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Who Was The Choreographer!

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There has been a huge controversy going on in India now regarding the midnight drama enacted in the upper house of the Indian Parliament on December 29, 2011. People belonging to different professional groups have been alleging that the drama was ‘choreographed’ by someone. There is no agreement though on who that someone could be. The main opposition party accuses the government of being the ‘choreographer’ while the government throws the same charge back at them. Besides, one Indian news channel reportedly predicted the ‘choreography’ right in the afternoon of that eventful day.
Now, choreography literally means ‘dance-writing’ and it has everything to do with motion and beauty. This cannot directly relate to what happened in Parliament, because there is no predetermined element here and ‘beauty’ cries to be treated with respect. In Wikipedia we come across one more description of Planned Choreography, ‘in which a choreographer dictates motion and form in detail, leaving little or…

The Other Side of Midnight!

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Article first published as The Other Side of Midnight on Technorati.


War cries suddenly pierced the still and freezing midnight hour of December 29, 2011 in New Delhi—capital of India. The elected representatives of the upper house of Indian Parliament came out of the house shouting ‘Murder of democracy’ or ‘A black day’ or ‘The biggest fraud of the government’. Why? Not because the anti-corruption Bill could not get passed even after nearly 13 hours of debate, but because the Bill was not allowed to be defeated.


Lok Sabha, the lower house of Indian Parliament, passed the Lokpal Bill (anti-corruption Ombudsmen Bill) just before 11 in the night of December 27 after nearly 12 hours of debate. The coalition government had a working majority in the house and with a few gives and takes in terms of amendments suggested by opposition parties the Bill could be passed finally. But it had to be passed in Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Indian Parliament, too to become law. The scenario was very c…

Cricket: Australia Crush India at Melbourne! Away Losses Continue!

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Article first published as Cricket-Team India Mauled By Australia! on Technorati.
Australia defeated India by 122 runs in the Boxing Day First Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) today in India’s tour of Australia, 2011-12. The victory margin for Australia on the fourth day did not quite reflect the dramatic ups and downs of the match though.

This was India’s fifth consecutive test loss abroad after the 4-0 drubbing by England earlier. At MCG too India’s dismal record did not go any better with just two wins in all time cricket history. But prior to the start of the cricket series factors were predominantly in India’s favor.

India came to Australia after their thumping win over West Indies in both test and one-day formats and they had regrouped well with all the batting and bowling stalwarts coming back into the team except Yuvraj Singh who was getting fit to join the team perhaps for the one-day series. In contrast, Australia had been a little nervous with quite a few…

Lokpal Bill Passed in Lok Sabha! No History, Only Confusion!

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After nearly twelve hour debate the lower house of the Indian Parliament, Lok Sabha, passed the Lokpal (anti-corruption Ombudsmen) Bill by a voice vote just before 11 pm yesterday. In the process ten amendments had been conceded by the ruling coalition owing to demands by opposition political parties.
Yet nobody rejoiced over this historic beginning. Only dirty politics lingered on and an ill Anna Hazare continued his fast making the common man the most bewildered one. Team Anna’s flop show in Mumbai with just 10000 supporters around was put in sharp contrast by heavy politicking on the floor throughout the day.
While Team Anna kept on blaming and thundering on the government, specifically the Congress party, for cheating the Indian people it was very clear in the lower house that no political party wanted a strong Bill. The main opposition, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) who has been the mainstay support group for Team Anna, had in fact tried by all means to delay the Bill further and …

From Tomorrow For Three Days: Parliament Debates in Delhi, Anna Fasts in Mumbai!

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Article first published as The Fast Show Now In Mumbai! on Technorati.


Anna Hazare, the crusader against corruption in India, had recently shifted the venue for yet another fast of his from Delhi to Mumbai. Under the grip of acute cold wave conditions Delhi was considered to be too cold for not eating. Entertaining a negative thought maybe the response could have been too cold too!

Shifting of venue was not without the usual share of drama that Team Anna now commands. The ground on which Anna was to sit for fast belongs to Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and the Authority takes a fee for such activities.

So, Team Anna was presented with a bill for a handsome 800,000 Indian rupees for booking the ground for the period December 26-27, 2011. Fighting corruption cannot be a commercial activity, thundered Anna supporters. So they filed a petition in the Mumbai High Court for concessions.
The High Court cited interesting observations while rejecting the…

Merry Christmas!

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Merry Christmas to all of you! May this blessed occasion fill your lives with loads of joy and boundless happiness. With New Year 2012 round the corner the celebrations are set to go on! And, we must celebrate to make ours and others' lives happy and meaningful.

With a note of grief we remember the terrible tragedy in Philippines a little more than a week ago. More than 2000 people lost their lives or were still missing  and more than 300,000 are still depending on emergency aid in the devastating flash floods that hit and swept away the southern island of Mindanao. There is no Christmas celebration for the victims there and in our celebrations we must think of them and wish them all the good in the coming times. There are in fact several huge human tragedies in the past two months and we must never get carried away with our celebrations.

I am sorry to say that I could not give condolence messages to the affected people including several friends from our blogging community in goo…

Crucial Time For Team Anna!

Anna Hazare and the key members of his team have been threatening, pointing fingers and gesticulating all the while as if they wanted to give justice to their followers overnight. Their deadline was December 27, 2011 for passing the Lokpal Bill (anti-corruption Ombudsman) in the Indian Parliament having all the features they wanted. Or else fast, agitation and God knows what more!
Maybe Team Anna never expected that to happen! And, more importantly almost in the way they demanded! So it's now of crucial importance what Team Anna does next!
The government of India presented the Lokpal Bill in the lower house of the Indian Parliament yesterday-22nd of December-as promised. Not only that! The session has been extended too by three days allowing fruitful debate. The Bill also has included almost all the features demanded by Team Anna-except for the issue of keeping Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI ) out of the ambit of the Bill. Some other features have been modified c…

Media Moments!

While the media discusses vehemently that Parliament and Assembly sessions in India are nowadays being reduced to mere political circus with no serious work happening, it's only the media that gets terribly bored when only work happens inside and nothing outside!
Outside yes! It's like an open colorful stage where charged performers do their antics with media waiting to relish and devour. Before the house begins performers come and demonstrate in this stage with peoples' problems inherited politically. When no such things happen media waits anyway for actors doing drama inside and announcing it outside moments later. But when only serious work continues inside continuously without noise or disruptions media is agitatedly bored.
Reporters and camera-persons get no options but only to compete for the limited chairs available outside and keep on visiting the canteens for umpteen cups of tea or coffee. Some get sick going on with their long standing 'standing' feats…

Surrogate Mother! Ethics, Business And All...

Recently Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan and his second wife had a baby through a surrogate mother. This is indeed a medically certified way to get a baby. But doubts and questions remain. Today a few more points emerge.
An opposition member of the Maharashtra Assebmly today at the Nagpur winter session presented an unofficial Bill demanding laws and regulations to control this delicate social issue. He informed the lower house that this Bill is first of its kind in the entire country. He had a few very thought provoking points:
*The nature of this practice makes it open only for women of the poorer sections, so exploitation is very much possible.
*Some websites advertise it as a viable career option which makes the exploitation angle more apparent.
*A lucrative buiness is evolving fast with no rulebook and Mumbai the headquarters. Foreign nationals also are coming for this and if they are looted nobody knows or cannot do anything about it.
*Some doctors in Mumbai are maintaining flee…

Now Spurious Liquor Tragedy in Kolkata!

Death toll in Kolkata country liquor is likely to cross 150 and even more. The people who take country liquor are mostly daily labourers, rikshaw pullers and other poor ones. After manual hard work these people just want to forget the stark reality of their existence and take liquor they can afford. The 'business' of such liquor does not allow them even this necessary 'luxury'! The owners of country liquor shops mix poison with the drinks to make money from the poorest of the poor!
The state of West Bengal was ruled by the so-called communists who talk of the interests of the proletariat, but in reality they allow the misery of rikshaw pullers who run with bare feet to hand-drive their loads on the cruel streets of Kolkata to go on! Such deprived souls normally die of TB in young age. A little comfort in their horribly short lives is robbed by the 'business' of spurious liquor. Hand pulled rikshaws still exist only in West Bengal.
The new Chief Minister of t…

Dousing A Political Fire!

The fire was real; the smoke was real. Only the cause was political or so to say the political motive reflected the pathetic conditions of the cultivators in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra. And, the 'fire' was doused indeed, literally.
The winter session of Maharashtra Assembly started on a stormy note yesterday in Nagpur, the winter capital of the state also called the Orange city due to extensive prduction of the fruit in this region. The opposition parties were in an attacking mood demanding immediate announcement of increased support prices for cooton, paddy and soyabean. The issue has been long pending and so they rejected the ruling coalition's appeal for discussion leading to the lower house adjourned for the day.
Today leaders representing the cultivators and belonging to the main opposition party held demonstrations in front of the house. Demanding higher support prices for paddy they put fire to a branch of paddy they carried with them. As flames leapt up and …

Cricket: India Make It 4-1! Pollard Shines!

India already clinching the one day cricket series against West Indies did experiment today at the last match in Chennai. Though they have been saying all the time that winning is the main focus and  want to finish on a confident note for the coming Australian tour they included several new players including Irfan and Tiwary and rested Sehwag who created history in the fourth match. Luckily the newbies did well with Tiwary getting a century and Irfan two wickets. Under the second stand-in skipper Gambhir India managed to post a target of 267 runs which was gettable despite the pitch being slow and ball keeping low.

Except for an incredible hundred by Pollard that included huge lusty shots the West Indies innings was not much of an effort. Pollard boost made the fifth match exciting and close like all the other four. At the end India won comfortably by 34 run. Coming good again Jadeja captured 3 wickets.

Tiwary was chosen man of the match and Rohit Sharma deservedly got the man of the …

Conversations!

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The anti-corruption Jan Lokpal Bill was finally adopted and presented in the upper house of the Indian Parliament yesterday by the Standing Committee. It  reportedly had agreement on 13 major issues and dissents on more than 20 other issues. The committee said that a few crucial issues have been left for debate in the Parliament and that these issues need to be debated over a long period of time. Nothing wrong in that because nobody can expect such a crucial Bill to be passed overnight and corruption eliminated next day!

Anna Hazare, as expected and in tremendous anticipation (knowingly?), is going ahead with his one-day strike in the Indian capital tomorrow. The opposition parties would again join gleefully to continue opposing the Government for an issue they only never allowed to be discussed and debated upon.

I am privileged to overhear a discussion between two commoners today at a public place. One of them middle-aged and the other in prime youth. First the elder one commented on…

A Massive Human Tragedy in Kolkata! Who Is Responsible?

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While the deaths of babies in Kolkata and West Bengal hospitals still haunt us another massive human tragedy happened early morning today. A big fire broke out reportedly around 1am in a seven-storied private hospital in Kolkata which so far killed 89 helpless patients. Casualties expected to rise as there were 160 patients in the hospital.
Desperate, grief-stricken and angry relatives had been crowding the AMRI hospital complex since morning asking questions on public safety and responsibilities. There were allegations that though the fire reportedly started at 1 am help came nearly three hours later and that the hospital staff ran away leaving the patients to their fate. First help came from the slum dwellers around the area, but no outsiders were allowed to come in to evacuate the crying and gesticulating patients.
Heart-breaking stories told by eye-witnesses and distraught family members. Helplessly trapped patients calling up their families, but their phones falling dead moments …

Cricket: Virender Sehwag Creates World Record! India Post Highest Ever Total and Clinch ODI Series in Style!

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Team India's top order clicked today and clicked in a magnificent way. Stand-in skipper Virender Sehwag created world record in the forty year old history one day international (ODI) cricket by scoring the highest ever individual score. He made an incredible 219 surpassing the world record of 200 not out by Sachin Tendulkar in a home ODI series against South Africa on February 24, 2010. Sehwag also scored his double in just 140 balls against Tendulkar's 147-ball innings. He also became only the second batsman to score a one-day double ton. Sehwag's 219 consisted of 25 fours and 7 huge sixes. 
India won the toss for the fourth time in the fourth ODI at Indore too, but made two significant changes this time. They elected to bat first considering the fact that in all the previous matches their chases were not comfortable and in fact lost the chase in the third encounter. Secondly the opening pair reverted to the most dependable Sehwag-Gambhir relegating Parthiv Patel to lower …

Retail FDI Suspended to Let Parliament Work!

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Finally Indian industrial and agricultural interests lost out to the political ones today. Cornered and forced by opposition political parties including lobbies in the ruling coalition the government of India had to suspend its decision of allowing 51% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the Indian retail sector.
The winter session of the Indian Parliament had been stalled for nine days out of which fives days were lost because of the FDI decision. Today morning the government called for an all party meeting on the burning issue and decided to suspend it on reaching consensus. The opposition parties called it victory for democracy. And, the Indian Parliament was allowed to function normally from today. Very forceful democracy indeed!
Ironically, the industrial and agricultural experts welcomed the government’s decision of allowing retail FDI pointing out the benefits of more employment, availability of goods at cheaper rates for the consumers and the long run favorable impact on the…

Politics+Sports: The Dow Controversy!

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Article first published as The Dow Controversy! on Technorati.
The Dow Chemical Company is a multinational corporation of United States. It is the second largest chemical manufacturer of the world going by revenue turnover. The official partner of the 2012 London Olympics finds itself in a big controversy due its link to Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) which was held responsible for the Bhopal Gas Tragedy.

In the night of December 3rd 1984 world’s worst industrial catastrophe hit the city of Bhopal in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. A leak of methyl isocyanine and other chemical gases occurred from the pesticide plant of Union Carbide India Ltd (UCIL) and ravaged the city for days after resulting in a massive loss of human lives. Estimates vary on the actual casualties. Official sources put the immediate toll at more than 3000 due to gas-related problems and the figure continued to increase to 15000 over the years. The number of injured has been put at about half a mil…

Cricket: Another Thriller! This Time West Indies Win!

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The third one day cricket match between India and West Indies played at Ahmedabad was another edge-of –the-seat affair with fortunes fluctuating both ways. But finally today the Ravi Rampaul boost galvanized his team to a thrilling win by 16 runs.
West Indies could not win even after Rampaul’s world record making effort for the last wicket in the second one-day international at Visakhapatnam. Today Rampaul took the vital wickets of skipper Sehwag and top order pillar Gambhir for ducks in his very first two balls of the match. At a crucial juncture again he got rid of another mainstay batsman Suresh Raina and finished off the match with the wicket of Mithun who replaced Varun Aaron for this match. But the win was not a cakewalk till the last four overs.
India at 105 for 6 the match seemed to be over. But the tremendously consistent Rohit Sharma completed his third half century of the series and evolved yet another partnership of 91 runs with Ashwin who was confident after his first tes…

Dev Anand: The Indian Actor Legend No More!

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He was loved for his handsome appearance, he was loved for his stylish acting, he was loved for his rapid-fire style dialogue delivery, he was loved for his typical gait and he was loved for his unique dress code invariably consisting of a hat and a scarf wrapped around his neck. Dev Anand—the legendary actor of Indian cinema—passed away early morning today in London due to a cardiac arrest. He was ever young at 88 and was in London for a medical check up for the past few days. End of an era. He was born in 1923 and till 1989 he continued to be the hero of Hindi movies beating in the race Raj Kapur and Dilip Kumar with whom the formed the famed trio ‘Raj-Dilip-Dev’ in the early fifties. He debuted as an actor in the Prabhat Talkies movie ‘Hum Ek Hain’ in 1946 and his active career spanned an incredible 65 years till his demise. His lasting image as a beloved romantic superhero started growing since the early fifties.
A romantic song sung by Mohd. Rafi for Dev Anand.




He established …

"Bura Mat Suno...Bura Mat Dekho..."!

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Long back Mahatma Gandhi advised us ‘Do not listen to bad, do not see bad and do not speak bad’ ("Bura Mat Suno..Bura Mat Dekho...Bura Mat Kaho"!). Now in modern hyper competitive times we are helpless about the first two don’ts. And persistent exposure to the first two makes us lose the third too!
We cannot help but listen to or watch an endless stream of ‘bad’—all around us from home to the streets, in the newspapers and news channels, in the television serials and in the movies and at every act we have to do like walking praying jogging or driving—everyday and every step of our existence.
Such continuous barrage of ‘bad’ is fast making us speak and utter a lot of ‘bad’ too. We are becoming doubtful and suspicious of everything around us and we are learning to blurt it out freely and openly.
The main ‘bad’ drive comes from politics. We are hounded constantly by all sorts of stories being hammered into us forcing us to form our opinions or go on changing these and final…

Cricket: Team India Supreme! Rampaul Creates History!

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The second One Day International (ODI) match between India and West Indies was nicely poised to be another humdinger, but Team India finally won quite comfortably by five wickets with 11 balls to spare. Following the first ODI this match also had its twists and turns.
Rains threatening to be spoilsport the toss was delayed by half an hour and Indian skipper Virender Sehwag elected to field after winning it. Pacers Umesh Yadav and Vinay Kumar exploited the cloudy and rare Indian seam-bowling conditions on a bouncy pitch and reduced West Indies to a tottering 149 for 8. Ravi Rampaul walked in at that moment and had altogether different ideas. At 170 for 9 the West Indies innings seemed to be over.
Rampaul started then a charged bout of powerful batting hitting half a dozen sixes and as many fours and blazed away to 86 not out of just 66 balls. He made history by becoming the first highest scoring No.10 batsman in one-day cricket. His partnership of 99 with Kemar Roach became the third h…

Bharat Bandh Today! But What About Retail FDI?

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Article first published as The Indian Retail Not For Sale on Technorati.
The government of India’s decision to allow 51% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the Indian multi-brand retail sector has led to a virtual ‘no sales’ politically for eight days on a trot and for the real markets today.

The much awaited winter session of Parliament could not function for eight consecutive days four of which have gone to the FDI implosion. The political protests inspired more than fifty million Indian traders go for aBharat Bandh(a general strike call to shut down markets all over India). The major trade unions as well as the opposition political parties extended support to this protest closure.
The din of politics is not letting anyone to listen to the economics. Like in the India-US 123 Nuclear Deal outrage three years back when hardly anybody read the content of the deal document, this time around too ‘no sale’ ignorance rules the roost.
Like the FDI puzzle the Bandh call has got a mixed res…

November Double Tragedy Hits Assam!

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The first to dissolve into eternity was the

legendary singer-poet-lyricist-writer-journalist-filmmaker  Dr. Bhupen Hazarika  who passed away at a Mumbai Hospital on November 5, 2011. And now, the celebrated author-social reformer-academician Prof. Indira Goswami, better known by her pen name Mamoni Raisom Goswami, passed away at a Guwahati hospital on November 29, 2011.
Two noted personalities of Assam who have been rooted to the soil and totally committed to the people and the land they belonged to. They have been the torchbearers for Assam carrying themselves with numerous awards and recognitions at the national and international levels. Assam has been identified with their laurels and as their home state. While one got the Dada Saheb Phalke Award, the highest honor in Cinema in India, the other got the Jnanpith Award, the highest literary honor of the country. One is dearest ‘Da’ (elder brother) and the other is beloved ‘Baideo’ (elder sister) for all of the Assamese people. Losing t…

India-West Indies One-Day Cricket Series: Start With A Thriller!

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The first match of the One-Day Cricket Series between India and West Indies at Cuttack today proved to be a genuine thriller with ups and downs for both the sides. It was a classic low-scoring match on a supposedly flat hatting pitch. Both sides lost nine wickets each and India finally managing win by 1 wicket with 7 balls to spare!
India won the toss and elected to field first. No surprise considering the dew factor that influences results in matches played this season in India. Team India was without the services of Dhoni, Tendulkar, and Yuvraj Singh with Pravin Kumar too left out due to a last minute injury. 
Indian pacers Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron and Vinay Kumar kept the visitors on a tight leash not giving runs easily and taking wickets at regular intervals. The spinners also contributed with part-timer Suresh Raina taking the vital wicket of Darren Bravo who top scored with 60 for the West Indies. The visitors were finally restricted to 211 for 9 and the target of 212 seemed an ea…