As the political temporal and spatial scenario heats up, the fight for the PM post too has been colossally spurted for a big change. Some describe the battle as one between “David versus Goliath,” as they think that it will be the meek who will overcome the mightiest like in the battle of Philistine and Israel. The two major parties in India, Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress have shared their bits of successes and the newly etched Aam Aadmi Party is making inroads into the political landscape. While the battle is between numerous players, three emerging ones include Narendra Modi, Arvind Kejriwal and Rahul Gandhi.
Pic Courtesy: http://gursharanthecartoonist.blogspot.in/
The enormity of “Brand Modi” has been carefully crafted over several months on lines of development, governance and administration with employing of new methods of campaigning. While Rahul Gandhi’s PR works have started rather lately. On the other hand, AAP has grown out of the Jan Lokpal Bill protests and made corruption as an issue for the coming elections. It is truism that corruption is a worry with Transparency International validating the point by ranking India at 94th Position worldwide, but will it be sufficient to climb the ladder to of 272+ in Lok Sabha elections, is a matter of question.
As a first, BJP and Congress are giving footage shot by themselves to media persons, which many feel is being done to manipulate the shots and depict a large gathering. The recent spate of words shared between AK-49 (as Modi addresses Arvind Kejriwal), and Narendra Modi has added fuel to the election build up and has dominated the front pages of newspapers. This time around new symbols of protests have come up: eggs, inks, derogatory comments, stone-pelting, and pepper spray, among others. India has 814 million registered voters this year, and the battle is gradually narrowing to Narendra Modi vs Arvind Kejriwal. Now who he is the Goliath and who is David, only time will tell. The next 49 days are surely going to be a cynosure for every Indian.
If you are an Indian in the mainstream sense, you’ve got to be into at least two, if not all three, of these things: Chai, Cricket and Bollywood. Cricket seems to be more sought after. Being conditioned to the roars of sixes and fours and the ballyhoo surrounding the players, we have engrained cricket in our thoughts and have not been any lesser than a fanatic. Given the dismal performances in foreign lands, should we expect less? While the Indians have been dominant at home, their record outside the sub-continent is poor with a win-loss ratio of 0.75 in 44 Tests, while in top Test nations like Australia, South Africa and England, the win-loss ratio dips further to 0.50.
Such is the dichotomy that, the Indian media, adages them as ‘Tigers at home, Lambs Abroad.’ The nucleus of young players, have to deliver in environments not tailor-made for gargantuan batting exploits. Also, for the gross wickets that win a match, India needs fast bowlers who can fling it consistently, without breaking down. Only then can India be a genuine contender in matches outside the sub-continent. The 2013 Champions Trophy win seems to be fluke given the recent debacles. The nightmares of playing abroad got revisited in the recent series.
The irony is that we gain the numero uno spot in world rankings at home, and within months, lose it on a foreign ground. Problems in biological clock management, reading conditions and pitch along with facing short-pitch deliveries have always been a bolt-from-the-blue for the men-in-blue. At a time when we have world class facilities to train on ‘cemented pitches’ and bowling greats like Mc Grath and Lilee heading MRF Pace academy, do we still need to crib about the absence of such pitches in India? But this problem is also not exclusive to the Indian team. When England, Australia or New Zealand come to Asia, they land in a soup too. So, who is to blame for this inconsistency? Is this complacency on part of cricketers? Or the wrong judgment of conditions? Or mis-managed scheduling of games? I would assert larger blame to the latter.
- Have psychotherapists on board to help tackle pressures, after all it is both a mental and physical game.
- BCCI needs to give away the misconception that a very good player can be a good coach.
- The need is to develop the thinking that cricket is a team game and game should not suffer due to sponsorships.
- Send as many players as possible to feature in County cricket.
- The BCCI should stop being insular and develop a test squad that can play in all conditions. But far too much time is spent in courts and fighting administrative fires.
To sum it all, we have probably taken the following line too seriously, “All is fair in Love and Cricket.”
As I went through the news of killing of Sarabjit, I felt bad and astounded. Today I woke up to another news of killing of another Prisoner of War, but this time it had happened in India. Was this a way of satiating the feeling of vengeance? Many questions need to be answered.
At higher levels, the authorities may talk about ‘Aman Ki Asha’ but the never ending game of revenge has always taken over the peace efforts. Till how long we will make the prisoners a pawn and drive the people of respective countries for favorable voting? What kind of diplomacy is this, where one cannot exchange prisoners rather kill them brutally?
What are you waiting for another day another dawn, somewhere we have to find a new way to peace. What are you waiting for another sign another call, somewhere we have to find a new way to peace!
The worrying fact is that many leaders on both the sides have accepted that such things do not have an end. The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) had said in its report on 2nd May 2013, that “Sarabjit Singh was arrested on August 30, 1990 for bombing and his case is an example of a miscarriage of justice where mistaken identity was presented as the sole evidence of his crime. The victim’s real name was Sarabjit Singh but he was sentenced to death in the name of Manjeet Singh. The sole eye witness of the case told different television channels that he was forced through coercion and intimidation to give evidence against the victim by officials of the intelligence agency, the ISI. Mr. Awais Sheikh, the lawyer acting for Sarbajit proved in different courts that his client was not the accused person.”
As per Pakistan’s constitution’s Article 13-
Protection against double punishment and self incrimination–
(a) shall be prosecuted or punished for the same offence more than once; or
(b) shall, when accused of an offence, be compelled to be a witness against himself
So, if a person has served a term of 14 years he cannot be hanged or punished further since that would amount to dual punishment. However, in this case Sarabjit has already served 14 years. In fact he has been incarcerated for 22 years. Clearly there has been a huge travesty of justice, which the world must take note of and act upon strongly.
The way of treatment meted out to prisoners on both sides, has been dismal. Both the countries may count innumerable cases of their positive actions, but the truth is that the sate of such prisoners is dithering. Let us not forget that we are humans first, and enemies later.
Without digressing from the topic, we must remember that it is us and only we people who can banish the hatred. On a number of sites like Youtube.com, Facebook.com, etc. the people of India and Pakistan keep commenting against each other on petty things mocking each other. When will all this end? Well, the perquisition for search its answer is on. Decision is yours!
There’s a saying, “When a dog bites a man it is no news, but when a man bites a dog it is news.” Such is the importance of arbitrariness, unusualness or novelty in the values of news. Recently, Samajwadi Party minister, Azam Khan was in news for his detention at the Boston Airport, USA. But, was being a muslim was the reason behind it? Was the uproar and cancellation of trip justified? Well, it seemed no less than a political goal.
A less number of people would have remembered his trip to US, if it would not have been cancelled. This was a piece of hot cake and a fresh controversy for news channels, which will surely help SP to garner support in the upcoming elections.
Akhilesh Yadav, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister had to give a lecture on Kumbh Mela at the Harvard University. But detention/questioning of his colleague led him to cancel the program. Concerned that its appeal among Muslim voters was dimming, Uttar Pradesh’s ruling Samajwadi Party is on an overdrive to hardsell its boycott of a Harvard lecture.
Azam Khan also went on to blame the External Affairs Minister of India, Salman Khurshid for persuading the US Customs and Border Protection wing of the Homeland Security to make such detention. This sounds really funny! I wonder the amount of influence India has on USA, and the time US authorities have to pay heed to such requests, if made. I can’t just figure out what sadistic pleasure will the Salman Khurshid derive through this!
A SP functionary says, “Our minority vote bank had been dented owing to the killing of a Muslim cop and the 28 plus communal flare-ups but we hope all that would be a thing of past.” The party is making the most of the opportunity given to it.
SP national general secretary, Ram Asrey Kushwaha added that Akhilesh Yadav’s move “would send the right message among the Muslims”.
Ironically, when former Indian President A P J Abdul Kalam, was twice subjected to frisking at New York’s JFK Airport by US security officials, he didn’t create such a ruckus. India’s then ambassador to the US Meera Shanker was patted down by a security agent in Mississippi in December 2010. But they relented themselves from extracting gains from their experience of frisking.
I would say that the common man needs to identify such tactics and should not get maneuvered according to the whims and fancies of political parties. Because they are not worried much of the populace but are relieved of the fact that they made news.
Many of us must be aware of the surge by the publishers and few policemen against photocopying of textbooks. They intended to bring a copyright action against Delhi University and a tiny photocopy shop licensed by it, seeking to restrain them from supplying educational course packs to students.
The sudden action flummoxed many, but fueled up the intellects to discuss about the issue. Basically, for those not familiar with the term, course packs are compilations of limited excerpts from copyrighted books, put together painstakingly by faculty members in accordance with a carefully designed syllabus and teaching plan.
The publishers are seeking an outright ban on all course packs, even those that extract and use no more than 10 per cent of the copyrighted book. Under the United States of America law, reproducing up to 10 per cent of the copyrighted books is “fair use” of a copyrighted work, and therefore legal.
In contrast, India is a developing country, with poorer students and more severe educational access constraints. Our system is a vulnerable one which requires the technique of cheap priced good education.
The section 52(1) (a) of the Indian constitution embodies the fair use exception and permits any fair dealing of a copyrighted work for the purpose of research and private study. Such exemptions reflect a clear intention to exempt core aspects of education from the private sphere of copyright infringement. Devitalizing these exceptions at the behest of publishers will strike at the very heart of our constitutional guarantee of a fundamental right to education for all.
The fact that majority of educational textbooks are priced above the affordability range of an average Indian student is well known. The claim by publishers that course packs would destroy their market for books and put them out of business is therefore highly questionable.
If a person needs only an extract from the whole book, he cannot afford to buy the whole book worth thousands. That would be foolish. Yes, there are libraries where books can be read. But, you never know that the same book is available at the time of need or not.
Slashing of rates may be a positive step in this direction. Let’s hope that the publishers will give a thought to it, apart from thinking of minting more money.
The Indian film fraternity is busy gearing up for the 100 years’ celebration of Indian cinema. Amidst all the fanfare, Pune based brothers Vijay and Anil Torne have challenged its very foundation. According to them, it wasn’t Dadasaheb Phalke but their father Dadasaheb Torne who had produced the first film of Indian cinema, ‘Shree Pundalik’, thereby becoming the rightful claimant to the ‘Father of Indian Cinema’ title.
“The play was shot in Mumbai at Lamington, Tribhuvan and Vitthalbhai Patel roads. By this time, my father had exhausted all his money. He again approached Bourne and Shepherd company which agreed to process the film in exchange for the Williamson camera. The film was shipped to London where a negative and positive were developed and the positive was sent back to my father for screening,” Anil said.
Ramchandra Gopal popularly known as Dadasaheb Torne had released it on 18th May 1912 at the Coronation Cinematograph, Girgaum, Mumbai. Experts believe that Torne had missed out on the recognition he deserved, because of a few technicalities. Firstly, the movie was a shooting of a popular Marathi play and secondly, it was shot by a British cameraman, Johnson who developed and kept the negatives of the film in London giving Torne only the positive print to bring back home.
The point I want to make is that William Bolts is considered to have made the first attempt in printing a newspaper in India, but James Augustus Hicky is considered the first one to run a paper. Similarly, Torne should also be given some recognition though that might be petite as compared to that of Phalke.
Recognizing the first attempts in any field, help in dissemination of correct information as well as it makes people inspired to focus their work in those directions. I support the effort by his sons. Do you?
Accept it or not. Like it or dislike it. Justice Markandey Katju will end his term as the most controversial and outspoken Press Council of India Chairman. His single comment on an issue gives a lot of food for thought and airtime to television news channels who inadvertently say, “Today India is hearing. The people of India needs an answer!” Sigh! Even Ekta Kapoor’s serials were less dramatic!
Sometimes, I wonder that is every and any kind of publicity really the best publicity? Well, the likes of Rakhi Sawant, Sherlyn Chopra, Poonam Pandey might now see a lot of people joining their bandwagon driving the media persons around them. Latest yet unnoticed entry is Mr. Katju. First of all, I respect Mr. Katju a lot. He has shown the guts to come and speak in public sphere time and again against ill-practices in states against media and the wrongdoings by media itself.
But, some of his statements have been perplexing. The latest jaw-dropping statement made by the Retired Supreme Court Judge is that, “Pakistan is a fake country, and one day it will reunite with India along with Bangladesh.” At a time when both the neighbor countries are disturbed internally and India’s foreign policy has taken a beating, such statements won’t amuse many.
He may confuse you with his words many a times. When he sees that he is in danger then he says that he has made that particular statement as a citizen of India, and when he sees that he has to take decision, he asserts his authority as a retired judge. Swapping roles fast, eh?
He further goes on to say, “A fake country was created in the name of Pakistan. It is an artificially created entity by the British to make Hindus and Muslims keep fighting with each other, to stop India from becoming a powerful industrialized nation,” he said, answering questions after a symposium on ‘Reporting Terror: How Sensitive is the media?’ on 07 April 2013.
I am not against his statement but I do not like the timing as well as the free publicity element behind it. Without digressing from the subject, I would say that unless the politicians stop mixing their profession with religion and avoid from calling for caste based voting, there shall not be any solution or occurrence of merger between countries.
Once he said, “Ninety per cent of Indians are idiots. You people don’t have brains in your heads.” Subsequently, a PIL was filed against him and he eventually said sorry.
If that wasn’t enough, read his one more remarkable statement! On September 3, Justice Katju had written an article in The Hindu, in which he, inter alia, went on to say:
“The level of intellect of many teachers is low, because many of them have not been appointed on merit but on extraneous considerations. To give an example, when I was a judge of Allahabad High Court I had a case relating to a service matter of a mathematics lecturer in a university in Uttar Pradesh.
Since the teacher was present in court I asked him how much one divided by zero is equal to.
He replied, Infinity.
I told him that his answer was incorrect, and it was evident that he was not even fit to be a teacher in an intermediate college. I wondered how had he become a university lecturer.”
Justice Katju claims that anything divided by zero is indeterminate. He is wrong and the lecturer was right because any non-zero number divided by zero is infinity. It is zero divided by zero that is indeterminate.
While one can understand the plight of the poor lecturer who did not have the courage to correct the judge hearing his case, I am appalled at the timidity of “some of the top senior academicians” of Jawaharlal Nehru University, to whom Justice Katju narrated the incident.
Well there a many startling statement made by him, but they cannot be put in here.By the way another one was, when he said that, “Sanjay Dutt should be pardoned because he was part of Munnabhai film, spreading Mahatma Gandhi’s ideologies…” And the list goes on.
The much awaited film ‘Himmatwala’ opens with Sonakshi Sinha dancing to the tune of a disco number: “Thank god, it’s Friday!” After seeing this flick one would surely not say so!
Holding allegiance to the 1983 original Himmatwala, this movie has all the ingredients of a moony masala film. Sajid Khan’s entertainer, ‘Himmatwala’ starring Ajay Devgn and Tamannah Bhatia will disappoint the critics but has chances to get good box office collections owing to its good promotion. Sajid Khan surely needs to be honored with an IIM Ahmedabad MBA degree for getting audiences for this movie!
Ajay Devgn, (Ravi) is an action master who returns to his village to find his mother (Zarina Wahab) and sister (Leena Jumani) banished by the evil sarpanch Sher Singh (Mahesh Manjrekar) and his brother in law Narayan Das (Paresh Rawal).
How the action master along with his lover girl (Tamannah) tackles the odds with the help of divine mediation and a CG enhanced tiger is what the film is all about. Along the period, there are ample skits and scenes to compensate for the lack of a better plot and sense of logic.
Nonetheless, performances of certain characters make the film bearable. Paresh Rawal as Narayan Das is commendable. He literally reminds of the comic legend Kader Khan and his witty dialogues, something that has been missing in films these days. Rawal’s impeccable performance in the film proves that character artists are either not being used appropriately or rather being abused nowadays.
The props and the sets are in concurrence and the colors are jarring enough to remind of Doordarshan’s pre-telecast static screen days, but despite the trickery the black and white spoof on Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’ shower scene, what lacks is the right approach to making a regressive age old story of revenge and justice.
It is a film devoid of cinematic aesthetics. It seems that the filmmaker doesn’t really believe in winning applause from critics, for he makes films solely with the intention of entertaining the audiences.
Tamannaah Bhatia as Rekha looks promising. She is pretty, delicate and good at her job. And last but not the least, Ajay Devgn, without whom the film wouldn’t have been possible, will enthrall his fans yet again.
One is left confused when we hear lines like- ‘Main tumhe ek baar kho chuki hu, dubara nahi khona chahati,’ whether the film is a tribute to its era or is a spoof (when Ajay reminds Tamannah it’s the 80’s and she should tear her dupatta and cover his wound), or a cross breed of the both?
The film can bore you with tired cliches you thought you’d seen the last of – the hero’s ‘maa ki kasam’, his unfortunate sister who only exists to be raped by the villain’s henchmen and tortured by her in-laws, the villain’s spoilt but good-hearted daughter who falls for the hero much to her father’s disdain, and even an old foe who turns up at a crucial moment to help the hero in return for sparing his life earlier, that character, by the way, is played by a tiger!
Sajid makes an attempt to pay homage to the cinema of yore, but what he delivers makes you sit motionless for most parts. The romance lacks fire, the drama is devoid of intensity, even the action is plain ordinary.
Verdict: On the whole, Himmatwala fails as a film. Movie has over-the-top melodrama and number of senseless twists and turns. The film is too long to bear as the director has hardly experimented or done anything to add a path-breaking punch in the movie.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Ms. Jayalalithaa seems to have scored political runs on the Chennai wicket against the Sri Lankan players, in an attempt to garner public support ahead of elections. Her decision to call for protests against the participation of Sri Lankan players in the Indian Premier League is becoming a hot controversy. By declaring that the State government will permit the matches to be held in Chennai only if the organisers provided an undertaking that no Sri Lankan players, umpires, officials or support staff would participate in these matches, she has mixed up the two far apart poles- sports and politics.
But what’s astonishing to note is that, the IPL governing council has given into the demands and favored Ms. Jayalalithaa’s idea. Such a decision was least expected from the “good-samaritan-outlook” Council.
Undoubtedly, there will be long-term repercussions on this gentleman’s game. It is pertinent to note that India’s foreign policy has become shaky nowadays and is influenced by the state ministers. Ms. Jayalalithaa appears too eager to surrender her responsibilities. Far from extending assurances on the law and order front, she voiced her apprehension that the participation of Sri Lankan players “will aggravate an already surcharged atmosphere and further offend the sentiments of the people” of Tamil Nadu.
Why wasn’t this issue raked up in 2012, 2011 or 2010 during the then IPL matches? Just because the elections are scheduled in a couple of years, such ballyhoo has been created? Incidentally, DMK Supremo, M. Karunanidhi has voiced in the same line. If such is his plan of action, then he should prompt his grandson Kalanidhi Maran, to disband all Spicejet flights flying to Sri Lanka.
Sports is a medium where people come together and celebrate with each other. Why does one need to stop it? How are the International issues and this game of cricket connected? The effects of such divisive politics will surely deteriorate the game.
Ms. Jayalalithaa’s interference in a sporting event and its organiser’s meek surrender will only create more animosity between New Delhi and Colombo and will do little against the Rajapaksha regime. Former Sri Lankan cricket captain, Arjuna Ranatunga has already raised his voice on this and has expressed desire for pulling out of Sri Lankan players from the whole tournament. The tit-for-tat politics will achieve nothing at the end of the day. We will only end up creating another Kashmir-like situation in south. The human rights violation in Sri Lanka is for the Sinhalese and the Tamils in that country to settle and not the responsibility of populist Indian parties who do nothing but create more controversies for the country.
Disclaimer: The following piece is not aimed to create hatred or instigate someone. It is based on secondary research, as well as on the narrations of the people, which I had witnessed when I visited Kashmir in December 2012.
In the region of Kupwara, there lies two villages-Kunan and Poshpora. They are so close that people no longer call them by their individual names. Everyone knows this two-in-one village as Kunan Poshpora.
Many of the individuals may be aware of this village, for its infamous reason, but some do need to know about its tale.
On February 23th, 1991, for the people of this village, the night didn’t end.
It was a cold night, when men from the 68th Brigade of the Fourth Rajputana Rifles, a regiment of the Indian Army, surrounded Kunan Poshpora for a ‘cordon and search operation’. Such operations – also known as ‘crackdowns’ – were a common occurrence in the 1990’s in Kashmir.
The procedure followed was wrenching of men out of their homes, and most operations took place in the night, beginning around 10 or 11 pm and lasting till the morning.
In the text of the 2011 judgment on ‘Complaints regarding Kunan Poshpora atrocities lodged by victims and inhabitants of the Village V/s J&K State and Others,’ passed by the J&K State Human Rights Commission (JKSHRC) there came a number of findings.
“Analyzing the statements of all the witnesses/victims it transpires that at about 10 to 11 pm in the night, security personnel cordoned the village. The men folk of the village were ordered to come out and were confined in a Kothar [store houses]. Then small groups of security forces comprising of 2/4/5/6 personnel made their forced entry into the houses. They consumed/had consumed liquor and then gagged the mouths of the victims and committed forced gang rape against their will and consent. The personnel from the security forces had actually turned into beasts and had lost their sense of reasoning as even minor girls of 8 years of age of some of the victims were also ravished. Actually Security forces had come with the intent to ravish the chastity of all the women folk of village Kunan Poshpora and had not cordoned the village to flesh out any militant(s) (sic). The security forces did not even took notice of the presence of minor children who were only crying and witnessing their gory and shameful act (sic). The indecent incident continued approximately till 3/4 AM in the night. There was a police man namely Abdul Gani from the village who tried to raise SOS alarm for help from the loudspeaker of the local mosque, but later on he too was killed by the army personnel so that all the evidence against them is whipped off (sic). After regaining consciousness in early morning the victims found their all clothes were torned out (sic).The victims have been suffering from various mental and physical disorder and trauma since they were subjected to forced rape.”
The story of a woman named Bakhti, was widely quoted, who was assaulted by six soldiers. “One by one, they raped me, while my five year old son was forced to watch, weeping beside the bed.”
The then Divisional Commissioner, Wajahat Habibullah led a team comprising of a Colonel from Army HQ, a commandant of the Border Security Force, the Deputy Commissioner of Kupwara district and the Superintendent of Police, Kupwara. After gathering statements from 41 women, he decided that there was sufficient cause for a more detailed enquiry and suggested as much in his report to the Governor. He said- “While the veracity of the complaint is highly doubtful, it still needs to be determined why such complaint was made at all. The people of the village are simple folk and by the Army’s own admission have been generally helpful and even careful of security of the Army’s officers. Unlike Brig. Sharma I found many of the village women genuinely angry. It is recommended that the level of investigation be upgraded to that of a gazetted police officer.”
Woman is regarded as sacred only till her chastity is safe. Once she has met the air of unsacred and illegitimate atmosphere, none is ready to give her space in society, not even the people who share blood relations with her.
Later, the government asked the Press Council of India to look into the claims. BG Verghese, a former editor of the Hindustan Times and The Indian Express, and K. Vikram Rao, also a senior journalist, visited Kashmir twice: once towards the end of May, and once in June, for a total of 9 days. There was a third member, Hind Samachar editor Jamnadas Akhtar, who, because of his old age, couldn’t make the journey. They said-
“The Kunan rape story on close examination turns out to be a massive hoax, orchestrated by militant groups and their sympathizers and mentors in Kashmir and abroad as part of a sustained and cleverly contrived strategy of psychological warfare and as an entry point for re-inscribing Kashmir on the international agenda as a human rights issue. The loose ends and contradictions in the story expose a tissue of lies by many persons at many levels.”
During my conversation with my driver in Kashmir, Ariz, he told how sudden curfews were imposed and the families would be uncertain whether their son would return home, after buying milk for their grandson. The point I want to make is that, it is true that counter offensive by the Indian forces have diluted the level of militancy, but at the same time they are losing the trust in the local population. Every local person I met during my stay had a word against the military and the police. First of all, such ill-practices of rape should be treated with stringent actions against the culprits and secondly, the police and forces should try and get involved with the locals, as it would help them in gaining their trust, and contribute more towards normalcy in the disputed area.
Yes. This incident is still afresh in the minds of the people of Kashmir. And probably, it will always be.