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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Politics Of Corruption: The Mystery Of The Adarsh Scam!

Nagpur: The final Report of the Two-member Inquiry Commission appointed in January, 2011 to look into the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society scam was tabled in Maharashtra Legislature by a hesitant Government yesterday. The Report names three ex-Chief Ministers of Maharashtra in same roles, one former CM in the role of revenue minister and two existing cabinet ministers in the roles of urban development ministers for giving political patronage to the Adarsh society in Mumbai. It names about twenty top existing and retired bureaucrats for illegal ownership of flats, nepotism and favouritism, and blatant violation of housing rules. Citing the classic saying that ' a man needs just five and half feet of land finally' the Report terms the Adarsh as a tale of absolute greed and corruption and the most shameful act for a progressive state like Maharashtra.

The high drama and suspense leading to tabling the Report started, in fact, from 19th of April, 2013 when the Commission had submitted its final Report to Maharashtra Government. Pressure had been mounting on the Government since then to table the Report in Legislature. Opposition political parties had been keeping no stone unturned to corner the Government at every opportunity. The Government had avoided the burden saying it needed time to prepare an action taken report. The winter session of Maharashtra began on 9th of this month-a day after main Opposition BJP had spectacular election victories in four states. This single fact made the Opposition emboldened and extremely attacking from the beginning.

During the session Bombay High Court issued a directive to Maharashtra Government to present the Report positively in this session. BJP claimed credit for this saying one of its party-men moved the PIL in the High Court. Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan assured that the Report would in fact be tabled during this Nagpur session. Opposition parties alleged that the Report would be kept for the last day so that discussion could not be initiated.

Meantime in another twist to the Adarsh story Maharashtra Governor denied CBI permission to prosecute Ashok Chavan-one of the tainted ex-Chief Ministers in the Adarsh scam. Agitated Opposition members smelt conspiracy in this too.

On the final day when tabling of the Report was expected any time the confusion got compounded by one more twist. Around noon news of Maharashtra Cabinet rejecting the Adarsh Report in a special morning meeting in Nagpur was raging across news channels. Out efforts to confirm this from CMO office failed as officials confirmed only the meeting and not the decision which they said would be announced during the tabling of the Report.

However, the ambiguity prevailed even after the winter Session concluded. Even as the Speakers in both houses of Maharashtra Legislature continued to disallow discussion on the Report leading to repeated adjournments the Government still did not spell out why it had rejected the Report or if rejected at at all. Much later it was more or less revealed in the four-line Action Taken Report submitted in the house that said the Government had rejected the Report. Opposition protests reached huge dimensions as angry members tore up the Report outside the assembly house. They charged that the Government was trying to protect its corrupt Ministers and top bureaucrats. The Opposition had in fact been relentless in its fight against former and present tainted Cabinet Ministers disrupting the house for days as the Anti Corruption Lokpal Bill was debated and passed by the Indian Parliament, with BJP supporting.

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, in his press conference immediately after the Maharashtra Legislature got adjourned till Budget Session in Mumbai from 24th February, 2014, decided to keep mum on possible reasons for rejecting the Report saying it would be discussed at the appropriate time. Prithviraj Chavan has been known for integrity and clean image. Now Opposition parties are raising serious questions on him while Congress party-men continue to repose faith in his decision.

Knowledgeable sources offer the argument that since the Maharashtra Governor refused permission to CBI to prosecute Ashok Chavan the Cabinet perhaps found it inappropriate to accept the Report. Whatever, the mystery around the Adarsh scam only deepens at this moment. The story looks far from being a closed chapter with the anti corruption spirit engulfing the country in a most positive and unprecedented way. And of course, with the General Elections-2014 just round the corner.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Politics: A Day Of Historical Acts!

Anna Hazare Breaking His Fast
Fight against corruption in India got the long sought after boost as Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian Parliament, passed the Lokpal Bill today afternoon. The Anti Corruption ombudsman Bill or the Lokpal Bill has almost become an Act pending the President's nod. Anna Hazare, the crusader against corruption, has given up his 7-day long fast and his followers at his native village Ralegan Siddhi and all over the country are celebrating. After disastrous defeats in four assembly elections the Congress led UPA Government has something now to draw inspiration from. Maybe it was already inspired by the certainty of it as the Government countered the US in a telling manner following the most peculiar case of Devyani Khobragade. A diplomat humiliated, and a lady harassed and insulted by American cops. Thanks to the sheer absurdity the conspiracy theory is gaining ground in India. A big apology from Uncle Sam is what the whole of India want now.

One more historical Act from Nagpur. The Maharashtra Legislative Council has passed the Anti Superstition and Black Magic Bill late tonight. The contentious Bill has been debated for over 15 years without getting passed into a law and the brutal murder of Narendra Dabholkar in August this year forced the state Government to act and act fast. The lower house of the Maharashtra Legislature had already passed it with a voice vote on Friday, the 13th of December leaving the opposition political parties a lot red faced. They alleged that the Government passed it in a hurry without giving enough time for discussion. However the progressive spirit of Maharashtra finally won. The state Government assured that the Act will not hurt religious sentiments of any community and will only strive to prevent evil practices or rituals ranging from human sacrifice to frauds looting people in the name of divinity. Now Maharashtra becomes the first Indian state to have an anti Superstition or anti Black Magic Act.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

And Rajya Sabha Passes The Lokpal Bill!

After a day long debate when political parties shook off their ideological differences Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament, passed the Lokpal Bill or the Anti Corruption ombudsman Bill this evening. Getting it passes here was the most difficult and crucial part due to the number game, and now passing it in Lok Sabha seems to be a formality, most probably tomorrow itself. Therefore we are likely to finally have an anti corrupt law. And Anna Hazare is set to call off his fast the moment history is made.

The Indian government has accepted all recommendations made by the joint select committee to make way for a strong bill. However the debate between Lokpal and Jokepal Bill continues. No human being is perfect, so how could a Bill be perfect. And in India you may have the absolutely perfect plan, but implementation in this god forsaken country is always typically imperfect.

Anyway, we can still celebrate with the fact that we do at least have a law against the corrupt. How many of them are going to be punished nobody knows. Neither Anna Hazare nor the Aam Aadmi Party.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Politics Of Corruption: Lokpal Bill Vs Jokepal Bill!

If the Anti-corruption Ombudsman Bill or the Lokpal Bill is passed by Rajya Sabha on Monday and it finally becomes a law who will get or take or claim the credit? An interestingly competitive game seems to be picking up fast. On the positive side due to this game the Bill is almost sure to be passed.

Politics of the most unprecedented or even weird kind is unfolding in Delhi. Normally after almost winning an election members of the concerned political party start fighting between themselves for the prime posts and indulges in horse trading to get the magic majority. But this time in Delhi no party is willing to take the plunge. BJP, just 3 short of majority, refused to try form the government saying it would support Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) that stuck to its principle of not extending or taking support of any party. Congress offered unconditional support to AAP last evening. Today Kejriwal did go to meet the Lt Governor after being invited to discuss formation of government. And in one more unpredictable act he asked for ten days. He questioned why big political parties are willing to extend 'unconditional support' and what could be the real motives? Kejriwal showed letters written by AAP to Congress and BJP listing out 18 points asking if 'unconditional support' meant Congress and BJP would support AAP on all these. He also said that in these ten days AAP would hold hundreds of public meetings trying to find what the citizens want AAP to do. AAP called the present form of the Lokpal Bill as Jokepal Bill. Is Kejriwal trying to milk his moment of glory rather too hard or trying to be the worthiest propagator of the 'real' Lokpal Bill?

Anna Hazare, on the fifth day of his fast, calls the to-be-passed Lokpal Bill as the right one. In fact, there was an open spat between him and AAP in a public meeting at Ralegan Siddhi yesterday when Anna asked an AAP elected member to get out for interrupting someone's speech. Well, if anyone needs to be given the final credit it must naturally be the anti-corruption crusader. That he is increasingly feeling insecure is the inevitable result of this pulsating brand of politics of corruption.

Meantime Congress has announced its strong resolve to get the Bill passed come Monday. BJP, attacking Congress as it must do always, is also making preparation to extend the necessary support for passing the Bill.

We, the hapless beholders of the holiest democratic traditions, must not bother who gets the credit and how. We should only bother about history being made finally or if at all.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Fight Against Corruption: Anna Hazare Back In Fast Action!

Anna Hazare congratulated his erstwhile chief lieutenant in the movement against corruption, Arvind Kejriwal for the latter's spectacular debut political performance in Delhi assembly election. He said that Kejriwal would have become Delhi Chief Minister if he had his continued support. Anna also reiterated his earlier observation that elections could be won without tons of money. But then, Anna would never become politically aligned or support any political party. We saw how pained he was when Kejriwal decided to form a political party and how he almost gave up his movement. However, it is obvious the crusader against corruption took some positives out of this development. Anna decides to resume his mission.

Anna Hazare announced his resolve to continue the fight for the much debated Anti-corruption Ombudsman or Jan Lokpal Bill. And today, the mass leader began one more of his famous fasts unto death at his native village Ralegan Siddhi in Maharashtra. Other reasons are also there for his decision. After BJP's 4-1 triumph in the state assembly elections-2013 the Congress led ruling coalition is reeling under tremendous pressure and the winter session of the Indian Parliament is underway.

Kejriwal's party remains true to its commitment of not forming government with or support any 'corrupt' political party. BJP, the single largest party in Delhi, says its first priority is to make Delhi administration corruption free. Now with added pressure from Anna Hazare and General Elections looming over the horizon Indian citizens could realistically hope for some action on corruption. It is really immaterial whether political parties fight corruption by choice or by being forced.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Election Politics: Congress Makes It 1-4 Now!

Of the five Indian states that went to poll counting for the north eastern state of Mizoram was taken up today. And the intensely introspective Congress party managed to make it 1-4 as a saving grace. On the momentous day yesterday BJP roared back to power in Rajasthan with three fourth majority, swept Madhya Pradesh and managed to retain Chattisgarh too.

Only Delhi has a hung assembly with BJP being the single largest party. There is lot of uncertainty here as Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) cannot afford to ally with any party on principle of fighting corruption. And it cannot have full faith in its winning candidates because the lure of political power and money might tempt them to defect to BJP. Therefore AAP is not taking any chances now.

In this much touted Semi Final for General Election 2014 BJP defeated Congress 4-1 and is getting emboldened to take the ruling coalition and all Congress ruled states like Maharashtra by the throat. Meanwhile in south Africa it would be very interesting to watch if Team India could also make it 1-2 against the hosts!

BJP Beats Congress 4-0, South Africa Beat India 2-0!

It was expected though not entirely predictable--in both cases.

Over the last few years Congress came to be identified with corruption thanks to various scams of the ruling coalition. Anna Hazare started the movement against corruption and rocked the whole of India--particularly Delhi. The BJP constantly attacking Congress on corruption and moving around Anna not exactly supporting or opposing him somewhat escaped being clubbed with corruption or Congress. Then BJP launched Narendra Modi as the Prime Ministerial candidate. Add to it the unabated inflation. For the four states that went to Assembly polls in November-December, 2013 these factors possibly led to a wave for change with record voting percentage in most states and BJP beat Congress 4-0, almost. It was a sweep in BJP ruled Madhya Pradesh and a grand comeback in Rajasthan. BJP ruled Chattisgarh was also retained after a tough Congress fight that happened largely due to the recent Naxal attack on its leaders. Arvind Kejriwal who broke away from Anna Hazare in the right time to become political created waves in Delhi poll capturing the second position and thus depriving BJP a clear majority. Congress that ruled Delhi for 15 years came a miserable third. Counting was taken up on Sunday, the 8th of November, with BJP leading 4-0 in a sort of run up to General Election-2014.

Touring South Africa with 6 successive Series wins to boot India lost the second one day international cricket match against South Africa too. Yet to find answers to South African pacers India again lost by a huge margin chasing a total of 280/6. South Africa beat India 2-0 in Durban on Sunday, the 8th of November to win the ODI Series.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Nelson Mandela (1918—2013): Our Gandhi No More!



We, talking about our generation specifically, grew up with the history of Mahatma Gandhi—how he made India independent through complete non-violence a movement based on truth and how the greatest Indian leader of all time was assassinated on the fateful day of 30th January, 1948. We grew up with Nelson Mandela hearing about his movement against the racist policy of Apartheid in South Africa based on the same Gandhian ideals, later watching him go about his noble ways and hearing his inspirational speeches—in India and everywhere. How he finally won like Mahatma Gandhi ending Apartheid and becoming the first black President of South Africa in 1994. He has been our Gandhi live and heart wrenchingly we lost him on Thursday evening, the 5th of December, 2013—losing a continuous source of leadership, indomitable spirit and inspiration. Of course, we knew that he had not been keeping well for the last few months being in and out of the ICU, and that he had reached the ripe age of 95. But you never actually want to lose anything that is good and lastingly good.

The world became one in paying tributes to Nelson Mandela, the Nobel Peace Prize winner, in the deepest spontaneous respect and admiration. As the news hit India early morning on Friday it became the top story in all media channels and in all the newspapers today. His rousing speeches earlier recorded in India went on air. The Indian Parliament on Friday adjourned for the week paying tributes to Mandela. The Government of India announced five-day state mourning with all top dignitaries and leaders giving moving condolence messages. Nelson Mandela has been as relevant for India as for South Africa and the world. We salute the great leader for humanity and justice.

The same night on Thursday mighty Team India fell in tatters losing the first one day international cricket match in Johannesburg against the hosts South Africa by a shattering 141 runs. India won the toss, had the first opportunity to use the fresh track and also avoided the possibility of the dew factor later in the night. But the Indian bowlers failed the team miserably as the top South Africa order fired relentlessly to set an almost impossible target of 359 runs for India. There were explosive knocks by HM Amla (65), Quinton de Kock (a brilliant century of 135 off just 121 balls), AB de Villiers (77 off just 47) and JP Dumini (59 not out off just 29 balls). Such was the domination of South Africa batting and poor Indian bowling that the Indian fielders started losing heart and mission opportunities. In the forgettable Indian chase there was just one half century by captain Dhoni who managed only to prolong the misery.

In fact there was some uncertainty about the India-South Africa cricket Series going further. As some of the match dates clashed with prayers and homage programmes of Nelson Mandela Cricket South Africa (CSA) sought the advice of the government regarding the future of the Series. However, after supposed consultations CSA confirmed last night that the Series as well as most sporting events would go on as scheduled.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Life: Mother And Son!



“Hello sonny dear?...You sound a little disturbed, tell me what’s on your mind.”
“Err…mom!...You know how much I love you…how I care for you!”
“I know son, go ahead.”
“You know I work long hours at a place a quite far off from our home here. And you are mostly alone in this big old house. On the top of that you don’t keep well nowadays. I’m constantly worried about you, mom!”
“I understand, it’s part of old age,…go ahead.”
“Well…err…mom…please don’t misinterpret what I’m going to say. I want to ensure constant medical and personal care for you. So why don’t we sell off this useless house. You’ll be well looked after in a sanatorium or in a very good old-age home. Believe me mom, I really want you to be hale and hearty.”
“That’s okay, but why sell the house. We don’t need money. I get a pension good enough for me.”
“Money is always useful dearest mom. You can invest in the share market or… we can buy a new house nearer to my workplace. Whenever you want you can come over there for a change.”
“Right, sonny dear! You want to live in a new house and want me out of the way. Who’s this girl you want to marry…and very soon?”
“What girl?...What are you saying mom?”
“Out with it…come on son! I can claim to know you even better than you!”
“You know the girls these days…I can’t really see you living happily with her.”
“So leave me here. I’m at home here and would prefer breathing my last here. Don’t you worry my darling little one!”  (From the old files)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

How to Make a Crime Scene Clean!




At some point in your life, you’ve probably seen a crime show or watched something gory on a film. Whether or not you regularly watch these shows on TV, you have probably noticed the huge mess that is left at a crime scene. This happens in real life, too, and somebody has to clean it up! Continue reading for more information on how businesses like Scene Clean manage to make order out of gruesome chaos.

When to Clean

Crime and trauma scene decontamination (or CTS Decon) occurs after the crime scene has been completely turned over by the local officials. They often leave a bigger mess than was there before. This is because they dust for prints, causing a black carbon mess. When the emergency services are performed, they also may make a mess in trying to save lives and stop bleeding. When pictures have been taken, and everything is said and done, the CTS Decon experts come in.

What to Clean

The professionals are equipped to clean up some pretty nasty things, including blood and other bodily fluids, and dangerous environments like meth labs. The reason this is usually not done by family members or other local people is that the mess is often much bigger than what you can see. For example, a small blood spot on the carpet can actually be a much bigger spot underneath it. The materials with bio-hazardous waste on them must also be properly disposed of, which requires permits. Additionally, this kind of work also requires the cleanup of liquefied body matter and maggots in the event that a body has been decomposing at a scene. Very few people would know what to do in this situation.

How to Clean

Not only are these scenes potentially stinky and unpleasant, they can also be very dangerous. For example, cleaning up a methamphetamine lab exposes you to toxic residue, which can cause a host of problems including lung damage, blindness, and more. So the experts from a business like Scene Clean have to wear the proper non-porous suit for protection. They’ll have to bring the basics like bleach and peroxide, along with more heavy-duty cleaning supplies like sprayers, brushes, and wet vacuums. With the huge messes and extensive measures that must be taken, this isn’t a job for the average Joe. (Sponsored Post)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Cricket: India Win ODI Series Against West Indies! Dhawan Posts His 5th Hundred Of The Year As India Register 6th Successive Series Win!


Shikhar Dhawan Blazing Away

India beat West Indies by 5 wickets in the final one day international in Kanpur today and won the three-match ODI Series 2-1. The Indian victory came largely thanks to opener Shikhar Dhawan who scored a magnificent century (119 off 95 balls)—his 5th in the year 2013. Team India has also achieved the 6th successive ODI Series victory in 2013 (January to November) starting with the India-England Series (3-1), ICC Champions Trophy in England, Tri-Nation Series in West Indies, India-Zimbabwe Series in Zimbabwe (5-0), India-Australia Series (3-2) and this India-West Indies Series (2-1). Team India has kept the victory momentum going despite stalwarts leaving the team in a phased manner and the consistent weakness in the bowling front. What India do next in South Africa will be both expecting and exciting.

In this day match that started in hazy wintry conditions the first hour was going to be crucial. Indian captain MS Dhoni elected to bat first after winning the toss mainly due to this reason and also because of a very healthy Indian chasing record. The Dhoni gamble gave him just one wicket despite fact that the Indian pacers put West Indies batsmen under a lot of pressure for quite some time. Continuing his good form of the last match Powell (70 off 81) crafted a fast-paced partnership of 117 runs with Samuels (71 off 93) and West Indies looked good for a huge total. However, Indian spinners Ashwin and Jadeja turned the tide in India’s favor taking three quick wickets. West Indies yet again averted a habitual collapse as the heroes of the last encounter DM Bravo (51 off 53) and Darren Sammy (37 off 38) helped their team to attain a competitive score of 263/5 in fifty overs.

The Indian chase looked rather easy as Shikhar Dhawan blasted away with magical boundaries and Yuvraj Singh (55 off 74) found his form to the delight of his fans.  Raina made it easier still playing a cameo of 34 in 43 balls without any kind of pressure. Although both settled batsmen, Yuvraj and Raina, got out with India still needing more than fifty runs captain Dhoni and Jadeja ensured a victory without any fuss reaching 266/5 with nearly four overs to spare. Dhawan deservedly won the man of the match and Virat Kohli the man of the series awards. The Scorecard:

Monday, November 25, 2013

Cricket: West Indies Salvage Lost Pride, Beat India To Draw Level!


Man of The Match Darren Sammy

West Indies desperately needed a win after being brought in and butchered for celebrating Sachin Tendulkar retirement. Their deposed captain Darren Sammy kept his cool finally leading his team to victory on Sunday, the 24th of November, 2013. Salvaging their lost pride and overcoming their suicidal tendencies twice during the match West Indies managed to beat India by 2 wickets in the second one day international (ODI) in Visakhapatnam. For once, both teams matched each other in terms of ups and downs, flip-flops, dropped catches and fielding blemishes. Of course, in bowling West Indies managed to block India effectively midway while Indian bowlers were lackluster except for Ashwin.

West Indies won the toss and maybe due to the dew factor elected to field first. This time Rohit Sharma could not take his dream run forward and got out early with Shikhar Dhawan too unable to stick on for long. But Virat Kohli gave the momentum needed and was poised for his 18th ODI hundred thus creating a record of scoring five centuries each in two consecutive years. With good support from Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina he took the score to 194 for 3 in the 35th over. At that stage India seemed to be on course for a 300 plus total. However, inspired bowling by Rampaul, Holder and Sammy deprived Kohli (99 off 100 balls) of his hundred almost choking India. Raina this time too could not go on for a longer innings and perished to a bad shot. But for a late charge by captain Dhoni (51 not out) India could not have reached an imposing total of 288/7 on a slowish pitch. The match was evenly poised because of the heavy dew.

West Indies, this time without Chris Gayle, started badly losing two wickets for 23 runs. But then Powell (59) and Darren Bravo (50) brought up the first hundred run partnership of the tour and they had the first breath of win at 123 for 2. Unpredictability took over as both fell quickly despite being let off several times. Simmons (62) kept hope alive still and at 185 for 4 West Indies were cruising. They let it go too and struggled losing wickets till the end. Finally Darren Sammy (63 not out off just 45 balls) overcame his team’s suicidal instincts and reached 289 for 8 winning the match by 2 wickets with 3 balls to spare. He was rightfully chosen the Man of the Match.  The Scorecard:

With the three-match India-West Indies ODI Series locked at 1-1 the third and final encounter in Kanpur on 27th November looks interesting. The final will be a day match and therefore the dew factor affecting mainly the bowlers of the team fielding second is being ruled out. The early wintry morning conditions could of course help fast bowlers though and the toss could still be tricky.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

India: Holy Campaigners Fall For Power And Clout!



The so-called holy campaigners or even ‘crusaders’ are falling into the time-tested Indian mix of power-and-clout trap. Always crying for high morale values and attacking and exposing the powers-that-be with stings and other operations one of such ‘crusading’ media agencies, web magazine Tehelka (means 'uproar') finds itself with the sinners it fights against thanks to the overpowering drive of power accumulated which creates enough clout for immunity. Always crying for a corruption free society and corruption free politics anti-corruption activists who did not think much of their philosopher-friend-guide leader to go on form a separate political party, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP—common man’s party) by Arvind Kejriwal, find themselves deep in the same rot created by power and clout and yet show an adamant bout of immunity.

Right, in India you just need to chase a noble cause—causes are not at all hard to find in a fast degenerating society—, make a nationwide campaign, win public confidence, assume enough power by pitching public opinion against the rulers thus adding blackmail and finally create the clout for you which makes you immune to whatever you do later. We have said several times on these pages that these ‘holy’ campaigners consider themselves gods and above law, and thus empowered they laugh away all kinds of possible charges or accusations against them as ‘conspiracies’ by the ruling power that is necessarily and always corrupt, inapt and rotten.

The founder editor of Tehelka.com, Tarun Tejpal, tries to molest or rape a fellow journalist in Goa during an event. The victim files a complaint against the editor with the management and, in utter disregard of stringent laws for crimes against women for which the media fought so intensely the management tries to cover it up internally. The editor thanks to the power and clout he had built up during his ‘fiery’ career resigns for six months as self-inflicted ‘punishment’ and claims that the victim is satisfied with the measures taken. The management never lodged a police complaint as if there was no law in the country, right no law can exist for the powerful, and just about succeeded but for leaked emails. Luckily for the victim and India their own ‘recuse-exercises’ emails got leaked and Goa Police took up the case lodging an FIR for rape against Tarun Tejpal. As the investigations get going reports came from the victim that inhibition and harassment are being applied to pressurize her to reconcile to the management ‘justice’ formula.

Chief Lieutenant of Anna Hazare fight against corruption movement, Arvind Kejriwal, formed his own political party AAP against his mentor’s wishes and went ahead to contest state Assembly polls.  Suddenly, a media portal did a sting operation and the videos showed clearly how AAP leaders bargained for ‘quid pro quo’ promising action for money and ready to accept cash in return. And predictably, the AAP leadership laughed away the video as ‘doctored’ and ‘distorted’. Right, thanks to the power and clout they have accumulated riding on public unrest and faith they brazenly term this too as ‘politically motivated conspiracy’.

Well, the hapless citizens of the country can hardly get the actual truth in any case, but they can be cautious enough while casting their votes. The all-encompassing degeneration of the Indian society tragically seems to be complete with the media itself and the corruption-free political party succumbing to the obvious temptations. At the moment India need incorruptible saviors who have to be internally programmed never to fall for temptations of power and clout. But to fight Indian elections you always need huge amounts of money and influence. Irony overpowering irony!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Cricket: Indian Demolition Of West Indies Continues!


Rohit And Virat

Team India made a perfect gift of 2-0 sweep in the Test Series—suitably called Tendulkar Farewell Series—to the retiring legend fully at the expense of a clueless West Indies for whom the only consolation could have been the historic moments of Sachin Tendulkar retirement. The first one day international (ODI) of the three-match India Vs West Indies ODI Series in Kochi today continued or rather heightened the same demolition parade as India won easily by 6 wickets with over 14 overs to spare. India lead the ODI Series 1-0.

West Indies won the toss and elected to bat first on a seemingly batting track. They faced disaster immediately as they lost prime ODI player Chris Gayle run out in the very first over. Charles (42) and Samuels (24) generated some hope by taking the score to 65 in the eleventh over. Sensing the tricky nature of the wicket Indian captain Dhoni introduced spinners from both ends and that spelt the end of the West Indies batting challenge. Jadeja who came back to Team India after injury that left him out of the Test Series, Ashwin and Raina accounted for 8 wickets between them. West Indies got all out for a paltry 211 in the 49th over with just a solitary half century by DM Bravo (59).  That was hardly a challenge for the strong Indian batting line-up.

India lost Shikhar Dhawan early, but that hardly deterred Rohit Sharma (72) and Virat Kohli (86) both of whom continue to enjoy a dream run of terrific form from taking the match away in matters of overs. They took the score to 150 in the 25th over and after that it was just academic. Barring a brief flutter when two wickets fell quickly India romped home at 212/4 in the 36th over. The second day-n-night ODI will be played on November 24 in Visakhapatnam. West Indies, particularly Gayle, must produce some extraordinary tricks out the sleeves to stay afloat in the Series. The Scorecard:

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Humor: Ring…Ring…Ring…Are You Ready?



Haven’t you already observed a helluva lot of times that your cell phone bursts out ringing at the most awkwardly wrong moments?  Like you’ve lathered up nicely and about to put your razor to work…you mobile rings. You can’t take the risk of answering unless you’d like it to have a shave too. Like you are in the bath happy and singing…you mobile rings. Let be assured that it would’ve been one of the most important calls. Like you are driving and in the worst of traffic situation…you mobile rings…not once, but several times and falls silent when you’ve reached. I’d not rather mention other situations when you feel mad, shamed and damned. However, the situation I suffered recently was as unique as it was hilarious, maddening, exciting and depressing.

That warm evening I along with my wife came out of the supermarket after purchasing mostly grocery items. There were three moderately heavy bags, I was carrying two engaging both of my hands and my wife one. We walked briskly to reach our car so as to unburden ourselves quickly. Midway, to my dismay, I heard my cell phone safely kept in my inner pocket ringing. Thinking it could be important I transferred the load of my right hand to my left and took out the mobile answering it. Now my left hand was carrying two bags and it was becoming real heavy. Our car was still far off.

The call was important. It was the result of my consistent efforts for quite some time in a particular project. Now the caller started feeding me all the details and I knew it was not going to end soon. I reached my car and stood helpless as I could not take out the car key from my back pocket. The road was dirty and so I could not put the bags there, something my wife never liked anyway. My left hand was crying aloud now about to break. My wife was getting annoyed too as she was also carrying one. I motioned her to come close to me and moved my eyes downwards furiously trying to tell, ‘Please take out the key from my back pocket and open the doors’. Not understanding she tried my shirt pocket. Taking a second off from the insistent conversation I brought my mobile down and thrashed it on my back pocket. ‘This is the jackpot! Hit it quick!’

By the time she managed to open the car doors the phone call ended.  

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Continue Your Education at Your Convenience!




If you have the desire for higher education but have found that going back to school is not an option for you at this time, consider enrolling in an institution that offers online classes to their students. Online classes make taking your education to the next level easier than ever. The college or university of your choice may offer this option to their students to help them reach their educational and professional goals. Some areas of education that might interest you are business, arts and humanities, or the sciences.

College and universities that offer online classes to their students are giving them the opportunity to get their education from an accredited institution without attending a formal classroom setting. An institution that offers this allows their students to cover the same curriculum and criteria that is covered in a traditional classroom, but they can complete the assignments and take on the course load in their home, office, or on the go. 

Once you have enrolled in the institution of your choice and have selected the major you are interested in, you will be given login credentials to access your class’s materials in a digital format. If a textbook or other book is required for your class, you may be able to purchase it in a digital or paper format. You will find your assignments and other projects your professor has assigned on a simple-to-use dashboard where you can keep track of upcoming deadlines, post in forums your professor creates, or communicate with your professor one-on-one.

Choosing to take online courses may seem like a no-brainer, but deciding which course of study that most interests you may be difficult. If you would like help choosing your major or determining your class schedule, you can speak with an academic adviser that specializes in business, arts and humanities, sciences, or general education. You will also find their help online to answer questions and for further direction.

If you are unable to attain your higher education in a traditional setting, you will find the option to attend an accredited institution through online classes helpful in your journey to gain more knowledge and better your personal and professional life. (Paid Post)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Perfect Finale For The Retiring Legend: Sachin Tendulkar Awarded Bharat Ratna, Team India Gifts Him 2-0 Series Win!



Mumbai, Day 3: All shades of emotions were in spontaneously glorious display at Wankhede Stadium this morning as Sachin Tendulkar took the last bow out of cricket after India thumped West Indies by an innings and 126 runs in the Second and Final Test of the Tendulkar Farewell Series within the first session of play. There were cheers and tears; standing ovation and absolute adulation; ecstatic outbursts and pain of parting and unbridled show of pride, love and affection. Not only in the stadium where at least 25,000 people were there to watch their hero one last time, but everywhere across India and the world of cricket. Our newsroom was no exception as all of staff forgot to mind their work for one rare occasion and crowded around the television sets to watch and listen to the master-blaster. After all presentations and mementos the God of Cricket spoke to the whole of the world of cricket for nearly twenty minutes thanking his mother, his wife, his coach, his Wankhede where he started his cricket career exactly 24 years ago, his cricket Board, his team mates and colleagues, his therapists and doctors, and of course his millions of fans and cricket lovers. A man rooted to his culture Sachin walked to the pitch and did his prayers for the last time. Then his triumphant team mates who felt ecstatic being able to gift him a 2-0 Series win against West Indies carried him on their shoulders marching around the ground in gratitude and affection.   The final golden touch of the day was yet to come.

Just about two hours after the match the President of India announced the Award of Bharat Ratna (The Pearl of India) to Sachin Tendulkar. Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian honor of the country and Sachin becomes the first ever sportsperson to get this. Whole of India, particularly his home state Maharashtra, celebrated across homes, offices, streets and markets. Scientist CNR Rao was also conferred Bharat Ratna for his contribution particularly in the recent Mars Mission.

Thus an illustrious career lasting exactly 24 years and a day in which he played 200 Test Matches, 463 ODIs and a lone T20 scoring 34,357 international runs came to a glorious end today. The 40-year-old maestro, who had rarely let emotions show on his cherubic face, began to break down after being presented a souvenir stump by his teammates. Wiping tears, he trudged back to the dressing room but not before acknowledging the fans and shaking hands with the West Indian cricketers at the boundary line. Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar retired from international cricket quietly, so did Dravid and Laxman holding their customary press conferences. Ganguly and Kumble got a farewell but it was much muted by those standards. But when it came to Tendulkar, who has truly transcended all boundaries, it was only fitting that a billion people would be swayed by emotions.

In the second innings there was just one half century by D Ramdin (53 not out) as West Indies crumbled to a pathetic 187 in 47 overs giving India a huge victory margin for the second consecutive time. Pragyan Ojha was declared the man of the match for taking 10 wickets (5 for 40 and 5 for 49) and debutant Rohit Sharma the man of the series for two consecutive and brilliant centuries. Ashwin took 4 wickets and one by Mohammed Shami. The Scorecard:

Sachin Tendulkar euphoria is not going to subside soon. After the announcement of the highest award for him fans would expect him to speak to them again and an endless of stream of felicitations leading finally to the Award Ceremony.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Tendulkar Farewell Series: Sachin Dazzles Short Of Century, India Poised To Wrap It Up Tomorrow!



Mumbai, Day 2: The morning session of the 2nd day of the 2nd and final Test between India and West Indies perhaps has beaten even an India-Pakistan cricket thriller in terms of viewership, suspense, expectations and excitement. And the fans, ex-cricketers or organizers, Bollywood superstars, Chief Ministers, central ministers, political bigwigs and business tycoons who thronged the Wankhede stadium or millions of television sets were not disappointed by the God of Cricket. The master-blaster almost found his golden touch delivering glorious straight drives, elegant square cuts, lofted shots—he tried even the flick over the head of the wicket keeper that was made official by Virender Sehwag in one-day cricket. He added 36 more runs to overnight 38 crafting a partnership of 148 solid runs with Pujara to lift India out of the woods. He got out for a majestic 74 falling to Deonarayan and although fans wanted him to go on for a memorable century they were not disappointed either. It was a standing ovation for the cricket legend all the way back to the pavilion. In all probability this was the last of Sachin Tendulkar as far as playing cricket is concerned. It is still painful though to think that he will never be seen playing with his heart out hitting all around the park.  

The Indian cricket Board officials and curators were perhaps rather too eager of presenting a winning farewell series, because like the first Test this one is also set to get over in two and half days tomorrow. Inspite of the Tendulkar nostalgia and show of tremendous passion the strong-ever Pujara (113) kept his end in perfect order and notched up his 5th Test century crafting another momentous partnership with Virat Kohli (57). After the heroic knock of 177 in Kolkata Test Rohit Sharma (111 not out—two consecutive centuries in his first two Tests) proved again how useful a cricketer he has become for India by achieving another century off just 118 balls. The Indian first innings throughout had the perfect one-day cricket look and style (495 in 108 overs). With all these healthy knocks India gained a massive lead of 313 runs and captured three West Indies wickets for 43 runs at stumps on second day. Ashwin struck immediately with two victims and hopefully for West Indies Gayle is patiently not out at 6. West Indies off spinner Shillingford made it a fifth consecutive five-wicket haul in Test cricket and this is indeed a great plus for the definitely weaker team in this Series. The Scorecard:

Finally it is going to be a very happy ending for Sachin Tendulkar and his fans with India poised to wrap it 2-0 tomorrow with a huge victory margin once again. Do not lose heart; you can still watch your God of Cricket in action tomorrow too.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Tedulkar Farewell Series: West Indies Scuttled Out For 182, Sachin Tendulkar Batting!


Pragyan Ojha 5 for 40

Mumbai, Day 1: Indian captain MS Dhoni surprised many and disappointed more by electing to field first after wining the toss in Sachin Tendulkar’s 200th and the second and final Test against West Indies in Mumbai today. The Wankhede track is known to take turn from the 3rd or 4th day making things difficult for the team batting last. However, it is also known to contain some juice and Dhoni perhaps wanted to exploit early morning conditions with his new look fast bowler pair Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami. Had the catches been taken early on the Indian captain’s decision could have been justified immediately. Finally, on the first day itself the crowds had the best of both worlds. They witnessed their team dominate West Indies completely and relished the retiring legend coming in to bat remaining unbeaten at stumps.

The Indian fast bowlers, particularly Shami, maintained tight line and length reaching the speeds of around 145km per hour. Shami got the danger man Chris Gayle (11) out early while quite a few catches were dropped at slips of Kieran Powell (48—highest individual score) and DM Bravo (29).  But the spinner duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha clicked immediately compensating for the lost chances. It was surprising to see the ball spinning and keeping low right on the first day. West Indies had had another unpredictable collapse with not partnership building up and not even a single half century in the entire innings. West Indies could not last even two full sessions and got all out for a paltry 182 before tea break. Ojha had the best figure of 5 for 40, Ashwin 3 for 45 and the pacers with one each.

India started on a brisk note with openers Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay notching up 77 runs in almost one-day style. And then in the 14th over off spinner Shillingford struck twice getting both openers out. Cheteshwar Pujara came in his usual position and with 2 wickets down for 77 there was pin drop silence and suspense around the stadium. With more than twenty overs left for the day a night watchman could not possible be sent in. It was also too risky to send in Tendulkar as billion hopes were associated with his batting, possibly for the last time ever as India was set on course for a big lead like in the first Test in Kolkata.

Sachin Walks In To Bat Perhaps For Last Time
But it was indeed Sachin Tendulkar who came in with crowds loving the moment. Tendulkar too seemed to have understood the urgency of the billion hopes and batted cautiously slowly and steadily opening out and finding his rhythm. The master-blaster remained unbeaten at 38 with Pujara not out on 34 and India at 157/2 trailing just by 25 runs. The Scorecard:

Since early morning today the atmosphere in and around Wankhede Stadium was charged with admiration and passion demonstrated spontaneously by fans, cricket organizers and ex-players and huge number of media crews for the cricket legend who was playing his 200th and last Test on his home ground. He was felicitated with memento by the cricket Board; Dhoni presented him a cap with 200 embossed over it; the coin for the toss was also special with Sachin Tendulkar’s photo on it and the Indian Posts and Telegraphs issued today a special stamp in his honor.

His cricket fans all over India and the world at the moment are pinning their hopes on their beloved player to deliver a strong and fitting farewell knock tomorrow, the 101st international century most preferably.  

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Mumbai Celebrating Sachin Tendulkar!



The retiring cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar fever has consumed his home city Mumbai with temperatures increasing as the second Test between India and West Indies after which the legend is to make the final goodbye to cricket nears. Everywhere fans are talking about him, the media channels producing special programs on him and the newspapers carrying special features on his achievements and glory. At different levels of cricket organizers and the state government felicitation programs are being held routinely or planned during the next few days.

The Maharashtra Government had already formed a special felicitation committee with the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Ministers as members. Last evening a grand naming ceremony was organized at a Mumbai suburb where the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) dedicated a sprawling world-class sports facility as Sachin Tendulkar Gymkhana. In a colorful and vibrant function the legend participated expressing his deep gratitude and genuine cricket emotions. Union Ministers, state Ministers including the Chief Minister, cricket biggies, celebrities and fans were present on this great occasion.

Side effects of the raging fever were also visible. Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium where the historic second Test is scheduled to start on 14th November is much smaller than Eden Gardens in Kolkata and has a 32,000 capacity. Out of these possible tickets 17,000 were given to the cricket fraternity including associations and clubs all over the globe,: 8000 were given to sponsors and government officials and after some more adjustments just 5000 tickets were offered online for the general public. Imagine, Mumbai alone has a population of about 14 million. To make things worse for the fans the website selling tickets crashed yesterday due to unprecedented hits and this drove irate fans to the Wankhede Stadium in hope of finding tickets there. But there were none. Today morning online sale opened and immediately the sold out sign came on.

The master-blaster, rather unexpectedly for the fans gathered at the stadium, came out for net practice with most of his team mates today afternoon and the crowds were gratified beyond words. Members of the West Indies team had their session too earlier. The atmosphere at the Wankhede Stadium has got electrified already.

In the first Test in Kolkata India defeated West Indies by an innings and 51 runs and it was all over within three days. The fans there enjoyed their idol running around the field, bowling a few overs too and taking a wicket. However, they could see him bat only once and that too was cut short by an umpiring error. Apparently the curator of Eden Gardens wanted to make it sure India won that match as a mark of gratitude for their legendary team mate.  Fans in Mumbai are hoping Sachin Tendulkar bows out finally with a thundering batting performance at his home ground to make the ‘cricket’ part of the celebrations too as memorable as ever. A full five-day Test will also be the right finale for a historic event.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sunday Suspense: Frenzy!




A Still From Hitchcock Classic Frenzy

Dinkar stood hunched, a knife in his hand.

He was agitated and tense. The situation was getting out of hand. He had to do something now—something permanent and final. He could tolerate it no longer.

Everyone has some weaknesses, but at the same time some strengths too, he muses furiously. What to do if one always highlights the weaknesses and makes it a point to ignore the strengths! His has been one such never ending story since all the years of his marriage.

His grip on the knife tightened.

He could still hear the rumblings, the grumblings and the awesomely monotonous cacophony.

First thing on this beautiful Sunday morning he got it again. And what did he do? Were his mistakes so unpardonable or were these mistakes mistakes at all?  He only tried to help as always. That he broke the tea cup was only an accident. He took it to the sink just to make it easier—as a good gesture. Spilling the water in the passage was another little accident when again he tried to help only by carrying the water to the bath.

He could hear his wife still in the bathroom. He felt the point of his knife.

‘Nag…nag…you old hag!’, he muttered to himself with relish not daring though to say it aloud, because that would make her start all over again. Her way of putting it never failed to hit him to the core. She says his daily routine goes like this—sit, sleep and eat while at home; sit, sit and eat the lunch provided while at office and then coming back home to sit eat and sleep again. How so cruel of her!

He could hear her coming out of the bath, meddling with the washing machine and then entering the bedroom still not forgetting to go on with her live demo on his morning mistakes in all its originality and manifestations.

This was his chance! The line was clear! Their son out at a music class. They were alone.

Holding the knife poised Dinkar rushed to the kitchen and bolted the door from inside. He violently took out the vegetables tray and attacked the greens with venom.

He would prove it once and for all that he was no less a cook than her and that he was her equal in all respects.

He was not going to come out till the lunch was ready.

(This story was retrieved from my old files of more than 12 years. More discoveries to continue!)   
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