cartoon courtesy: cartonistsatish.blogspot.com
When Sashi Tharoor got elected as the M.P. from Trivandrum, the people of the capital city of Kerala rejoiced- “here comes someone who’s finally going to fullfill the decades long aspirations of the people of Trivandrum.” People thought he’d be different from the pony tail haired dormant former M.P. Pannyan Ravindran from the revolutionary party, who shied away from the responsibilties of backing the high court bench and Vizhinjam port or many time MP like A.Charles who, in parliament, was believed to open his mouth to yawn and stand up to tighten his Mundu(Kerala dhoti). Tharoor came with a back up of a colorful UN experience and with his handsome looks that attracted a broad section of the voters. It is almost 2 years now he has been the M.P. His achievement in two years is significant, that being although a single thing like Kochi IPL. Getting an IPL team for Kochi is an unmatched effort. He even had to sacrifice the coveted post of the Minister of state for External Affairs for that dutiful cause.
Let’s see how, getting an IPL team for Kochi will help his constituency Trivandrum.
Trivandrum district has the highest redunancy and unemployment that has increased from 8.8% in 1998 to 34.3% in 2003, in Kerala due to the years of negligence by the politicians and migration from other districts and Tamilnadu. Trivandrum city, the largest in Kerala with a population of more than one million and the metropolitan area being the biggest in Kerala with a population of roughly around 1.8 million, incidently has the most number of slums than in any other city in Kerala. There are thirty-six identified slums in the city where about 12,000 people live. Trivandrum enjoys the highest income levels in Kerala at the same time, people under the BPL is also one of the highest in Kerala. Trivandrum has the high suicide rate in the state, which went up from 17.2 per lakh in 1995 to 38.5 per lakh in 2002. Vizhinjam was identified to be a natural port many decades back but developing it, was not in the agenda for any of the Governments in the past. Cricket stadium allotted, was hijacked by people with regional bias and vested interests. Reinstating high court bench was resisted by another city lobby. Now we have to believe that Kochi IPL, a colossal and sacrificial endeavor from Tharoorji will solve all the problems of Trivandrum for sure. The matches will be played in Jawaharlal Nehru stadium, Kaloor, Kochi. The major chunk of collections will go to the random Gujaratis who own the Kochi team; a good chunk of money will go to the tainted Kerala Cricket Association and good share will be embezzled by its secretary T.C.Mathew and his cronies, and the rest of the money to the Greater Cochin Development Authority and the Cochin Corporation. Kochi will be known across cricket playing nations and the tourist inflow to Kochi will increase. More businesses will spring up, more people will settle in Kochi…and so on, and so forth…the list of benefits will be endless. But then, where is Trivandrum in the scheme of things…? I cannot find anything for Trivandrum in this! Tharoorji might know the answer. He should answer because Kochi IPL is the only achievement he has got to show in the 2 years of his internship as an M.P. Tharoor saaar…if you’re thinkng that the people of Trivandrum will vote for you next time as well, then you’re in fools paradise unless and untill you decide to be proactive on solving the problems faced by Trivandrum as a region. A gimmick like IPL is not what the ordinary people want.