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Vijay Jadhav: Abrupt End To A Promising Career

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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 Mah

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

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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 p

Now Showing: Democratic Circus!

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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 15 th 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 adjo

Wanted! A Training Course In Corruption?

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Scam after scam! The marathon is not willing to stop. Adarsh Society, 2G Spectrum, Kickbacks for Loans, Land Grabbing. You name it! What all these prove? One thing only. Everybody is bent upon making the extra buck—by hook or by crook as we have said earlier in this space. Corruption has taken deep roots in our hearts. It is fast becoming a culture. And why not! Jobs are being sold and bought in most of the places. If one buys a job or career for a hefty price s/he would first like to recover the cost very quickly. Salary recovery will be very slow. So, corruption gets ingrained into it. Considering the widespread acceptability a foolproof training course in corruption is the need of the hour. This is bound to help one and all. Besides, this will also help prevent scams to surface. The course should have two modules. One— How best to take Bribes . Here three basic factors would come into contention. Greed: There will be again three varieties. Plain Greed, Greed with intelligence a

Lucky Oye!

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One day stopping my car at a busy traffic signal a lottery ticket seller came up to me. He was gesticulating displaying a whole bunch of tickets for my kind consent. Never a believer in my lottery luck I politely declined. Disappointed, the seller kept the bunch on my car bonnet and began rearranging them. Then he moved forward. But, moments later he rushed back pointing to a ticket lying on the car bonnet. He picked it up looking at me very meaningfully and waved the ticket towards me saying, ‘This ticket belongs to you, Sir! Don’t let this opportunity slip away!’  As the signal became green and I drove forward slowly furious thoughts invaded my mind. Was that a good omen? Should I have bought it? Damn it! Now it's gone and lost! A few days later the same incident happened again and I seemed to recognize the seller boy too. This time I noticed one ticket left behind on my car bonnet and observed him closely. He took a few steps away and then suddenly stopped, sorted out the tick

Adarsh, Action and the Corruption Exchange!

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As expected, action was initiated moments after President Obama left India for Indonesia. Prithviraj Chavan was appointed new Chief Minister of Maharashtra. Prithviraj Chavan who had been a central minister in Delhi has been enjoying a clean image over the years and there are exemplary stories about his efforts at his native town and constituency Karad. He was sworn in at a simple ceremony and he ordered all posters of him removed from all places of the state. The central Environment Ministry had served notice on the Adarsh Society as to why it should not be demolished. Now the extreme step of demolition becomes extremely likely and why not; corruption must be rooted out. But, at the same time, something else had also happened. A media channel showcased a veteran politician who made a sensational offer of exchanging most corrupt with less corrupt so that status quo is not disturbed. You are familiar with telephone exchanges, stock exchanges, traffic exchanges or foreign exchanges.

President Obama: Mumbai Taken By Dance!

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Mumbai waited with bated breath for the huge event. US President Barack Obama's Air Force One landing at the financial capital Mumbai to start the President's  maiden visit to India. Amidst unprecedented security arrangements and Diwali celebrations in full swing almost everybody in town was intensely focused on Obama. Yes, the Chief Minister Ashok Chavan did indeed receive the biggest guest possible on earth at the airport and presented him an illustrated book on Maharashtra. Of course, the Chief Minister avoided attending the CEO Business Meet at Trident Hotel or other functions at Taj Palace Hotel for obvious reasons.  The Chief Minister along with some of his cabinet colleagues were invited earlier by the US Consulate for the Meet asking them to bring the invitation letters and identity proofs  for entry!  The Consulate did indeed finally apologize citing security concerns. The most powerful people within the state had enough reasons to be rightfully offended. Coincidental