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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Crimes Against Women: Bollywood Villains Walking Out Real!

Even C-grade Bollywood (Hindi film industry based in Mumbai or earlier Bombay) movies show a kind of stark realism in terms of depraved, regressive and malignantly anti-woman villains. If you have been following Bollywood movies for at least the last three decades you must have noticed villains who when confronted with rapes committed (on screen) by their son/sons or male relatives normally say with pride, “He is a boy only…they commit mistakes man, please understand. In my prime time I too had done a lot of merrymaking. I’ll even burn this city to save my son!” These villains are dirty rich mostly being smugglers or business tycoons or plain dons and they carry the concerned ‘screen’ police force in their pockets. They do get punished in the end by the heroes, but after all the gory regressive oppressive chauvinistic feudalistic details shown gloriously by the filmmakers who definitely seem to pander to a sizeable male section of our society. However, you can hardly deny the ‘realism’ being portrayed with ‘painstaking’ details, particularly after you take notice of what has been happening in certain states of India like Uttar Pradesh in the perspective of the on-going General Elections of the country. This particular state of Uttar Pradesh has always been feudalistic and openly anti-woman—a point that we have mentioned here on several occasions.  Stiff opposition to Women Reservation Bill came from this state only cutting across all leaders of all political parties. Having easy access to modern weapons this kind of feudalistic practices is the most dangerous one and therefore we can say that Uttar Pradesh along with few other northern states are the worst possible enemies of womankind on our planet earth.

Veteran political leader of Uttar Pradesh, ex-Chief Minister and father of the present Chief Minister, Mulayam Singh Yadav  is the Samajwadi or Socialist Party (SP) of India Supremo, though his party is mostly full of anti-social or feudalistic elements. He seems to be severely pained by fast track courts delivering death or life sentences to horrible rapists in Delhi, in Mumbai and in other places of the country in the aftermath of the barbaric Delhi gangrape and the amendments in the criminal law that followed.  While asking for votes in an election campaign this great leader commented on the crimes of rape, “Boys are just boys…they naturally make mistakes. They should not be punished with death. Our party opposes the strict laws and the possible misuse of the same.” A national outrage erupted and even after that the great leader refused to apologize, so entrenched in his ‘beliefs’. What is more, his counterpart in Maharashtra, Abu Azmi, hardly caring for the outrage or sentiments blatantly decided to add to it, although one may say dictating a little more ‘balanced’ view. In an interview to a newspaper this fittingly ‘socialist’ leader reportedly said, “You see…the rapist is punished with death because he is guilty. But the woman or the rape survivor is equally guilty, and so both should be hanged. In fact all women, married or unmarried, having sex with a man with consent or being forced should be hanged.” His ‘solution’ encompasses hanging of the rape survivor too if not already murdered.

Well, this is the way our ‘leaders’ think of or about women. This abysmally shameful exploitative and perverted mentality prevails despite the national reawakening, despite the movement for prevention of crimes against women and despite the stricter laws being formulated. What can we do? We must carry on with our crusade nationwide and at this moment of elections we must vote against all such depraved animals of our society. India, the holy land of the Shakti cult or the revered Goddesses, we must rise up to the challenge, and restore and ensure full respect and complete safety for women.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Humor: Cash on the Cards!

Our friend Mr. Thames Pond often gets bogged down by his multiple credit card accounts. He tries to get rid of some now and then, but he gets into more traps and liabilities. On the top of it he gets bombarded with new and newer card offers. Due to his inability to refuse ladies he falls into the traps cleverly set by the card executives. He is particularly scared of the wily executive called Moneycanny whose name he cannot even clearly pronounce. He is getting another call from her now. As usual he prepares to get bold with her this time...

“Hello! Can I speak to Mr. Pond please?”
“This is Pond. Thames Pond.”
“Good Morning, Mr. Pond. This is Moneycanny. Can I have two minutes of your time please?”
“Err…Ms…Regarding what?”
“Well, Sir, there is a special cash back offer for our most valued credit card holders like you.”
“Okay, tell me how do I get the cash?”
“The highest percentage cash back will be on your utility bill payments like telephone, mobile, electricity bills. This means you will regularly get some cash back every month. Then you will also get cash back on other transactions though at lower rates, but never less than one percent.”
“But I do not want to make any payments.”
“Sorry? You don’t make any bill payments or pay for other purchases?”
“I mean I don’t want to make any payment to you for this offer.”
“Oh… Mr. Pond! There is no such payment involved in this offer.”
“You mean to say I will keep on getting the cash back on just like that!”
“Definitely Sir, these are benefits for our privileged customers only. There is no annual fee and your lifetime free card is still valid with this offer.”
“Are you sure? What about hidden costs?”
“Mr. Pond, I assure you there is absolutely no hidden cost.”
“Ok then, I go game for some high cash!”
“Thanks and congratulations, Mr. Pond. I am enrolling you for this offer. Our executive will confirm your status through a phone call within twenty four hours. There is a onetime activation charge of a thousand bucks which will reflect on next month’s credit card statement.”
“I told you I am not going to make any payment to you for this offer. I asked you a thousand times about the charges. Now what’s this?”
“Sir, this is not a fee! Only an activation charge! Considering the cash backs you are sure to get continually this charge is just nothing.”
“My dear Ms…err…whatever you’d like to call this. You are making me pay thousand bucks and this will take me my lifetime to get that back through your cash backs. Sorry, I told you. Take me out of it.”
“Mr. Pond, please consider again. This offer ceases tomorrow.”
“It ceases right now for me, milady! …No payments please!”
“Thank you very much for your time Mr. Pond. Have a good day.”
“Thank you!” (click of phone disconnected)… “Ha! Ha! Ha! Got you this time, baby! Hurray!”

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

IPL Vs BCCI Vs Cricket: Days After The Supreme Court Interim Order!

The world knows India as a cricket-craziest nation and its tremendous fan-following for the game; the world understands India’s potential as the ultimate market for cricket for all formats of the game; the world acknowledges the Indian cricket Board (BCCI) as the richest one with influence and hold running effortlessly through to the very top and the world sees the IPL as India’s answer to the football league and as one of the largest sports tournaments benefiting everyone’s coffers from cricket owners, officials and players. Besides, for the IPL there are huge players’ interests, particularly budding cricketers, and numerous stakeholders cutting across India. All these factors concerning the ‘spirit of the game of cricket’ finally seemed to have shaped the Supreme Court of India order as a somewhat ‘favorable’ one for the BCCI considering the circumstances preceding it.

On the historic day of 25th March, 2014 the Supreme Court asked BCCI Chief N Srinivasan to resign giving him 48 hours to do so. The power-obsessed Chief did not do so and as on earlier occasions offered to step aside till the inquiry is over. Sticking to the ‘very serious allegations in the sealed envelope of the Mudgal report’ observation the Supreme Court came down heavily on the BCCI on Thursday, the 27th of March, in a proposal putting the future of the seventh version of the IPL in great peril. It proposed cricket’s living legend Sunil Gavaskar take over as the interim Chief of BCCI; the bench also proposed to pass an order barring India Cements (company owned by N Srinivasan) officials from getting involved with the functioning of BCCI after senior counsel Harish Salve, appearing for Cricket Association of Bihar, pointed out that many such officials including India Captain MS Dhoni, Vice President of India Cements, are at present part of the BCCI team and it proposed the suspension of Srinivasan or India Cements owned Chennai Super Kings (CSK) along with Rajasthan Royals (RR) from IPL-7 till the settlement of the case of betting and spot fixing  scandal before it. The court gave the  Board 24 hours to respond.

And the debate over the ‘spirit of the game of cricket’ took over throughout the country including prominent media houses. Emboldened, the BCCI appealed for allowing IPL-7 to go on as scheduled and proposed that President N Sriinvasan would step aside till the case is settled. On its interim order on Friday, the 28th of March, the Supreme Court withdrew its proposal to suspend two IPL teams asking the Board to follow on the other proposals, now made officially binding in its order. The Supreme Court asked Gavaskar to look particularly after the IPL-7 and asked Shivlal Yadav, the second-in-command of the BCCI,  to look after the admin matters. The BCCI, rather promptly, offered full compliance realizing the importance of IPL-7 being allowed to continue and that N Srinivasan would in effect continue to wield power unofficially leading to one more ‘cold war’ or ‘power struggle’ within the Board. But then, the fact remains that the BCCI has finally been forced to come down on its knees. Genuine cricket lovers would hope the IPL Spot Fixing Case is brought to logical conclusions and results by the Supreme Court in near future.

In another happy ‘coincidence’ as far as the ‘sprit of the game’ is concerned Team India have performing quite well in the ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh reaching the semi finals still remaining as the only unbeaten team of the tournament. India have topped Group 2 and would meet South Africa in the second semi final on Friday, the 4th of April while the first semi final would be played between defending Champions West Indies and Sri Lanka on 3rd April. Major setbacks of the tournament include elimination of Pakistan and England, and total annihilation of Australia and hosts Bangladesh. England seem to be the most unlucky side losing a promising match to New Zealand on D/L method and then losing a thrilling encounter against South Africa. In the last few days the pitches in Bangladesh look to be broken up leading to low-scoring matches and the chasing teams unable to reach even the lowly targets.

In the meantime Gavaskar started functioning as the new interim BCCI President and the process of throwing India Cements Ltd officials out of the BCCI is in full swing. MS Dhoni was believed to have expressed his anger at being associated with the scam and had reportedly vowed to walk out from his post in the Srinivasan company. As far as the world of cricket is concerned it has been made apparently clear that Srinivasan could no longer represent the BCCI in international meetings or conferences. However, his bid to become chairman of the ICC in July-August this year seems to remain unscathed at the moment.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

IPL Spot Fixing: Supreme Court Stumps Srinivasan! Resign Or Face Action!

We wrote in this site on June 2, 2013: “…the millions of Indian cricket fans must take up this issue and decide the next course of action. They must do enough to take the issue to the Supreme Court of India and believe in the apex court to deliver the final and lasting justice. They also must realize the immensity of the cowardly silence still maintained by cricket legends and former greats of this country and adopt their stand on cricket at large clearly.” (Read The Full Post)

And the day of justice has arrived. Today, the Supreme Court of India has described N Srinivasan, the President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), as ‘filthy’ and ‘nauseating’ while asking as to why he “sticking to his chair”. The Court asked Srinivasan to resign so as to enable an independent probe into the dirty IPL Spot Fixing case and held that if he failed to resign within forty eight hours the Court would take action and issue proper order. The Supreme Court had appointed the Mudgal Committee to look into the matter and the Committee submitted its report on 10th February, 2014.

We wrote on 11th February, 2014: “One police officer from Tamil Nadu is believed to have deposed before the Committee and made some startling revelations casting doubt on Dhoni for his possible involvement in fixing an IPL match between CSK (Chennai Super Kings) captained by him and Rajasthan Royals teams…More crucially the Committee has implicated Gurunath Meiyappan for being involved in betting and passing information about his team. The Committee also confirms him to be an official of CSK, if not the owner. He is the son-in-law of BCCI President N Srinivasan. And who is Dhoni? Answers are not hard to find in this dirty saga of money, corruption and greed. Maybe Dhoni is still considered to be king like many of his team on slow and flat subcontinental pitches. The Mudgal Report also names six Indian cricketers apparently involved in match fixing and a reputed one of them is still a part of the current Indian team. The Report has a sealed envelope too that will be opened…” (Read The Full Post)

The Supreme Court bench said that the sealed envelope contained very serious allegations and the bench decided against opening it in public. The Bench will resume the hearing on Thursday, the 27th of March and will most probably take action if Srinivasan does not quit his post till then. The fate of the ‘reputed’ cricketer still in Team India playing the ICC World Twenty20 presently in Bangladesh is likely to be sealed too by that mysterious sealed envelope. The countdown has started for arguably the most powerful man in international cricket.

He defied every possible authority of the country, he defied the media and he defied the saner voices in his own Board. Now what would he do with his money power and clout? A day of reckoning inevitably comes for every sinner of this world. Already cricketers and BCCI members have put pressure on him to resign saying that Supreme Court verdict must be honored. Officially, the obsessively and endlessly greedy President maintains absolute silence, so deos the BCCI and the even the International Cricket Council (ICC) which was penetrated by the Srinivasan clout again and again.

Justice will be ensured now. The guilty will be punished. Indian Cricket and the BCCI have to come clean and be accountable from now onwards.  A very important day for the fight against corruption, greed and degeneration. Jai Ho!  

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Election Politics: Trepidation, Euphoria, Desperation And Opportunism!

As political parties all over India announce list after list of candidates for the General Elections-2014 with the first phase of voting happening on 7th April; as political parties nominate their candidates for the constituencies; as political leaders file their nominations for the hot seats and as political parties sort out their priorities getting ready for declaring their manifestos certain entertainingly rampant characteristics are popping up and out bringing out the essence of election politicking in the largest democracy of the world. You can like it or dislike it, you can abhor it or ignore it, you can debate aloud about it or keep mum about it, but you cannot help enjoying it. And it’s your right to get entertained before you decide about your vote which you must exercise anyway with the latest option of rejecting all the candidates in your constituency.

A sense of trepidation seems to have engulfed the ruling coalition particularly for Congress party that leads it. After all the scams, all the corruption charges, inflation and an alleged policy paralysis many stalwarts have either refused to contest or have joined or decided to join other political parties that seem to be winning. Many still within the party or the coalition seem to have resigned to the emerging view that they after all will have to sit in the opposition this time around taking consolation in the fact that they have ruled the country for the last ten years.

A sense of euphoria seems to have engulfed the main opposition parties particularly the BJP who, in the soothing company of its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, starts to feel almost secure in the emerging view that this party will after all get the chance to rule the country after a gap of ten years. Many stalwarts within the BJP are eager to stick their necks in and be a part of the expected victory. However, the euphoria seems to have made the party dream of a single party rule creating in its wake internal egoistic and power-mongering trouble. Okay, the Prime Ministerial candidate has already been announced, but the position of Deputy PM or even Associate PM or Assistant PM are still open for grabs. So furious is the euphoria that even its potentially powerful allies are no longer safe—if you care to go through the snubbing game going on between BJP and Shiv Sean in Maharashtra.  

Therefore, be it trepidation or euphoria, a sense of desperation seems to have engulfed the entire political community. Everybody, be it their plain greed for power or be it their 'commitment' to continuing public service, wants somehow to be on the winning side, by hook or by crook. As we have mentioned earlier many stalwarts belonging to Congress and other parties have betrayed and joined rival parties with the enlivening hope of ending up with the winning ones. As you know winning means cornering power and cornering power know well after living in the largest democracy of the world for decades. Many other stalwarts including granddads or senior most leaders have been bickering for more lucrative or prestigious constituencies. Such was the fury of this desperation that within BJP it has raised the specter of a Modi-Advani confrontation once again and has created divisions that are hardly healthy for a party that is hopeful of forming the next government.

All these inevitably lead to an air of rank opportunism that has in fact been so characteristic of Indian politics over the decades. Leaders are running here and there looking for the best chance of reaping the maximum benefits and finally or hopefully grabbing positions of power. More frighteningly, the party that took up the cudgels for the common man on the ideal of a corruption-free country has managed to beat the masters in their own games. It has matched the masters bit by bit with expertise and elan in every aspect of dirty politicking. Its front runner—the run-away Chief Minister— has got used to creating controversy and turmoil wherever he sets his 'preaching' feet in, so much so that his party now has effectually become the common man's most common tormentor.
And incidentally his mentor cum anti-corruption crusader has become a perfect comedian siding with or deserting any political party at will all the while maintaining that he would never support any political party. Our dear 'merciless Mamata' had recently shown a helluva lot of ‘mamata’ on this crusader, but had to go back to her merciless ways when the former left her midway and abandoned. However, in the first place nobody quite understood why both needed each other so suddenly.

To end on a rather positive note we must point out one emerging trend which is valid for all political parties. In their desperation to get the best possible 'winning' candidates political parties have been roping in celebrities including film actors and professional comedians. Maybe this could act as a distinct dampener for prospective criminals who could have qualified otherwise.
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