Do you have trouble understanding why your twitter feed is bursting with #LaMo comments and jokes, or why every night Ms. Barkha Dutt debates over the Lalit Modi issue while you try to enjoy chicken curry and dal?
Join the club.
Atlas this much is clear that the LaMo scandal is a big deal. But what is exactly happening?
So over the aforementioned chicken curry and dal, I grilled my father about the said LaMo brouhaha in the news.
Here’s what I took from it:
1) Who is Lalit Modi?
My vague understanding of who he is came from the peripherals of IPL that were lodged in my subconscious (majority of IPL consciousness is occupied by a certain owner of a certain team from Kolkata- SHAHRUKH KHAN), but here’s what an extensive search of his name on Wikipedia gave:
Lalit Kumar Modi is the first commissioner of cricket’s Indian Premier League (IPL). After launching and running IPL for 3 years he was found guilty of committing acts of misconduct and indiscipline resulting in his removal and subsequent lifetime ban by the BCCI. He denies all wrongdoing and blames the current BCCI administration for creating sham blue ribbon committees to pass judgements on him.
Also he has now ran to hide in London, because why not. It’s a beautiful place, home to many beautiful historic buildings and it is believed that if you ride the tube enough, you will spot a Game of Thrones cast member for sure. BUT I’m getting carried away here, Lalit Modi is in reality an absconder (which basically means to leave hurriedly and secretly, typically to escape from custody or to avoid arrest) . Let’s see why:
2) Why has he ran away to London?
Aside from the aforementioned reasons to visit London, Lalit Modi has left India because he “..perceives threat to his life from “unwanted elements” and won’t return to India till the situation improves,” (direct quote from his advocate, Mehmood Abdi)
Modi, who was suspended as IPL chairman by the BCCI in April, is facing charges ranging from financial irregularities to rigging bids, proxy holdings and kickbacks in broadcast deals.
So he basically did a lot of shady stuff during his time as the IPL chief and now when he is under trial, he has ran away, or absconded, to the UK.
3) Involvement of Sushma Swaraj
External affairs minister, Sushma Swaraj, became a part of this whole controversy after acknowledging that she helped Lalit Modi procure British travel documents on “humanitarian grounds”, basically to visit his wife who is undergoing treatment for cancer in Lisbon. BUT. There have been several pictures of Modi partying with celebs like Naomi Campbell and Paris Hilton at that time. It was also alleged that Modi had helped her nephew secure an admission in a law university in Sussex.
Now the opposition is demanding her head (not literally, I hope) for helping Modi even if it was on humanitarian grounds.
4) Involvement of Vasundhara Raje
A document surfaced recently with Rajasthan’s Chief Minister, Vasundhara Raje’s, signatures, backing up Modi’s stay in the UK, despite the fact that he was on trial in the country. Her son, Dushyant Singh, is also under the scanner, as he had received a heavy investment from Modi for his company’s shares. Vasundhara Raje has admitted to the fact that she had signed those papers.
5) Involvement of Arun Jaitley
Congress has accused Jaitley of doing a “clear-cut cover-up” on the entire issue and of influencing the Enforcement Directorate (ED) probe in Dushyant Singh and Modi’s case. The finance minister has been defending Vasundhara Raje, saying that she might have helped him as they were friends. Lately he has evaded any queries about Lalit Modi or anybody’s involvement in the case.
6) Where is NaMo?
Lalit Modi’s surname-sake has been curiously absent from any discussions or debates involving him. It is needed that e take some stand after the facts are ascertained. He has chosen silence, so far on the case, even though one of his cabinet minister (Sushma Swaraj) is heavily embroiled in the case. Also, he has not done anything about Vasundhara Raje’s involvement too, BUT since Vasundhara Raje is a Chief Minister, there’s not much the prime minister can do about it, as the chief ministers are independently elected and are accountable to the electorate and law separately.
It is imperative, though, that the PM should make his views clear on the subject, which he has to done till now, perhaps because commenting on thecae before all the facts were ascertained would have been a political folly.
This is what I have made out of the whole media furor over the case. All the above information has come from reliable sources (as reliable as the internet can be).
Please comment below if I have stated anything wrong or if I have missed out on an important fact.
(By Salva Mubarak)