Archive for January, 2010


Posted on January 28, 2010. Filed under: CRICKET,SPORTS,IPL,IPL3, POLITICS | Tags: , , , , , , |

There was one thing that united the people of Pakistan,especially, the politicians and the armed forces of that country-India hating.The issue of Kashmir seemed to bring out the best out of a motley crowd that also includes professional gun slingers and ideologues.

But the non-inclusion of players from Pakistan in the recently concluded player auction, seems to have given something new to beat India with. Notwithstanding the explanations provided by the teamowners and the IPL supremo Lalit Modi, Pakistan went for the jugular. Sports bosses of Pakistan wanted India to apologise while the cricketers, past and present talked about a conspiracy. There was even a talk of Pakistan boycotting the Hockey World Cup to be hosted in Delhi in two weeks time.

A teamowner went on air about how highly the players from Pakistan were regarded for their abilities. He even professed for the need to have good relations between the two neighbouring countries.It is only in India that one can make such statements and also get away with them.

Initially, the government did not want to make any comments and rightly so put the ball in the courts of the IPL.But it seems the government and the powers felt some discomfort over the continuation of Track2 diplomacy with Pakistan and decided to clear the air.In an entirely unexpected and unjustified move, the Home Minister, P. Chidambaram ruled out any pressure from the side of the government behind the decision of excluding the players from Pakistan.He even made us alive to the fact Pakistan is currently the reigning T20 world champion and regretted the non-inclusion.

What was the Minister for External Affairs S M Krishna doing?

Why does not the hyper twitterer Shashi Tharoor come up with his own view on the whole episode?

India has the dubious history of having people like Mir Jafar and Jai Chand in the past but now they come in the form of the likes of Shah Rukh Khan.

Pardon me, if I sound jingoistic but there is very little logic behind the statements made by Shah Rukh Khan and Chidambaram.

Is there nothing more worthwhile for the Ministers to do?

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Posted on January 26, 2010. Filed under: DIGITAL CAMERAS, TECHNOLOGY | Tags: , , |

I have been using a Canon SLR and a Nikon Coolpix 3200, both of which are considered by many as belonging to the era of dinosaurs.

I came across a story of the new line-up of digital cameras launched by Pentax. The offerings are really something to crave for and if only my fiscal fitness permitted me…

The full story appears in and the link is

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Posted on January 26, 2010. Filed under: MISCELLANEOUS,MEDICINE | Tags: , |

Someone I follow on twitter made me sit up look on the internet for more on Viagra, the wonder drug for impotency.Now, I do not need it for I have my libido intact.

I am talking about a research carried out in Minnesota that talks about the loss of vision and hearing.

Wonder what Amit Varma can make about this.

In my humble opinion, the loss of vision and hearing cannot be compensated by Viagra.Wonder, how to fantasise when the two most important sensory devices fail, albeit for a temporary period.

Instead of headaches can come when someone is not interested, there seems a genuine problem with Viagra.

For a more detailed info on the possible side effects of Viagra, the following links can be looked into:

I have a word of caution though, go through the links without having a Viagra for a good vision is a must to read the reports.

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Posted on January 24, 2010. Filed under: A K MATTOO, HOCKEY, HOCKEY INDIA, INDIA, K P S GILL, M S GILL, SPORTS, SURESH KALMADI, VIDYA STOKES | Tags: , , , , |

Damn with the game of hockey!

First the men demand money and after a strike and press conferences, and offers of help from really unexpected quarters, the light is found at the end of the tunnel and money is raised and the players are happy to take part in the conditioning camp. A K Mattoo, the standing-in chief of Hockey India puts in his papers feeling pissed off in the whole episode.

Just as everyone feels nostalgic over the record books gloating over the achievements of the Indian hockey in the past decades, the women decide to stick black tape on their arms in a sign of protest.

As usual, the women players talk of dues promised but not paid and in the light of the settlement deal reached with the men, this is perceived as a gross injustice, which is justified.

Not surprisingly, the new standing-in chief of Hockey India, Vidya Stokes, claims no knowledge of the protest of the players with a straight face. Then taking a u-turn, the players are offered Rs.50K each, which is turned down.Again, in a bizarre repeat of the earlier week, offers come in from the unexpected sources and the players are promised their dues.

This time, the former boss of Hockey India, K P S Gill did not offer his help in resolving the crisis in minutes, like the case was with the striking men. The Central Minister, M S Gill, a self appointed cleanser of Indian Hockey too seemed busy with more important things. 

But like a bolt from the blue, the women players are not satisfied.They insist on changes to be brought about in the whole system.So the impasse has not ended.The ‘top’ sports administrator in the country, Suresh Kalmadi has his hands full.

Again, as expected, the elections to elect the office bearers of Hockey India is ‘postponed’ for some unavoidable reasons(a common phrase used in India).

The game of hockey is surely helping the news channels to gain more points and making bloggers like me appear to be important.

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Posted on January 21, 2010. Filed under: BANGLADESH, CRICKET, INDIA, SEHWAG, SPORTS, TEST CRICKET | Tags: , , , , |

India have managed to take 7 wickets of Bangladesh and the home team need another 200 runs to secure the first ever win against India in test matches.That is highly improbable and it is no exaggeration to say that it would be impossible. But what is interesting is that whether the Indian bowlers would be able to get the remaining 3 wickets.

In the first innings, the lower order batsmen of Bangladesh put up a brave fight and almost equaled the Indian effort when more than half of the team was back in the pavilion with few runs.

There is no better opportunity for the beleaguered Indian bowlers to get a win even when it is against Bangladesh.

Hope the standing in captain Sehwag does not regret calling Bangladesh an ordinary team before the start of the test.

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Posted on January 21, 2010. Filed under: CRICKET,SPORTS,IPL,IPL3 | Tags: , , , , , |

The cat is out of the proverbial bag with the IPL supremo Lalit Modi saying in an interview to NDTV that there was a risk associated with Pakistan players. This comes as a surprise since Mr.Modi denied after the conclusion of the auction for the players that the BCCI had nothing to do with the decision of the team owners not to pick any of the 11 players from Pakistan who were available for purchase.

The full text of the interview is here:

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Posted on January 20, 2010. Filed under: ECOLOGY,ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION | Tags: , , , , |

In his work ‘Powershift‘, Alvin Toffler writes about ‘eco-theocracy’.I do not believe that the Green crusaders in India are actually going anywhere towards bringing about a link between religious extremism and the need for ecological protection.

I will be grateful to Toffler and his publishers(Bantam Books) if they permit me to use the following few lines from the above mentioned work to explain my argument.

“Across the world, meanwhile, a green tide is gathering momentum too.This movement for ecological sanity is essential-a positive example of ordinary people around the world leading their leaders. Propelling ecology to the top of the world agenda have been a succession of sensational catastrophes, from Three Mile Island and Chernobyl to Bhopal and the Alaska oil spill.Clearly more lie ahead.

Industrial society has reached its outer limits, making it impossible to continue putting toxic wasters in our backyards, stripping the land of forests, dumping Styrofoam debris in our oceans, and punching holes in the ozone.The worldwide environmental movement is therefore a survival response to planetary crisis.

But this movement, too, has an antidemocratic fringe.It has its own advocates of a return to darkness. Some of them are ready to hijack the environmental movement in pursuit of their private political or religious agendas.”

Toffler also mentions the role played by “eco-terrorism to enforce its demands.”

The most recent controversy involved the R K Pachauri led IPCC relating to a report published in 2007 mentioning about the complete meltdown of the Himalayan glacier by the year 2035. When the IPCC came up with the report, there were dire consequences predicted.At the same time, few regarded the report as ‘too alarmist’.Once it was established that the original study on which the IPCC report was based was itself fallacious, Mr.Pachauri waved the white flag.There was also an exchange of verbal volleys between Mr.Pachauri and the Minister of the Environment, Mr.Jairam Ramesh coinciding with the Australian Open at Melbourne.But I agree with Mr.Pachauri that the glaciers are melting due to global warming and that it is a serious problem that just cannot be wished away.

Was the report a genuine mistake or does it indicate a far more sinister design?

The second part should worry us. Just as the developed countries want countries like India to adopt tighter norms and bring new technology often at the cost of development, the Green lobby inside India sounds far more pessimistic about the future carrying capacity of Mother Earth.I do not for any moment want any more careless destruction of the environment and its resources, I do wish for getting at least the facts right.

A section of the Western media believes that the there is more than that meets the eye in the work done by Mr.Pachauri and his associates. It is alleged that all the reports are just sexed up (a la the Reports on the existence of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq) to secure funds for personal use.It would be pity if the likes of Mr.Pachauri go for environmental protection just as M/s Bush and Blair went with weapons to Iraq.That is where the situation becomes grim just to imagine that we are being held to ransom by some eco-terrorists when already we are the targets of terrorists!

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Posted on January 20, 2010. Filed under: POLITICS | Tags: , , |

Two more young people gave away their lives for the cause of Telengana.I fail to understand the logic behind such acts.It is highly unlikely that the youngsters knew fully well the so-called exploitation of Telengana and at the same might have had no ideas about how a seperate Telengana would have provided them with better prospects in future.The mindless sacrifices will be used by the self seeking politicians and their kin to climb up the stairways of power.

It is very easy to be swayed by the rhetoric mouthed by the likes of KCR when the leaders and their family members lead a life of comfort and also enjoy the perks of power later.

Recently, KCR addressed a meeting where he talked about the historic neglect of Telengana.He cited that the people of Telengana have very little representation as far as the Judiciary goes. In a sense, that speaks of the backwardness of the region, but it is preposterous to suggest a conspiracy.Just imagine the situation the members of the Judiciary are also appointed on thee basis of criteria like region etc.We should be more concerned about things like merit and talent and not baseless arguments.

In order to keep the issue burning, the politicians have stepped up the ante in favour of a seperate Telengana.This has only resulted in the deaths of two innocents.

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Posted on January 19, 2010. Filed under: CRICKET,SPORTS,IPL,IPL3 | Tags: , , , |

The auctions for players for IPL3 took place today and the television ‘news’ channels having nothing more worthwhile to do, hammered on our heads, eyes and ears about the same.

By the time the auction ended, none of the 11 players from Pakistan was picked by any of the franchise.This incident dominated the evening and prime time news shows.

Some players from Pakistan called it a ‘conspiracy’ while others felt sorry for the Indians being unable to witness those talented players in action.Conspiracy because the Pakistan players would have been available for the entire IPL3.Pakistan is the defending T20 World Champions which would have made the players from that country a definite value addition to any team.

There are two reasons which I feel made the team owners develop cold feet when bidding for the Pakistan players.

In the first place, there is no certainty that players from across the border would have been available to play given that the government has never made it clear about the granting of visas.So like any shrewd businessman, the teams put the money where it was really worth and were not prepared to take any risk in the face of uncertainty.This is sound business.

Secondly, the team owners wanted to make a politically correct statement, even as the interest of the country comes next to self interest for them. In this atmosphere where jingoism rules the air, it might come in handy to keep clear from any future controversy.Looks like the team owners want a certificate of appreciation from the likes of Bal Thackeray.

This is a perfect case study where sound business and political correctness have successfully cleared the SWOT test.

So much for ‘chaddi’ (T20) cricket!.

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Posted on January 17, 2010. Filed under: POLITICS | Tags: , , , , , , |

In the aftermath of the allegedly racially motivated attacks on Indians down under, the Shiv Sena supremo has warned that cricket players from Australia would not be welcomed in India.

Shiv Sena as a political party is a spent force despite the arguments of its supporters. So is the case with Bal Thackeray.His nephew started a political party which seems to be the main cause for the coming back to power of Congress and its allies in the last Assembly elections in Maharashtra.Raj Thackeray the nephew of Bal Thackeray has put into use the tried and tested tools that originally created a base for Shiv Sena. So in a desperate bid to regain the glory days and be in the news, Bal Thackeray has issued this warning to the Australian cricketers.

The Shiv Sena is nothing new to these things and in the past when a tour of Pakistan was to start, a cricket pitch was damaged in Mumbai. It took many years for the team across the borders to play cricket on a bilateral basis.

The attacks whether racist or not, need to be condemned. There is a need to seek answers from the Australian government over these incidents.

But the warning from Bal Thackeray needs to taken with a lot of salt. He is someone who seems to be very concerned with the plight of the Indians in Australia. At the same time, he does always espouse the cause of the ‘Marathi Manoos’ at the expense of non Marathis in Maharashtra. Well, Mr.Thackeray, how can you justify the attacks on non-Marathis in Maharashtra when you lend sympathies to the Indians in Australia? It is a common fact that the Shiv Sena and the outfit floated by Raj Thackeray do argue that most of the ills faced by Maharashtra are due to the large influx of people from other states of India. A similar argument is also on cards from the Australians.

Originally it were the South Indians, especially the people from Tamil Nadu who faced the wrath of the Shiv Sena.Now, it is the turn of the people from the northern parts of the country-people from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.It is the ultimate hypocrisy on part of the Shiv Sena to question the attacks on Indians abroad when Indians cannot move freely within their own country.

There are states in India where the purchase of property by ‘outsiders’-those coming from other states is prohibited by law. This is euphemistically carried out in the name of protecting the interests of the locals. This comes at a time when India and its leaders call for a level playing field in the context of international matters.

It is another matter altogether that in states like Assam the influx of foreign nationals has been going on with the active support of major political parties. A foreign national could secure all the credentials and went on to become a Member of the Parliament.

It is time that Mr.Thackeray should stop calling someone black when he is not at all different.

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