INDIA AND PAKISTAN

‘Neighbours, but still tension prevails more than peace; same physiological conditions , still hatred prevails more than love’ - This has been the tale of India - Pakistan relations so far. Each time a new government is crowned in India and each time the power shifts between politicians and the military in Pakistan, the whole globe awaits the decisions of each of these countries about the relations between each other. It is worth mentioning that from Vajpayee to Dr. Singh, nothing of some value has turned up from the High Level talks. All these talks have been more of a custom than any sincere initiative to calm down the region and thereby provide a threshold to progress.

The most evident aspect of the attitude of these nations to each other is the frequency of cricket matches between these countries. In both these nations, cricket is a religion of the majority or even more. Avoiding cricket matches between themselves is a strong move to make the hatred known. It is India, who appears to be more interested in this kind of a move. It is interesting that India has neither hosted nor visited Pakistan after the 2008 incidents except once, which was more a way to restore its pride after a continuum of losses than a move to encourage cooperation. After a long time it was announced a few weeks back that bilateral series between India and Pakistan would be restored next calendar year, the latest happenings brings back a question mark to the statement.

Now, the ascend of Narendra Modi as the Indian  Prime Minister, was believed to trigger more tensions in the border. But,  nothing has gone hot yet! Instead, it was seen that he started meetings and peace talks from the scratch. When things were expected to be as usual, he stepped back from the meetings after the Pakistan High Commissioner met the separatists in Kashmir. Though it was routine, as Pakistan claims, Modi seems to be upset with it and wants it changed. This is the trouble in assessing this relationship- one can  never guess what it would be like the next moment! When everything seems  to be on track , something comes up. From Mumbai terror attack to the latest Pakistan High Commissioner’s meeting with the separatists in Kashmir, all these factors have spoiled it. Peace seems to  hate this part of the world altogether

We have for sure fallen hands down to the trap set by the British to prevent the growth and development of the region. The policy of Divide and Rule was a great success, right from the case of Bengal to that of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The way they split India into a Hindu nation and a Muslim nation did the trick and India is still developing. No other nation in the world would have matched India’s wealth and now we still striving to be one of the ‘Riches’. We need to break the stereotypes and rise.

Whatever be, the common man continues to believe that sooner or later a positive decision would be made. For Indians, it is that his children would have the right to draw an Indian map with Her head held high and for Pakistanis that terror and blame game on Kashmir would end, irrespective of whether Kashmir is India’s or Pakistan’s. But, still, a solution seems to be very far.

 

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A BLACK CAT BEING A BAD OMEN

 Traditional and orthodox practices are still very much prevalent in most part of the country. It mostly evolves from the old Hindu families. Unlike all the other religions, Hinduism carries many odd beliefs. A black cat is one such character that proves to be an ill omen. In contrast a white dove is the symbol of peace and is a good omen.

In states like Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the first and foremost question that old people would ask the survivors of a vehicle accident would be whether they have seen some black cat crossing the road ahead of their vehicle. It has become so much accepted in these parts even the educated youth seems to follow these practices.

But, is there any fact in this? There seems to be none! In fact, scientifically, both white and black cats have the same sort of physical and mental structure that they can hardly influence human beings in entirely different ways. Also, the intensity, and the effect thereby induced on the human eye, due to white and black colours scarcely makes any difference. And most of the people believe that there is nothing like a white cat being superior to a black one.

But, some people claim that there is some fact in black cats being ill omen. Their argument is that due to repeated saying that the black members of the Felix family are not good omens, negative energy is generated in people when they come across black cats. This energy has its own impact on the individual and it can eventually have negative effects. Even in the case of this argument, the fault is not on the part of the animal, but on the part of man, who has tagged the phrase ill omen with the poor animal since time immemorial.

A  remarkably humorous way of characterising black cats are by stating that these beings are the second birth of ‘unsatisfied’ human souls. In short, this argument says that these poor animals are ghosts. In most of the Malayalam films, black cats with shining eyes are the ghosts. Small children in this part of the country get startled and start to cry when they come across black cats.

It is just the outcome of man’s thought process wherein he symbolises white as the colour of new beginnings, positivity and peace. On the other hand black is considered the colour of negativity, witch’s magic and ignorance. This arises from nothing but the thought that darkness is virtueless, while with light (white), darkness( black) is removed. In fact, black is the colour capable of absorbing negative energy and creates positive environment. But, man never tries to understand this and go ahead by conventions.

Poor Felix! What else can be commented on these miserable animals than being termed as ill omens by the ruling species of the planet?

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MUMBAI INDIANS: THE GAME CHANGERS

If there is something called twenty20 cricket, then this is it! If there is something called a cricket team, then this is it! If there is something called spirit, then this is it! and, if there is someone who can be called champions, then MUMBAI INDIANS it is……..!

Wow! What a game of cricket. It is no more that game where precise movement of the feet qualified by a calculated swing of the bat at the right moment takes away a well swung ball pitched at the right spot by the bowler. It is no more that game, where you wait for a loose delivery to happen. It is that game where nothing less than the spirit of the game and the situation that controls you. Cricket has evolved, evolved, evolved and evolved to become what Mumbai Indians played against the Rajasthan Royals.

The batting performance from the Rajasthan Royals was nothing short of a classy innings. Sanju V Samson and Karun Nair took the game away from the Mumbai Indians just like the snap of the fingers. Copy book shorts from Sanju had no trouble to face even from the top class deliveries of quality spinners like Harbhajan Singh and Pragyan Ojha. Karun Nair, on the other hand, was blazing hot with whatever he felt like doing in the crease. This partnership meant that most of the viewers other than RR and MI fans switched off their television as their was little point in believing that this mammoth total would be chased down by the unstable MI lineup.

But, what was unbelievable has happened now. Mi has chased down the total in just 87 balls! The intent from the MI was just evident from the very first ball that Lendl Simmons smashed for a boundary. Just as Mumbai were cutting loose and had scored over 60 within five years, they had lost three wickets. Just after that Rohit fell as well. So, it was happening- Mumbai was going for the kill and as usual they were loosing wickets at the right interval. From here on what happened is something that happen only in dreams.

Ambati Rayudu and Corey Anderson were smashing six after six, with a few boundaries to form the icing. They were smashing the cricket balls just like hitting away tennis balls. They just made the unbelievable happen! When Rayudu was run out in the 86th ball, it was thought that the bewildering effort has gone in vain. Even when the screen showed that a boundary in the next ball would win Mumbai the match, it was doubted whether Tare can score a first ball boundary under this pressure situation. But, even a Faulkner delivery was smashed into the stance and Mumbai sealed their win.

All those who have turned their heads against IPL after the incidents last year, see what is cricket. A few rotten apples, cannot rot the whole pack, if it is picked out at the right moment. Well, this is cricket. With Sachin, Rhodes, Kumble, Pollock, John Wright and all their players among the ranks, Mumbai has done what they are capable and what they have so far done only on papers. Thank you Mumbai Indians for the treat. You deserve the trophy again!

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RELIGION, CASTE AND POLITICS

After the huge success of the biggest democratic process in the world, India is getting ready to install her latest government. Even Mr. Obama congratulated India for completing the election in a competent manner. But, after it has all resided it is now the time to evaluate ourselves and create the report card of the behaviour of our leaders during the election campaigning. To be very frank, we need to realise that a majority of the candidates were very much below the standards.

If not with the ‘To Be’ Prime Minister candidate, then with whom shall we start? In Varanasi, the techniques he employed went very far from the nation’s habitual standards. We are a Hindu majority nation, but we have always shown the quality to accept different religions and consider them all equal. That is why we could accept the arrival of Mughals and empowering us. We did not worry a lot on foreigners bringing in religions like Judaism, Christianity, etc. with them and establishing their places of worship on our soil. We rooted the formation and growth of religions like Buddhism and Jainism and never obstructed its growth. But all of a sudden the Prime Ministerial candidate in his campaigning requests for votes under the label of being a hindu and because he is from a lower caste. It is really true that with people of Varanasi, campaigning with international issues might not yield the same results it would with people elsewhere. Whatever be, there should be some limitation on the use of religion and caste to gather votes.

This is not the case with our destined PM alone. This has been a common scenario all around the nation. In almost all the constituencies candidates use caste and religion as a tool which often seems to be pitiful. Some constituencies in the country have been earmarked as the fortress of particular castes, where a candidate from some other religion would fail for sure. Even the political parties pay immense care while deploying some candidate in these constituencies. This helps to fulfill the theory the framers of our constitution had in mind while drafting it. It ensures participation of all sects of the society. But doesn’t it carry some negative influence regarding the message we deliver to the generation next about our culture.

Its high time we think about it. It is not a college student from some end of the country who should think and jot down about it. But, it is the so called policy makers who need to frame a policy for themselves about the way they would behave in public. And there is something that all these politicians should realise- that there is a growing generation watching them. But they are not as traditional as the previous generations were. Current youth are ready to air their voice when needed!  

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MANMOHAN SINGH: A CHAINED EAGLE

The 2004 elections saw the sudden rise of an economist into the top most slot of the Indian Government, below the President of India- Dr. Manmohan singh. There is even a tale behind the evolution of Dr. Singh into the Prime Ministerial post. It is said that the Chairperson of UPA,  Sonia Gandhi, phoned him over while Dr. Singh was in a plane journey and asked him if he could lead the UPA government. This tale may or may not be true, but it states that Dr. Singh was not thought of as the PM candidate before the elections. Whatever be, that particular choice of Sonia Gandhi had a lot of significance as much as the nation is considered.

If not for the leadership of Dr. Singh, India would have seen the biggest of the falls during the economic recession of the first decade of this century that reached its peak in 2008. But, even when  US fell steeply, the whole world saw India standing tall and nice. All the important decisions taken by the UPA ministry ensured that India overcome the recession safely. It was nothing but the decisions of Dr. Singh, the seasoned economist, that controlled the impact of the phenomenon on the nation. And, all the more important, when India tackled the recession quite comfortably, it reduced the intensity of the recession. And this helped the cause of recovery even for US, the strongest economy in the world.

From just a growing economy, India was titled to be the third biggest economy in the world, a few days before Dr. Singh handed over his resignation letter to The President. This is not a small achievement, given that no other Prime Minister could make India achieve prosperity as much as Dr. Singh could. It is important to note that Dr. Singh achieved this when the whole world blames the nation for immense growth of population without ensuring the availability of enough resources to sustain this population.

But, it is also a fact that the PM was nothing more than a puppet during his second term at the helm. With corruption charges on Raja, Kanimozhi, SP Tyagi, Suresh Kalmadi,  VK Singh and so on disrupted the harmony that Dr. Singh had developed during his first term. Even though Dr. Singh is accepted all around as a real pandit, he had little say in all these as a negative response could have forced his resignation. Heading a coalition, he sure had to ensure that he did not respond strictly to all these and maintained silence in public. With very little public address during the second term, he was painting his own image as a puppet.

DR. Singh, who realised that 2014 elections would either result in a huge majority for the NDA or a coalition again, took the best possible decision to declare that he would step down whatever the results of the election may be. He did not want to become a puppet again. This reveals the pressure he had borne the past few years. He could not resign, as he had to uphold the confidence of Smt. Gandhi. He could not allow corruption to go on either because he would then be treated as a PM voted out by the parliament. The only choice he had was to keep silent until his term came to an end, which is exactly what he did.

One thing is for sure, India never had the luck to use Dr. Singh to his full potential, which would have simply made India the strongest and the recession resistant economy in the world. Not realising the potential of this man, which was of course painted black by the opposition, the Indian population voted him out of power and brought in Narendra Modi. The ability of Narendra Modi at the helm can be only rated as time passes by. But, Dr. Singh proved what he is capable of, even within all the limitations he had.

And for one last line, Dr. Sing deserved more applause and laurel and so far, there has been no other man who could outrun him at the Prime Minister’s Office.  Continue reading

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AFTER THE HEAT…..

Thinking about the past few weeks makes me proud and sad at the same time. It makes me proud in the sense that my nation, the biggest ever democracy in the world, India, has successfully completed the biggest ever election in the history of the planet. It makes me sad, disappointed and desperate that my nation, including all the small children part of our huge population, witnessed our politicians abusing each other on the basis of party and profession and most importantly caste and religion.

I am really glad that my nation is going to be steered forward by a government with ruling majority on its own. After 15 long years, my nation is at last ready to shrug away coalition governments. Now, the Prime Minister need not be a puppet. We all saw how a real genius, Dr. Manmohan Singh, was spoiled away by a coalition government. In fact, he was a human who would have been remembered by the world as one of the best ruler the globe ever saw. But he was relegated to just a puppet by the UPA. Now, Mr. Narendra Modi has the freedom to take over the nation as a ruler who needs to consider nothing but ‘DHARMA’.

But, this all the more puts heavy responsibility on his shoulders that the nation would not forgive him, if his government were to consider some mistake. It is now the time for the man, who claims to be a tea vendor, to prove that he will always be there for the common man. Ii is now that Modi should prove that his developments in Gujarat was not something that went with the tide of movements in Gujarat, but his  initiative that has now borne fruits.

Also, Modi has to prove that his secular attitude, which he had spoken off during his campaigning, remains so till the end of his term. He needs to ensure that he rejects recommendations that would stir religious riots in the nation, even if it arises from the RSS. But, with the spirited support of BJP and RSS, let us be sure of something that the intervening of foreign powers in the nation’s steering would rapidly decrease and the level of tolerance towards Pakistan would fall steeply.

All his proposals about the bullet train services linking all the important parts of the nation, Sustained growth in the value of Rupee, development of enough opportunities for the young and empowering women needs to be taken proper care of as the public has paid a lot of trust on the BJP and that is the strongest of the reasons for electing BJ into power.

All the aspiring youth of the nation can now dream of a secured future because the nation has now landed in the hands of a strong government. We can now hope that our dreams become fulfilled. We can now believe that India becomes the last ranked among the nations bathed in corruption and the same time becomes top ranked among the developed nations. Sweet and short, the next five years count a lot in our future.

 

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YUVRAJ SINGH: A LOSER OR AN ‘OUT OF TOUCH’ PRINCE?

On 19th september 2007, South Africa saw one of the most astonishing innings it has ever seen. A lad, 26 years old, walked in. With his bat, he smashed the cricket ball around, all flying. All the balls in the 18th over enjoyed a free flight into the stands.  He had done the same earlier in Under 15 and Under 19 World Cups for his national side. He repeated his special performance  at the international level, time and again, and proved his worth over and over again. The Natwest series in England, which he clinched back after a nail biting match from England, with a partnership alongside  Mohammad Kaif, established his importance in the side. He was the best fielder in the Gangulian team. And now, all of a sudden, he has become a villain……………..!

 

Yes, its none other than the PRINCE OF PUNJAB - YUVRAJ SINGH. There is absolutely nothing better to watch than Yuvi at his blistering best. Even against the fastest of bowlers, just a flick of the wrist and then you see the spectators throwing in the ball from the stands. Bowl to Yuvraj on the leg stump, and you will have to collect the ball from the boundary. It is nothing but his heroics that took India into the finals of the 2011 ICC WORLD CUP CRICKET all the way from the group stage. Those innings against Australia and West Indies and his bowling, against almost all the teams, still remains a golden feather in the Indian World Cup triumph.

 

And, now, a single knock that did not rise to the occasion has become a terrible accident to have happened. The same man who was hailed as a prince has now become a villain. Amidst all the blames on Yuvi, people tend to forget that he is a human as well. They seem to forget that he has just returned from the deadliest of diseases. They seem to forget that he is the person who had set the trend of flying in the field before the indian children and cricket aspirants. How can they forget that he has for long been the most trusted batsman for India at no. 05? How can pelting stones at his house for one bad performance, for a bad day at office, be justified? Of course it was the worst possible time for such a costly error. But he deserves kindness and trust. He deserves to be backed by his fans while he is at the wrong end of fortunes.

 

It is high time that we, the fans, realise that cricket is a game and that it  is played by humans and not super humans. We got to accept that even  these superstars are bound to commit mistakes. Criticism, when healthy,  is very good. Even the great Sachin Tendulkar has had to face it. But  pelting stones can occupy only the lowest rung in the ladder of decency.  Yuvraj Singh, we are sorry. It was nothing but our desperateness taking  the form of aggression. We are really sorry that you were at the receiving  end. SORRY…. SORRY…. SORRY….!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CRICKET AS A SPORT AND AS A RELIGION

 

‘Haven’t you got anything to study? All the time you would be in front of the television watching all these people hitting a ball with a stick. What do you think you get from this?’ This is a common question in almost all the houses in India with kids. What is more interesting is that the adult, who has just shouted at the kid, would have been as much enthusiastic and excited about cricket, as the child is, in his childhood days. But now

cricket has become a waste to him. It has become just like any other sport. What could be the reason?

 

For almost all the kids around, Sachin Tendulkar is their role model, Yuvraj is their most favourite cricketer and Virat Kohli is the synonym for glamour. This is quite usual because it is in a country called India that they are born. Here cricket is a religion. At least the highlights of some match are a must for the survival in this country. A Bharat Ratna for scientist Rao makes little impact here. But one for Sachin Tendulkar becomes a national celebration here. Might be Indians are becoming mad here, but our emotional attachment to cricket is as tall as Mt. Everest, if not taller.

 

Almost all the kids in the country breathe cricket. Cricket is their food. The most common scene in India during the vacations and holidays is that of children playing cricket, wherever a strip of flat land is available. Come the teenage, there is nothing more interesting as crickrt in india. A six hit by Dhoni would surely be a matter of debate in almost all the schools and colleges. At the age of twenty, watching cricket live in some stadium becomes something to boast about. But after this, cricket dies out. Why?

Once you grow up, you realise how cricket is being degraded as a market commodity. You realise that it is nothing but business. Moreover, Ajay Jadeja , Mohammad  Azharuddin, S. Sreesanth, etc. have taken away the faith we had in our team and our players. BCCI president Sreenivasan’s shameful descent from his ‘throne’ makes things even worse. Cricket has always been under the shadow of corruption and favouritism. Remember the Hansie Cronje issue? All these have made cricket like any other sport.

There should be some sort of a resurrection for cricket soon, very soon in fact. It should be good enough to raise cricket as a religion yet again. It should be able to revive the real love for cricket in Indians. It is not as easy as it seems. One has to work all over, from the scratch to do it. Hopefully appointing Sunil Gavaskar as the BCCI chief does the trick. ‘Long Live Cricket.’

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LIVE FOR FOOD OR FOOD FOR LIFE- A different approach

A question that has been troubling mankind ever since its origin - whether to live for food or to eat food just in order to sustain life. From the time immemorial, when Kumbhakarna, the brother of Ravana, the then emperor of erstwhile Lanka, used to feed for six months nonstop and sleep out the next six months to this day when i heard my neighbour shouting at his son and asking him “Is your life meant for eating food or will you ever find your means yourself”, this particular topic has been relevant.

 

When you see the poor children, the children of the street, if you are a human in the true sense, you would definitely feel sympathy towards them. Even a tinge of humanity, if present in you, should make your eyes wet. These children, the so called beggars, come and plead us for little money to buy food, to satisfy the cries of their stomach. Their goal is after all to find some means to get food whenever hungry. Yes, these people live for food.ou would definitely feel sympathy towards them. Even a tinge of humanity, if present in you, should make your eyes wet. These children, the so called beggars, come and plea

And then there is another group of people. They work day and night to fulfil their aims. It is said that Rajiv Gandhi used to sleep just around two to three hours and that he used to take food only when his schedule permitted him to do so. Mother Theresa never used to consume food unless she had fed all the others whom she was taking care of. We have also heard of the hard work Millikan had put in to establish that his Oil Drop experiment had not gone in vain. Sporting greats occasionally mention that they limit their food so as to suit their practice and match schedules. It can be assumed that these people have little affinity for food and that work is worship for them.

There is yet another group of people who have money and for whom having food does not cause trouble in their professional life. But still most of these people avoid food to take care of their beauty or health. The undertake diets just to maintain the slimness of their body. And some avoid food to balance diabetes and cholesterol troubles. These people would love to have food but their circumstances and ways of thinking do not allow them to do so.

A fact still remains that most of the people spend a majority of their income on food, if not at the home then outside in some restaurants or so. Most of the parties for celebrating some graceful occasion or some successful accomplishment are meant for serving food in the name of the happiness of the host. All these taken together and summed up, it feels that the heading should be changed from ‘whether to eat food as a basic necessity or to eat food as a luxury symbol’.

 

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