September, 2009

Sep 09

A Sarkari Formula 1

Dear Dr. Mallya,

I hope this missive finds you in the pink of health and the black of wealth.

I notice that you have been making attempts to help JPSK Sports get government funding for F1. But you must be aware that the sports ministry has firmly declared that anything expensive & entertaining cannot be called a sport. They prefer investing our tax money into activities that are cheap & boring (Kho Kho & Malkhamb to name a couple). In any case, hasn’t the Olympic telecast on DD conclusively proved to you, that in India, sport & entertainment do not mix.

I saw that you tried to take on the minister, MS Gill, on this issue, but you seem to have been sternly rebuffed. In other words you got a danda from gilli.*

But seriously, why on earth do the organisers want money from our government? I know that petrol prices have gone up, but still, isn’t F1 a rather prosperous pursuit? They say it has a global TV audience of 600 million. Surely such a venture would attract some capital. It’s like “Who wants to be a millionaire?” asking the government for a small subsidy.

And think of the perils you invite if you allow our government to get into the event. I can imagine a cabinet meeting where every ministry imposes its agenda on the race. Here is a partial list of possible policy decisions…