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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Posted on March 7, 2014. Filed under: HIGHER EDUCATION, OFF -BEAT, PERSONAL, POLITICS | Tags: , , , |

A couple of days before the surrender-cum-arrest of Subrata Roy Sahara of Sahara, one of his sons read out a statement before the media. Like any other dutiful son, he talked about the respect his father has for the law of the land, among many other attributes and adjectives glorifying the senior Roy. But one thing struck a bell in my head.

While asserting that his father and the company did not do anything wrong, the son vouched for the contribution made by Subrata Roy to the country.

Sometime ago with the opening of a new ‘world-class’ terminal in the international airport of Mumbai, the promoter’s son expressed satisfaction over his father’s ‘gift’ to the nation as if the project was funded out of his pocket!

Many years ago, when a business house launched mobile services, it was also supposed to be something of a gift to the country.

Politicians of all kinds belonging to different parties do not shy away from stating their desire to gift the hapless people a better nation.

In this context, I would like to recall the views of some colleagues of mine over giving private tuitions in contravention to the regulations laid down by the authorities. A colleague who taught Mathematics made a lot of money from tuitions and he asserted that this act was something of a service to the needy students and the society! This is some activity where the Private Marginal Profit is much bigger than the Social Marginal Profit.

But I am an ordinary man who does a job to feed himself and his family and I am not at all ashamed of putting my narrow personal interests above those of the nation. I shall never put the cloak of national interest over my self interests and never have any intention of giving ‘gifts’ the country.

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Posted on January 1, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , |


Dr.Manmohan Singh could become the Prime Minister of India  only because someone else couldn’t. The economic reforms of 1991 or the clean image were never the reasons that landed Dr.Singh the job. It was the media spin that later gave these attributes.

While Sonia Gandhi was opposed from within her party and also outside, her son Rahul Gandhi is not. In fact, the chorus for his anointment as the candidate to replace Dr.Singh is not only going stronger by the day  but is also an indicator of the sycophantic roots of the grand old party .So it has come as no surprise when media reports suggest the forced retirement of Dr.Singh in the not too distant future.

However, the question is how to replace Dr.Singh the man who once was described as the most honest person in the land. The success of the Aam Aadmi Party in the elections to the Legislature in Delhi has only hastened the plans to  make Rahul Gandhi the face of the party for the forthcoming elections in 2014. 

In a bizarre and somewhat Kafkaesque manner, it is now Dr.Singh who is portrayed as someone who not only turned a blind eye to all the scams involving the two versions of the UPA but also someone who simply could not do much to solve the pressing economic problems of the day, like inflation. It is ironic since everyone knew from day one that the real power was in the hands of the mother and son combine and not Dr. Singh as is being made now.

It all started with the heir apparent to the seat of power in India tearing some papers to make his views known against the decision of the union cabinet headed by Dr.Singh to enact a law to protect scam tainted lawmakers. This symbolic gesture caused a sudden change in the position taken by the colleagues of Dr.Singh. Now, the  probe report into the Adarsh housing society scam also may see a fresh light of the day ever since Rahul Gandhi expressed his displeasure over the attitude of the Maharashtra government.

Now on cue, most vocal supporters of ‘Rahul Lao,Desh Bachao’ campaign admit that the party has lost its connect with the people after the unprecedented success of the Arvind Kejriwal led party!

The grand scheme called the MNREGA hailed as the brain child of the chairperson of the UPA has not just failed to make any real dent to the poverty and unemployment in the rural areas but is something that has become a boon for the dishonest and the corrupt. The so-called Food Security Act was introduced with much fanfare and credit was given to the Gandhi family. But now, it is Dr.Singh who has to bear the burden of the failure. There are people inside the Congress who at least privately consider the economic reforms introduced in 1991 to be the cause of most of the economic problems faced by the country today.

I am not at all sympathetic to the plight of Dr.Singh. He is not a martyr for he stated sometime back that Rahul Gandhi would make a good leader. Dr.Singh was just a caretaker from the start. History tells many incidents when caretakers had a miserable ending.




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Of Drought & Twitter

Posted on May 4, 2012. Filed under: OFF -BEAT, PERSONAL, POLITICS | Tags: , |

Many parts of the country have been experiencing drought like conditions for many years leading to farmer suicides.In this context, this is a completely fictional account of how our ‘beloved leaders’ and some celebrities would react to drought in their own inimitable style on one of the icons of the present day-twitter.The resemblance to the people quoted here is intentional.

1.Sonia Gandhi:It is for #drought #MNREGS is to help people dig ponds to store water.

2.Rahul Gandhi:I realize there is #drought but you must realize that ours is the only family that can fight #drought.

3.Manmohan Singh:It is to get water and remove #drought that #India needs #nuclearpower.

4.Sharad Pawar:There is no #drought.Why drink water when there are colas,diet drinks and fruit juices?

5.P Chidambaram:I want to create a national security agency to fight #drought and this team there is consensus.

6:Jairam Ramesh:The centre is giving so much money but the states are not using it properly and this is the cause of #drought.

7:Prakash Karat:The #drought is due to imperialistic conspiracy and is the symptom of the malaise under capitalism.

8.Kapil Sibal:There is #drought because most #Indians drink too much water while using #socialnetworks on the #internet.

9.Pratibha Patil:#drought? That is why I have abroad so many times, even with my grandchildren.

10.Naveen Patnaik: The #drought is due to the step-motherly attitude of the centre.The allies of #UPA are getting more water.

11.Prithviraj Chavan:What #drought? Come monsoon and you can swim on the roads of #Mumbai.

12.Vilasrao Deshmukh:I am going to give more land to builders and filmmakers for making their own water to remove #drought.

13.Akhilesh Yadav:There is #drought because the #elephants and parks of #Mayawati drank too much water.

14.Pranab Mukherji:I have addressed #drought problem in my budget speech.There is a need for supply side management.

15.Mamata Banerjee:There is no #drought,it is a Marxist conspiracy.There is so much water in the streets of #Kolkata

16.Manish Tewari:The #drought is all in the fertile imagination of a sterile mind.

17.Subramaniam Swamy:The #drought involves very powerful people and I have evidence to prove it.

18.Ram Jethmalani:I will put 10 questions everyday regarding #drought.

19.Abhishek Singhvi:#drought? Is any cd of this conversation is being made?

20.Nitish Kumar:The #drought is due to the misrule of #Lalu and #Rabri.Require another term to solve the problem.

21.Oomen Chandy:Don’t worry about #drought.There is plenty of toddy in #Kerala.

22.Narendra Modi:There is #drought everywhere except #Gujarat.Follow the teachings of Vivekananda and invite more industries to get water.

23.Kiran Kumar Reddy:There is no #drought in #Andhra due to the blessings of #SoniaGandhi.

24.YS Jagan Mohan Reddy:My father brought rains to #Andhra.With him gone, there is #drought.Make the #CM,will bring rain.

25.Sachin Tendulkar:#drought? Wait till I become 60 and score my 500th 100.

26.Amitabh Bachchan:I can speak about #drought only if the right sponsor is found.Can my family take part?

27.Aamir Khan:I am a thinking actor and need more time to say about #drought and that is the truth.

28.Anil Ambani:My father wanted to give mobiles to all so that people would spend more time talking and not worry about #drought.

29.Mukesh Ambani:My group is now digging for oil and in future I shall dig for water to solve the problem of #drought.

30.Vijay Mallya: I cannot fly my planes and you worried about #drought?Will buy more liquor stocks to quench the thirst.

31.BJP: The #drought is due to the appeasement of the minorities.

32.Baba Ramdev: The #drought is due to our #MPs.Have yoga and costly herbals to reduce the need for water

33.Team Anna:The #drought is due to corruption.#Janlokpal is the only cure.

34.Jayalalitha: The #drought is due to the misrule of #DMK

35.Montek Ahluwalia:The #drought is due to the higher demand rising from declining poverty under the #UPA.

36.Dinesh Trivedi: I wanted to increase the railway fares to fight #drought but my party won’t listen.

37.Chiranjeevi:I once danced and brought rains in the film #Indra.Will do the same to end #drought and provide #socialjustice.

38.Suresh Kalmadi: I will bring #OlympicGames to #India and the swimming pools will take care of the water scarcity.

39.A Raja:There was no #drought under #Kalaignar.Besides, I get sufficient water in jail.

40.Kanimozhi:The problem of #drought is to be addressed once people forget my role in the #2G scam.

41.Nira Radia:No one has talked to me since the tapes were released.Will dial the right people to address #drought.

42.Ratan Tata:Will have to think about a #nano solution to the problem of #drought.I leave that to my successor.

43.Barkha Dutt:The buck does not stop with me over #drought.Will host a debate to get the solution.

44.Digvijaya Singh:#drought? It is all a conspiracy hatched by the Hindu terror groups near the Batla house.

45.Mayawati:Let me enjoy the cool confines of #RajyaSabha.The #drought can take care of itself.

46.RBI: will do the tweaking of the key interest rates to remove #drought.

47.Shah Rukh Khan:My next film is titled ‘Rain-on’.There are amazing special effects in water that will solve #drought.

48.Indra Nooyi: who cares about #drought when there is #Pepsi?Bring more #FDI to reduce #drought.

49.Lalu Yadav: I am going to #Pakistan to solve the problem of #drought by creating bhai-chara.

50.Rajnikanth:Ena #drought rascals? I shall look straight into the eyes of the sky and rain will pour.

51.Common Man-Aam Aadmi: is there anyone who will provide me some water in these times of #drought?

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




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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Posted on February 7, 2011. Filed under: CRICKET WORLD CUP, ICC CRICKET WORLD CUP 2011, ICC WORLD CUP 2003 | Tags: , , , , |


In recent times, India has won matches both at home and away, thanks to the emergence of quick bowlers .One such instance featured the match between India and England in the ICC World Cup of 2003 at Kingsmead, Durban in South Africa.

India batted first and made 250 a score that seemed defendable considering the difficulties of batting second under the lights. But there was anxiety over the ability of the Indian bowlers.

Marcus Trescothick was snared by Zaheer Khan and the other opener Nick Knight was run out. Then it was the Ashish Nehra show all the way. The left-armer from Delhi was always regarded as a talent but then has the uncanny knack of getting injured at the most inopportune time. However, on that balmy night, everything paled before the magnificent show put up by Nehra. He made the ball and the English batsmen dance to his commands. The balls to dismiss Nasser Hussain and Alec Stewart are still fresh in the memory. There were 6 wickets for only 23 runs and that sealed the win for India despite some typical powerful hits from Flintoff.

In between his bowling, Nehra had a brief stint of throwing up his food and drink but there was no respite for the English. On one occasion, the speedgun reported a speed of over 150 kmph much to the surprise of everyone. Even if there was some error, nothing can be taken away form Nehra.

The showing of Nehra seemed to have brought some relief to the minds of the followers of Indian cricket who were fed up with their batsmen brought down to the knees by the swinging ball on tours to England.

Hope Nehra comes up with a similar spell in the ICC World Cup of 2011 even as the conditions at home are radically different from those that evening at the Kingsmead.

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Posted on February 6, 2011. Filed under: CRICKET, CRICKET WORLD CUP, ICC CRICKET WORLD CUP 2011, RELIANCE WORLD CUP 1987 | Tags: , , , , , , |


India was one of the favourites to go the distance in the Reliance World Cup of 1987.In the semi-finals in Bombay, India had to face England led by Mike Gatting.

The Indian team was rocked by bad news even before a ball was bowled with Dilip Vengsarkar out of the match with tummy trouble caused by ‘Bombay Duck’. It became the most infamous dish of the time, considering Vengsarkar was in fine form and much was expected of him on his home ground. Even then, there was still a lot of firepower left in the Indian arsenal to reach the final.

But India did not account for one of the finest performances of the World Cup coming from the bat of Graham Gooch. Gooch started his test career on a pair facing the likes of Dennis Lillee. There was also a ban on him following a trip to South Africa on a rebel tour. However, after the ban was served, Gooch returned to the English team and there were enough indications of his prowess.

Gooch had this way of facing the bowlers with a very high backlift. He always seemed to a good player of pace bowling but on that day, Gooch took on the Indian spinners and broke a lot of hearts.

Ball after ball and over after over, Gooch swept the spinners and the Indian team seemed to be completely bereft of all ideas. Maninder Singh who once was talked of as the natural successor to the legendary Bishen Singh Bedi was swept out of the attack. The other spinner, Ravi Shastri also did not have any clue to stop Gooch.

The Indian chase was not successful with the loss of key wickets at crucial junctures and the final nail in the coffin was struck when Kapil Dev holed out to a fielder in the deep. The bowler was Eddie Hemmings and the fielder was Gatting. This marked the end of tenure for India as the holders of the World Cup. There was so much anger and frustration that Kapil was made the scapegoat and he lost the captaincy.

Graham Gooch once again blew the Indian team away in a test match in 1990 when he scored 333 in the first innings and a 100 in the second.

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Posted on February 6, 2011. Filed under: CRICKET, CRICKET WORLD CUP, CRICKET WORLD CUP 1999, ICC CRICKET WORLD CUP 2011 | Tags: , , , , , |

geoff allott

With the ICC Cricket World Cup only a few days away, most of the news and sports channels are making us ‘relive’ the past action. There are highlights, sidelights and also the visions from the experts.

In between the not-so-busy schedule of mine, I find time to remote through the different channels and a couple of days ago, I happened to stumble upon the match between India and New Zealand in the World Cup of 1999 in England. Geoff Allott the left-arm fast from New Zealand took advantage of the conditions and had Saurav Ganguly in a great deal of discomfort and finally yorked the batsman out.

Allott had a great World Cup with 20 wickets in the competition but that was not enough for his team. Shane Warne also took the same number of wickets in that tournament. Against Australia and Pakistan the finalists of the World Cup, Allott took 4 wickets each. Cricket as a team game can be very cruel in that great individual performances do not get the attention they deserve in view of the team’s lack of success.

Allott could not take his career to greater levels due to persistent injuries and finally in 2010, he decided to call it a day.

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Posted on January 26, 2011. Filed under: POLITICS | Tags: , , , , , , |

In 2007, the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh addressed the leaders of Indian industry on the occasion of the Annual Session of the CII (Confederation of Indian Industry).

The speech of the PM caused quite a bit of stir then as it talked about many things that the Indian industry would need to do in order to build a more just and humane society.

One of the key points was in relation to the ‘soaring CEO compensations’. This led to a lengthy debate and the government had to clarify about having no intentions of taking any measures to curb the compensations.

It is true that in most of the cases, the remunerations received by the personnel at the top of the management ladder have touched stratospheric levels. There is one view that in an economy as inequitable as India is such compensations fuel conspicuous consumption and hence could be a trigger for a possible social unrest coming from the side of the most deprived of the population. At the same time, are these compensations not for the deserving? The people who are accused of taking home large remunerations have the right to enjoy their fruits of labour.

Now a few days a group consisting of some very famous names including one Mr.Azim Premji wrote an ‘open letter’ to the PM expressing their concern over things like ‘corruption’ and the ‘governance deficit’. Asked for further comments, Mr.Premji called the lack of governance a natural calamity.

The PM should answer the questions raised by the likes of Mr.Premji. If the ‘soaring compensations’ taken by the CEOs are a matter of national concern, then what about the thousands of crores looted by the politicians? The PM is a witness to the brazen misuse of power by those in power yet he remains indifferent while not being hesitant to sermonize. Some of his cabinet colleagues question the methodology used in the estimation of the loot.

If the CEO of a corporation does not deserve his compensation, then what or who gives the right to the politician to loot the country is something that the PM has to answer. The PM is the CEO of the country and so he has to take the lead and responsibility in doing the right thing. It is beyond the thinking of any reasonable person as to how this present UPA dispensation can do anything good for the common man or the AAM AADMI!

It is time that the shoe is on the other foot, PM and it surely pinches.

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Posted on January 14, 2011. Filed under: POLITICS | Tags: , , , , |

Everyone except the Central government seems to be concerned about inflation. The Prime Minister held discussions with his Cabinet colleagues with no solution in sight. Some raids were carried out by the Income Tax people on onion merchants. The Union Minister for Agriculture is not known for his words and he has nothing to say also.

But I am very happy with inflation even as my meagre salary makes it difficult for me to make the proverbial ends meet. Also, I am in such a job where the chances of making some extra moolah by way of graft and/or commissions are zero. It is only that I need to pay speed money even to get my monthly salary and in these times even those rates have been hiked.

The hike in the price of petrol is justified since the commodity is meant only for the rich in India. Similar is the case with the impending hike in the price of the LPG. We are given lectures on the rationale behind the hikes. The people of this country are lucky to have the right teachers of Economics starting from the Prime Minister. Pranab Mukherjee in his typical accent reminds me of some of my most boring classes. So is the case with the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, M S Ahluwalia who is in his very propah accent justifies all the burden that the honest and the non-corrupt Indian has to shoulder.

I am coming to the reason why the inflation and the price hikes make me feel good. A section of the Union government argues that the rising food prices are caused by the greater demand resulting from the higher incomes, thanks to the policies of the UPA.

Suddenly, I have become rich and this is surely a feather in the already large crown worn by the leadership of the UPA.

The ordinary people or the AAM AADMI of India are really thankful to the UPA leadership. They have achieved their stated aim of taking better care of the AAM AADMI. Let us rejoice and give a damn to all the deals of corruption right from Bofors to the CWG and the 2G. Give credit where it is due.

Of course, history tells us that a relative of the French queen Marie Antoinette wanted the people of that country to eat pastries when they complained of bread shortages. This was one of the triggers of the French Revolution. But the leadership of the UPA has nothing to fear.

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