Actors, cricketers and the death of their moral compass

“Indian people are always ready to please”- this has been noted by many colonial rulers in the past.

Now even after 70 years of freedom, we seem to fail at shedding away those stereotypes. In 2022 when it has become very easy to see behind the fakery of every popular person we still fail to do so. Even today there are millions of people who blindly follow other people just because they are famous.

Fame in India today is a bigger tool than money, weapons and everything else. With fame, you could do anything in this country.

This rant is projected at the hoards of gambling and paan masala ads we’re seeing today on our TVs. From Kohli, Ganguly, Dhoni, Shahrukh Khan, Ajay Devgan, Akshay Kumar to every famous cricketer who has sold their morality and responsibility in order to get some money.

Almost all of these actors and cricketers have spoken against the use of tobacco and gambling in the past but as soon as the money flowed in the field they were the first to abandon their morality for monetary gains. Just yesterday I saw a new ad for Paan Bahar featuring Akshay Kumar who a few months ago spoke against the actors who endorse tobacco products.

These are not tobacco ads but elaichi ads?

These Pan Masala ads are a form of shadow advertising in which they advertise a safe and healthy product but point to a rather unsafe and banned product. Ads like Kingfisher Soda and Royal Stag music CDs are in actuality ads about alcohol but they show soda or music CDs and trick the government bans into allowing them to advertise.

Similarly, Pan Masala and Vimal ads are about elaichi or cardamom but in reality, they are selling tobacco products. This is a very big loophole in the rules that allow these unsafe products to be advertised on national television.

How much do cricketers and actors charge for ads?

All these cricketers charge anywhere between Rs 1 to Rs 15 crores for ads. Cricketers like Dhoni, Kohli and Rohit charge more than others similarly Amitabh, Shahrukh, Ajay Devgan and Akshay would charge Rs 5-10 crore per ad.

Dream big and gamble away all your money

In the race for the biggest sellouts at the moment, however, cricketers seem to be winning comfortably. A huge influx of money into the gambling, err.. fantasy sports platform has allowed these companies to pay truckloads of money to famous people. Actors have taken a back seat due to the whole nepotism debate that has allowed cricketers to come at the forefront of advertising.

Dhoni, one of my ideals and Dhawan in a Dream11 ad

Now every current or ex-cricketers has been associated with these fantasy cricket gambling platforms in one way or the other. Perhaps the amount being offered is just too much to decline or maybe these cricketers like these fantasy cricket apps but there is no justification for endorsing them. These apps have the power to ruin the youth of the country and in many instances, they are doing exactly that.

I guess the backstabbing of cricketers would not have hurt this much if they had just gone and endorsed these gambling fantasy apps in a normal way. But no!

These cricketers have instead started duping viewers with their fake sob stories sounding more like scams than an ad. These cricketers from fantasy cricket apps would want you to believe they were the most deprived and poor souls on the planet.

Cricketers telling their fake sob stories in dream11 ads so you give them your money

Forget children dying on the streets without food, it was these cricketers with stable families that allowed them to pursue cricket who were the real victims of poverty and bad luck.

Even their catchphrases are dumb.

Dream big?

What’s dreaming big about gambling? Why should anyone dream about getting easy money? Why should a rich and responsible citizen ask others to forget their education, career, and relationships and start betting?

These Paan Masala and Fantasy cricket apps are wrong on so many levels but the amount of money involved in these is such that they could bend the rules to their liking.

The saddest thing about Paan Masala and Fanatasy apps is watching your ideals and “heroes” sell their morality for money

What is a fantasy app?

A fantasy app or fantasy cricket is a platform that allows people to create teams and compete with each other for money. Apps like dream11 and my11 circle allow people to create a team of 11 from the two teams playing on that day. These teams then earn points based on the player’s performance in real-life matches and are ranked based on that.

The fantasy cricket players get the money from the prize pool based on their ranking on the leaderboard. The prize could reach up to Rs 2 Crore for some games.

What is the most popular fantasy app?

Currently, the most popular fantasy app in India is the Dream11. It was among the very first apps and hence was able to capture a large chunk of the market before others jumped into it.

Apps like my11 circle, gamezy and others are also growing rapidly.

Is Dream 11 legal in India?

High Court of India inspected the Dream11 business and found out that this wasn’t a game of chance but rather skill and hence allowed to act like a legitimate business.

Can you earn with dream11?

Yes, technically you can. But the chance of winning is so low that you’d be better off putting that money into something else. Dream11 or any of these fantasy apps is not as easy as these ads would like you to believe. They are incredibly tough and with millions of people creating very similar teams it finally comes to the luck of the player.

You should only play these fantasy games with the money that you can let go.