At the time when India and China are involved in intense border talks to defuse the tension at the LAC, the world’s richest cricket body- BCCI, has taken a decision which does not align with India’s stance against China. The upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League, slated to kick off on September 19 in the UAE, has decided to go ahead with its title sponsor, Vivo- a Chinese smartphone manufacturer. This decision of BCCI is nothing but an insult to our martyrs who laid their lives while protecting the county’s sovereignty. Not just Vivo, but other Chinese companies like Alibaba and Tencent have also sponsored the cash-rich league in different ways. IPL has been inundated with heavy Chinese investments and hence, must be boycotted at every level.
As the IPL receives a formal go-ahead, the BCCI has announced that it will be going ahead with Vivo as its title sponsors, disregarding the ongoing border tensions between India and China which resulted in unfortunate casualties on both the sides.
After the deadly clash at the Galwan Valley on June 15, there’s a widespread anti-China sentiment across the country with Indians determined to boycott all Chinese goods. The Indian government and traders’ apex body- CAIT have taken determined steps in this direction like banning 59 Chinese apps to boycotting all China-made Rakhis.
Though BCCI initially claimed that it would reconsider the Chinese sponsorships for IPL 2020, it seems now that the time constraints have ended up convincing the BCCI to go ahead with Chinese sponsorships for this year’s edition of the IPL.
Not to forget that China is working overnight to open new fronts against India in Bhutan and the Northeast, while the USA and Australia among the few countries siding with India over the border escalation with China.
IPL is watched by millions across the world and having Vivo as its title sponsor will severely damage India’s position against China by sending a wrong signal that India is heavily reliant on Chinese investments and sponsorships.
There were signals as early as June that the BCCI who gets Rs 440 crore annually from Vivo on a five-year deal running till 2022 will not revoke Chinese investments.
BCCI Board Treasurer Arun Dhumal said, “When you talk emotionally, you tend to leave the rationale behind. We have to understand the difference between supporting a Chinese company for a Chinese cause or taking help from a Chinese company to support India’s cause.”
He further brazened it out by arguing, “When we are allowing Chinese companies to sell their products in India, whatever money they are taking from Indian consumer, they are paying part of it to the BCCI (as brand promotion) and the board is paying 42 per cent tax on that money to the Indian government. So, that is supporting India’s cause and not China’s.”
RSS-affiliated Swadeshi Jagran Manch has protested the decision and has appealed the IPL Governing Council to reconsider its decision to allow Chinese sponsorships in IPL 2020.
SJM Co-Convenor Ashwini Mahajan said in a statement, “The SJM is surprised to know that Indian Premier League which organises T20 cricket matches has decided to hold IPL with the sponsorship of a Chinese mobile company. With this, IPL governing council has shown its utter disrespect to the soldiers martyred by the most heinous act of Chinese troops.”
The BCCI’s decision to conduct the IPL on the back of Chinese sponsorships has invited a flurry of criticisms on social media.
Unfortunately, at a time when the wounds of June 15 are still fresh for the Indian Army, IPL can’t spare a thought for Indian soldiers or the Indian sentiment against China which stems out of deep distrust and anger. Hence, without any doubt, the viewers, players, advertisers, all must pull out from the IPL.