Monday, July 28, 2008

Numbed by Terror....

Its all a bit too terrifyingly familiar. No more are we perturbed when we see visuals of mayhem on television. Have we become so numbed by all the violence that it hardly invokes a shock. Has it become almost a regular event, that we get to see? I suppose that's the price to be paid to be at one of the terror hot spots of the world. It really is very painful. I truly condemn the attack, and condole the lives that were lost. It could have been anyone in their shoes. Just a normal day, which turned out to be a nightmare of sorts. Someone just going about their normal lives, suddenly finds it shattered.

Even as i write, the television channels continue to show the remains of a brutal act of violence. Like it happens each and every time, the security services go into an over drive. Seeking answers desperately. Will they be able to keep up with the foe in the future, to prevent such re-occurrences? Nothing can be sure of.

At least one thing that i am happy about is, regarding the absence of political bickering and blame games. At least let all the dust settle and the bruises heal before they start on that. For someone who has lost a lot, seeing grown men point fingers at each other, would hardly be a reassuring gesture.

The question is - For what? What was the purpose achieved by this senseless attack. Well apparently nothing. And in fact that's the way it should be. Bowing down to such cowardly acts should not break our spirits in any way. Its was clearly an attempt to demoralize us, but lets show them that we aren't going down so easy. No matter what ever the reason might be, whether - political, territorial, or even religious - violence against the innocent cant be excused for any reason. No point was made by this, and none will ever be.

Anyway, i can only hope that such things don't happen in the future. Hope is probably the only thing that can give any sort of relief from the pain. Its easy to talk tough when so far away from it all. B Obviously it must be most painful to be in the place of those who have lost a loved one. And unless in their position its difficult to understand their suffering. Apparently those responsible for such heinous crimes, don't value such emotions.

As for all of us Indians, its time to be brave, be united and not go around spreading rumors, like those 10 odd messages i received on my mobile. Because that's exactly what they want to do. Instill fear in our minds. Cant let them control our actions. Where we go and what we do, it shouldn't be them to decide. So staying indoors is not going to save anyone. People die in their bathrooms too. So go out and be vigilant...!

Vande Mataram

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Singh Is King...!

No, this is not a feature on Akshay Kumar's new movie. Actually was referring to the UPA's proved majority at the center. Dr.Manmohan Singh will remain the PM till about March next year. Yeah thats it. Anyway, till then he is the King. As for the issue regarding which the entire fiasco apparently began - The Nuke Deal - i believe is good for the country. Just because it involves the US doesn't necessarily mean that its bowing down to them. And i too believe that the solution to the energy problem is to increase our nuclear capacity, till other alternate sources of energy are set up. Especially since the price of fossil fuels are choking our entire economy. Apparently the Left (communists) see things differently. So thus after a lot of nagging threats by the Left they pulled out their support to the government. And thus began the entire drama of securing a confidence......

And nothing makes politics more interesting than the television. The news channels had a lot of "masala" to show, during the run up to the confidence motion. Full day talk shows, predictions, expert analysis, figure counts, interviews, interrogations and what not. And the day of the confidence motion was nothing less than action packed melodrama. Oh thanks a lot for the television!! However, here is a proposal. These Parliament shows should be properly certified by the censor board and given an appropriate rating and suitable warnings. Aargh... Yes as usual a lot of clamor and chaos. As it is, speeches in the localized accented English was difficult to follow and the noise made it even worse. Ahh... but thats almost an usual sight in all of these parliamentary "debates". Occasionally though, there were some sensible discussions and accusations, some humor and indirect assaults, but most of the time it all appeared like a prison riot. Loosing my patience soon enough i flipped through the channels with every news channel showing literally the same. After making about 10 rounds through my 60 odd channels, i come back to visuals showing men ( referred to as MPs ) pulling out bundles of currency, apparently worth a Crore, and displaying it in the house. How on earth were they able to sneak in that much amount of money? Beats me. It was also alleged that this was just the advance payment and the entire deal to abstain from the voting was worth 25 Crores ( to get an idea about the amount of money, read the foot note at the bottom) ...!! Phew... Just when i thought it couldn't get any worse it just had. Though i wasn't shocked to see this, i certainly was surprised...!!!!

Everyone knew how corrupt most, if not all of our "Honorable" Members of Parliament ( referred as such by the Speaker ) are. But i suppose no one had seen such a blatant display of corruption in the Parliament itself. After all it supposed to be the symbol of one of the largest democracy in the world. A symbol of the people's voice. But look what it has been reduced to now ( apparently just abuses, lies, betrayal and deception ). Whether it was really an attempt to bribe or just a timely drama, its not for me to speculate. Whether those responsible for this will be punished, is just another one of those "must see events" in my life. It wasn't always just for money. Power and position have been quite influential in striking the right "deal". However these are very open and hardly thought of as being wrong. Bartering, confiding with criminals, trading men like horses, conspiracies. Doesn't that sum up our entire political system? Is this the sorry state that a governments must stoop to, in order to prove a point. I believe the common man has no say in whatever happens to the country. The "wise" leaders decide well enough for all of us. Apparently the term democracy has been duly justified.

All the horse trading and money display has certainly not improved our image on the global front. Especially when the entire world was watching this so closely. So is this the respectable face we are putting in front of other nations? Is there any credibility in what the leaders ever say? A shame, far greater than ever seen before, for the country. At least when the country's interest is at stake they should put aside their differences, rise above the pitiful party politics and sacrifice any personal gains. But then this is just my view, and who cares about what i think anyway.

I believe they have a ranking for the most corrupt nations. I suppose we must have risen up a rank or two unless we already are there at the top.

Foot Note : 25 Crores is hard to imagine for a normal, non political person. So i read this in the paper and would like to share the information. Hope it will help to visualize...

.... Rs 25 Crores together means tying it in 2500 bundles of Rs 1000 notes. Totally this Rs 25 Crore would weigh 333 Kg.... Carrying this 333Kg load to a tempo would require one person to carry seven headloads because according to the ILO convention, no person should carry more than 50Kg of headload at a time. If one puts the Rs 25 Crore in a fixed deposit, one could get an interest of Rs. 55000 per day.
Courtesy: Deccan Chronicle, 23 July 2008

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Fixed Serve...??

The Wimbledon '08 is over and the king of Grass was dethroned by his arch nemesis. A result that might actually do a lot of good for the game. Probably the final was one of the best games ever to be played in the history of the tournament.

But i would like to go back to when the tournament began this year. It began with startling accusations of max fixing in the game of tennis. Yes it did. In spite of assurances by game officials regarding the integrity of the game, speculations still remained quite high regarding it. However reports of players "throwing" games for monetary benefits have been known to surface from time to time, in the history of the game.

Usually such accusations fly when a high ranked player loses rather pathetically, to a literally unknown player. Whether it was just a day of poor show or of poor sportsmanship is difficult to say. A gambling watchdog had claimed that a "top" player had thrown a match at Wimbledon two years ago. This was suspected after there were strangely inconsistent betting activity on certain games, indicating a possible revelation of the result before the game itself. Though these are just speculations and nothing has been proved so far. Unexpected straight set losses may possibly hint at possible foul play too, though nothing is conclusive. There have also have been several reports by players, claiming to have been approached by offers to fix a game in exchange for monetary gains.

A report by the Scotland Yard lists about 45 games,that are to be further reviewed on the basis of "suspected" activity. Following this, its believed, more matches could come under official's scrutiny. Gambling watchdogs do keep a look out for unexpected betting activities on games as well as maintain a tab on players who are susceptible to corruption.

To prevent any such dubious activities, the Wimbledon has adopted new security measures for the tournament. This includes allowing only one person along with the player into the locker room. This opposed to the 5 or 6 that they used to have with them - including the coach, trainer, therapist, parents, friend etc. Something, not taken very happily by the players.

Whether these allegations are true or is it just the nature of the game that throws such surprises, one might find it difficult to ascertain. Tennis is an expensive game to pursue at the international level. Top ranked players like Federer or Nadal may not find the financial strains thanks to the multi-million dollar endorsement campaigns that they have. However some low ranked players might find the lure a bit too tempting to resist. That doesn't mean that every unexpected poor show is the result of corruption. Might be just their bad day, or sometimes its just in our minds as we are not able to accept a poor show by our heroes.

Already wide spread match fixing rackets exposed in other international sporting events like football and cricket, lets hope tennis isn't next on the list.