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Promises, plots, and a whole lot of horseplay

By: Storm Again   April 10 , 2024

The Bangalore Turf Club has been caught in a web of broken promises and political gamesmanship, much to the frustration of the Chief Minister of Karnataka.

Several years ago, amidst allegations of illegal betting and other unsavoury practices, the government suspended the club`s license, halting its operations. In response, the club`s Managing Committee promised reform and expansion, even going as far as to present a written pledge to the Chief Minister, vowing to increase membership and improve cooperation with the government.

However, as time passed, it became clear that these promises were empty rhetoric. When the Chief Minister was ready to give the club another chance, the managing committee pulled a disappearing act, resigning en masse and leaving their commitments unfulfilled. This left the Chief Minister and the government in a difficult position, with the High Court eventually stepping in to urge reconsideration of the club`s license suspension.

Fast forward to the present day, and history is repeating itself. Once again, the managing committee made grand promises regarding relocation and dropping their legal battles, this time to backtrack when the time came to follow through. As a result, the Chief Minister has taken a firm stance, refusing to restore the club`s license until they address their issues and fulfil their commitments. On April 1st, commonly known as April Fools` Day, the Bangalore Turf Club`s license to conduct betting activities was suspended, emphasizing the Chief Minister`s resolve not to be misled again.

Despite mounting pressure and the looming threat of financial ruin, the Bangalore Turf Club`s managing committee seems unfazed. They continue to play games with the government, seemingly unaware of the consequences of their actions.

Unlike the Stewards of clubs like Royal Western India Turf Club who are genuine horse lovers, own horses and want racing to go on and would do anything to keep the sport alive, the mandarins of Bangalore are least committed to the sport. They are there for the perks and busy getting their kith and kin elected members. Any problem is an invitation to have endless meetings by the Stewards, with the ex-Chairman and the result is the same. The whiskey talk only results in taking a stand to fight the government in the courts rather than arrive at an amicable solution keeping the long-term interests of the sport in mind.

When faced with a problem, do they roll up their sleeves and tackle it head-on? Nope. They prefer to cosy up in endless meetings, probably with a never-ending pot of coffee, discussing everything under the sun except the issue at hand. And guess what? The outcome is as predictable as the sun rising in the east – zero progress.

But fear not, dear friends, for when all else fails, there`s always whiskey! Ah yes, the elixir of decision-making. Instead of finding common ground and resolving matters like civilized adults, they prefer to drown their sorrows in whiskey-fueled debates and then, naturally, take the government to court. Because who needs diplomacy when you can have a good legal showdown, right?

With their license suspended and the Chief Minister playing hardball until they drop their legal battles, the BTC is facing a summer of discontent. But why bother with compromise when you can gamble with the government like a reckless gambler at the racetrack?

It`s déjà vu all over again. The Chief Minister, understandably peeved, is now withholding the club`s license, playing a game of chicken with the BTC until they drop their legal battles like a hot potato.

The drama doesn`t end there! The managing committee, blissfully unaware of their folly, seems hell-bent on antagonizing the government further, oblivious to the fact that they`re skating on thin ice. With summer looming and financial disaster on the horizon, the BTC finds itself at a crossroads, torn between stubborn defiance and the looming spectre of governmental retribution.

Bangalore Turf Club is the epitome of hubris and shortsightedness. Keep playing your game of cat and mouse with the powers that be, but remember, in the grand scheme of things, the house always wins.

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