You will remember the campaign in front of St Xavier’s two years ago. It seems to have had lasting effects, belying the cynics, because as you’ve been hearing on the news, we’ve got Kolkata Knight Riders to carry out a qualified climb-down on their relationship with the Todis.
We had the meeting on the rooftop of Krishna Vihar, organised by Mudar Patherya, with a select gathering and lots of press.
People kept their speeches sound-bite-sized, since we were all in agreement that KKR and SRK had bumbled. Individuals stressed this or that aspect of the incident, but everyone asked ‘SRK, how could you?’ Even if it was a case of looking after Brand Shah Rukh, surely an astute PR manager would have realised the potential dangers of mixing it with the Todis? As Dr Gangjee said, professionalism is one thing, but if you are in the business of creating heroes, which is what KKR are supposed to be, you can’t go around wearing tainted money.
While we were talking, however, there was a surprise (and rather dramatic) entrance of a young man from KKR who introduced himself only as ‘Jeet’ and proceeded to read out a statement from Kolkata Knight Riders.
The gist of the climbdown was that all signage, logos and banners of Lux Industries on KKR apparel and billboards will be removed within the week. However, the contract is officially ‘on hold’ and this is just a quick shuffling under the carpet. What this means, I suspect, is that KKR will sit it out and hope that things cool off, since cancelling the contract would mean giving the money back, something which they’re probably not prepared to do, or at least can’t do in a hurry.
However, we should probably rejoice, since the response was swift and at least cosmetically just and sensitive. I doubt that any real change of heart has occurred. If they could speak their mind, probably the KKR admin would say, ok so the man’s a murder/abetter of suicide, so what? that was two years ago, give him a break. He and his money can’t be lepers for ever.
I don’t think I have any stomach left for the IPL.