Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hypocrisy personified

Shiv Sena leaders who have protested vehemently against Australian cricketers playing in India (as violence against Indians mount in Australia) are either morons who have no brains or they are the worst hypocrites. There is a good possibility they are both. While they think they are justified in striking out at outsiders (outside of Maharastra) looking to make a living in Mumbai, they do not apply the same yardstick when it comes to other nations. Please, I am not justifying the violence against Indians. I am just saying there could be insecurities/resentment at the obvious riches of Indians who have gone there under various visa programs but ultimately made it rich there (or at least started making a living) while some of the natives are out of a job. Isn't this similar to the cause that Shiv Sena purportedly brings to the streets (literally). Now why would a party that supports violence against supposed intruders/trespassers who supposedly usurp the rights of Marathi Manoos take up the cause of Indians abroad who are just that. Aliens/Intruders seen taking over the jobs that are usually snatched from the natives. Just to make myself clear, this post is not a justification for violence in Australia but about the double standards of our politicians.

No Pak in IPL 3? Disgrace or Retribution?

Much furor over the supposed slight to Pakistani cricketers in the bidding process of IPL3 makes an interesting read. On one side of the divide are the proponents who claim that people to people contact across borders will help reduce tension and build bridges. Do not count me as one of the opponents yet, but I find it strange that after so many years of people to people contact, the samjhauta express and various other initiatives including the pakistani players in IPL season I & II, the supposed "reduction in tensions" could not prevent a 26/11. If what the proponents want is we continue to build bridges while Pakistan continues to chip away at the very basic fabric of our society, I beseech them to think again. The 26/11 attacks were meant to serve multiple purposes. They indiscriminately fired at people irrespective of their religion but they also targeted jews and other non-muslim communities. They let the followers of muslim faith go free in the Taj hotel while they mercilessly kill other hostages. This would have caused a chasm between the communities in India if it wasn't for the very strong disapproval of these attacks by the leaders of Islam. Clerics not only criticized the attacks but they also labeled the attacks misguided and unislamic. While all investigative reports point a finger to Pakistan, Pakistan proclaims itself also to be a victim of terrorism that they brought forth and allowed it to fester. While some in India smugly gloat over the Frankenstein phenomenon, we lose track of the apparent inaction by the Pakistani governament. They ask for understanding and patience while we keep reading of more purported attacks. And India continued to bestow MFN status to Pakistan and investing heavily in trade across the border. While all this has come to a naught in reducing tensions, let the proponents not try to convince us that by encouraging sportsmen/artists from across the border, we have a shot at long lasting peace and harmony. Let us not play ball with Pakistan (literally) while the blood of 26/11 victims is still fresh in our minds.

Eat humble pie, Sehwag

Sehwag was made to eat humble pie today. His rash statement "Bangladesh are an ordinary side" earlier before the start of the test matches seems to have backfired. Pushed to the wall in the first innings on the first day Indian managed to claw back into the match by dismissing Bangladesh 1 run short of India's first innings total. Today, the insecurity of losing to a "lowly" Bangladesh team made Sehwag create a seemingly unbeatable target even willing to settle for a draw rather than aggressively pushing for a win. He has to learn the fine art of diplomacy that is required for captaincy. His nonchalant belligerent attitude on the batting track is not suitable for all occasions and definitely not for the subtlety required for a leader. Of course, there is a very good chance we might still win the match with Bangladesh needing 348 runs on the final day and India needing 8 wickets. But it s the manner in which we declared after setting a target of 415 for the last innings that betrays the nervousness in Sehwag.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Why cricket?

Why is our nation fascinated by the game of Cricket, I often wondered. The answer (or part of the answer) hit me today as I was watching the news. The news ran the following lines (not in that particular order)
1) Two ministers watch while a cop was bleeding to death (hacked by a ex-cop and some miscreants)
2) Shashi Taroor being chastigated for his comments on Nehru and Gandhi and he giving the usual "I was misquoted" line.
3) Deve Gowda, the former PM, using unparliamentary language against the current CM of Karnataka, Yedurappa
4) The Indian hockey team going on strike with compensation differences. So, instead of practising they will now go on strike irrespective of the world cup in February. The captain proudly (??) claims that its a unanimous decision and the entire team (for once??) agreed.
5) Racist attacks in australia and blasting the govt. of australia for what is percieved here to be a lack of action or re-action on their behalf. Did we ever think of our action in all the molestation cases against foriegners.
6) Some more muck uncovered in the Ruchika case. The 14 year old girl who was molested by the top cop who commited suicide 15 years ago.
7) India beat Sri Lanka in the league match of the Tri-Nation series to reach the finals (where they play Sri Lanka again)
Take your pick, what would you be fascinated with?