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.