This is the exact mind-boggling question I’ve been trying to answer even since I watched a feature aired on CNN-IBN showcasing the life of Yuvraj Singh. As is the case with almost all down-memory-lane shows, the presenters brought in people who had known Yuvraj at various stages of his life- Dinesh Mongia who played for on the same team as Yuvraj; Billu, his childhood skating coach; and of course, Ranjit Bajaj, a childhood friend.
So what’s wrong with this you’d ask? Ranjit stays with his parents at a stone’s throw distance from our house in Sec.16 Chandigarh.India might know him as Yuvraj’s best friend, but most Chandigarh residents have a lot more to identify him with:
- September 1996: Along with two friends, assaults a head constable of Chandigarh Police. The trial is sub-judice.
- September 2000: Receives a two year prison sentence when a .9 mm pistol, seven cartridges, two swords are found in his car, which also has a fake registration number. The car was driven by Bajaj’s friend Gursamip Singh, a proclaimed offender.
- May 2000: With friends kidnaps the son of an industrialist, beats him up with iron rods, robs him of cash, and a mobile phone . Later, Ranjit’s mother intervenes and gets the victim released.
- May 2001: Is seriously wounded in an attack by six youths led by Jagatinder Pal Singh alias Bagga. In June 2001, sets Bagga’s car on fire in retaliation.
Thankfully, all this happened after Yuvraj had made a mark for himself as a cricketer.
I do not have any issues with Yuvraj having friends such as Ranjit. What I’m trying to say is that only if the channel could have done a basic background check before inviting someone with a track record as maligned as his.