INDIA

DISAPPOINTMENTS OR MISAPPOINTMENTS?

Posted on June 26, 2016. Filed under: INDIA, POLITICS, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

The appointment of Gajendra Chauhan to the post of Chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India(FTII), Pune was controversial to say the least. The students went on a strike for over a 100 days demanding a different chairperson. The protesting students wanted someone with a greater ability and talent in line with some of the ‘illustrious’ predecessors of Chauhan. Those opposed to this appointment wasted no time in showing to the world the ‘body of work’ that displayed the immense talents of Gajendra Chauhan. Politicians, predictably, jumped into the picture making it ugly and most of the time, comical. Even Rahul Gandhi could not contain himself and made for another hilarious attempt at grandstanding.

Now comes another appointment. The Central Government has appointed Chetan Chauhan to be the Chairman of the National Institute of Fashion Technology(NIFT). Chetan Chauhan played test cricket for India and opened alongside the great Sunil Gavaskar. There is no denying the cricketing abilities of this Chauhan. But heading the NIFT requires talent and ability which is simply not available with Chetan Chauhan. Again, there were debates and discussions from both sides.

No political party can claim to be ‘holier’ than the others when it comes to appointments being doled out as favours to a party worker as a reward. All are equally guilty. There is simply no colour or ideology that can be attached any significance when it comes to such appointments.

There is still one appointment that the Central Government has to make and that is concerning the Reserve Bank of India. Given the import, the ruling party would not dare put some party worker to preside over the money supply of the country.

One appointment was made in the last week and it would have made perfect timing if some party worker from the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) were asked to become the Coach of the Indian cricket team. It would not have been controversial since the head of the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) is a Member of Parliament belonging to the BJP. Interestingly many politicians have in the past or in the present associated with the running of cricket in India.

At least Gajendra Chauhan was an actor while the other Chauhan does not have any experience, leave expertise in matters relating to the fashion industry.

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THE IRRELEVANCE OF POLITICS IN THE CAMPUS

Posted on April 14, 2013. Filed under: HIGHER EDUCATION, INDIA, OFF -BEAT, POLITICS | Tags: , , |

The Sunday Story ‘CHANGE’ in The Hindu dated 14/03/2013 made for an interesting read with write-ups stressing the import of campus politics and inevitably there was one about the recommendations made by the Committee headed by J M Lyngdoh, a former Chief Election Commisioner of India.

As a Lecturer for more than 18 years and in-charge of conducting elections to various students associations,I have come to the conclusion that there is absolutely no need to hold elections in the campuses for it does no good.In fact, the entire campus atmosphere is vitiated with the entry of political parties and large amounts of money and muscle power. Not only the students even the staff are also affected by the involvement and the interference from the political parties.

In the said page, it is mentioned by S N Vijetha that the limit on expenditure of Rs.5000 per candidate is something that is not practical and also something that no candidate ever wants to adhere to.For me, the most sticky recommendation is relating to the attendance.In most cases, the aspirants are not in the habit of attending the classes and the college authorities are often pressurised to give the required attendance under duress from local politicians.When some college decides to take the proverbial bull by the horn, there is no support from any corner of the state administration.The student unrest following the disqualification of aspirants due to the lack of attendance forces the state administration to cancel the elections only to hold them at a later date.

I welcome the recommendation that gives a student only one chance to contest the elections for in the past many students used to have a monopoly over certain posts for a long time.Similarly, the fixing of the age limit also has put an end to serial contesters.

Most of the candidates who come out successful in the elections learn the art of things like collecting funds from various sources very quickly and that should be a stepping stone into Indian politics where it is increasingly becoming difficult to come across a politician who is not corrupt.

More importantly, we are in a country where entry into politics is determined by the lineage of a person, cutting the political teeth in the campuses is hardly required.

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COMPLETING LEVEL ZERO

Posted on March 22, 2013. Filed under: CBI, DMK, INDIA, POLITICS | Tags: , , , , , |

The morning started with the news that CBI was conducting raids on the house of M K Stalin. The timing of the raid raised eyebrows with the DMK pulling out of the UPA over the issue of human rights violations by the government of Sri Lanka. The BJP caoutioned anyone from withdrawing support to the UPA.It looked as if the SP and the BSP were uniteed in bailing out the UPA only for the fear of being hounded by the CBI.

Then came the startling news with most of the top leadership of the UPA expressing unhappiness and disapproval over the timimg and the manner of the raids.The Finance Minister P Chidambaram was the fi4rst off the blocks while not to be left behind tyhe Prime Minister Manmohan SIngh too joined the bandwagon.Even Mayawati too expressed unhappiness over the raids.The Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde who presides over the CBI was silent, though.The Union government even went to extent of distancing itself from the actions of the premier investgating agency of the country blaming the raids on the local sleuths of CBI based in Chennai. With the CBI earning the wrath of the high and the mighty, the chances of the presnt boss of the agency being offered a plum job post his retirement, simply vanished.

In a bizzare way, the CBI gained an sutonomous status with the power to take on the high and the mighty even when not given the go ahead by the political masters! In one instance, the demand of the civil society or the mango men of this country was met and how.

But as the day rolled on, news trickled that the raids were called off midway and fingers were pointed at the Union government. The whole autonomy thing went up more quickly than the famous disappearing acts of Houdini. The BJP went into the familiar accusation of the government interfering in the working of the CBI.

Finally, in the evening, the CBI clarified that it was an investigation based on a complaint received by the DRI-another investgating arm of the government about a vehicle-Hummer in the house of M K Stalin.There was no such vehicle ever found in the premises and the raid was called off.

The boss of the CBI can breathe a sigh of relief but some scapegoats have to be found and taught a lesson so that the high and the mighty of the land should remain above the law of the land.

Congratulations to the CBi for completing level zero!

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WHY THE SELECTORS ARE RIGHT?

Posted on December 4, 2012. Filed under: CRICINFO, CRICKET, INDIA, M S DHONI, SACHIN TENDULKAR, SEHWAG, YUVRAJ SINGH | Tags: , , |

After the loss in the Mumbai test, there was a clamour for changes to be made for the rest of the series versus England.But the selectors decided to stick with the players who donned the national colours in Mumbai. On expected lines, the selectors were criticised. But I have my reasons why the selectors could not take any harsh decisions.

1.GAUTAM GAMBHIR

He is someone who played well in the past and who captained his team the Kolkata Knight Riders to the IPL glory.Gambhir is someone who is potentially a captaincy material.If Shahrukh Khan were the chief selector, then Gambhir would have been the captain of India.Moreover, he plays alongside the other opener Sehwag for the Delhi team and they make a good combination of the left and the right.

2.VIRENDRA SEHWAG

Viru scored a century in the first test at Ahmedabad although this fact was completely ignored after the feats of Pujara and Ojha.After all, he is the only Indian batsman to score over 300 runs in a test innings and that too twice.

 

3.CHETESWAR PUJARA

Whether he is the genuine replacement for Rahul Dravid, Pujara has shown great temperament and skill by making two three figure scores in the ongoing series.He had only one failure and that too in the second innings of the Mumbai test.

4.SACHIN TENDULKAR

It is very difficult for the selectors to even think about leaving Sachin out of the team especially given his past record.As many of his supporters felt, the selectors also realised that the great man is just one good innings away from glory.Besides, we ordinary mortals cannot decide on the future of Sachin.You cannot drop someone who is also a Member of Parliament. We don’t want the Parliament to shut down protesting against this kind of injustice.

5.YUVRAJ SING

Yuvraj failed in both the innings of the Mumbai test, so what? He just beat cancer and he was a prominent contributor to the win in the World Cup.Public memory is short and if he is dropped, his mother would become very angry.

6.VIRAT KOHLI

In the past 12 months, Virat has been true to his name-big scoring runs against different bowlers in different formats of the game.Moreover, he has made a hundred in Australia where the rest of the Indian batsmen found the opposition bowlers very hot to handle.As some would say, he is also in line to be the captain of the team in the not too distant future considering his experience of leading the Indian under 19 team to victory in the World Cup.

7.M S DHONI

This is about the most successful captain in the history of Indian cricket.He won the World Cup for India after a long wait for the entire nation. People forget the disastrous campaign in England and Australia both as a captain and as a batsman.Dhoni has never been a good batsman on good pitches and against good bowlers.The critics have been extremely harsh about the wicketkeeping misses of Dhoni too.The supporters of Dhoni argue that the captain is only as good as his team.

8.ZAHEER KHAN

Ever since Zaheer burst on to the scene bowling fast yorkers, most Indian cricket fans felt genuine pride.But as time passed by, the pace got reduced.Nevertheless, Zaheer got wickets by gaining control over swing.But he is the best non-spinner for India in the present times.

9.HARBHAJAN SINGH

He did not look like a bowler who has 400 test wickets to his name in the Mumbai test.On a pitch where Swann and Panesar got the better of Indian batsmen, Harbhajan merely looked like a bowler who was meant to complete his quota of overs.Public memory is short for he has a hat trick to his name and that too against the mighty Aussies.

10.PRAGYAN OJHA

Ojha bowled well in the first test and also took wickets in the test in Mumbai.But he too was not spared by the critics.He should have bowled from both the ends!.

11.RAVICHANDRAN ASHWIN

How can one even think about leaving Ashwin out of the team when he is regarded by some as the next great all-rounder after Kapil Dev.Ashwin should be in the team as a batsman who if required, can bowl a few overs.

Now going by the past contributions, the records and the sacrifices made by these players, how on earth can the selectors be expected to bite the bullet and take strong decisions? My vote is with the selectors.Moreover, as one expert put, where are the replacements?

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PHATA HERO, NIKLA POSTER!

Posted on September 21, 2012. Filed under: CORRUPTION, INDIA, POLITICS, SCAMS | Tags: , , , , |

Many years ago I watched a Bollywood movie where the hero enters a scene by tearing a film poster apart.Now, in the context of the so-called ‘big-ticket’ reforms, the hero of the movie has been torn apart but there are posters all over proclaiming him as the messiah.

For long the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been touted as the great reformer and the saviour of the Indian economy.For long, he has been seen as the odd man out in the murky world of Indian politics.For long, he has been the darling of the media-both domestic and international.

But all hell broke loose when the Prime Minister and his government were criticised for inaction and policy paralysis especially in the context of the economic reforms in The Washington Post.

The Prime Minister has been accused of being a silent spectator to the allegations of corruption and wrongdoings of his ministers.He even had the gall to refuse any explanation.More appalling was the fact that he questioned the credibility of the CAG in estimating the loss to the exchequer arising out of the scams relating to 2G spectrum and the allocation of coal blocks.It is interesting to note that a man who always wants us to believe estimations regarding economic growth, employment creation and poverty reduction can question estimations made by others.

Like the proverbial Phoenix rising from the ashes, the Prime Minister has attempted to relaunch himself in going the distance when it comes to economic policy.Predictably, he is being hailed as being courageous enough in biting the bullet.Suddenly, the international media set the record straight in their appreciation of the work done by the Prime Minister.

I wonder how the poor Indian farmer would benefit from the FDI in multi-brand retail.I wonder how the average Indian would benefit from the FDI in the civil aviation sector.But I am not wondered by the boost that the FDI is going to do for the ‘untarnished’ reputation of the Prime Minister.

Today, the Prime Minister took to national television to explain to us poor Indians the rationale behind the reforms.He sought to highlight the benefits for the people.

Tomorrow, there will be posters in all the newspapers saying the same things in bold print.

Truly, the hero has gone and there are posters.

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WHY THIS ATTITUDE?

Posted on May 14, 2012. Filed under: INDIA, POLITICS | Tags: , , , , , |

There has been a lot of concern over the sufferings of Hindus living in Pakistan. Predictably, the media and the politicians contributed their mite to bring this subject to the notice of the government and the common man. The government had to step in and the Minister of External Affairs, S M Krishna, in his own inimitable style promised to do the needful.

The plight of the Tamils in Sri Lanka and the alleged crimes committed by the armed forces of that country during the conflict with the LTTE was another matter of great concern for the government of India. Things became so serious that India decided to vote against Sri Lanka in the United Nations.

Even as Indian leaders have shown great concern for the safety and security of people of Indian origin living abroad, the same cannot be said for the plight of the hindus who were driven out of Kashmir. Indian newspapers carried stories written by Western journalists about the ethnic cleansing that took place in far way Yugoslavia and also in some part of the African continent. The same media calls the riots in Gujarat post-Godhra a pogrom. But when it comes to the sad story of the Kashmiri Hindus, everyone is silent.

Why this callous indifference?

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GREAT PLANS

Posted on May 14, 2012. Filed under: 3G, AIRCEL, INDIA, MOBILE PHONES, TECHNOLOGY | Tags: , |

 

Getting on to the internet has been a liberating experience.The internet has helped us to connect to each other easily and in ways not far from fantasy.The proliferation of social networks coupled with cellular devices armed with the latest hardware and software have made it possible to remain in touch with friends,near and dear ones and the world in general.However, all the connectivity hinged on one crucial element-the costs of bandwidth.

The introduction of 3G services was expected to make connectivity faster and much less hasslefree.But the costs dampened the expectations.One had to pay more to obtain a true 3G service.Many so-called 3G services are just marginally better than EDGE/GPRS services even as the customers are charged astronomical amounts.The video calling feature seemed more like a gimmick where there was little syncronisation between the video and the audio.I was taken back to the days where Hollywood films were first dubbed into Indian languages where the dialogues and the pictures did not coincide.

The introduction of new unlimited 3G plans by Aircel has the potential to revolutionise the way we use 3G enabled cellular devices to connect.My favourite is the plan that offers 50 MB of 3G data for a meagre payment of Rs.8/- per day.

With the new plans, I can utilize the full potential of my 3G device and also connect to the virtual and the real worlds much more smoothly.I will no longer be held back by high costs of 3G and the lack of bandwidth.It will be much easier for me to share pictures and videos with others.My parents can see the face of my young son when I make a video call.I can share his exploits and mischiefs with his grandparents,uncle and aunts by easily sharing the videos.

I can now have access to news and watch videos whenever I need. Apps like Instagram can be made to truly work for me.

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GREAT PERFORMANCES IN THE WORLD CUP:CHETAN SHARMA-1987

Posted on February 15, 2011. Filed under: CRICKET, CRICKET WORLD CUP, ICC CRICKET WORLD CUP 2011, INDIA, RELIANCE WORLD CUP 1987 | Tags: , , , , , , |

 

CHETAN

 

He is best remembered by my generation for that full toss that was whacked out of the ground at Sharjah by Miandad for an improbable win for Pakistan. That one ball overshadowed all the other important contributions mostly with the ball and on occasions with the bat from this player. Weeks after the incident at Sharjah, this man had a great part in the famous series win by India in England in the test matches. In the very first test, this player took India to the doorstep of a win with splendid bowling.

I am talking about Chetan Sharma, who was small in stature but had a big heart. He was a member of the Indian team that won the Benson & Hedges World Championship of Cricket in Australia in 1985.Sharma played the finals in place of the ill Roger Binny.

Chetan Sharma also a few times was capable of making runs with the bat in the one-dayers even once when promoted up in the batting order during the Nehru Cup. But my abiding memory was the hat-trick achieved by him during the Reliance World Cup in 1987.

India played New Zealand at Nagpur and the visitors batted first. None of the Kiwi batsmen could play a long innings and a modest target awaited India. Rutherford, Ian Smith and Ewen Chatfield were dismissed by Chetan Sharma in successive deliveries for a hat trick. All the three were clean bowled.

But the efforts of Chetan Sharma were completely overshadowed by the batting of Sunil Gavaskar and Srikkanth with the former getting his only century in limited overs. Even earlier, the superlative batting of Dilip Vengsarkar on the tour to England relegated the efforts of Chetan Sharma into the background.

Luckily, things like match-fixing and spot-fixing were not around during the last ball full toss incident at Sharjah, otherwise, Chetan Sharma would have been hounded for all the wrong reasons. Even the government of the day would not have hesitated to constitute an enquiry committee to find the truth!

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ON THE BACKFOOT

Posted on December 16, 2010. Filed under: CRICKET, INDIA, SEHWAG, SOUTH AFRICA, TEST CRICKET | Tags: , , , , , , |

The worst fears have come true with the Indian batsmen unable to handle the fast bowlers at the Super Sports Park in Centurion.

Sehwag carried a lot of hopes but he played a shot that went straight into the hands of the waiting fielder.One expert called it ‘an irrational shot’.But I say it is due to the planning that South Africa had done for the batsman.

Gambhir, though an extremely capable batsman, is still untested when it comes to facing genuine fast bowling on pacy wickets.He had a harrowing time before giving the edge to the slip fielder.Dravid went past Brian Lara in the all time list of runs scored in test matches but could not last long.

Sachin looked in form before falling.Laxman was beaten by the pace and the movement.The less said is better about Suresh Raina. It is a wonder how many more opportunities should be given to the left-hander to prove himself.

Harbhajan showed his improved prowess as a batsman and that is something of a danger for in recent times, he bowls more like a part-timer.

There is of course, Dhoni still at the crease.My feeling is that he shall remain not out which would boost his average by a very small margin but has no import in the context of the match.

The weathermen have predicted some thundershowers on the fourth and the fifth days.That may give some hope for a draw if only the match goes that far.

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A LOT AT STAKE

Posted on December 15, 2010. Filed under: CRICKET, INDIA, TEST CRICKET | Tags: , , , , |

It is the time that the Indian team stood up to the challenge of playing real fast bowlers on wickets that have pace and bounce.

South Africa has never been a delightful experience for the Indians with the exception of the T20 World Cup, the 2003 World Cup and sterling individual performances.

With the tag of No.1 the Indian cricket team has a lot to prove.The lacklustre showing against the New Zealand at home in the test series should be a cruel pointer.I do not want to sound like a pessimist or a Jaywant Lele, but something tells me that this series could be a make or break for the team and a lot of players.

The news of Zaheer Khan and Shreesanth being doubtful for the first test could not have come at a more inopportune time.The spinners, the less said the better for they could not answer the questions posed by the batsmen from New Zealand.Surely, the likes of Kallis and Co. are much more accomplished and have the entries in the record books to justify this.

In the batting department, everything comes down to the seniors led by the gentleman named Sachin Tendulkar. It would be a photographer’s delight to watch Raina face the fast bowlers.

Historically, India have not done well in the opening test of a series at home as well as on foreign soil.So a wrong foot in the first test could make things extremely complicated in the series.The sad losses in the first two test matches in the last tour of Australia could not prevent India from saving the series even with that famous win in Perth.

The captaincy of Dhoni and his famed ‘midas touch’-largely a myth will be put under tremendous pressure.

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