Too much Butter
In a befitting farewell by his home association, Bengal's prodigal son Sourav Ganguly was on Sunday presented a golden bat at his felicitation here as a poignant show of nostalgia marked the two-hour-long programme.
As the former Indian skipper was presented with the bat made of one kg gold worth Rs 25 lakh, confetti was showered amid a dazzling display of fireworks in the Cricket Association of Bengal function 'Celebrating a legend'.
Speaking on the occasion, chief guest of the function West Bengal Sports Minister Subhas Chakraborty described Ganguly as a 'Dhruv Tara' (the guiding star) and compared him with the warrior Arjuna who battled all odds in the Mahabharata...
Don't get me wrong, people! I have been a Saurav-Ganguly fan since 1996, I have spent countless nights praying in bed for his century, I have crossed the decibel limit a thousand times(and am still prepared to do so)defending him against nasty critics-the Chappell -legion. But frankly, I don't see the idea behind gifting him 1kg gold in this recession-hit market - yeah, I'm talking money, because remember, it's ultimately the tax-payer's money that is being spent. The State Government has always gone overboard with Ganguly even during his playing days- why should we pay for the necklace of his wife and the Chinese doll of his daughter which the CM once gifted to them? Of course Ganguly deserves to be honoured, but surely a less 'golden'token would have sufficed? And where were these people between 1992-1996 when Ganguly was struggling to make it back to the team? Interestingly, the minister who compared Dada with Arjuna today was calling him mere "puffed rice a few days back." And that was another Extravaganza on public money. What is the net result of Maradona coming to India to wave at a few people and then depart with his appearance fees as far as the basic condition of Indian football is concerned? Nothing. It all amounted to a big zero. And a noted Indian athlete has commented how 16 modern tracks could be built, and poor junior players given new shirts with the money that was splurged on Maradona. Once Abhinav Brinda won the gold, state governments were competing with each other to give him money. Why? It was not that he needed the money? Nor did Ganguly. Why don't they spend the money on budding players, on pre-Olympic trainings? But what's the point? That won't win them votes. Our leaders care only about celebrities they can utilize and no more. The result, as they say, is one side of the bread is so damned buttered that it nauseates.