Activists of the Bhawanipur Sports Lovers Association burn an effigy of N. Srinivasan during their agitation in Kolkata on 26 May. PTI
izards are survivors. When cornered, they slough off their still-wriggling tails, hoping thereby to entice tormentors into going after the preferred titbit while leaving the reptile itself alone. This "Lizard's Tail Strategy" has been in common use across the globe, when individuals and entities hive off a group of individuals to dry. The media wolf pack usually falls for this strategy, harrying those deliberately made expendable by those whose guilt is of a deeper hue than the select unfortunates torn apart by the media via "inside" information supplied by an obliging police force.
If we are to believe the battery of investigating agencies clustered within Delhi, it was Suresh Kalmadi, acting on his own and without any participation of those in high positions in the seats of governance, who singly scripted the Commonwealth Games scam, just as the loss to the exchequer caused by the 2G giveaway was — conveniently for others involved — placed at the office door of Andimuthu Raja.
But what happens when the chosen "lizard's tail" refuses to become a human sacrifice so others escape? This is what seems to be taking place within the BCCI, for despite public statements by those experts in the Lizard's Tail strategy, calling for BCCI chief Srinivasan to step down "on moral grounds," he sensibly refuses to follow the Kalmadi-Raja example of having the need for shelter and sustenance met by a generous state.
Clearly, Srinivasan is in no hurry to go to jail, which is almost certainly where his once friends would like him to go once disgorged from the BCCI. A few weeks in jail, especially in the custody of police officers whose superiors fawn over the politicians within the IPL and the BCCI who determine their official destinies, can do wonders for the willingness of an inmate to sing a carefully rehearsed song whose tones will suit the very persons who send him to Club TJ aka Tihar Jail.
Even the long-suffering Raja has been coy in public, at least, about details, which he undoubtedly was privy to about the full trajectory of the 2G scam. As for Suresh Kalmadi, he has been a good soldier, declining to name those others who have been responsible for numerous dodgy decisions taken during the period of getting ready for the Commonwealth Games. Hopefully, this will ensure a Governorship — if not the Sports Ministry — for him after a suitable interval.
It would be interesting if the IB moves away from its perennial task of protecting political interests and focus on national interest.
The fate of Suresh Kalmadi has clearly steeled BCCI president Srinivasan's desire to defy those asking for him to step aside so that they thereafter control the internal process which would simultaneously (especially with the cooperation of the investigating agencies) exonerate them while damning Srinivasan. Significant others within the anti-Srinivasan brigade, who are part of the IPL-BCCI core (and who were presumably as complicit as Srinivasan or Lalit Modi earlier about the shenanigans which went on behind the IPL hoopla), are well acquainted with senior officers in both the Delhi as well as the Mumbai police.
It would be interesting were the IB to move away from its perennial task of protecting political interests and focus on the national interest for a change. This it could do by checking the content and frequency of phone calls and meetings between four key individuals in the IPL-BCCI core group and senior officers in the Delhi and Mumbai police as well as their civilian overseers in the Home Ministry.
What were they discussing so avidly and so often? Certainly, Srnivasan will be aware of the clout his foes wield within the system, and of the fact that his own contacts are mostly restricted to Police Headquarters in Chennai rather than those of such intrepid crime fighters as the CBI, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Delhi and Mumbai police. Clearly, there will now need to be income-tax raids on India Cements and on the extended family of the company chairperson, as well as ED and CBI enquiries into what a media gorged on police leaks will describe as "clinching" evidence of fraud and wrongdoing.
As clinching as that against the three cricketers sent to jail by the Delhi police, the action which opened the way for the BCCI "lizard" to shed the Srinivasan "tail," an appendage refusing to follow Kalmadi's example of becoming a human sacrifice so that others may continue to loot.