Riches and Responsibility in Cricket: A Social Debate

World CupThe BCCI’s announcement of a 125 crore Rupee prize for the Indian cricket team and its support staff after their ICC World Cup win is likely to spark significant debate. This event exemplifies the disparities in radical capitalism, where the financial rewards and celebrations within the cricket fraternity seem disproportionate when compared to other fields of excellence.

Cricket’s commercial success in India justifies significant earnings for players. However, the sudden allocation of such a huge prize for a single tournament raises questions about equity and fairness. The glaring disparity between the earnings of cricketers and professionals in other essential sectors, such as scientists at ISRO or football players like Sunil Chhetri, highlights systemic issues in how talent and contribution are valued.

This disparity feeds envy, anger, and a sense of injustice. For instance, the relatively modest earnings of an ISRO scientist, despite their crucial contributions to the nation, seem unfair when compared to the lavish prizes awarded to cricketers. Since ISRO is not a commercial entity, it can only offer salaries within its budget, but the stark contrast in recognition and reward is striking.

The BCCI’s handling of finances, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, adds another layer to the debate. While they did provide some support, the current prize money surpasses their earlier contributions, leading to questions about priorities and values. This situation reflects broader societal issues where commercial success is often celebrated without proportionate consideration for social responsibility.

A businessperson recently analyzed the government’s approach, observing that while business growth was promoted, sensitive charity was overlooked. The perception of wealth concentration and inadequate empowerment of the underprivileged influenced public sentiments. The concept of a Department of Dharma, focusing on fairness, judiciousness, and social responsibility, was proposed as a means to tackle these disparities.

Historically, certain business leaders have promoted the idea of using wealth for social empowerment rather than mere accumulation. The current scenario in cricket and broader society underscores the need for a balanced approach where successful entities actively contribute to reducing disparities.

For instance, the BCCI could leverage their financial power to address pressing social issues, such as the water crisis in Delhi, education for underprivileged students, and support for farmers’ children. This approach aligns with the principle that wealth, like manure, should be spread to foster growth rather than accumulated.

In conclusion, the celebration of cricket victories should be coupled with a commitment to social responsibility. By investing in societal upliftment, institutions like the BCCI can help bridge the gap between different sectors, fostering a culture of empowerment and compassion rather than envy and disparity.

Therefore, as Sri Krishna mentions in the Bhagavad Gita’s 16th chapter, “Being bound by hundreds and thousands of desires, by lust and anger, they secure money by illegal means for sense gratification.”

The demoniac person thinks: “I have so much wealth today, and I will gain more through my plans. What I possess now will only increase in the future, more and more. I have defeated my enemy, and I will defeat my other enemies as well. I am the lord of everything, I am the enjoyer, I am perfect, powerful and happy. Surrounded by aristocratic relatives, I am the richest person. There is no one as powerful and happy, as I am. I shall perform sacrifices, I shall give some charity, and thus I shall rejoice.” In this way, such persons are deluded by ignorance.”

The demons are not born but they become so, by their hoarding mentality. The devatas are not born, they develop finer sentiments of empowering others.

Growing and sharing is the real purpose of human existence, with gratitude to Sri Hari in the heart.

– Govinda Das (ISKCON Member)