The past couple of days has seen Kerala and India (in the second case) rocked by two different scandals. The first one was regarding an actor Kalabhavan Mani allegedly assaulting two forest officers in the night. Mani is a mostly comedic actor who has also donned on a few more serious roles as a hero or villain and won a few state & a national award for his role as a blind street singer. He is known to be more down to earth than most actors and is also known for his charity work. However a couple of days ago he was in the news for all he wrong reasons. Apparently he was traveling with friends in a car when they were stopped by two officials for routine car checking. The actor responded violently when he was asked to open the boot of the car and he & his friend, a doctor, assaulted the two officers. The forest officials said that Mani was inebriated. The officers sustained injuries on the chest, hands, legs and eyes one of them more serious. They were admitted to the Chalakudy Taluk Hospital.
Jaya Gopinath, who was travelling with her husband Maliyekkal Gopinath and Mani, filed a complaint against the officials, complaining that the officials verbally abused her and misbehaved with her.The actor had gotten himself admitted to a hospital in his native Chalakudy. The police have registered cases against both Mani and the injured forest officials. The latest news is that Mani has gone into hiding immediately after the police registered a case against him under non-bailable sections of the IPC. A police team visited Mani’s new and ancestral houses at Chalakudy on Thursday to take him into custody in connection with the case, but he was found missing, said the police. However some friends of his say that he had left for Bangalore on Wednesday night to take part in the shooting of a Tamil Movie.
The second incident which happened a day later when former India Test bowler Sreesanth S. and two other players have been arrested by Delhi police on suspicion of spot-fixing in the Indian Premier League, sports officials said on Thursday. Sreesant is a fellow Keralite and a fellow resident of Cochin. The IPL is kinda like the English Premier League or any of the European leagues for cricket and features Indian & most of the top foreign players from nations like England, Australia, in 9 teams. Sreesant, who has been in controversial situations before, was immediately suspended from an ILP matches along with his Rajasthan Royals team-mates & co-conspirators Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila and will face harsher actions if they are found guilty post a trial. Spot-fixing is the manipulation of individual incidents within a match which may not affect the outcome of the contest, most famously exposed in a London trial and jailing of three Pakistani cricketers in 2011.
Delhi’s police commissioner Neeraj Kumar alleged that the three Indian bowlers took money to concede a pre-determined number of runs in three different IPL matches. For 4m Indian rupees (£48,000) Sreesanth agreed to concede 13 or more runs in his second over of a May 9 match at Mohali, Kumar alleged. Sreesanth tucked a towel in his waistband to signal to a bookie, giving him enough time to “indulge in heavy betting”, the police chief said.
I’m not surprised in either case. The Indian film world has always been associated with corrupt politicians, underworld figures and lots of illegal activities going on. An actor with good connections misbehaving and thinking himself to be above the law is nothing news – Mani has had two other cases against him, both which were settled. Sreesanth is known for being arrogant and hot-headed and his antics have lost him more fans than he can ever know. And cricket & match-fixing is nothing new; this is India after all and corruption & illegal stuff is everyday news. Not surprised in that case either. It’s not the first match fixing scandal to rock cricket and it won’t be the last. And I couldn’t care much since I don’t watch it and I can’t stand the game.
There that’s my two cents worth!