Sunday, 16 November 2014

Indian cricket administration: Systems that lack transparency and accountability breed dictators

I am quite appalled by the reports about N. Srinivasan's strangle-hold on Indian cricket administration (BCCI), and given Indian cricket's massive money power, world cricket administration. Now I do not know the details of the Mudgal committee report and so it is not appropriate for me to comment on any alleged "misdemeanours" by N.Srinivasan (& others), But I think it seems quite clear that when he was running BCCI he became a sort-of supremo/dictator. (Currently BCCI is run by a temporary chief appointed by the Supreme Court). One did not read much about dissenting views from other people associated with BCCI under his tenure.

Day-before-yesterday I heard Lalit Modi being interviewed on CNN-IBN and he alleged that world cricket was being run from India Cements (N. Srinivasan's company)! That may be a kind of wild allegation as Lalit Modi and N. Srinivasan are enemies. But, with the Mudgal committee naming Srinivasan (& others) for possible misdemeanours, followed by former BCCI president Shashank Manohar stating that Srinivasan has tarnished the image of BCCI,, I think it is pretty embarrassing that Mr. Srinivasan has not yet publicly announced that he will not contest future BCCI elections. I recall Srinvasan saying, in the past, that it was about protecting his image and his right to defend himself. If I recall correctly he had said/implied that him stepping down may be seen by some as an admission of guilt. I think that point has some merit but now things seem to have gone just too far.

Why is it that so many Indian organizations, which are supposedly democratic, get into this supremo/dictator type of rule? I think one reason may be the culture of many top chaps and Indian organizations they manage, of not being transparent and not being accountable. Further, dissent is seen as an act of revolt!

One thing is becoming quite clear to me now. Systems that lack transparency and accountability are a breeding ground for autocrats/dictators (Hitlers & Stalins). The sector of the system does not matter - it could be a business organization, a government setup, an academic setup, an ashram setup etc. People who spend years in such systems get moulded that way, perhaps without them consciously realizing what is happening to their mindset. I must also mention that some autocratic systems may be more efficient, especially in the short-term. So I am not really getting into whether autocratic systems are desirable or not - that is a different and complex topic. What I am saying is that no transparency & no accountability can, over time, change even a democratic kind of person into a dictator. Such democrats-turned-dictators cannot find fault with themselves and wonder what's wrong with everybody else! The human mind is truly a very complex thing which gets very strongly influenced by the company it keeps.

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