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Sunday, April 08, 2007

Do we have a universal scale tracking our successes?

British naval soldiers released by the Iranian authorities have been allowed by the Ministry of Defense, United Kingdom, to sell their stories to the media. Faye Turney, the only woman in the lot is claimed to have struck the biggest deal, a £150,000 contract with a newspaper and ITV for her story. The other 14 involved are expected to make £100,000 between them through exclusive interview deals. They are also reportedly planning to sell on eBay the stuff given to them in their 'goody bags' by the Iranians. This has been criticized by politicians, relatives of victims killed in the Iraq war, and also by general populace in UK.

On the other hand, the Board of Cricket Control in India, BCCI, has come out with the solution to salvage Indian cricket after a humiliating early exit from the ongoing World Cup. And a major part of the solution is to put curbs on endorsements by these cricketers. Often there has been a lot of noise from all corners including general public complaining about the enormous amounts made by Indian cricketers through endorsements and BCCI’s decision came apparently after suggestions on these lines by former cricket captains who had to play during much leaner times.

While the reaction from relatives of victims killed in Iraq war in the first incident and from former cricketers in the second is understandable (other than non-commercial reasons, both had missed the bus), why is the general public shocked by both? In both cases, no public money is involved and there is no impact whatsoever on public life whether the sailors sell their story or not and whether the cricketers do less or more endorsements. In the second case, there is no logic as to how cutting endorsements will enhance performance; why then have so many demanded for the same?

Is it rather the case that we are unable to stand other’s success? But while we may be jealous of success for ones we know, why are we bothered with gains for completely unrelated people? It’s as if we have developed a scale in our subconscious mind that tracks the happiness or success for everyone in the world, and when we get to hear of anyone’s gain, even if they are unrelated, we think that because they have moved further up from us, we are left behind. And we go out in the streets, burn their effigies, write nasty comments on public forum, send vile SMS to friends condemning them, and feel that we have shown them the middle finger and brought them back to their original position in the scale. Then we have dinner and then go to sleep.

1 comment:

Shivaji said...

@ Ottayan:
It can be argued that the advertisers (for indian cricketers) and the publishers (for sailors) are best judge on who deserve to get their spend