Thursday, November 30, 2006

Batman Returns !!!

The return of Saurav Ganguly to the Indian test team can be attributed more to the dismal performance of Suresh Raina and company than to the decent performances of Ganguly in domestic cricket.The furore raised in the Parliament has also had a role to play in his re-entry.There is not an iota of doubt that Ganguly has been the best captain that India has produced in recent times and the wins notched by India under his leadership stand ample testimony to that.Ganguly also has an enviable one day record and among Indian players only Sachin and Dravid have better or comparable records.
The major question remains as to what will be the fallout of Ganguly's return on the players in general and team management in particular.The bad vibes between Greg Chappell and Ganguly are known to one and all.As two mature individuals it is expected that they would be able to sidestep past issues and work in unison for team's success.
The injury to Yuvraj Singh should have resulted in automatic selection of Ganguly but the selectors played a waiting game and now they have egg on their face.Ganguly should have been in the one day squad as he is a much better one day player than a test player.It is not to suggest that the results would have been different if Ganguly was in the team but atleast it would have provided India better options than playing two wicketkeepers in the same team.All said and done, Ganguly still would have to play out of his skin to justify his selection and make a bid for a place in world cup squad ,otherwise South Africa may turn out to be his last huraah !!!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Mob Violence !!!

Yesterday some anti-social elements vandalised a statue of Dr.B.R.Ambedkar in the sleepy Kanpur and all hell broke loose in far way Maharastra.The so called dalit activists gave vent to their anger by destroying public property and disturbing law and order situation.Its not that this is a one off phenomenon, it has been happening quite frequently now a days.Our media friends stoke the fire by reporting half truths and reporting incidents in a way that will arouse extreme passions.'Peaceful protest' has become an oxymoron ,as protests of any kind are invariably followed by violence.When the Kannada superstar 'Rajkumar' died and that too of natural causes ,there was an outpouring of grief ...quite understandable but the kind of violence that followed it was senseless to say the least.Is this the way to bid farewell to a loved one ?
And this is by no means limited to India ..... the cartoon row that erupted over the publication of 'offensive cartoons'(again an oxymoron as cartoons are not to be taken seriously afterall)by a danish newspaper and later on by other newspapers across Europe is a case in point.Violent reactions were reported from across the globe,people participated in protests without even having seen the cartoons....the unruly protests only reinforced the stereotypes that the protesters were trying to protest against.
The point is that being in a mob provides a person the shield of annonymity which makes him do things which he would not do individually.Many times the media persons also egg on the protesters to do something dramatic so that it makes for better newsbyte.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Case Study !!!

Three high profile cases were the centre of attention yesterday.All of them have been in news for quite some time now.It must have come as a big relief for Sanjay Dutt fans and well wishers that he has been aquitted of TADA related charges and will be prosecuted only under the milder Arms Act.The case has carried on for over thirteen years and this in itself is a scathing comment on the state of crime investigation and judicial proceedings.Prolonged delay has become the norm as far as court cases are concerned.
In the Nitish Katara murder case ,things have finally started moving with the coming of prime witness Bharati Yadav.She has an ethical dilemma in front of her,whether she takes a stand against her brother or betrays a person who lost his life just because she loved him.I hope that she tells the truth but we all know that she will only say what she has been doctored to say.No one doubts that Vikas Yadav and his henchmen killed Nitish Katara but in the end he may walk scotfree because of shoddy investigation,hostile witnesses and money power.
Finally Shibu Soren has created history by becoming the first sittting Union Minister to be convicted on murder charges.Manmhohan Singh`s clean image gets cleaned up every now and then by his cabinet colleagues .Though the conviction does prove that the wheels of law move very slowly but it does move.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Breach of Privilege ???

The demand to bring a privilege motion against Greg Chappell by our (dis)honourable MPs is foolhardy to say the least.Every person who follows the game with some degree of interest knows that India has never performed well in South Africa,the last world cup being the only exception.This is not to suggest that we should be mentally prepared to lose matches,but there should be a sense of proportion.The MPs will do well to discuss and deliberate on issues that are much more important than winning or losing in a cricket match.Instead of demanding Chappell`s head as a bounty ,why not demand accountability from BCCI.Where the crores of rupees are being spent and what is the need for Union Agriculture Minister to head the BCCI.But these questions will not provide cheap publicity to politicians and TRPs to news channels.
The argument that they are representatives of people and have a right to vent their grievances does not pass muster in this case.While criticism is and should be welcomed but making unreasonable demands and displaying mob mentality is certainly not welcome.Greg Chappell is being made a scapegoat in the whole episode but what about the players who are not performing on the field.Anyone who thinks that just by removing Chappell ,the fortunes of Indian Team will improve are living in a make believe world of cricket fantasy.
The news media as always has got the soundbytes by stoking the fire on both sides and distortion of statements.Chappell made a very innocuous statement that politicians have a job to speak and are paid for it.This was distorted by our media friends and a caption was given "MPs par bhadke Chappell" which is quite far from what he actually said.After creating the controversy out of nothing the same news media is asking questions why is there politics in cricket and cricket in politics.My question - why is there no ethics in coverage of news ?

Sunday, November 26, 2006

News Hounds !!!

The increase in the number of news channels has a direct correlation with the falling journalistic standards. One look at the various programmes being shown on news channels especially Star News,Zee News and AAj Tak will leave no doubt that news has been overtaken by commerce.Aaj Tak took the cake when it ran a news story showing an indica car running on Delhi streets without a driver on prime-time for two hours . There was lot of serious discussion on the studio to explain this supernatural phenomenon and viewers also called in to share their experiences. It finally came to light that it was a case of driver with unusually long legs who was driving the car from the passenger seat,but by then AAj Tak had got what it wanted all the time viewer attention and TRP ratings.
Not only this,the news channels are also trying to propagate superstition among the masses .I recently happened to watch a programme on Zee News whereby one cleric was being projected as a person who can cure cancer.Now "faith healing" is something which most people accept as an alternative form of therapy .But the question remains whether news channels should indulge in promoting treatments or religious beliefs which have no scientific basis.
In most cases of mob violence ,media is as guilty if not moreso of providing the oxygen of publicity to trouble mongers and anti-social elements.
Its hightime that news channels do some kind of self introspection and put in place a mechanism for self-censorship.The race for TRP ratings by hook or crook must end .

Friday, November 24, 2006

Tame surrender !!!

The spineless performance by Indian team has reinforced the view that Indian cricketers are tigers at home and lambs abroad.But the way they have been performing in recent times calling Indian team tigers at home will be according them way too much respect.Winning and losing are part and parcel of the game but what hurts is the unwillingness to put up a fight .
The Indian media especially the TV news channels are also doing a disservice to the game .Their reporting is totally guided by TRP considerations and their only aim is to sensationalise things.Sometimes back Ganguly was targeted and hounded out of the team as if only he was personally responsible for the failings of Team India.Now the same media which earlier was all praise for Chappell`s experiments is finding fault with his every move and gunning for his head.
Its high time that we realise that Indian cricketers brought up on low and slow Indian pitches are sitting ducks on fast,seaming pitches .BCCI is only interested in minting money and is packed with politicians and sycophants.Unless some drastic steps are taken to improve pitches and standard of cricket at domestic level ,hoping for an Indian win in foreign conditions will remain a pipe-dream.