Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Making Peace With Anil Kumble .....

Kumble has been a fine cricketer over a long period of time for India and still remains India's best bet in spin department.Even his harshest critics ,and even i have been one,will have to concede that you cannot find a more tough competitor.Though he is classified as a legspinner ,he hardly spins the ball and has been ridiculed no end for his lack of ability to make the ball talk on unresponsive surfaces a la Shane Warne or a Muralitharan.But Kumble has converted his so called weakness into his strength by being accurate and unrelenting in his attack and in the process has got more than 500 test wickets.No mean achievement that.He bowled with a broken jaw in West Indies because he realised that the team counted on him ,and this is just one example of his grit.
Though ,the captaincy has come late in the day for Kumble ,it does seem that he is relishing this opportunity to lead the Indian side.The test series in Australia will be his trial by fire and the way he led from the front in taking 5 wickets on the opening day of the first test augurs well for India and for Kumble.
My animosity for Kumble dates back to the time when i was in school and had a chance encounter with the Indian team during a flight from Delhi to Calcutta.I approached him for an autograph during the flight like so many others and by then he must have had enough of his fans,so he refused to oblige me.And from then onwards i have been critical of his exploits ,but his performance today made me realise that maybe now its time to move on .Good luck Kumble !!!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Modi Rules

Finally,the Gujarat poll results are out and it is Narendra Modi ,who has single-handedly fashioned a BJP win against all odds.There are only two kinds of people when it comes to Modi ,those who admire him and those who hate him.Modi was fighting not only with his political opponents and party rebels but also with english media which was vitriolic in its attack.For all his follies ,one cannot wish away the fact that he has given good governance to Gujarat and unlike in 2002 when communal polarization held sway,this time it was not the case and even then he has managed to hold fort and that too in style.
Of all the people that Mr.Modi would be thanking for his victory ,the biggest thanks should go to Sonia Gandhi for terming him "Maut Ka Saudagar" and in the process giving him a handle to beat the Congress to bits.The ill advised rhetoric backfired and went a long way in consolidating pro-Modi voters.Another blunder was to project the terrorist Shorabuddin as some kind of martyr and his killing as an example of targeting of Muslims.Even Muslims would have taken umbrage at this line of reasoning where a dreaded terrorist was turned into an icon of sorts.Despite losing badly to Modi led BJP ,there was no let up in the show of sycophancy by Congress leaders who blamed everything under the sun except for "Madame".

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Surviving Delhi !!!

The first and foremost rule to survive in Delhi is to let go of any trace of politeness and courtesy because it would immediately identify you as a stranger to the city.If you want respect in Delhi then you have to make sure that you treat everybody with total disrespect and if you can complement it with two three choicest abuses all the better.While driving ,it is a must that you should gesticulate wildly and shower abuses at the driver of the other cars and pedestrians ,more so if it is you who is at mistake.All this may sound a bit over the top ,but the sad truth is that it is very close to reality.Civic sense is alien to the denizens of Delhi and we all who live in Delhi are in some ways responsible for this sorry state of affairs.Not long ago ,Delhi was branded as the rape capital of the country and it still remains one of the most unsafe places for women despite having a women as Chief Minister(Sheila Dixit) and Sonia Gandhi as a resident of National Capital Territory.

Single and Confused ....

There was a time not long back when i used to flaunt my single status and felt comfortable with it.Most of my friends were single too and future looked full of possibilities.But as time has passed by,most of the friends have got engaged and some have gone even further by marrying or announcing their plans to marry.Even this was fine with me as it is their life and i am in my own way happy for them.But few days back while attending a treat given by a friend of mine ,i was in for a rude shock.My single status made me feel not just out of place but also put me at the receiving end of some light hearted banter.
I know for a fact that there are many people out there who are single and by choice (very important).But as you start gaining in age this tribe starts dwindling.Most of my friends who are engaged always tell me how lucky i am not to be engaged ,but now i have serious doubts about this claim.Maybe the grass is greener on the other side for everybody or maybe not.But how can one know without changing ones status and that is something easier said than done.First of all you got to find the right person which by no means is easy and when you do find the right person she is already engaged(bad) or married(worse) sending you back to square one.I know that being in a relationship is no easy task ,it requires you to be everything that you are not in real life (maybe that is the fun part!).For now, I choose to be my real self !

Monday, December 10, 2007


You can like him or hate his guts but one thing you simply cannot do is ignore Saurav Ganguly.He has seen the best of days as skipper of winning Indian team and faced the worst of times as a struggling batsman unable to conjure up a decent score on board.Its not that he has just played well in the last two innings but the fact remains that he has been playing consistently well and putting up decent scores.And what makes it special is that he knows that he was just one poor test match away from being discarded by the wise men of Indian cricket.Not many people believed that Ganguly would make a comeback after the Greg Chappell fiasco ,but he has proved all his critics wrong and that too in style.But the real test for him and the strong on paper Indian batting line up would come against the Australians in their backyard.Last time it was Ganguly's 144 in Brisbane test against the run of the play that not only saved India the blushes in that test match but also gave Indians an edge over the Aussies in the series.One hopes that Ganguly,Sachin,Dravid and Laxman would put up a show in Australia befitting their stature in world cricket and in the process teach the Australians a lesson or two !

Thursday, December 6, 2007

December 6 !

Every year the news channels go into a frenzy and security agencies into high alert mode when this date approaches.On 6th december 1992,a sordid chapter in hindu-muslim relations was enacted when the disputed structure in Ayodhya was brought down by the kar-sevaks with tacit support from the ruling dispensation in Uttar Pradesh.But the seeds of this confrontation were laid by the previous Congress governments which had always tried to balance appeasement of minorities by feeding majority communalism.The politicians of all hues have been guilty of paying lip service to minority related issues.In fact their misguided steps ,for instance the religion based reservations being considered by various state governments will further alienate the minorities from the mainstream.If having a separate identity brings you benefits ,why in the world would anyone want to assimilate.
Then there is the question of freedom of expression,which is a cause dear to the so called liberals and intellectuals but only when hinduism is at the receiving end.The way Taslima Nasreen was hounded out of Kolkata and made to remove certain portions from her book "Dwikhandita" by the religious fundamentalists with tacit support from the marxists .What M.F.Hussain did in the name of art was to paint hindu deities in the nude and it can be in no way compared to what Taslima Nasreen has written as her writings have only exposed how minorities have been persecuted in Bangladesh over the years.M.F.Hussain has every right to paint nudes ,if he wants but why have as his subject hindu deities.There should be equality before law and the religion of the artist and the religion at the receiving end should make no difference to the application of the law.If this is not done ,it will only provide reinforcement to religious fundamentalists.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Doublespeak !!!

The sordid political drama enacted in Karnataka by the so called "humble farmer" Mr.H.D.Devegowda is a pointer to the depths to which politics has sunk.In a nation where people refer to the age old saying of "pran jaye par vachan na jaye" in everyday conversation ,the kind of political somersaults done by Dewegowda and company leaves one speechless.One day the father and son say something and the very next day they contradict themselves.One just hopes that the electorate teaches the humble farmer a lesson to remember in the upcoming elections.It is the widespread illiteracy and apathy of voters towards democracy which allows leaders like them to get away with murder and make a virtue out of necesity.For Mr.Devegowda BJP was not communal till it was extending support to them and his son Kumaraswamy was CM but as soon as it was their turn to do the same ,suddenly BJP became communal and what not.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Bridge the gap ,dont break it !

A new controversy has appeared on Indian political scene in the shape of Sethusamudram ship canal project.People are neatly divided on two sides,those who support the project harp on its economic benefits and those who are against focusing on the religious angle.
Whether the so called "Adams Bridge" was built by Lord Ram's army on its way to Lanka is besides the point.Mythology has its own significance and cannot be subjected to scientific criterion.This is true for all religions whether it be the miracle of turning water into wine or the promise of virgins in heaven (motivating some misinformed suicide bombers)etc.It seems Mr.Karunanidhi has lost his sense.For a man who claims to be rational ,his demand of civil engineering degree from Lord Ram is in poor taste.Matters of faith are best kept apart from politics.If BJP is at fault for bringing religion into this issue,karunanidhi is doubly wrong in hurting the sentiments of hindus.He is a self proclaimed atheist,no problem with that, but what right does he have to make such scornful statements.He is a fit case for lunatic asylum for demanding civil engineering degree from Lord Ram.
As for the project ,it should be given the go ahead or shelved depending on whether the environmental damage caused by it would be worth the trouble.If the coastal areas become more vulnerable to tsunami and marine eco system gets destroyed it would be a mega disaster.If the name of Lord Ram can save the environment ,so be it .

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Twenty 20 !!!

The twenty twenty world cup currently underway in South Africa promises to be a big success after the damp squib in West Indies.For one, the duration of the tournament and the format of the game are just right to sustain interest.The world cup in Windies was a prolonged torture with hardly any excitement after India and Pakistan packed their bags.Twenty 20 on the other hand is fast and made for the viewer.No team holds a big advantage over the other teams as was shown by Zimbabwe and Bangladesh in defeating higher ranked teams.
While test cricket will retain its niche, 20-20 is going to cannibalize its cousin ,the ODIs.It suddenly doesn't seem to make much sense playing 50 overs a side when you can have double the fun in less than half the time.Last night`s encounter between India and Pakistan was a cracker of a game.After Ajit Agarkar had done his level best to lose the game by giving seventeen runs in the penultimate over,it was Pakistan's unparalleled talent to self-destruct that came to India`s rescue.Its time to bid goodbye to one day internationals ...

Left is not right ....

The kind of vociferous protests by the left parties over nuclear deal , SEZs,disinvestment issue and so on have brought the UPA government to its knees time and again.The left parties claim to support the govt. from outside ,but it is less of a support and more of a blackmail.The left parties preach one thing in New Delhi and practice its opposite in their bastions of W.Bengal and Kerala.The CPI(M) has gone out of its way to bring foreign investment in West Bengal but is opposed to the same when it comes to the rest of India.Surely something that works for WB cannot be all that bad for other parts.
The standoff between govt. and the left parties has cleared the ground for a likely general elections.While the elections are going to be a drain on the exchequer and it is highly unlikely that any party or coalition would get anywhere near the majority mark,even then it is preferable to have elections rather than having the Left parties dictate the national agenda.The leftists are living in a time warp.They are following an ideology which has been shunned even by their biggest role model ,i.e., China.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Indian Football ....

Yesterday India won the Nehru Cup defeating a much higher ranked opponent Syria in the finals.Indian team under the able stewardship of coach Bob Houghton has been turning in good performances for quite some months.India team played few matches in Portugal against third division teams and did quite well in not losing any of the matches.For long Indian football was Baichung Bhutia and vice versa but now we have some good youngsters coming up in Sunil Chhetri, N.Pradeep, Manju to name a few.But until big money comes into football ,we will have to be satisfied with a occasional win against equally bad teams, if not worse.Its high time that sponsors start looking at football stars instead of our overly paid cricketers.
After the match ,one man tried to corner all glory and no it was not the captain or the coach of the team,but our very own AIFF(All India Football Federation) President Priyaranjan Dasmunshi, who has been lording over Indian Football for last so many years.This victory ,for all his rantings, has been achieved inspite of his bad influence on the running of Indian football.Mr.Dasmunshi announced a gift of ten lakh rupees for the victorious Indian team but the best gift from his side would be to step down as AIFF president and allow someone really knowledgible about the game to take over.As it is ,he is a high flying leader of Congress and a Union Minister,surely he can do with some rest and Indian football from him....

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Bad Deal ???

Yes, the nuclear deal signed by India and US is bad news.It is bad for the Left parties since the deal is with US and not their very own China.It is understandably bad for BJP ,forget the fact that NDA govt. did a lot of groundwork for the deal,as Congress is going to walk away with all the credit.For people like Mulayam Singh, naturally everything would appear bleak after the drubbing his party received in the recent UP elections.More or less something of this sort applies to all those who are opposing this deal on political and ideological grounds.
As far as the merits of the deal are concerned,it provides India entry into global nuclear energy market which is a must for India given its high energy requirements.Nothing can be an unqualified good ,and the same is true for this deal.Both India as well as the United States stand to gain a lot from this deal.Both have also made some concessions which is to be expected.US is the only super power and it would no doubt try to lure India into becoming its ally in its various missions .But ultimately its upto India how far it bends to accommodate US interests.Even without the deal India has succumbed to US pressure,vote against Iran in IAEA is a case in point,and so have other countries with the exception of Russia and China.India's foreign policy would be guided as ever by its sovereign interests ,deal or no deal ,should be made clear to the US at the outset.The UPA govt. must stick to its guns on the deal and should not feel threatened by Left's brinkmanship.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Pseudo Secularism ....

Secularism is one of the main ideals of our Constitution and it implies equal respect for all religions and no discrimination against anyone on the grounds of religion alone.Nothing wrong with the principle of secularism but the selective application of it raises questions.Secularism, for all purposes,has come to mean minority vote bank politics indulged in by all parties.How else can one explain Congress Party aligning with Muslim League in Kerala and still claiming secular credentials.Samajwadi party is another champion of secularism,its ministers routinely issue fatwas on every irrelevant issue.The Left parties,the most secular of all,do not have anything to say when Hindus are massacred in Kashmir and so on.BJP has never claimed to be pseudo-secular,but it is also not without faults.The point is that the political parties have distorted the concept of secularism to such an extent that now only minority community identifies with it.
The murderous attack on Taslima Nasreen is a case in point.The exceptional thing about this attack was that it was led by three MLAs belonging to Majlis-e-Ittehadul-Muslimen (MIM).Instead of these hoodlums being put behind bars,the Andhra Pradesh govt. booked a case against Taslima Nasreen.Even the protest by intelligentsia and especially the left parties has been muted as compared to the furore raised when Hindu groups are involved.So much for secularism.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Media Circus !!!

The Indian news media,both print as well as the TV news channels keep patting themselves for presenting the reality and holding a mirror to the society.May be its about time that somebody holds a mirror to the media.
The media has become self indulgent,metro-centric and sensation seeking.News gathering and reporting of facts have become mere externalities.Media is supposed to be a watchdog of democracy,but with the rare exception of a few newspapers like The Hindu and channels like NDTV and DD,the rest are showing anything and everything to gain TRPs.
The mayhem caused by Blueline buses in Delhi got so much publicity that even people who have never been to Delhi have become aware of their 'killer instincts' but the killing in Assam that has resulted in the loss of twenty odd lives officially is a footnote in TOI for example and not breaking news for our news channels who are more interested in covering or uncovering sex scandals,celebrities kissing one another,making family matters prime time news etc. Are these lives cheaper than lives of those living in a metro.This media bias is to a very large extent responsible for the feeling of alienation among Indians living in remote places.
Well,the media has a ready excuse for all this sleaze and very less sense in its reporting ,they claim that we dish out what the public wants.This argument sounds plausible but is akin to supplying opium to the masses and when they develop a taste for it justifying its continuation.The viewers have the ultimate control over what they want to watch but surely there must be some self regulation on the media channels otherwise the race to new lows in journalism will continue unabated.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Rubber Stamp !!!!

Sycophancy keeps touching new heights within the Congress party.The Congressmen and women speak in one voice only when they have to show their admiration of the Gandhi family.They have put Sonia Gandhi on a pedestal only because she married into the family and according to them Rahul is the future of the party because of the accident of birth.If the campaign in UP elections is an indicator of Rahul Gandhi`s political acumen then he has miles to go before he leaps on to something worthwhile.During the entire campaign he was hell bent upon fooling the people into believing that all their misfortune is on account of not having a Gandhi at the helm all the time.Well,many people would like to blame Nehru-Gandhi lineage for creating many of the problems ,right from taking Kashmir issue to the UN,underestimating China in 1962,imposition of emergency,militancy in Punjab etc etc.Of course,the Nehru-Gandhi family has done a lot for the country, but then is it not why one joins politics.
The latest example of sycophancy was when the entire Congress party left the decision on Presidential candidate to Sonia Gandhi and she zeroed in on the name of Pratibha Patil,the Governor of Rajasthan.President Kalam has been one of the most active and popular President in recent times.While it is a matter of pride that India is going to have its first women President ,the circumstances and the manner in which her name was proposed gives credence to the opinion that pliability has been a major factor in her selection.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

National shame !!!!

'National Shame' is what the Supreme Court has termed the week long violence by Gujjar groups and rightly so.No politician worth his salt could have termed it a national shame as that would have meant goodbye to gujjar votes at the time of elections.But the week long orgy of violence for claiming ST status raises a big question mark over the flawed reservation policy.
Gujjars have OBC status and were happy with it until the NDA govt. ,led by A.B.Vajpayee ,included the well off Jats into the OBC category.Now,the Gujjars want to be shifted downwards into the ST category so that they can get more benefit in education and employment.This is being bitterly opposed by Meenas who have been reaping rich dividends of their ST status and are in no mood to share the reservation pie.This has become a catch 22 situation for the governments both at the state and in the centre.If they give Gujjars ST status they risk antagonizing the Meenas and vice-versa.
The administration has to take a fair share of the blame for the violence spiraling out of control,instead of being reactive they should have been proactive.The killing of six people in police firing acted as a trigger and after that the police was clearly on the defensive because of the political repercussions.The TV news channels did their best to inflame the passions by repeatedly showing disturbing visuals and providing undue publicity to mischief mongers.
The mere fact that caste groups are clamoring to get themselves declared more backward than the others points to the abject failure of reservation policy in uplifting these groups.Because if a community after enjoying reservation in a particular category for a considerable period wants to be shifted downwards,it speaks volumes of the efficacy of the reservation policy and its implementation.Reservation ,for all purpose,has become a tool in the hands of the creamy layers to corner all advantages for themselves.It is high time that the government wakes up and starts giving reservation only on economic grounds.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Rich Dad Syndrome !!!

Anybody who has lived in Delhi for some length of time would surely have experienced boorish behavior from kids who`s parents have substituted parental care with money.These kids flush with money indulge in all kinds of wrong activities with absolute disdain.Many ,if not most, of the road accidents in Delhi are caused by these wayward sons of riches(use of wrong word is deliberate!).I remember a incident that happened a few months back in Gurgaon,where two cars driven by rich kids were racing with each other and in the process ran over a security guard.Not stopping at that ,the poor guy was also beaten up by these scoundrels.Later on the colony people came and locked up these rich kids till police arrived.After the initial reporting there was no follow up of the incident and i for one would not be surprised if the case was hushed up as the kids were well connected.
The only remedy for preventing such highhanded behavior by kids is to educate the parents that overcoming the guilt of not being able to spend time with their kids by giving them money,cars etc is just not right.The parents need to realise that money cannot substitute for values.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Red Rose !

The dreaded day is coming for all those who are single(by choice or by compulsion).The newspapers ,especially TOI & HT, pile on the agony of singles as they are filled with suggestions about how to make it a memorable day.For those who are not engaged ,for whatever reason,it is a day to reflect on the past and plan ahead(hopefully,for a better future).The grass always seems greener on the other side is a common refrain but it may not be so in reality.
My first and so far the only brush with V-day was in class 11.In fact,till class 10(summerof 1997) i dont think i had even heard of St.Valentine(and i m sure, he of me) and his exploits.Anyway,14th feb 1998 was business as usual for me.Woke up and got ready for catching the school bus,oblivious of what was about to happen.Myself and few of my friends used to occupy the long rear seat in the bus and the bus journey used to be lot of fun.So, on that day also i got on the bus and for some reason (unrelated to Vday,i presume)the attendance in the bus was quite thin.When the bus stopped for its penultimate stop before reaching the school,two sisters(also in class 11 but from different sections)entered the bus.I knew both of them reasonably well(one of them had somewhat fiery temper and the other one was more easygoing)but at that moment not well enough.The fiery one(sis1) came and out of the blue thrust a rose in front of not me but my very good friend(DM)and this caused everybody to raise their eyebrow (including yours truly)as the two concerned people were as different as chalk and cheese.In the meantime,while everybody`s attention was focused on DM and sister1,the other sister gave me a rose and wished me happy V-day.Fortunately for me,nobody seemed to notice and i quickly dropped the rose into my bag.To be honest ,all along i knew that this is some kind of joke being played on my dear friend DM and i was but a character artist in the scheme of things.
All the same,that day we had very few classes and DM and Sis1 were seen walking around the school discussing something or the other.Well,everybody was envious of DM,though everybody thought deep down that he was being taken for a ride..but what a ride !
Finally,classes got over and i reached back home.On coming back i took out the rose(colour is immaterial,but it was red)from my bag and threw it away(actually,under my bed)....Well that was supposed to be the end of it ,but later that evening some of my friends came over to my place.....and quite unknown to me some had actually witnessed the rose giving ceremony ....they wanted to see it for themselves,i told them that i had thrown it (technically a true statement) but one of them looked under the bed and i had to face some music ....but then everybody knew that it was nothing but a friendship rose(unfortunately!).....
P.S.-the person from whom i received the rose is now happily married(to somebody else,ofcourse!)and same is true for her sister also.DM is also engaged to someone.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

The unmaking of Iraq ...

Iraq,before the US led invasion, was under a dictatorial regime headed by Saddam Hussein but there was peace.He was a dictator and ruled with a iron hand but the Iraqis had access to healthcare and education.Saddam was also secular and under him Iraq was one of the more progressive nations of West Asia.Now ,after US meddling we have a Islamic Republic of Iraq which for all purpose is embroiled in a civil war among the majority Shias and the Sunni insurgents.Iraq has an explosive mix of 60% Shias,20% Sunnis and 20% Kurds and for Saddam(a sunni)to rule over this diverse population required the use of strong arm tactics.
A person who lives by the sword also dies by it is an oft repeated saying and came true in Saddam`s case.He was executed for the massacre of about 160 Shias of Dujail who were suspected of an assassination attempt on his life.If the same token is applied to George Bush,he would have to be hanged umpteen times for the death of nearly 650,000+ Iraqis so far.Not a single day passes without a bomb exploding in some part of Iraq.Saddam was no saint and he had his fair share of sins but the manner of his execution and the farcical trial has made him into a martyr.The ghost of Saddam will keep haunting US and its allies.A dead Saddam may turn out to be more of a threat to Americans worlwide as it is going to alienate muslims all over the world and strengthen the feeling of being wronged by the West.
The situation in Iraq is now so bad that even a complete and immediate withdrawal of US led coalition forces offers no guarantee that peace will return to Iraq any time soon.But the withdrawal of US led forces would be the first step towards peace.The minority sunnis would need to be given proprtional stake in governance of Iraq to wean them away from insurgency.Ultimately,the Iraqis would have to choose for themselves between co-existence and co-destruction ....

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Bounty Hunters !!!!

The recent expose of the murder of innocent civilians by some rogue police and army officials in Jammu & Kashmir points to a bigger malaise.Power without accountability almost always leads to corruption.Few rotten elements in J&K Police and the Rashtriya Rifles connived to kill innocent civilians just to get out of turn promotions and cash rewards.This incident has put a serious question mark over the government`s policy of rewarding officials for killing militants.Fake encounters are not something new and have been reported from all over the country at some point of time or the other.Mumbai Police being a master of the game and an inspiration to many bollywood flicks.While in states where there is relative peace it is somewhat difficult to indulge in fake encounters and cover them up because of vigilant media and civil society groups.But in places like J&K and the north-east where counter-insurgency operations are going on full throttle, it is apparently not so.
The police establishment as well as the army top brass would do well to bring the guilty officials to justice and be transparent about their modus-operandi as far as rewards and other benefits given for killing militants are concerned.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

No Mercy !

Assam is burning and the fire ,as always, has been lit by ULFA.There was a time when this outfit had some lofty ideals and enjoyed mass support from the Assamese people.But with time the outfit has compromised on its ideology and at present it works under the command of its ISI masters and Bangladesh.It has no option but to toe the line of Bangladesh military as its existence dependes upon their overt and covert suport.All the top leaders of ULFA (Paresh Baruah,Anoop Chetia) are safely ensconced in Bangladesh and running successful business there.
The act of killing hindi-speaking Bihari labourers in cold-blood reflects the poverty of ideology in ULFA.There is not a murmur of protest from ULFA on the issue of illigal immigration from Bangladesh which is an immediate threat to the state and its people.The demography of most districts in Assam barring upper Assam has undergone a dramatic change and has made the indigenous people a minority in their own backyard.The time is not far when Assam will become a muslim majority state if the illegal immigration from across the border continues unabated.The formation of Assam United Democratic Front ,a political outfit, for all purpose representing Bangladeshi immigrants and the fact that they were able to win ten seats in the assembly elections is a disturbing development and would have serious repercussions in future for the state as well as the country.In fact, the targeting of Biharis(mostly labourers eking out a living away from their home) is part of a sinister ploy to replace them with Bangladeshi immigrants.
The demands of ULFA relating to the sovereignty of Assam is foolhardy because what the people of Assam need is development and that can only come about in a climate of peace.Moreover,an independent Assam would always be at the mercy of countries like China and Bangladesh.An independent Assam is simply not viable politically ,geographically and economically and also not in the best interest of Assamese people who are as much Indians as anybody else in any other part of India.ULFA cannot also claim to represent all the sections of Assamese society.The violence unleashed by ULFA is the biggest stumbling block for Assam and its pecae-loving people.There is a groundswell of anger against ULFA and its violent activities this time around.The government must not let this opportunity go by to crush ULFA and crush it for good.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Yet Another Republic Day !

Today ,we are celebrating 58th year of our republic.For all purpose,we are at crossroads at this point in time,as a nation we have achieved much in certain areas but still a lot remains to be done, especially in areas like universalisation of primary education and access to health care for all.
Going abroad has become a fashion for youth and most people ,given a chance, would like to settle in US or some western european country.While no one can fault them for exercising their right to emigrate to a place of their liking , but a question does arise that why people want to leave India.India is registering impressive GDP growth rate but the growth is by no means inclusive.India`s success story in the economic front has bypassed a large majority of its population.Agricultural sector which employs the most people is in absolute distress.This makes India ripe with potential for all kinds of social tension which does erupt regularly in the form of riots etc.
In recent times the menace of terrorism has ben rearing its ugly head with an uncanny regularity.While ,till a few years back terrorism was restricted to J&k and NortEast ,but now the whole of India is on their radar.Infact ,the lax attitude of government while dealing with these localised problems for long has allowed terrorists to spread their web far and wide.
The terrorists have succeded in creating a fear psychosis among the general public with help from tv news channel who are always on the look out for a story and conveniently make one where there is none.Every major occasion like Republic Day,Independence Day or any religious festival sends the security establishment in a state of tizzy lest something untoward happens.I,myself,felt a sense of relief after the republic day celebrations passed off peacefully and i do think that many of us share the same apprehensions whenever a big occasion is round the corner.
One only hopes that we become a republic in the true sense of the term ,where everybody irrespective of their background would have equality of opportunity and there will not be any need for resorting to violence.Each one of us will have to share the responsibility as it is very easy to criticise politicians ,but how many of us even vote ,i m 25 and have not voted even once and i know that i am in a majority of educated people who criticise but dont vote.Come next elections ,i am changing my status from a non-participant observer...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


KBC-3 is back and with a bang.If anyone could have filled up the big boots of Amitabh and hoped to match his charisma,not many names come to mind other than Shahrukh Khan.While Amitabh was always polite and humble to a fault,Shahrukh has been cheeky to say the least.He surely made people laugh with his antics and is sure to attract the youngsters to the show.While comparisons are almost always unfair and subjective ,here Shahrukh may just trump the Big B with his spontaniety and youthful energy.
KBC has been largely responsible for making general knowledge and quizzing popular with the masses.Siddhartha Basu`s Mastermind India , Derek 'o' Brien`s Bournvita Quiz contest and a very popular quiz show hosted by a sikh gentleman on Doordarshan long time back(can't remember the name ) remain some of the most memorable quiz shows.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


The alleged racial remarks on Shilpa Shetty by her fellow contestants has for all purpose triggered a hornet`s nest.The electronic media has ,as always, gone overboard in its coverage of the issue.The issue has been blown so much out of proportion that everybody who is anybody has commented on the issue.One can appreciate the ridiculousness of the situation even more when one sees Britain`s Chancellor of the Exchequer,Gordon Brown and India`s Finance Minister P.C.Chidambaram being forced to comment on the non-event.
It is a fact that racial prejudice runs deep and wide ,not just in Britain but also in India.Not saying it overtly does not mean that racial prejudices do not exist.Look at any of the matrimonial advertisements and one will come across the 'fairness fixation'in Indian society.Prejudices cannot be removed solely through legislation or use of force.It can be done by breaking the stereotypes and promoting people to people contact belonging to diverse groups.
Coming back to Shilpa Shetty issue,she should have ignored the barbs or given those abusing her a taste of their own medicine.Taking offence at being called 'the Indian' beats me ,does she not consider herself Indian or what and moreover she could have called them by their nationality.
Finally ,Reality TV has got to show reality ,however unpleasant it may be .We may not like to admit it but all of us are prejudiced one way or the other !