not pluck another’s eye. At
been made in accordance with             betting. It is argued that with such     defence                                     present, the lid of the murky
applicable laws and as per               serious sums of black money                  It is not that the Indian               container has slightly come out
established international cross-         sloshing around and criminal             government has just come to know            because the mutual bickering of the
border      banking    norms       and   elements involved, there is a serious    about the misdeeds of Lalit Modi            kingpins of this punter’s den has
procedures. Facilitation fee of $80      risk of some or large parts of it        through the recent disclosures              overshot the limit a bit. But, it will
translates into Rs 425 crores and the    finding its way to terrorists, drug      thrown up by the bickering between          soon be put in place. Show of an
decision to park rights with a           mafia and the like. Legalizing           Sashi Tharoor and Modi over                 investigation or probe will continue
company in a tax haven like              betting and other forms of gambling      monetary gains through corrupt              only till such time as the issue is
Mauritius is obviously to evade tax      would not only bring all of this         means. As reported in the press, a          fresh in public memory, only to be
in India and that too in a manner        activity out into the open and hence     detailed report about Lalit Modi            overtaken by newer developments
where tracing the end beneficiaries      minimize, if not eliminate, the          prepared by the Income Tax                  and issues, and to be pushed into
would be near impossible. How            underworld’s role, it would also         department has been in possession           oblivion. All the warring factions in
liberal the government is! When          mean the government would be able        of the government for over 6                order to save their respective skins
under the pretext of financial           to tax it and raise substantial          months. It states that Modi who had         as well as such secure a paying
constraints and relieving cash-          revenues from it. To drive home the      a record of failed business ventures        proposition like IPL will bury the
strapped government of shouldering       point, the media commentators are        and defaults till 4 years back has at       hatchet in no time. The bourgeois
subsidy burden in fuel, fertilizer,      citing examples of the big imperialist   present a life style that includes a        government will play the mediator’s
electricity and other areas,             countries where gambling is a            private jet, a luxury yacht and fleet       role. Pliant media will be pressed
allocations to public welfare are        recognized industry. The gross           of Mercedes 5 class and BMW cars            into action to create public opinion
curtailed in the budget, additional      revenues of the sector in the US,        all acquired in the last 3 years, that      in favour of a truce and earliest
burden of taxes are imposed on the       where different states have different    is, since the inception of the IPL          renewal of the show business. Like
common people and retail prices of       laws, were $93 billion in 2007,          tournament. The report gives a              all other major scams that had
petroleum products are sought to be      according to the American Gaming         picture of the corrupt and illegal          surfaced earlier, IPL too will not be
substantially hiked in repeated          Association. The tax revenues            activities of Modi ranging from his         probed to the logical end, the
bouts, a roaring business venture of,    accruing to governments were $5.7        manipulation of land deals in               culprits identified and punished
moreover, dubious nature like IPL is     billion (about Rs 25,000 crore).         Rajasthan and the existence of a            because this capitalist system with
granted tax exemption.                        In the UK, official data puts tax   maze of shell companies and                 personal aggrandizement as its
                                         revenues from the gambling sector        offshore entities used to route             motto, breeds corruption, thrives on
The saga of betting                      at £1.5 billion last year (about Rs      payments and equity stakes worth            it and protects it. History will only
    Beyond      the   controversies      10,000 crore). A European                hundreds of crores of rupees. For at        remain a record keeper of the mucky
surrounding the finances and             Commission study in 2006                 least over 6 months, the government         episode.
ownership of IPL teams now raging,       estimated the size of the sector in 25   had definite and official knowledge
there are long-standing murmurs of       EU member states at •51.5 billion,       about Lalit Modi’s misdeeds. Yet it         People must rise up
betting and match-fixing that            projected to rise to •64 billion (Rs     kept mum and took no action                     It is clear that what is being seen
periodically surface as rumours.         380,000 crore) by 2010. The same         against him. Because so long as             today is a farce in the name of
One would recall that about a            study also found that the size of this   corruption does not appear in public        sports. Not only the sport has been
decade back, it was exposed that         sector was roughly equivalent to 1%      view and surfaces as a scam, the            defiled and degraded, even the
many of the world’s top cricketers       of GDP in most member countries.         government, irrespective of which           audience is coerced to accept the
were embroiled in the betting net        Going by that, it could be presumed      party leads it, shuts its eyes to it. But                         Contd. on page 6
PAGE SIX                                                                 JUNE 15, 2010                                                  PROLETARIAN ERA

Excuse dished out by the Finance Minister                                             SUCI(C) called for All India protest day
  has only given rise to more questions                                              Contd. from page 1
                                                                                    just Rs 12, 410 to each victim. Whenever the hapless victims, their family
                                        — Comrade Provash Ghosh                     members and common people came out in protest against such inhuman
    Reacting to the statement of the Union Finance Minister Pranab                  and barbaric act of the government, they received bullets and bayonets of
Mukherjee on the Bhopal Gas Tragedy, Comrade Provash Ghosh, General                 the insolent rulers. None of the governments whether headed by the
Secretary, SUCI (Communist) in course of a statement issued on 15 June,             Congress, BJP or the CPI(M)-backed United Front was ever interested in
2010 said that after maintaining a conspicuous silence for a few days, the          securing justice for the victims. On the contrary, they were all keen to
way the Congress as an afterthought has presented through Finance                   ensure that the culprit corporate house and the concerned industrial barons
Minister Pranab Mukherjee an excuse to cover up their culpable offence in           and their pliant executives escape unscathed after committing such a
the Bhopal Gas Tragedy, has stoked up more questions and has increased              savage crime on humanity. It is pertinent to mention here that even after
the magnitude of their sin manifold.                                                such a lethal incident, the Congress-led UPA government in its proposed
    The questions are: Could Arjun Singh as the state chief minister take           ‘Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill, 2010’, proposes to limit the
such an important decision of its kind on his own without the directive,            maximum amount of liability in case of a nuclear accident in any of the
approval or even knowledge of the central leadership of the party and the           nuclear plants at Rs 500 crore and absolve the suppliers and operators of
Prime Minister? Could he allow the main accused of such a horrendous                such plants of all other responsibilities let alone criminal charge in case
crime to escape even after arrest to USA with honour under official                 of a nuclear accident. The entire episode glaringly exposes how the
arrangement? Is it to be believed that the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi         governments, irrespective of hue, the administration and judiciary in
did not know anything of the matter even though he was very much present            capitalist India are nakedly serving the class interest of the domestic and
in company with Arjun Singh at Bhopal on the very same day when                     foreign monopoly capital and are decidedly anti-people in every bit of
Anderson was granted bail and sent to Delhi, asked Comrade Ghosh.                   their action.
    After thrusting the responsibility on to Arjun Singh in order to save the           Comrade Provash Ghosh, therefore, called upon the countrymen not
skin of Rajiv Gandhi, the Finance Minister has tried to plead innocence of          to allow such brazenly criminal acts by lying low but build up
Arjun Singh with the plea that with massive people’s protest bursting forth         countrywide powerful movement to wrest justice. Comrade Ghosh also
after the disaster, Anderson’s presence in Bhopal would have entailed law           demanded stringent punishment of all the culprits of the Bhopal tragedy,
and order problems. This logic, too, does not stand scrutiny. Because, the          adequate compensation for the victims and their families and immediate
then Congress government showed enough ‘competence’ in preserving law               effective step to free the site of the accident from dangerous pollution. He
and order by brutally baton-charging on the agitating relatives of the dead         also announced that SUCI(C) will observe All India Protest Day on 9th
and injured. What additional problem would have been created had                    June against this farcical verdict and organize demonstrations on that day
Anderson been present in the city, questioned Comrade Ghosh.                        in each of the state capitals.
    And, even if it is assumed for argument’s sake that there was such a
necessity, what prompted the ruling party and its government to suddenly
grant bail to an under-trial accused of such a heinous crime and allow him             All Orissa State Conference of Peasants
a safe passage to his own country instead of shifting him to Delhi or                        and Agricultural Labourers
elsewhere in India? Why was he not brought back during all these years? Is
it not because of appeasing the foreign multinational and maintaining a                 On 30 and 31May, 2010, an All        movement. Comrade Dhurjati Das,
friendly relation with US imperialism which is a class necessity of ruling          Orissa conference of Peasants and        Secretary SUCI(Communist) Orissa
Indian capitalism and its subservient state, observed Comrade Ghosh.                and agricultural workers organized       State Committee in his speech that
    Moreover, there is no propriety of the parties like the BJP and the             by All India KKMS was held at            the way the multinationals and
CPI(M) to complain on this issue. After Rajiv Gandhi’s rule at the Centre,          Jamunaposi, Patana in the district of    corporate houses are conspiring to
VP Singh-led government supported by the BJP and the CPI(M), United                 Keonjhar. The open session on 30         grab the cultivable land in the name
Front government supported by the Congress and the CPI (M), BJP-led                 May at Jamunaposi Milana ground          of industrialization must be exposed
NDA government, and the last UPA government enjoying support and                    was attended by thousands of             and a strong movement to be
cooperation from the CPI(M) were progressively saddled in power. All these          peasants     and      khetmazdoors       launched to resist it. Comrade
governments and their constituent as well as supporting political parties did       including a large number of women        Panchanan Pradhan, Secretary
not take any step towards bringing Anderson back to this country, carrying          from all over the state. Comrade         AIKKMS of West Bengal State
out proper investigation of the Bhopal Tragedy and providing just                   Shambhunath Naik, vice president,        Council also addressed.
compensation to the families and relatives of the dead and injured. They            AIKKMS and ex-MLA of SUCI(C)                 A presidium consisting of
did not even utter a single word in this regard. So, would it be wrong to           presided over. Comrade Raghunath         Comrades Shambhunath Naik,
conclude that both the BJP and the CPI (M) are also constrained by the same         Das, Secretary, AIKKMS, Orissa           Uddhab Jena and Sadashib Das
compulsion as that of the Congress, asked Comrade Provash Ghosh.                    State Council in his brief speech        conducted the delegate session on
                                                                                    emphasized the need to develop           31May, 2010. In his address to the
                                                                                    powerful movement in order to            delegates,        Comrade        Asit
                         IPL SCAM                                                   achieve the legitimate demands of
                                                                                    the oppressed peasant community.
                                                                                                                             Bhattacharyya dwelt on the historic
                                                                                                                             struggle conducted by Comrade
Contd. from page 5                       consequence will be disastrous.            In his address as the main speaker,      Ghosh to build up SUCI(C) as the
mutilated formats like IPL as            Already sports as a whole has              Comrade      Asit     Bhattachayya,      genuine communist party and
modernized version of the sporting       almost been stripped of its essence.       Member, Polit Bureau, SUCI(C)            showed how in course of that, he
events. An unholy nexus of               Now, moves are afoot to put the last       said that crisis ridden capitalist       formed AIKKMS as the true fighting
industrial house-speculative capital-    nail in its coffin. It has to be           system is the root cause of all          organization of the ruthlessly
government and corrupt sports            thwarted under pressure of                 problems tormenting the life of the      exploited peasants and agricultural
officials is controlling the field of    organized public opposition. There         peasants. After independence, the        workers. An AIKKMS State
sports and running nightclub like        has to be a countrywide powerful           Indian capitalist class captured the     Council comprising 53 members
entertainment show as the IPL. That      movement against commercializa-            state power and with every passing       and a 24 member executive
is why, the country of over 1100         tion of sport, to foil the bourgeois       day, consolidating its exploitative      body was elected unanimously by
million people and abounding in          conspiracy of turning it into a            rule that is wreaking havoc in the       the delegates. Comrades Uddhab
sporting talent is lagging far behind    device of dubious money operation          peasants’ life. All the legitimate       Jena and Raghunath Das were
others in most of the sports. If this    of the hounds, sharks and vultures         peasants’ struggles must grow            elected President and Secretary
is allowed to continue unabated, the     of the utterly corrupt capitalist order.   conducive      to      anti-capitalist   repectively.
PROLETARIAN ERA                                             JUNE 15, 2010                                                  PAGE SEVEN

   In response to the call given by the Central Committee of the SUCI (C), All-India
  Protest Day against the farcical court verdict on Bhopal Gas Tragedy was observed
throughout the country on 9 June 2010. Appended is a photo coverage of some of them.

      From top : New Delhi, Kerala, Muzaffarpur and Angul                   From top : Gujarat, Kolkata, Andhra Pradesh and Mumbai
                                                                                                                           RNI No. 13932/67
                                                                                                   Postal Regd. No. KOL / RMS / /145 / 2010-12

               Bhopal Gas Tragedy Protest Day


                                                                               SUCI(C) severely condemns Zionist Israeli
                                                                              attack on Palestine aid flotilla and calls upon
                                                                                    world people to rise up in protest
                                                                                 Comrade Provash Ghosh, General Secretary, SUCI (Communist) in
                                                                             course of a statement issued on 3 June, 2010 said that the imperialist
                                                                             superpower-backed Zionist Israeli regime which just a year back carried
                                                                             out a murderous assault on the Palestine freedom fighters of Gaza strip
                                                                             struggling for realizing their just demand for a sovereign Palestine state
                                                                             with its capital in Jerusalem, virtually slaughtered them with beastly
                                                                             savagery has once again, violating all international laws, committed a
                                                                             most criminal act by attacking in international waters a flotilla of boats
                                                                             carrying humanitarian aid to the beleaguered people of Gaza suffering
                                                                             from acute shortage of food, water, fuel, medicine and other essential
                                                                             items owing to the illegal blockade imposed by the Israeli rulers since
                                                                             2007. Comrade Provash Ghosh severely condemned this ghastly act in
                                                                             which at least nine of the unarmed peace activists have been killed and
                                                                             several others have received grievous injuries due to merciless beating
                                                                             and application of electric shocks.
                                                                                 The extremely mild manner in which the US imperialists have
                                                                             reacted to such a savage act in flagrant violation of all international rules
                                                                             and norms only vindicates the feeling of the right thinking people round
                                                                             the world that but for direct backing of the Pentagon regime, the Zionist
                                                                             Israeli rulers could have never dared to launch such brutal offensives one
                                                                             after another. The President of the European Parliament has also ended
                                                                             his responsibility by issuing a meek protest reaffirming connivance and
                                                                             indulgence of the imperialist superpowers in the barbaric acts of Israeli
                                                                             rulers. Instead of coming out with strong condemnation of this Israeli
                                                                             atrocity let alone taking any punitive measure against the perpetrators of
                                                                             such a heinous crime, the casual manner in which the UN Security
                                                                             Council has ordered for a simple investigation of the incident has been
                                                                             shocking. It only lends credence to the apprehension of the right thinking
                                                                             people that UNO has virtually become a rubber stamp of the US
                                                                             imperialists and their allies, observed Comrade Provash Ghosh.
                                                                                 Comrade Provash Ghosh has called upon all the peace loving
                                                                             democratic minded people of the world to rise in protest and build up
                                                                             powerful anti-imperialist movement throughout the world against such
                                                                             sinister gunboat diplomacy of the imperialist superpowers and their pliant
                                                                             regimes and in support of the legitimate struggle of the Palestinian
            From top : Bangalore, Mysore, Bhopal and Rohtak

                                                EDITOR-IN-CHIEF :            PROVASH GHOSH
Edited & Published by Asit Bhattacharyya from 48 Lenin Sarani, Kolkata 700 013 and printed by him at Ganadabi Printers and Publishers Private Limited,
52B, Indian Mirror Street, Kolkata 700013. Phone : 2249-1828, 2265-3234 E-mail :,, Website :

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