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Monday, December 27, 2010

Celebration Times: Let Good Win Over Evil!

Christmas on and the year 2010 about to come to a close it’s celebration times indeed! We all must celebrate, but in a most positive and inspiring way. Celebrate with a difference and inspire others to fall in line.

At the same time it’s reviewing times too. You must take stock of the year about to vanish into eternity. What good you achieved and what mistakes you made in the year. You have to build up on your achievements and learn from your mistakes to start the New Year.

Year 2010 constantly reminds you of scams and high level corruption if you are an Indian. Good that just at close the Scam Emperor of 2G Spectrum and the Kingpin of Commonwealth Games corruption have been finally nailed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The CBI has huge task to perform in 2011 and it definitely needs your best wishes and support. The Adarsh Society Scam and others are just lurking in the corner to be tackled. Punishment must follow crimes.

Few terrorists have also reported entered Mumbai and other places of India to carry on their kind of celebration of destruction and killing of innocent citizens. They must be stopped and brought to justice. The central and state governments of India definitely need your best wishes and support.

Apart from scams, corruption and terror common people have been plagued by raging inflation throughout the year. We hope the Government of India’s promise of falling price rise by March end in the New Year comes true.

So, celebrate in such a way that the New Year 2011 fulfills all your hopes and aspirations. Celebrate in such a way that good prevails over evil and evil is crushed beyond recognition.

Happy New Year 2011!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Vijay Jadhav: Abrupt End To A Promising Career

December 13, 2010. We had been shooting for a program at Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Mumbai. Around lunch break we got the shocker—Vijay Jadhav was no more. Too shocked to believe I phoned the Director of Pune Press Information Bureau (PIB), Prashant Pathrabe. Prashant hesitatingly confirmed the sad demise of the young Director of National Film Archives of India (NFAI), Pune. And I had to accept it.  

For the few times that I met Vijay Jadhav his hyperactivity and high energy was very hard to miss. He was always working on some new projects and one job at a time was never optimum for him. For NFAI he was traveling the whole of India with film packages. Once on a holiday at my native city Guwahati I was amazed to find his name in local Assamese newspapers. For the Goa International Film Festival he always had something new and exciting to offer. Vijayji also had additional charge of PIB and had been actively involved in all its Public Information Programs throughout the state of Maharashtra. He had been fond of media attention and deservedly so. On many occasions he instantly obliged us with information and bytes.

And more. He found time for his musical sessions too. He practiced tabla even on tours and in my wife Ragini’s musical circles his name was often mentioned.

I last met him at the Government of India’s two day Western Region Media Conference at Baramati. He had been constantly running around with errands ranging from organizing hassles to delivering speeches. On the first night he arranged a dinner for all media officers at a country house of one of his friends. In the dead still of night in a typical Maharashtra village surrounding that experience was unforgettable. But something happened that night which I just feel now to blurt out.

When we finally sat down on the ground in typical village style to have our main course I found to my consternation that there were exactly 13 people having dinner. Well, I take the risk of being called superstitious and I take it just to make a small observation. My father studied astrology scientifically and  combined with mathematical calculations plus intuition his forecasts always had hundred percent accuracy. He told me once that 13 people should never have dinner together because fatal forces are created in the process making one of the 13 people most likely to die within one year. I took it lightly and as is our pride never believed it, but it remained in my subconscious permanently. I tried to prevent such situations if there was a possibility without being noticed, but that night it was just not possible. In the presence of all responsible media officers such superstitious thoughts were just not the norm. That was April this year.

Vijayji died within one year and on the 13th .  Still it could be just superstition. Still I may or may not believe it. I am not asking you to believe me either. I am just crying out my pain aloud with just a small point. Why not avoid such situations from happening—if 13 people are there for dinner one can easily sit out for some time and join later without having anything to do with superstitions or some other avoidable situations created by some other rules. Why should we always associate our pride in such decisions?

We pray for the eternal bliss of his noble soul.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Test Cricket No 1: Team India ‘Zeros’ In!

It’s all the zeros that vindicate India’s No. 1 position in test cricket. It was 2-0 against Australia  and 1-0 against New Zealand in the test cricket circuit.  Then, a resounding 5-0 against NZ in the one day series. Such margins involving zeros were unheard of in the recent past for team India. This marks a departure from an entrenched mindset.

Earlier, India was known for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory that underlined the team’s unwillingness to win or a lack of aggression or positive instinct. With Captain Dhoni and the ICC No.1 ranking the scene is fast changing. Now, Team India can snatch victory from the jaws of defeat like in the first test against Australia that proved to be an epic thriller. Now, Team India can depend on surprise packages from players like Harbhajan Singh who score back to back centuries and figure in match saving partnerships as against NZ in the test series. Now, Team India can depend on the reserve bench and even the second reserve bench of players.

Earlier, if India sealed a series leading 2-0 or 3-0 so much experimentation with unnecessary players used to take place that the final results always became 2-1 or 3-2. That meant ‘we can afford to lose now because we have already won the series’ mindset which was never noticed in the case of the earlier No.1 Australia. Experimentation tradition continues even now, but with an aggressive desire to win and a whole bunch of competitive cricketers. Now, if the top level fails to deliver the cause is still not lost.

Team India seems to be in a mood to take due charge from Australia as far as the No.1 spot is concerned. Over to South Africa now for more! Hopefully!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Now Showing: Democratic Circus!

An exemplary circus is running very successfully in India and today it has completed 15 days of unmitigated popularity. It’s exemplary because instead of the usual circus tent you behold the esteemed Parliament House. No problems, only humans are performing since animals are already banned from circus shows due to cruelty. Oh yes, India is the largest democracy of the world.

The backdrop is the 2G Spectrum scam that cost the country thousands of millions of rupees and gave unbelievable windfall profits to the telecom companies that were endowed with the 2G licenses.

Right, opposition is justified considering the level of corruption. But at what cost and whose cost? Opposition should be righteous, not politically motivated. For the 15th day today, the same absurd routine is followed in both houses of Indian Parliament. Speaker comes in at 11am sharp, opposition members stand with raised hands and shouting, Speaker beseeching them to sit and calm down so that work begins, house adjourned till 12 noon and later for the day.

The Government of India had initiated investigations and canceled a number of licenses which could make it possible to recover some of cost and anyway, investigations must be allowed to proceed to be effective. But the opposition leaders just want Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) for their enquiry and the government not giving it. They want JPC so that they can put the ruling party in a spot since even the Prime Minister was dragged into it and get unprecedented political mileage, strong political motives. The government is not giving JPC for equally strong countering political reasons. Nobody is willing to give a take on the cost the country is put to on a daily basis apart from the cost of the scam.

Let the circus bloom. This is everybody’s democratic right! But hey common man, do you have any kind of rights in the largest democracy?

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