IPL, DLF warned against misusing 'India'

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New Delhi, Apr 9: After the controversy over serving alcohol on the national flag, Indian Premier League commissioner Lalit Modi has landed in another similar controversy over misuse of the word 'India'.

The sports ministry has reportedly written letters to Modi and DLF, the title sponsor of IPL, asking them to stop misusing 'India' and to comply with an Allahabad high court order in connection with the usage of the tagline 'Building India' part of DLF's logo.

The logo with the tagline is placed on the ground on the bowler's run-up area and on the passage leading to the presentation ceremony of the twenty-twenty cricket tournament.

A writ petition filed in the Lucknow bench of the HC alleged that the nation's public sentiments were hurt as the logo carrying the word 'India' was frequently tread on by players.

"Please appreciate that the matter in question involves deep public sentiments...with players running over it (the word India) hurts public sentiment and also tantamount to showing disrespect to the name of the country," the ministry's letter to DLF read.

"I, therefore, sincerely call upon DLF, the title sponsors, to respond to the strong public sentiments in the matter and take urgent action to stop such misuse...failing which, we will take up the matter with the Trade Mark commissioner for appropriate action," added the letter was addressed to DLF chairman KP Singh and was signed by joint secretary Injeti Srinivas.

Attacking the BCCI for its indifference towards the HC order, in a separate letter to Modi, the ministry wrote, "BCCI was expected to take up the matter with IPL Commissioner and DLF and submit a comprehensive response to the ministry. However, we are yet to receive any comprehensive response from them.

The sports ministry has called for immediate steps towards stopping the misuse of 'India' or to get ready to face appropriate actions from the authorities.

This is not the first time Modi has stepped into trouble over hurting national sentiments. In Nov 2007 during the first season of the IPL, Modi invited the public ire for using National Flag as a table cover on which alcohol was served. A local organisation Nagik Morch launched a campaign against the incident and filed case against Modi for showing disrespect to the national symbol.

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