E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: I saw the Ace Political Expert (APE) emerge from the M. Chinnaswamy stadium after the finals of the Karnataka Premier League (KPL).
As we sat down for a late-night coffee, APE deeply engrossed in thought.
“Are you still thinking about the topsy-turvy finals and the way it ended?” I asked.
“Illa kano, Ramu. No, not about the finals. I was wondering about the similarities between KPL and the Karnataka government.”
APE is known to come out with some of the weirdest, bewildering theories which have proved to be correct in hindsight. Still to link Karnataka Premier League with the Karnataka Political League seemed a hopeless case.
APE took a sip of the espresso.
“Years ago, JDS and BJP came together and made an agreement in which candidates from both parties would share the chief ministership for 20 months each. A JDS man was to rule the State for the first 20 months and ‘retire’ and for the balance 20 months, a BJP man would sit on the CM’s gaddi. This was hailed as a “20-20” government. That’s how H.D. Kumaraswamy became CM. Before the ink was dry on B.S. Yediyurappa’s oath, he was out hit wicket and the government came tumbling down.”
After another sip, APE continued: “KPL was started last year on the lines of IPL. It is all about scoring as many runs as possible in 20 overs. It means you have to take calculated risks as you go along and in the process of scoring runs fast, you may lose wickets.”
“But how is it related to the Karnataka government..?” I asked.
“Simple. Some people in the government see their tenure like Twenty20 batsmen. They see it as an opportunity to amass as many runs as possible as quickly as possible.”
“Don’t be daft, Ramu. Runs in single-quotes. They feel ‘runs’ are important no matter how it comes; through paddle-sweeps, Dil Scoops, switch hits, reverse sweeps, upper cut etc. While playing such risky shots for quick ‘runs’, batsmen get out and suddenly from no loss, half the side is back in the pavilion.”
“Agreed. That happens.”
“Suddenly there is the spectre of losing all the wickets in less than 20 overs.”
“True, that too happens,” still clueless at what APE was driving at.
“Due to rain or bad weather if the match is reduced to only 10 overs, there aren’t many overs left and sometimes there aren’t enough ‘runs’ on the board for the team either.”
I was losing patience.
“That happens in a rain-affected match. But how is it connected with the Karnataka government?”
“See the number of wickets that’s falling in the Karnataka government? Right from first over they are losing wickets at regular intervals. Each one is trying to score ‘runs’ very fast, recklessly, sometimes throwing caution to the wind.”
“I still don’t get it.”
“They are getting out trying to score a sixer of every ball. Glory shots! Nobody is dropping anchor or playing a defensive shot. All they want are only sixers and fours off every ball.”
“Will you tell me what’s going on here?” I demanded.
“Elementary, Ramanna. Can’t you see? If most of the batsmen, sorry if most of the ministers, start wildly swinging the bat hoping to get a sixer off every ball, a clever captain like Santosh Hegde will keep a silly mid-on and a deep square-leg and try to get a batsman out either miscuing or hooking the ball too early. That is what happened to Katta Jagadish Naidu though he was not an original member of the team. He was caught on the boundary line by a substitute fielder.”
“Oh, I see!”
“Ramchandre Gowda’s department tried to fix the scoring pattern like Pakistan batsmen did in their ODI in England, for recruitments in medical colleges and was caught on the wrong foot. Hartaalu Halappa returned to the went to pavilion, retired hurt, and never came back with a new body guard to bat again! Instead he got himself admitted to a hospital.”
“Oh! That’s what it is!”
“At this rate the CM may run out of partners. He is also wildly swinging with his son’s bat and I am not sure if it is a standard genuine bat or made of material not allowed by ICC er, Santosh Hegde. It looks CM too may get out before he runs out of partners.”
APE’s analogy seemed to make some sense.
“I think the CM should slow down and play out the remaining overs without taking undue risks,” advised APE before he got up.