Yuvraj Singh in a Tight Yet Admirable Spot

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This is a speculative post based on the newsBeleaguered employees and staff of Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) write to Yuvraj Singh to NOT play in the IPL, as his bidding was won by Vijay Mallya who also heads the KFA board, which has allegedly heavily wronged the employees through non-payment of long due salaries.

To me the KFA employees, in writing their letter to Yuvraj, have done no wrong as they attempt not to strangulate or coerce their antagonists by force, but rather to create more visibility for their agitation (by invoking a celebrity into their loop) as well as seek to non-violently turn Mallya's attention towards their cause. What I would like to speculate is how Yuvraj would react to this situation, as this, per me, creates an interesting ethical dilemma? 

A few moons ago, I wrote a post (link) that included an inspirational anecdote on cricketer Yuvraj Singh (Yuvi) being an inspirational figure in surviving his fight with cancer. It wasn't just the disease, he was much bigger than life (the effect being magnified due to India's cricket world cup victory). He was hope incarnated. A legend that filled colour in the sadness of every badgered Indian. 

Yuvi called, and the nation responded. 

In his message, calling for support for his You-we-can campaign, he would go on to make calls such as.. "I couldn't have fought it alone. All your love and support helped me".. "You and we together can." The campaign was a call to all, and not just cancer patients, to pool in resources and fight the devil.

Now, the nation (well! a segment of it) calls to Yuvi. It solicits his support for a cancer (corporate greed?) that is claiming their lives (dependant on the salaries). How does he respond to this ethical dilemma?

Well! why is it a dilemma in the first place? It is because Yuvi has to choose between his professional contract and his personal responsibility. Professionally he is a legitimate Indian cricketer and is morally bound to honour an IPL contract. Personally, he swore allegiance to fighting in support of charitable causes and hence, it becomes his moral responsibility to support the campaign of the beleaguered sections, which is charitable to the extent of restoring justice to them.

A moral binding on one side (by way of contract) and a moral responsibility on the other (by way of personal conviction) - both divergent in their demands. Both are equally legitimate and demand complete involvement. This is, what I call, a perfect ethical dilemma! Yuvi could have wished himself away from this tight spot, but being the hero that he is (both on and off the cricket field) it ideally suits him to play this dilemma out in the style that he whacks a bouncer out of the park.

The Aesthetic of Passion: Yuvi has a passion for cricket and when he is at his flamboyant best, he is art in motion. His passion creates an aura about him and has kept cricket lovers in awe of him for several years, and which rightly culminated in his crowing as the MVP of the world cup win. Such aesthetic passion is hard to come by, and when it does, it needs to be celebrated with élan. Yuvi's talent is God's gift and the world deserves to bask in it.

The balance, as I see it. (for what it's worth):
Yuvi should never quit cricket. It would leave a vacuum both in him and in the game. He should play for the sake of his passion, with all his passion. (A passion that even cancer couldn't kill). His passion inspires many of us. Nobody wants Yuvi off the field, as his place is in there. He should play, with power and confidence, but without accepting his player fee. The money is the problem, not the game. So keep the money out. Don't avoid the contract, because then you are not making a statement. Team morality is in being part of the team, and individual morality is in standing by your values. Don't give up on the team, but don't give up on the self either. Yuvi should be there and play it out. He should let it be known that he played for passion, and for passion alone, and he wouldn't take the money because he is fighting another battle off the field. One of supporting the segments that are suffering.

When Yuvi was suffering, people prayed for him. When Yuvi was playing, people played along with him. Now it's time to prove yourself worthy of that support and admiration. Play, so that you continue to inspire your followers, and reject the money, so that you highlight your support, not just to your own clean conscience, but also to your legions of followers who in turn may join the campaign in their own ways.

Face this dilemma Yuvi, don't escape from it. This is actually an admirable position to be in, because not just pride awaits you on the other side of it, but also a chance to face your conscience, which not many people get even in the thick and thin of their lives. Your fight with cancer showed you the face of death, but this fight with your values will show you the true face of life.

Many dangerous bouncers that you so gracefully belted out of the park; Accept this dilemma that's thrown at you, and hit the home run, homie. Be the warrior that you are!

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PS: Rejecting the money wouldn't be an unethical choice for Yuvi as his financial situation, given his iconic status, wouldn't be unreasonably deteriorated by not accepting the IPL payment.

PPS: It wouldn't be a professional solution for Yuvi to accept the payment from IPL and in turn pay it out to KFA employees as the KFA board is contractually responsible to the employees and they cannot be absolved of their duties.


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