Aamir’s “Intolerance” remark, disgraceful

November 27, 2015

Aamir khan, as an Indian citizen has every right to air his opinion and feelings about the atmosphere around him. The public who reacted to it also had a right to comment on what he said and air their feelings. Having said that, being a celebrity, an Ambassador of Incredible India Campaign, the face of “Athithi Devo Bhava” Campaign, Aamir khan should have been more responsible and careful, saying on a public platform,that his wife is feeling insecure because of the intolerance in the country and that she wants to leave india for good. Aamir adding that this a disastrous statement from his wife did not save him from a huge uproar against the comment.

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What seemed like, Aamir trying to shoot the comment from his wife’s shoulders did not go too well with many, in bollywood and political circles. If his wife, or someone in his family says something to him in private, where is the need for him to tell the whole world about it, Unless he himself endorses it and wants to tell the world , but, has no guts to do so. If he feels just like Kiran does, then , they should pack their bags and leave the country, no one is going to stop them. If he thinks she is only reacting to some stray incidents of intolerance, then he should talk to her and give her confidence, who best to do it than the Ambassador of Incredible India himself. No point going public.We all know Aamir is smart enough to know where he is doing what and why. Why Aamir created such a controversary dragging his family into it, seems quite obvious for the lack any other sane reason. We know Aamir as a far better “actor” than this.

ALLSTARS T20 CRICKET SERIES: ALL STARS but NO SHINE

November 20, 2015                                                                                                  Srinivas Nyapathy Writes

The ALLSTARS T20 Series that concluded recently in USA was interesting to watch . It was more like those veteran Tennis matches, we get to see ffrom time to time. It is very nostalgic and exciting to see our old Tennis stars weilding racquets all over again and smashing the ball. Though there’s hardly any seriousness in these exhibition tennis matches, its surely pure fun.

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I first thought, ALLSTARS T20 series is also something similar and is being played for some Cause/ Charity. But was surprised to read Sachin Tendulkar saying that he’s picking up the bat again to globalise cricket through ALLSTARS CRICKET T20 Series. I thought, If it was “”Cricket for Veterans”” that he wants to promote, it might work but, regular Cricket, No.

To popularise present day Indian Cinema/ Bollywood, you do not tour the World with Raj Kapoor’s B & W Hits of the 60s. If you do, its not Indian Cinema/ Bollywood of today that you are trying to globalise or popularise. You will be giving the global crowds a wrong picture. That’s precisely what ALLSTARS T20 Series is doing by promoting “Old” Stars Cricket as present day International Cricket. This is where ALLSTARS T20 Series fails, if their intention is to globalise Cricket.

If really globalisation is their intention, Sachin and Warne should select teams from the top international stars playing cricket actively now, to showcase Cricket globally. A B De Villiers, Virat Kohli, Steve Smith, Miller, McCullum, Stuart Broad, Dale Steyn, Bolt, Chris Gayle and the likes. ..But they chose what is similar to the Raj Kapoor example, by taking old “hits”.

If this present concept of ALLSTARS T20 Series is used to promote Cricket globally, its a very sad way to do it. Cricket deserves something better than an “OLD”STARS T20 Circus to promote it globally.

Ideally players get into their national sides in their 20s. To play at the International level, you need to be agile, raring to go..but these ALLSTARS matches, comprised players who have all retired, most of them years ago, 29 players in all, averaging about 43 years of age. Cricket is a lot about strength and stamina. That has not come though at all in this concept of globalizing Cricket. For the global audience, to whom this series is supposed to introduce Cricket, the sport being played by aged people seems to convey that Cricket is for people in their 40s.

If i want to introduce my kids to football in 2015, I will travel miles to show them Messi playing football, not an aged Pele. With ALLSTARS T20 Series, you get Pele , not Messi.

Trying to popularise the game globally, taking the game to a completely new audience, is no laughing matter. But there was hardly any seriousness on some faces in this series. Do you expect the American/global crowds to take this promotonal series seriously, when they see a batsman singing Bollywood songs loudly over the wireless mic, while facing upto a fast bowler. Yes, we all know Viru used to hum songs while batting, but, to do it when he is presenting the sport globally, seemed shocking. While playing regular matches may be Viru used to hum to himself, to calm his nerves. Though we read about it later, We never ever really heard him singing. But now, in this Series, to see him and hear him singing loudly over the mic while facing a fast bowler, seemed very silly. It makes a mockery of someone’s intentions, to globalise the game.

Is the ALLSTARS T20 Series trying to convey globally that this is the seriousness with which cricket is being played World over presently ?
Is this the Circus they want to showcase as “International Cricket”, globally ?

Oh please, someone stop them.

Cricket is a gentleman’s game. Of strategy, skill, endurance, teamwork and glorious uncertainities. Its much more than just a duel between a 5.50 Oz ball and a piece of Willow. We should not forget the fervour with which the game is followed by fans worldwide. It’s a Religion in the Subcontinent, that has a GOD, who is worshipped worldwide.

Seriousness, intensity, youthful agility, that’s so evident in present day World Cricket should come through in the ALLSTARS T20 Series, to make Cricket popular globally and to showcase the game in the right way.

I feel, these Stars should play ALLSTARS T20 Series just to enjoy and entertain the fans. But If they still tour the World (with the same concept), in the name of globalising the game, they are insulting the way International cricket is played today.

Cricket Humour

August 20, 2015  via  espncricinfo.com

Too much of cricket humour has come to be intertwined with sledging these days. While the latter has undoubtedly had its high moments (who can resist a chuckle at the image of the portly chicken farmer Eddo Brandes giving it back to Glenn McGrath?) there has to be a place for mirth outside the aggro and competitiveness of the cricket field. In this brief foray I recollect a few of the funnier moments from cricketing lore – and invite others to share their own. One of my favourites dates back to the 1974-75 West Indies tour of India. When the series got to Chennai, West Indies led 2-1 but were on the back foot both because of a spirited Indian fightback in the third Test (and, in their view, some indifferent umpiring by the local talent). Satyaji Rao, in particular, was seen by them as a serial offender. As the West Indies team bus wound its way down Mount Road to get to the Chepauk stadium one day, it came to a halt at a famous landmark – the statue of the late chief minister and Tamil politician CN Annadurai. It so happened that this statue showed Annadurai with one arm upraised and his index finger upright – resembling nothing more than an umpire sending a batsman on his way. Cue Alvin Kallicharran, who promptly jumped to his feet inside the bus and intoned, “Good morning, Umpire Rao.” One can just imagine the mirth that must have followed. (I must confess that I have been unable to track the story down on the internet, but have a vivid recollection of reading about the episode in the media coverage at the time.)

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Appaling Indian media

Srinivas  Nyapathy Writes                                                                  April 2011

There is a lot of anger and disgust in the public, following the media coverage of  certain issues in the recent past, where ethics and decency were compromised for TRPs and Readership.

A case in point is the coverage of Shri Satya Sai Baba’s death.

To start with, Initially, the Trust may not have given the news from the hospital on time, adding to the anxiety of the devotees, but that doesn’t mean the media can go  to town speculating about what’s happening inside, carrying hearsay as breaking news.

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Baseless Information was reported, without any confirmation..

”Report First , Confirm later” attitude, that too, talking of one who is God to millions in India and abroad.

Where was the need to be speculating on the Trust and its wealth, while Saibaba was still in state, if not for TRPs and to make Hay while sun shines.

Talking of the Trust’s wealth is okay..but to give it a colour, as if ,the Trust having the much rumoured 40000 crore is a sin, is whats baffling.

While devotees were scanning thro the channels to get a final glimpse of Baba ..all they got to see is 3/4th screen of these discussions and scrolls on future of Puttaparthi; 1/4th screen the actual glass case where Sai baba’s body was lying. ( Oh Yes, when Sachin was having tears in his eyes infront of Baba’s glass case ..it was full screen ..TRPs)

Speculating  and building on the wee bits of info they had in hand,they conducted hours of panel discussions. Whatever came of that ? Later, the issues discussed, were shot down emphatically by the Trustmembers,  with facts in the press conference.

If these channels or publications which were crying hoarse with allegations had any evidence, why they have silenced themselves after the Trust’s Press Conference?

In the race to break first, all else is forgotten in this mad rat race of  the media houses, Breaking News scrolls on TV  and News papers with question mark headlines, Making them the Big Story, Developing Story….

A reporter of a Telugu TV channel had the guts to enter the Prashanti Nilayam, with a camera phone, stretch his arm over his head and capture what was happening inside the rooms , this is how sting operations are carried out , fine, but it can be aired only when you find something wrong happening inside the place. But this channel went ahead and telecast that operation, which basically is a invasion of privacy…and complete lack of decency. There was hardly anything in those captures but people and walls..If someone installs a spy cam in this guys house and telecasts the goings on then he would realize..how embrassing it can be. What has the Trust done to deserve this wretched invasion by a roughish channel.

For devotees of Baba, the place is of great reverence, a Temple, and no less. These acts are nothing but insulting.

Many scams and scandals were unearthed thanks to the media and sting operations, well done, bu,t to telecast something even after finding nothing in the capture was uncalled for and immaturish.

There was this Newspaper which had Aishwarya’s picture on the front page, just recently. So prominent that it was actually cutting into the masthead !

“What?” I thought, “has she received a Bharat Ratna?”…

No, No, ..it was just that shes pregnant..!

A film star ‘s, pregnancy on the frontpage , cutting into the mast page ..Well..if that wasn’t for selling the newspaper what else is it for.

The shocking helicopter crash which ended the life of AP CM YSR Reddy; after the wreckage was found and minutes before his body was identified, a regional TV channel went ahead and reported that he has actually been found alive !

May be these guys given the responsibility of handling Sai Baba’s News, do not know anything about prashanti Nilayam and how disciplined the place is . Even in the Press conference when a reporter asked a question a Trust Board Member , He in turn asked the reporter , if he had ever visited Puttaparthi before..the answer was negative.

The thinktanks behind these Channels and Newspapers should realize, that, there is a lot of difference, how you handle Osama’s killing and Sai’s death. Osama is a mastermind behind many terrorist attacks worldwide, which ended up taking several innocent lives and have changed the way we live , for the worse. Whereas  Sai Baba’s life has only been about, spreading spirituality, harmony and improving lives of people across the globe.

If at all, I repeat ,if at all, the media found something wrong with the Trust, they could have waited till the time of the  Samadhi. Instead of projecting nonsense as primetime news. I feel Sai Baba richly deserved at least that bit of respect at the time of his death.

All is not lost, There are enough media houses which strive hard to keep India clean and healthy.

They do bring scams to light, bringing guilty to book, catching the corrupt red handed, but, with evidence and proofs.

There are some age old publications which even today, amidst all this rat race, portray the positivity , growth, development of this Incredible India, bringing stories of the giant strides we are making in becoming a World power on to the front pages.  Staying clear of speculating “IS XYZ GUILTY OF 200 Crore bribe ?”

“Was the Minister’s Office bugged ?”, “Who bugged the minister’s office ?” but finding the answers, to help us live a better life.

I salute such publications. Carry on ! We need you !

Congress’s desparate “Telengana Tamasha”

                                                Srinivas Nyapathy Writes:

Inspite of lakhs of people taking to the streets across Seemandhra, genuinely disgusted with the centre’s move to go ahead with the ill planned process  for  creating Telengana,  which these people feel is a decision riddled with injustice all over it for their region, the centre, refers to the letters given in support of the state’s division by majority of opposition parties in  Andhra , as a excuse to get away from the criticism of a decision taken by them. This despite, the parties reiterating that this is not the way to divide a state..!

The centre wishes to shove the Sri Krishna Committee recommendations under the carpet, a committe that was constituted by the UPA itself, as the recommendations do not suit its plans. The centre  hides itself away from the fact that their own state Congress ministers have quit the party against the bifurcation, Central ministers also decided to resign from their posts for all the injustice being meted out to the people of seemandhra. Among many embrassments for the UPA-2 under the muted, remote controlled, “un”able Prime Ministership of Mr Manmohan Singh, this Telengana Tamasha takes the cake with none other than the Andhra Pradesh Chief minister, a congress leader himself,  going up against the decision of bifurcation. The CM surprised everyone and members of his own party by going to the extent of giving interviews to the media as to how  Seemandhra will suffer with this decision. He cautioned that many irksome issues would  crop up because of the bifurcation,  and they need to be addressed before any announcement of bifurcation, if at all.

But the High command tries to ignore  all this and shamelessly puts the onus on the opposition parties’ letters. If at all UPA is so keen to act on opposition letters, there are many asking the PM to answer the letters with questions regarding Coal Scam, Many letters  regarding the weak foreign policy. Letters regarding other states asking about bifurcations in their states. Why harp only about the YSRCP and TDP letters ??  Because, those letters suit the music UPA wants to play and what it wants people to hear.

The Congress and its high command should find better ways than stooping to dividing states to get ahead in the 2014 elections.

The challenge for Congress to win elections in the future, and form a Government, will be to find leaders who know politics and who can “play” it well. Today UPA is “playing” into the hands of the opposition. One recent example is the dramatic development of Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi strongly criticizing his own government’s decision to pass an ordinance to allow convicted politicians to contest elections and said it is nonsense and that it should be “torn up”.  This is only a small example of panic and confusion in party with 2014 elections round the corner.

The Seemandhra Agitation failed to make the Central Government react in its favour. The softness of the Samaikya agitation only seemed to egg the pro Telengana lobby on to push ahead with the tabling of the T note and march towards the creation of Telengana.

Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul, both have not spoken publicly about the crisis in Andhra.  The Congress team, handling the Telengana and Seemandhra issue seems to lack the experience and the understanding to handle a crisis as serious as this. The party High Command  is finding it hard to keep its folk together in Andhra’s  3 regions and make them speak in one tone. UPA’s strategy is its much talked about merger with TRS in Telengana and YSRCP in Seemandhra to ride it back to power in 2014, than focussing on welfare schemes like did Late Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy.

The Congress’s eyes are fixed on the fringe benefits. Telangana has 17 Lok Sabha seats and 119 assembly seats. Should there be a Telangana Rashtra Samithi-Congress coalition/merger, it can aspire to the  figure of 60 assembly seats and 12-14 LS seats. TRS chief , however, has reportedly not only ruled out a merger but is non-committal even on an alliance with the Congress.  The gamble taken by the Congress  might cost them heavily  in Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema. Congress fortunes are in absolute tatters,  owing to the  anti-Centre mood, anti-Telangana mood,  the Jagan factor.  And in Seemandhra, which has 25 LS seats and 175 assembly seats,  The Congress currently holds 97 seats, where as the the simple majority is 80, but with a strong Jaganmohan Reddy wave forecast, it would need to have a post-poll alliance with YSR Congress.

It can be understood that the  Congress believes having TRS and YSRCP on its side will help it almost neutralise the TDP. Without a TRS alliance, the Congress would be vulnerable in the Telangana region.

It was very evident when asked on the day CWC took a step forward on Telengana Mr Digvijay Singh is on record saying , he is expecting the TRS to merge with Congress. Unless desparate, and trying to send a signal to TRS, why say it on National TV that too on that very day ?

How shameful can it get for the Congress when political experts  feel , even the timely release of Jagan Mohan Reddy and all the drama associated with it, is part of a script for 2014 elections. Shameful because, while YSR was at the helm in Andhra, things were under control. With guidance of Pranab Mukherjee also missing now, Congress under Sonia Gandhi, is at a complete loss and at its wits end  to garner maximum number of seats from Telugus of the 3 regions. The only way to achieve that is to burn Seemandhra, while posing as if doing justice to telengana’s fight for, well, once the fight was for development, now….pride ??!!  The people of Seemandhra are at loss to understand if the UPA even realises that in creating Telengana, they are actually creating another state in the form of this kicked out Seemandhra with a new Capital , and  a new assembly and relegated to using Hyderabad once its capital , only as a unwanted tenent for 10 painful years ? May be the people of Seemenadhra should wait for some other political compulsion for the Congress which would force it  to do justice for them. I conclude this by putting forth the opening paragraph of an article in Frontline by Mr. S Nagesh Kumar  “ The Congress is clearly eyeing a pre-poll alliance with the TRS in Telangana and a post-poll alliance with the YSR Congress in Seemandhra. In this cynical game, it is dividing not only Andhra Pradesh politically but also the eight crore Telugu-speaking people in their minds and hearts.  NEVER in the past three decades has a ruling party in Andhra Pradesh attracted so much public ire as the Congress after its July 30 announcement to carve out a separate Telangana State.  Such is the Congress’ political ambition that votes come first and the people next. This has driven the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the Centre so much out of sync with the ground realities in Andhra Pradesh that it has reduced the raging political storm to a game of chess. If the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and the YSR Congress are the major pieces on this chequered board and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president N. Chandrababu Naidu is the adversary, the people are the pawns in its political game.”

Its sad, Sachin’s bat has fallen so silent

Srinivas Nyapathy Writes                                                  17 December 2012

The evening Sachin Tendulkar, got out at Nagpur in the 1st innings, ESPN reporter dubbed the evening match report as an Obituary to Sachin’s Cricket Career.  It pains to see, in recent test matches that , R Ashwin at No 8 scores more than India’s No 4, Sachin Tendulkar. That tells you something. Indian cricket cannot afford to carry even  Sir Bradman at No 4 , if hes not performing, its a very critical position to bat at.. The last 10 innings , Sachin has scored a total of 153 runs (avg 15.3). This is the lowest average of any Indian top-order batsman over the last 10 knocks. Pujara averages 79, Kohli 61, Sehwag 40 and Gambhir 27. Dhoni averages 37. Even Ashwin, who bats at No. 8, has scored 303 runs at an average of 38. it’s now 28 innings since Sachin hit his last ton (146 vs South Africa, Jan 2011) – the longest he has gone without a ton.

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Sachin, has served Indian cricket very well, perhaps, like no other in history, He’s by far the most talented  batsman in world cricket, who could scale great heights, with 100 centuries to boot, while conquering bad form and injuries. In 2004 while a section of the media and experts made noise about his continuing poor form and questions were raised if he should be axed, he came back with a bang, proving the experts wrong and putting them to great embrassment.

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BUT, people who expect a similar turnaround now, should consider that he is nearing 40 and he is having more distractions in his life than ever before.Hes endorsing more products than in 2004, Now hes a Rajya Sabha MP, He is busy receiving honours from countries like Australia, and gracing many a mega event vis a vis Formula 1 , The Wimbledon, All these are taking away his mind and concentration from cricket. It is  showing on the field, and  at Indian cricket’s expense. If he was so keen to continue in Indian Cricket he should then concentrate on Cricket only. He should save the rest for later. But he has not done that. Hes keeping all his options open, and at whose risk ? Are’nt the selectors making a mistake by investing in a non performing, out of sorts , tired and aging Sachin ? The selectors have waited enough for Sachin to know when he should retire, Now its time they tell him.

UPA, surviving an opposition from within

Srinivas  Nyapathy  Writes                                                     March 31, 2012     

Today the UPA seems to be finding a larger opposition within its own coalition than outside.

Barely a week passes by without one party or the other from the UPA threatening to pull out of the coalition or create a situation where the top leadership is feverishly engaged in emergency meetings to tide over a fresh crisis within the coalition, which directly has immense adverse impact on the performance of the government resulting in policy paralysis.

Experts even say the UPA has now adopted paralysis as a policy to survive at the helm till 2014 elections. Many policies and changes that were to be brought in by the UPA have met with serious objections from within the coalition. The UPA proposal to set up the NCTC – National Counter Terrorism Center, Allowing the FDI, the Rail fares hike in the recent Railway Budget  ( eventually resulting in the resignation of the Railway Minister ) to name a few. The DMK which doesn’t have much of a presence in its own state assembly and having 2 of its ‘2G Scam accused’ MPs jailed, still packs enough punch to scare the Central Government because of its numbers in the Parl. DMK pressurised the UPA to vote for the US Resolution against Sri Lankan war crimes, by threating to pull out its ministers. UPA hard pressed for numbers in Parliament can hardly take the DMK threat lightly.

Manmohan Singh, whose authority in the choice of ministers and on matters of policy has been considerably diminished by Mamata Banerjee’s repeated onslaughts on it, has evidently had enough of the Trinamool Congresss’ battering.

Analysts reason that PM, Manmohan Singh would prefer to reach out to Samajwadi Party and bring it into the UPA fold , obviously as it wont be as aggressive as its partner from WB. The Congress was evidently hoping to seal a deal with the Samajwadi Party, But thus far the SP hasn’t shown keen interest, evidently sensing widespread disenchantment with the UPA and the risk of teaming up with a discredited political coalition.

That truly is the dilemma that the UPA faces today, its two key constituents coming in the way and blackmailing the way they govern and plan the future, giving them sleepless nights. SP or a BSP on the other hand wont join the UPA because the coalition, as a whole, has  lost its value completely.

Post budget interviews of the Finance Minister saw him blaming the lack of a clear mandate to the UPA and the resulting coalition government that does not provide it much of an elbow room to do things and perform as it should.

Now with Mamata sobering down a little, thanks to the Congress contemplating  bringing SP or BSP into the fold, it’s the right time for UPA to move ahead and bring in bold measures in economy and governance.

Wont be long before the wounded tigress finds her roar again, so hurry up UPA.

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