Thursday, November 19, 2009

India's 100 richest worth 25% of the GDP

The Billionaires Club of India almost doubled from last year to 54 members up from 27, aided by a rebounding stock market that gained two-thirds in the past year and an economy growing at six percent. According to Forbes Asia magazine, the country's 100 richest people have a combined net worth of USD 276 billion, which was almost a quarter of the country's GDP.

Last year, there were only 27 billionaires on the India Rich List. This year, the number has almost doubled to 52-two short of what India had at the peak of the stock market boom in 2007.

The top 10 richest in India are:

1. Mukesh Ambani $32 billion
2. Lakshmi Mittal $30 billion
3. Anil Ambani $17.5 billion
4. Azim Premji $14.9 billion
5. Shashi & Ravi Ruia $13.6 billion
6. K.P. Singh $13.5 billion
7. Savitri Jindal $12 billion
8. Sunil Mittal $8.2 billion
9. Kumar Birla $7.8 billion
10. Gautam Adani $6.4 billion

It would be interesting to know what these people have done, or plan to do for the society, which has given them this wealth. India is a nation where still about 300 million (30 Cr.) people are below poverty line. unless we try to bridge this gap it will be hard to even think of a developed India by even 2050 leave alone the vision of 2020.

The World Bank's definition of the poverty line, for under developed countries, like India, is US$ 1/day/person or US $365 per year. As per this definition, more than 75% of all Indians are, probably, below the poverty line!

As per the Government of India, poverty line for the urban areas is Rs. 296 per month and for rural areas Rs. 276 per month, i.e. people in India who earn less than Rs. 10 per day. As per GOI, this amount will buy food equivalent to 2200 calories per day, medically enough, to prevent death. At this level of earning, even in a poor country like India, survival on Rs. 10 per day is a nightmare! This actually translates to Rs. 3650 per year or US $ 75 per year.

And at the end what about Swiss Bank A/c, Politicians, Gangsters, Smugglers of fake currency network? Do they also a/c for another 25% of GDP? When we say India is 86th corrupt nation, does raise the eye brow of some people. What were the bench mark tools used to calculate the corruption index. We think India and Pakistan should be in the top 10 list of corrupt nations.


Sachin and Thackeray

Sixty two years of freedom, liberty and enfranchisement have not done any good for our country, with disintegrating forces out to ruin it. The nation showers its praise on cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar who expressed pride in being an Indian and claimed that Mumbai belongs to every one of us. The words used by the Shiv Sena chief, Bal Thackeray, against him in Saamna — asking Sachin to stick to cricket and dare not tread into the realm of politics — exposes his skewed mindset. It is time the state marginalised such voices, thereby preserving the fabric of unity in diversity.

The Shiv Sena and the MNS seem to stop at nothing to woo the Marathi-speaking voters. They do not hesitate to speak or do anything that is against the unity and integrity of the nation. To meet their ends, they exploit people’s sentiments. Maharashtra, however, is not the only State where the politics of language or religion is played. It is the same in Uttar Pradesh, where caste is a major electoral issue, Tamil Nadu, Punjab and other States. It is futile to expect our leaders to change their ways. We must make a beginning by casting our votes for the right persons.

When Sachin plays, he plays for India. All his records bear the name of India. He is proud of being an Indian. And by saying so, he has made all Indians proud.

Mr. Thackeray has the habit of hogging the limelight by making controversial statements. He has done it many times in the past. But what Sachin said is really encouraging and worth emulating. His assertion that he is an Indian first sends a fitting reply to secessionist forces across the country.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Youth icon: Sachin Tendulker

I am 24. I havent even followed the whole of the Great man's career. But I am sometimes proud to say that I started following cricket only because of Sachin Tendulkar. And also most of the things I have learned about the game is by watching him on the field. Around 96-97, All of us were so excited to watch him score centuries one after another. I dont agree that India loses when he makes a 100. Statistics support me. What he has done is, he has held the belief and expectations of a whole country on his shoulders before some match-winners stood up. And he has delivered most of the times. I also agree there are players who can be compared with him. But he has achieved more than anybody under more pressure. I am not sure of the tests, but I can surely say his oneday records will remain for many years to come. I am happy that I could watch this man play all those gem of innings'.

It is blissful to watch the little colossus firm up and drive through a packed off-side field, often reducing it to an audience. No other person is perhaps such a household favourite — urban or rural — as is the master blaster. He is the favourite of children and the elderly, men and women. No wonder all our casual and earned leaves were consumed by cricket matches in which Sachin played. The nation has been entertained to its ecstatic best by the near-perfect cricketing hero of our times.

What has kept Tendulkar going for two decades is his amazing passion for the game. He is the ultimate role model.

To remain unfazed and focus on the game, undeterred by the odd wrong umpiring decision, keep out of controversy and fulfil the hopes and aspirations of millions of countrymen is a task lesser mortals are incapable of. When Sachin bids goodbye, it will be the saddest day in Indian cricket.

I pray he goes on and on. And lastly I want Sachin to win the world cup for India.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Shah Rukh's "Humiliation"

It is unfortunate that actor Shah Rukh Khan was detained and questioned for two hours at the Newark airport because his name ‘Khan’ was part of a common checklist prepared after the 9/11 attacks. But one wonders what is wrong in submitting to security checks. Even our former President Abdul Kalam was subjected to security check in our own country, even though he is exempt from such scrutiny. He never complained. Is not erring on the side of caution better than omission by oversight?

Shah Rukh Khan may be a Bollywood superstar. But the men and women sitting behind the immigration desk in U.S. airports are unlikely to watch Indian movies. They would not, therefore, know SRK from Adam.

There have been many instances of even American citizens with Muslim names being mistaken for someone with an identical name on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s “No fly” list and barred from boarding their flights. However much we bemoan the occurrence of such incidents, it is a fact that passengers with Muslim names are forced to pay a price for what a few jihadists did on September 11, 2001.

The SRK episode is no doubt unfortunate but the way Minister Ambika Soni reacted to it is worse. Our celebrities (including politicians) should learn some important lessons from Mr. Kalam.

Winston Churchill called Mahatma Gandhi “a half-naked fakir.” But Gandhiji did not say he did not feel like stepping on British soil again. Mr. Kalam was frisked by the ground staff of Continental Airlines on our own soil. But he did not say he did not feel like going to the U.S. He, in fact, did not even speak about the episode. SRK should understand the circumstances in which security personnel work. If one is innocent, he has no reason to get worked up.

Monday, August 17, 2009

India on ‘watch list’

This refers to the report that the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has placed India on its “watch list” for 2009 because of its “failure” to take effective measures to ensure the rights of religious minorities in many States. India does not need lessons on secularism and religious tolerance. It is the land of the Upanishads and the Vedas which preach universal brotherhood and peace. The U.S. should introspect on its role in Iraq. The pot should not call the kettle black.

The USCIRF report deserves the highest condemnation. India is one of the peaceful and harmonious places to live in, compared to many countries. The gun culture and moral deterioration, which has spread among even schoolchildren in the U.S., are nothing but the offshoot of American policies. While there can be no two opinions on the need to ensure religious harmony, India’s integrity in achieving the objective cannot be questioned, least of all by the U.S.

Aren’t phrases such as ‘Islamophobia’ and ‘Islamic terror’ the contributions of the Bush regime? How does the U.S. justify its acts of state terrorism such as the carpet bombing of civilian areas in Afghanistan and Iraq, the torture cells of Abu Ghraib, wrongful detentions in the Guantanamo Bay, and interference in the affairs of other countries in the name of exporting democracy? Curiously, the USCIRF which has included countries such as Cuba, Venezuela, Egypt and Turkey in the “watch list” has nothing to say about Israel.

In a population of over one billion, unwanted incidents do happen thanks to some misguided elements. But do they warrant putting India on a “watch list?” Surprisingly, Pakistan — in parts of which the minorities have been asked to pay religious tax — doesn’t seem to figure in the list. It is, in fact, the U.S., where every Muslim is looked upon as a potential terrorist, which should top the “watch list.”

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

On homosexuality

All major religions originated in Asia and the religious texts concentrated more on controlling the mind and any desire considered unnatural was taboo. People have lived in this part of the continent with contentment as the endurance limit of the family and society as a whole has no parallel. Applying the ways of life of the West, with no controls, will only lead to chaos in society.

There is always a section that does not fall in line with the majority. Society need not take cognisance of it. Counselling people is the need of the hour, not approving what is followed by a few.


No religion approves of homosexuality. The religions would not have condemned homosexuality had the sexual orientation been due to the genes. Homosexuality is more of a choice. Orientation, inclination, etc., are only hand maidens of the environment and the company the homosexuals keep. There are cases in which counsellors have succeeded in transforming homosexuals into heterosexuals. Homosexuality, therefore, is reversible.

The increasing prevalence of HIV, proctitis and anal cancer among gay groups has been well documented in medical literature. Increasing rates of suicide, alcoholism and drug abuse among them have also been adequately established. We should not studiously follow the American line which is guided by post-modernistic ideology.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Frisking episode

Continental Airlines apologised to the former President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, for the treatment meted out to him at the Delhi airport only on seeing the groundswell of public mood against it. The incident goes beyond just a breach of protocol. It shows the West’s intolerance of others. It is a deep-rooted malaise and the paranoia following the 9/11 incident has brought it out in the open.

The frisking of Mr. Kalam is condemnable. I do not think India has given such treatment to any foreign leader. But our students are attacked in Australia and our leaders frisked at airports. Is it because of our extreme tolerance or incapability to oppose such things tooth and nail?One wonders how the United States will react if Bill Clinton is subjected to such a security procedure while on his visit to India! Do American airlines frisk their former Presidents? If the answer is no, Continental Airlines will have to answer a serious diplomatic question.

As much as we all resent what happened, filing an FIR is going too far. A show-cause notice is a must, as the country needs to be assured that the frisking was routine and not racially motivated. But for all we know, Mr. Kalam might have had no problems whatsoever.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ajmal’s confession

The case of Ajmal is becoming curiouser and curiouser. At first, he was in the denial mode, later he prevaricated and now comes a stunning confession of the sequence of events leading to the dastardly deed. There is more to it than meets the eye. The confession appears to be not the genuine outpourings of a terrorist stricken by remorse. How can one explain his adroit avoiding of any reference to the Lashkar-e-Taiba leader?

The way in which Mohammad Ajmal Amir ‘Kasab’ has admitted to his crime should raise doubts about his intentions. However, he has shifted the responsibility to his dead colleague Abu Ismail as regards opening firing and killing people.
Ajmal’s abrupt pleading gives rise to many suspicions. Further, his reference to an “Abu Jundal,” an Indian who taught them Hindi, raises more suspicion. This also seems to mislead the trail. Punishing Ajmal alone will not bring justice to the victims of the Mumbai carnage. Our investigating agencies have to go to the roots and expose the mastermind behind the terror strike and punish him.

It is not surprising that Pakistan does not take Ajmal’s confession seriously. If the proceedings in this case are further delayed, there is every possibility that Pakistan may pressure India into releasing Ajmal in exchange for Sarabjit, the Indian who has been awarded the death sentence in Pakistan for alleged bomb blasts.

It appears that belated confessions are selective in nature and will not help unravel the entire conspiracy behind the 26/11 plot. It could even be a strategy to divert attention from the identity of the real mastermind who planned the deadly attacks. The role of state actors in training terrorists is something Pakistan would not like to admit.

Ajmal is not merely an individual. He represents an ideology which does not believe in the rule of law and respect for human beings. He is indeed a test case for India which has been following the norms of justice despite grave provocation. We should not be misled by his tactics.

Ajmal should get life imprisonment. He will be more useful to India in the long run. The four and-a-half hour confession is not enough to know the whereabouts of criminals who were handlers and are protected by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence and its military.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Positive Pakistan

The admission by President Asif Ali Zardari that Pakistan trained terrorists in the past, the joint statement at Sharm-El-Sheikh and the filing of a charge sheet against five suspects in the 26/11 Mumbai attack are welcome from India’s point of view. But Pakistan still has a long way to go before its credibility is established.

Till 9/11, the U.S. was all for Pakistan. It used Pakistan to recruit, arm and finance the mujahideen to fight the Soviets and turned a blind eye to the infiltration of Pakistan-trained terrorists into Kashmir. After 9/11, it asked Pakistan to eliminate the terrorists it had created and nurtured. Islamabad agreed but has continued to train terrorists and kept its channels open with the Taliban to retain its influence in Afghanistan.

The meeting between Yosuf Raza Gilani and Manmohan Singh at Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt, has sent positive vibrations, notwithstanding the different interpretations of the joint statement issued by them. There is a feeling in India that it has given more by way of de-linking terrorism from the composite dialogue process.

Given that the two countries have been arch rivals, there is a deficit of trust between them. The need of the hour, therefore, is patience. Continuing to engage in talks is the only way forward for both countries.

The joint statement did give rise to the fear that India has compromised its stand that it would not engage Pakistan unless the latter brought those behind the Mumbai terrorist attack to justice. But Dr. Singh has clarified that the statement did not amount to diluting New Delhi’s stand on terrorism.

While terrorism is a major agenda, let us not sideline all the other important bilateral issues. We would do well to remember that Pakistan too has had its share of terror attacks from home-grown terrorist outfits.

India needs to demonstrate its resolve to go it alone in its fight against terrorism and not feel obliged to please the U.S. Pakistan knows how to get the maximum out of the U.S. without conceding much.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

After Slumdog


As for the children who acted in Slumdog Millionaire, life has done a double flip for little Rubina Ali, 9, and Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail, 10, who captured American hearts as they were trotted to the Oscar Awards ceremony in February. According to media reports, Rubina’s house has been fitted with hi-tech gadgets, including a 32-inch LCD screen. In an official statement, the movie’s producers said they are looking to buy both children apartments near their old slum, whose ownership will rest in a trust until they complete their education and turn 18. The clause was included to prevent the adults from selling their flats. The producers have also arranged for a rickshaw to take the children to a non profit English medium school.

The Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority has gifted two apartments for the children to felicitate their achievements. The producers say they are working with local social workers to ensure that the children get a decent education and a better life.


However, soon after the kids come into money, relatives and publicity hounds began crawling out of the woodwork. Rubina’s biological mother Khurshid Begum surfaced to claim the child (and her fame and money) she had abandoned. She is now fighting a custody battle with Rubina’s stepmother who brought her up. Indian police are currently investigating a report in a British tabloid News of the World accusing her father Rafiq Qureshi of offering to sell her for $260,000 to a fake sheik.

Sanjoy Roy, founder of the Salaam Baalak Trust, says: “The most important thing is that there needs to be a comprehensive plan for their long term rehabilitation. Such a plan might include provisions for career choices, a mentor for guiding them through the ups and downs of life and even counseling to cope with sudden fame and then maybe anonymity. It is also important that the money that is being raised in the name of the children be put in a fixed deposit for them so that they don’t need to be dependant on any trust or any individual.”



That is an issue also confronting the star of another movie that created waves with Slumdog Millionaire at this year’s Oscars, Smile Pinki, the story of a young girl Pinki whose life was transformed by cleft surgery, which won the Oscar in the short documentary feature category. Satish Kalra, regional director for South

Asia for Smile Train, the international charity which offers free cleft surgery to children such as Pinki, said: “Smile Pinki will hopefully raise awareness on the global problem of cleft lip and cleft palate. We cannot support her education as Smile Train only provides a level playing field to these children. We hope somebody comes forward and supports Pinki’s education.”

Pinki has found a mentor in Dr. Subodh Kumar Singh, the doctor who performed the surgery on her and accompanied her to the Oscars. He complains that often people promise support to Pinki just for the publicity. He cited media reports that Pinki would be getting education free for life, but Singh says, he isn’t aware of any such commitments. The Indore Medical School has promised free medical education for Pinki, but Singh says: “She is only in the second standard. The most important thing for her now is to complete her primary and secondary education. Only then we can think of her further education. As of now I am bearing the cost of her education and I will continue to do so.”

Since her surgery, Pinki is happy and engaged at her school, where earlier she was ostracized. An intelligent girl, she is especially proud of her books, which have been gifted to her by the scores. She has turned her collection of fiction and non-fiction books into a library in her village, issuing them out to people who want to borrow them. Singh says: “Education is the only way forward. Given a level playing field, Pinki will go far in life.”

Pinki’s exposure to the world has also proved beneficial for her village, Rampur Dhavaia in Uttar Pradesh. The U.P. government has gifted her a new house and announced plans to develop her village as a “model village.”

The success of Slumdog Millionaire propelled the problem of slum and street children in India to international attention. The Indian government is proposing the establishment of a National Commission for Children to promote the welfare and rights of children.

The young stars of Slumdog Millionaire feted at Universal
Studios Hollywood in February.
However, Roy says, it will take time for major changes to take effect. “In villages in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and the South there is a huge improvement in rolling out education where the Panchayats have been made responsible for the local school system, appointing teachers, and so on. Sure some schools are still rudimentary, but in states with bad governance like Bihar, UP, Bengal, etc., this has yet to set in.”

For children thrust into the public vortex through movies, the psychological effects of their 15 minutes of fame can be both uplifting and devastating. Sissel recalls it took years for Bernard to recognize that survival was no longer his problem. “He was, oh, so brave to take such a big step with a Western woman. He is still saving himself.”

Children rights activists say that the money showered on the children is inevitably frittered away. Long term rehabilitation alone can ensure that the children do not slip back into their old lives. They say the children require counseling to come to terms with their sudden fame and equally sudden ignominy; that the money they earn should be put in a trust for their education and career goals and most importantly they should be taken out of the slum environment so they grow up with regular kids.

Geeta Venkadakrishnan, director of the Kolkata chapter of Hope Foundation says, “I am sure very soon the little girl from Slumdog Millionaire will be offered endorsements or a role in some movie or serial. However, that is not the solution. We need to first take care of their education and then other things. Without education it will not be long before she (Rubina) sinks back to the drudgery she came from.”

Slumdog Millionaire’s story about slum kids touched the hearts of cinemagoers worldwide. It propelled its child stars to instant stardom. The Mumbai slum children Rubina, in a gown, and Azhar, dapper in a tuxedo, walked the Red Carpet and were feted in five star hotels in the United States at this year’s Oscars.

On their return to India, both the children complained of the heat and mosquitoes. Those will be the least of their problems in the roller coaster life ahead.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

coalition politics

The vote in the recently concluded elections for stability is more of a negative vote for politicians who exhibited their arrogance during poll campaigning. The Left, which enjoyed power without responsibility, received a drubbing. The Lalus and the Mulayams suddenly discovered that they were the dispensers of people’s choice and wanted to treat the Congress as their poor cousin. Mr. Paswan went a step further to declare that the Congress cannot survive without his support.

In Kerala, a septuagenarian leader wanted his son to don the mantle at the cost of the party and was willing to break the party to show his superiority. Another leader presumed that her new-found love for Eelam would make the people to forget her earlier stand and that she would be given votes unequivocally. Yet another leader presumed that he could make his side the winner and put a premium on his association, not to speak of the one who shouted from the rooftop that he was the sole custodian of the Dravidian spirit.

Senior Congress leaders are meeting with key pre-poll partners, the Trinamool Congress and the DMK, on distribution of Cabinet berths.Both parties are reportedly eying plum portfolios and more ministries. The market of bargain has started.

The Congress is under pressure from its ally DMK which is seeking several ministerial berths and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee reportedly insisting on getting one more ministerial portfolio than what the DMK gets. While the DMK has won 18 Lok Sabha seats, TMC has got 19.

A tussle is reportedly on wresting the Railway Ministry, held by RJD chief Lalu Prasad who is unlikely to find a berth in Manmohan Singh's second innings. Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee is eyeing the Railway portfolio as also the DMK.

Singh was appointed Prime Minister on Wednesday for a second consecutive term after the UPA coalition staked its claim to form the government with the backing of 322 MPs. Swearing-in is to take place on May 22.

In view of the comfortable numbers the coalition has in the 543-member Lok Sabha, the President has not asked the Prime Minister to prove his strength in the House. Parliament is likely to be convened on June two.

Post-election, the Samajwadi Party, the RJD, the BSP and other parties are only too eager to give unconditional support to the UPA government. A lion’s share of the media space and time are taken up by the allies and supporting parties seeking cabinet berths.

With the Prime Minister due to be sworn in on Friday, all sides are working overtime to first finalise the share of parties in the Council of Ministers and then decide on the portfolios. In all likelihood, the Prime Minister will be sworn in with only a few Cabinet-level Ministers representing the key allies, and the full Council of Ministers will be in place later.

Is it not time to enact the right to recall to pull back candidates for non-performance and those who switch alliances post-election. Only then will our political parties learn to respect the people’s mandate.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Prabhakaran's body found



http://www.defence.lk/new.asp?fname=20090519_03
http://www.dailymirror.lk/DM_BLOG/Sections/frmNewsDetailView.aspx?ARTID=49380
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Prabhakarans-body-found-Lanka-army-chief/articleshow/4551107.cms

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan troops recovered the body of slain rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran on Tuesday, a day after he was killed in the Tamil Tigers' last stand against government forces in the north, the military said.

The government had announced Prabhakaran's killing on Monday, but later said they had not yet found his body. A rebel official abroad denied Prabhakaran was killed and said he was in a safe place.

As speculation grew about Prabhakaran's fate, army chief Gen. Sarath Fonseka announced that his body had been recovered.

"A few hours ago, the body of terrorist leader Prabhakaran, who ruined this country, was found in the battleground," he told state television. "I take responsibility for this statement."

Fonseka's announcement came hours after President Mahinda Rajapaksa delivered a victory address to parliament, declaring that his country had been "liberated" from terrorism after defeating the Tamil Tiger rebels on the battlefield.

LTTE supremo Prabakaran dead


The reported killing of Velupillai Prabakaran, his son and other top LTTE leaders by the Sri Lankan armed forces has brought to an end a horrific chapter in the history of Sri Lanka. Bloodshed, in its worst form, marked three decades of violence in Sri Lanka with the LTTE pursuing the unjustified demand for a separate Eelam. A horrendous chapter in the history of terror and megalomania has come to an end with Prabakaran's elimination. With help and sympathy from across the Palk Strait and money from the Tamil diaspora the world over, the LTTE leader hijacked the Sri Lankan Tamil movement for equality and rights. The LTTE ruthlessly eliminated its political opponents, including Rajiv Gandhi. Prabakaran became a victim of the sword he raised many times to eliminate others.

The LTTE's decision to concede defeat was too little too late. Had it taken the decision six months ago, thousands of civilian deaths could have been avoided. It fought a losing battle which resulted in unnecessary death and destruction.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa who put down the Tigers with an iron hand deserves to be praised and thanked. President Rajapaksa deserves praise for the manner in which he dealt with the LTTE. He has created history by eradicating the terrorist menace from the Sri Lankan soil. Mr. Rajapaksa's courage and determination are truly laudable. Our leaders should learn a lesson or two from him on liberating India from terrorism.

Prabakaran's death marks the fall of a dreaded terrorist organisation. His end is a lesson for those who divide their country for personal benefits by poisoning the minds of innocent people.There is a lesson for potential rebels in Prabakaran's end. Armed struggles have not and will not succeed. For gaining one's rights, one does not have to kill people. Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King would have no relevance if violence was effective. Unfortunately, history could not convince Prabakaran to adopt peaceful means. The other lesson is for those at the helm of affairs. Victory achieved using weapons is temporary. The root cause of the issue needs to be addressed politically and economically.

With his death, the most dreaded terror group camouflaged as freedom fighters stands annihilated. It is now for the Sri Lankan government to ensure that history is not repeated.This is a crucial time for Sri Lanka. The government should find an amicable, humanitarian and dignified solution to the ethnic crisis with the help of India and other nations. The representatives of Tamils should be included in the talks to find a permanent solution within the framework of the Sri Lankan ConstitutionPrabakaran's killing, it is hoped, will mark the beginning of a new dawn in the island nation.

http://www.dailymirror.lk/DM_BLOG/Sections/frmNewsDetailView.aspx?ARTID=49380
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Prabhakarans-body-found-Lanka-army-chief/articleshow/4551107.cms
COLOMBO: Sri Lankan troops recovered the body of slain rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran on Tuesday, a day after he was killed in the Tamil Tigers' last stand against government forces in the north, the military said.

Monday, May 18, 2009

resurgent congress poised for 2nd term

Its all over for L.K.Advani ,his dream has been shattered , becoz of modi ...now l.k.advani should be reborn to rahul gandhi..to full fill his dream.....I congratulate Dr.Manmohan Singh for this 2nd term as p.m ..2moro sensex will touch 13k ... nd evething will be positive henceforth .....rahul gandhi rocks!!! its his idea to put candidates in u.p ...BJP is only for rich ....cong for aam admi....so u can see cong emerging as single largest party ......

India voted decisively for continuity and stability in the general election to the 15th Lok Sabha, giving the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance another five-year term in office.In terms of seats, this is the best performance by the Congress since 1991, the last time the country saw a single-party, although minority, government. Verdict 2009 gives little scope for the smaller parties or groupings to engage in backroom negotiations to decide the shape of the next government. The Congress holds all the aces. The prime ministership will not be up for bargaining, as some of the smaller players were hoping. For President Pratibha Patil, the task on hand couldn’t be simpler: there is no need to consult constitutional experts to decide on whom to invite to form the next government. Manmohan Singh, the declared candidate of the Congress and the automatic choice for Prime Minister, could be the first Prime Minister since Indira Gandhi to have two full terms.

It has proved time and again that the tricks of social Engg. ( Mayabati ), Religion politics ( Modi, Advani & company ) & cast politics ( Lalu, Paswan & Mulayam ) can work magic for one / two times only.This is not Rahul Vs Modi or Congress Vs BJP, this is Aam Admi Vs political tricks. The ideologies of BJP represented by Modi & Advani which has rejected by people. Hence they are missing Atal Bihari Bajpayee .


There was no one big surprise anywhere, but the Congress party pulled out one small surprise after another across the regions of India. When it seemed to take the long view in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and spurned alliance offers by regional players, few predicted any immediate gains for the party. But now, one of the significant features of this election is surely the re-emergence of the Congress as a key player in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, where 80 seats are on offer. The same strategy did not work of course in Bihar, where the alliance of the Janata Dal(United) and the Bharatiya Janata Party rode on the good track record of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. All the same, the Congress seems to have sown the seeds of its own resurgence by adopting a long-sighted strategy in the two key Hindi-speaking States.

To have a realistic chance of forming the government, the BJP not only had to hold its ground in the Hindi belt; it also needed its allies to do well. While the JD(U) obliged in Bihar, the Shiv Sena disappointed in Maharashtra. The honours were more or less even in Punjab. But more importantly, potential post-poll allies such as the Telugu Desam Party and the Telangana Rashtra Samiti in Andhra Pradesh and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu did not do as well as they were expected to. And this came after the demoralising loss of a long-time ally, the Biju Janata Dal, in Orissa. After reaching a plateau in the Hindi belt, the BJP needed to grow outside its traditional strongholds to really threaten the Congress. In recent years, its only success in this regard has been Karnataka. But in other States in the south, the party is far from being a player of any significance.

Other than the BJP, the big loser in the current election is the Left. In both West Bengal and Kerala, the Left parties suffered severe reverses; if the loss in the southern State can be explained in terms of the customary swing of the pendulum, the failure to win a majority of seats in the eastern State is the first in more than three decades.

In many States, regional issues came into play. The Sri Lankan Tamil issue dominated campaign rhetoric in Tamil Nadu. In Bihar, the fight became a virtual referendum on the performance of the Nitish Kumar-government after years of Lalu-Rabri rule. In Maharashtra, the split in the Shiv Sena engineered by Raj Thackeray seems to have played as big a role as the coming together of the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress. India faces a number of internal and external challenges: in particular, the impact of the global economic slowdown, and the tensions and instability in the neighbourhood. The UPA must guard against complacency and must use this second innings to improve governance and respond effectively to the big challenges.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

In case of Hung parliament

The Congress wants a non-BJP government, the Third front wants a non-Congress and non-BJP government, and the BJP wants to take the support of any combination on its terms. The President sure has a tough task ahead.

It is indeed stocktaking time for parties in the run-up to government formation. All parties are getting ready to woo MPs to get the requisite numerical strength in Parliament.Before and during the polls, every party is an enemy of the other. But after the elections, all parties, doubtful of their position, start wooing those they criticised and opposed during electioneering. As usual it is the voter who is left in the lurch, looking like a fool.

Electoral bargains from the very beginning of the Lok Sabha term do not augur well for the country’s future.It is appalling to see our leaders compromising their ideology and conviction for power. Can people trust those who change their colour on the basis of the electoral outcome? No wonder, the educated are losing interest in election and democracy.

The Constitution gives the right to every eligible citizen to contest the elections. No wonder we have many individuals and parties in the fray. Any number of parties can align to form a majority in Parliament. As more and more parties contest and come together to form a government, governance becomes more difficult. The leader of the coalition is forced to abandon its policies. The Constitution can be amended restricting the number of parties that can combine to form a government.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Indians faces another incident of racism


Over 50 Indian passengers flying Air France had a "harrowing" time "with hardly any water and food" at Paris airport after their aircraft developed a technical problem and complained that they were victims of "racial" profiling.

The tired passengers, who arrived Mumbai late Monday night after being stranded for 28 hours at Paris, said they were confined to a "small" lounge at the airport from 10 pm on Sunday till 7 am the next morning.

"We were kept in a small room (lounge) with hardly any food or water and we were told we could not leave the airport. We spent a whole night over there in that condition," a passenger, who travelled on aboard the flight-AF 218, said.

The passengers, on their way to Mumbai from the US via Paris, said while other foreigners were taken to hotels shortly after their plane returned to the airport due to a technical problem following a four-hour flight, the Indians were taken to the lounge and just given a bottle of water and a sandwich.

Giving details of their "harrowing" time, one of the travellers, one among passengers said, "No foreigner would have been treated like the way we were treated. People were lying down on the floor over there (at a place at the airport) where immigration takes place."

Accusing Air France of "racial" profiling, a passenger said the officials there even had threatened that they would be handed over to the police if they did not stop protesting. No reason has officially been given for the delay.

Air France, in a press release, said, "Passengers with a valid transit visa were put up at nearby hotels for the night." It also regretted any inconvenience caused. But the 55 Indians said they were made to wait over ten hours for their transit visas in dismal conditions.

Sudhakara Reddy, president, Air Passengers Association of India, said, "We receive a lot of complaints from our members and Indian passengers about the discrimination they face on board some European airlines, but it's difficult to win such cases as it is hard to produce proof to substantiate the allegations."

Friday, May 8, 2009

Pakistan’s initiative

Pakistan President Asif Zardari’s initiative to have a fresh dialogue with the new government coming to power in India is a welcome gesture. If Pakistan responds to India with a positive mindset and acts sincerely, it will pave the way for better commercial, cultural and sporting relations between two countries. With the new world order favouring a collective combat against terrorism, Pakistan’s call may be considered a positive signal.

President Zardari wants a “commercial relationship” with India and is keenly looking at the “markets of India for industrialists of Pakistan.” He does sound genuine but he has to first withdraw the hordes of jihadi terror peddlers dumped on India, stop the stream of infiltration and close down all jihadi terror manufacturing corporates firmly established in Pakistan. Peace and terror cannot coexist.

These terrorists and extremists are harmful for not only neighboring countries but also for Pakistan herself. In my view Pak can take help of India as well as USA in war against terror.  

India has always shown a firm belief in peace and negotiations to settle its disagreements with Pak. India should make a deliberate effort to impress on Pakistan the need to establish a democratically elected government there and then go ahead with the peace dialogue and economic ties.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Why they are showing middle finger??



These are two pictures appeared on same day in The Hindu. First picture is of the leaders who voted in the third phase of the Lok Sabha elections are (from left) Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, BJP’s prime ministerial candidate L.K. Advani, and AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh, displaying the indelible ink mark on their forefingers. Second picture is of the Bachchan family outside a polling station in Mumbai, displaying the indelible ink mark on their middle fingers.

First of all i want to ask why they are showing middle fingers? Whether their votes would be in/valid, whether there was a different rule for them and whether they know or not that the gesture was vulgar. The normal standing instruction is that the ink should be applied on the left index/forefinger (though there are alternate rules in case the forefinger is missing or if there are no fingers in some disabled persons). SO, by this gesture the Bachchan family has not only offended election commission but also the entire nation. If in any case the ink was put on their middle fingers they should have avoided the gesture by showing all fingers.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

People who shock humanity with their inhuman behavior expect humane treatment ?

The report that Ajmal Amir ‘Kasab’, the lone terrorist captured alive in the Mumbai attack, has retracted his statement is painful. Ajmal’s frequent u-turns are aimed at prolonging the judicial process.His claim that he confessed under pressure is meaningless. What he did, entire world has watched live. He has claimed that he is a minor and the court has no jurisdiction to try him. He has also complained that he was subjected to physical torture.

Why do people who shock humanity with their inhuman behavior expect humane treatment when they get caught? Is there any cause to treat Ajmal and his ilk sympathetically? Does his being a “minor” make a difference to the victims of his attack?

It is surprising to see ‘Kasab’ being treated as an ordinary criminal. He is not a petty thief. He is an enemy sent on a mission by foreign forces. He must be treated as an enemy combatant.

As the world’s largest democracy, we no doubt have the responsibility to ensure that an accused gets a fair trial. Which is why, even in the face of clear evidence against ‘Kasab,’ we proceeded to provide him legal counsel. But if this trial prolongs then it will give a bad signal about our security scenario and about our capabilities to deal with criminals. At the same time with the 24-7 media capturing every detail of the case and making sensational stories on the issue will only harm our security and will give 'Kasab' the unnecessary hype.

The people are exasperated at the manner in which the trial is progressing. Should a terror accused like ‘Kasab’ be subjected to such an elaborate trial when the evidence against him is so conclusive? The least we can do for the victims of 26/11 is give them timely justice.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Youth Power!

When someone talks politics today, it is like noise. He is immediately told “We have better jobs to do.” There are many issues that concern the young. The economy, security scenario and people losing their jobs as some of the areas needing urgent action. I thinks young politicians can have better ideas related to these issues.

So where does “Youth” stands in the 15th Lok Sabha elections. With an estimated one quarter of voters aged between 18 and 25 years, every party is trying to woo young voters through campaigns specially designed for them and young candidates are being projected as “important faces” of the party.

Are young people really impressed? To an extent yes, with some youngsters even starting voluntary campaigns. At the same time occupied with their academic demands and employment prospects, the young find no identification with any of the tactics for luring vote banks. Politicians are not interested in listening to youths and understanding their needs.

The young are disillusioned with the older generation of leaders and their power battles and feel a great disconnect. But not many names come to mind of young politicians, apart from a Rahul Gandhi or a Milind Deora or a Sachin Pilot.

A leader is someone who should inspire. Who should make people realise their duties, make them think. How many leaders today satisfies that criteria? At the same time we also should Analyse what is right and wrong. Don’t just follow.

For many, Rahul Gandhi has become the symbol of the young blood and the change that they speak about. Varun Gandhi on the other hand does not strike a chord. Clearly, in the eyes of the youth, no one can get cheap popularity, they understands what is right, what is wrong.

The country needs change and new ideas. I am glad that the parties are thinking about youngsters and putting up at least some young candidates. They may lack experience, but it is important to give them a chance to gain experience. They are setting an example and telling us that politics is not an area of darkness for the young.

Yes, it feels nice to know that there are young people in fray. But let us not forget that ‘who are they?’ After all, with dynasty rule firmly in place in all political parties, it is sons and daughters of senior politicians who dominate in the line up of young politicians contesting polls this time. It is not easy for others to break into the system within a party and its strict hierarchy.

Observers say the youth are not a vote bank, even as 40 per cent of voters are below 35, as pointed out in the media. How many will vote for the Samajwadi Party’s manifesto of doing away with computers or English education? How many vote for BJP's mandir in ayodhya? But then, what options do the youth have?

Friday, April 17, 2009

On Ragging


Ragging is an evil that continues unabated despite the Supreme Court directive to educational institutions to end it. In recent times almost every week we heard a new case of ragging from around the country. Sometimes juniors tried for suicide, sometimes they were beaten heavily, and some times they even lost their life due to this evil.

Recently a first-year management student from Coimbatore, suffered serious injuries due to ragging by his seniors. Some two weeks back a student lost his life due to ragging in medical college of Dharmshala. It is not fair to blame the college authorities for not preventing the attack on freshers. Sometimes student was staying in a private hostel, where the senior students allegedly went in the middle of the night and demanded money.

Ragging implies mild mischief played by seniors on new entrants. But when such play results in illegal assembly and causes irreparable damage to the victim, one should not make an attempt to bestow respectability on the ugly activity.

Ragging has lost its meaning completely today. When a students comes out of school and joins a new medical or engineering college he knows very little about this completely new environment. There are students who come from villages or remote areas, they need to improve their personality, communication skills and they need a help in their academics. Ragging in a way can be a tool to remove the shyness, improve the intellectual capacity of freshers and let them learn how to face the new world of professionals, it can help in increasing interaction between senior and juniors.

With the number of colleges and hostels ever increasing, and new admissions running into lakhs across the country, it is difficult to keep a continuous watch on students to prevent ragging. The difficulty is compounded by the fact that the victim is usually alone with no friends to approach after the incident, as he is still new to the college. The strength of the seniors lies in their numbers. A victim of ragging is bound to rag his juniors.

If institutions can open two or three weeks earlier exclusively for the freshers, they will get sufficient time to know and befriend one another.The hostel staff need to be vigilant at the beginning of a teaching session. It is important to raise a brigade of students dedicated to eliminating ragging. It should not only report instances of ragging but also intervene to stop them.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Worst till date?





With the Lok Sabha election fast approaching, we find our political parties busy in doing anything for votes. But it is unfortunate that leaders using foul language are finding much attention by mass and media. Hardly a day passes without seeing television images of our so called representatives spewing venom on their opponents. It is unfortunate that many of our political leaders make inflammatory and indecent remarks during election. Our politicians often make comments which lead to controversies and, sometimes, land them in trouble with the law. They then try to escape saying they meant something else. Freedom of speech is not freedom to indulge in irresponsible talk.

With the 24x7 media straining to break news, such speeches get unparalleled attention. What is worrying is that this oral offensive is neither the outcome of momentary lapses into indiscretion nor an exception. It is becoming an indispensable and accepted part of our political discourse.

This is the worst election so far. The issues relevant to people are not discussed or addressed. The Mud Slinging has reached its climax. Personality wars are raging. Undue importance is given to persons who are born with a particular family name. The electorate is frustrated and the turnout is expected to be very low.What has happened to issues like disease, illiteracy, lack of water, power, roads, lack of jobs, lack of hospitals, lack of schools, high level of corruption, serious pending cases against politicians etc.

The middle class knows only too well that the “crushing under the roller,” “bloodbath,” “Ram temple” and other such remarks are political gimmicks. The so-called elite have no intention to vote and therefore ignore such irresponsible speak. The poor hardly care for the issues on which the noise is made as they are busy with their day-to-day issues. Then for whom these politicians are making these remarks and to whom they are trying to impress? Such statements, at best, may be honey for the ears of those who blindly follow the showy politicians.

The voters should evaluate a candidate’s worth on the basis of not just his or her integrity or ability to serve but also the maturity level to handle criticism. I hope the candidates will understand that they are watched and every home has at least one educated person who can change the opinion of his or her family members when they go to vote.

Election 2009 is one of the worst elections, if viewed in the context of campaigning by some of our leaders. Worse, they are not even ashamed of what they speak. The election will be remembered for Varun Gandhi’s hate speech, Lalu Prasad’s statement that he would have crushed the young BJP leader under a roller had he been the Home Minister, Mulayam Singh threatening a woman official, Uddhav Thackeray calling the Prime Minister names, and Vaiko warning of a bloodbath in Tamil Nadu while supporting a banned organization, Modi and Priyanka episode and now the tussle between Soina and Advani.

images taken from toonpool.com

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

It needs something else to become no.1



India has won a test series in New Zealand after some 40 years or so..obviously its a great matter of joy, but is the winning margin of 1-0 a true indication of dominance of India? In the last day - a gloomy one - of a tough season, New Zealand had a few bright spots to hang on to. Of course, the series had been lost the day they were bowled out for 197 at the Basin Reserve. For the last three days, it has been all about whether they could salvage a draw, with or without the help of a circumspect India and unpredictable weather.

It was a poor declaration by MS Dhoni when he batted too long, he should have known that the weather could change on the last day. He would have been aware of that and he could have backed his bowlers not to concede 600 or so runs. They made a mistake and New Zealand were able to get out with a draw. If he wanted 600 on board and then attacking field placement then why didn't he do that? Why all were playing like schoolboys and making giggling noise? On day 3 India, had a lead larger than any target successfully chased in the fourth innings of some 1918 tests played in 132 years. Over the world's No. 8 team, one they had bowled out for 197 runs in the first innings of the same Test. Two days later, when the Indian team trooped off the field, they were still looking for the last New Zealand two wickets

India's disappointment was evident at not winning the Test, despite a charismatic spell of legspin bowling from Sachin Tendulkar, who combined really well with Harbhajan Singh. Harbhajan, with 16 wickets, ended as the highest wicket-taker in the series. "Of course it is a bit disappointing not to win this Test," captain MS Dhoni said after the test.

The safety-first approach highlighted India's lack of success overseas. The value of this win was immense and its enormity is beginning to be understood. But India lacked the ruthlessness required to win the test. The hunger to win in each and every situation has always been a trade mark of a champion side be it West Indies or Australia. But India clearly lacked it during 4th day of last match. To become no.1 in world India needs to learn a lesson or two from those champion sides.

The one thing to watch out against is complacency, which seemed to surface now and then, as it did on the fourth and fifth days of the third Test when inclement weather, with the assistance of some aimless drift and tactical looseness, denied India an even more convincing series victory.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

After Bush, Wen Jiabao now P Chidambaram




In a shocking incident, a journalist hurled a shoe at Union Home Minister P Chidambaram during a press conference convened by the Congress party to unveil its blueprint to fight terror in India.

Chidambaram was replying to a question posed by a Sikh journalist on the Central Bureau of Investigation's (CBI) clean chit to Congress leader Jagdish Tytler on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. The journalists was apparently not happy by the reply given the minister and hence was insisting on getting clarifications.

Then all of a sudden he hurled a shoe at the Home Minister. Everybody present was shocked by the incident.

The shoe missed Palaniappan Chidambaram, who lent back to avoid it. He later smiled and asked security guards to take the reporter out of the room.

"Please take him away," the minister said after the missile was thrown at him. Congress party workers immediately took the white turbaned journalist away.

This was the latest incident of show-throwing as a mark of protest against political leaders, including former President George W Bush and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

Was it over reaction or the true anguish of people....whatever it be, but this kind of act shouldn't be tolerated, because it's not only the insult of Home minister but it's a insult of whole country.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Be ware of these politicians!


1.Actor-turned- politician Sanjay Dutt on Tuesday said he was not surprised by the Supreme Court’s decision to disallow him from contesting the upcoming general elections.“I was not surprised by the Supreme Court’s decision. I respect the decision of the honourable court. I am a law-abiding citizen and I really appreciate that the honourable court had absolved me from Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (TADA),” Dutt told reporters.

On July 31, 2007, he was sentenced to a jail term of six years for illegal possession of firearms acquired from terrorist acquaintances, who were responsible for the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts.


2.The man accused of engineering anti-sikh riots in 1984 has just got a clean chit. As expected former Union Minister Jagdish Tytler has been let off by the CBI (Central Bureau Of Investigation) in its final report.
De-sealing its final report in the case in the court, the CBI pleaded that the case against Tytler, the Congress' candidate from the Delhi North East constituency, be canceled. "The Sikh vote has never been a problem. They have never voted against me - there is no question of the 1984 riots and the allegations against me," said Tytler. Lately Congress was feeling the heat for the 1984 Anti-sikh massacre from BJP and section of the Media , and wants to do away with it , the best idea was to use the "CBI" to clear the name of Mr.Tytler , So if no one is responsible for the massacre , then how did it happened, we have "N" no reports which tells that Congress leaders were responsible for the killing, What should we do with that report ? If BJP is responsible for 2000 riots then Congress was for the 1984 , so a pot should not call the kettle black.

3.Indian media has created a new leader for the BJP and for the Hinduithava factions , with out any help from the BJP, They have managed single handily made a big issue of a small speech give in a remote place. It should be noted that nothing has happened from his "inflammatory" speech till date!! All the "News" channels are flashing that it is a drama , but one thing they are forgetting is that the drama was created by them and not by any one else, if any one in India have watched the "News" channels for the past 10 days would repeat the speech from heart. it was really funny, the way the Congress spokesperson was talking to a "News" channel, it clearly showed that he was frustrated, angry, and dose not know what to do (i.e. Helplessness). The media and the UP government did not expect the turnout (one estimate 10000 people), and was literally take back by the support Varun got.

These are three incidents of this week which forced me to think about today's politics. So we should teach a lesson or two to these politicians who by raising people's sentiments and creating divide in society want to earn cheep and fast popularity for their own interests.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Too Many Prime Ministers




The General Election 2009 is not dominated by any personality. It is the complete absence of a figure such as Barack Obama, Sheikh Hasina, Indira Gandhi or even an Atal Bihari Vajpayee. We have leaders, but no one who drives popular choices at the national level. There are so many Prime Ministerial candidates in the battle ground of 2009 elections.

On January 24th, 2009, Manmohan Singh underwent cardiac bypass surgery at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. Following the surgery, speculation of alternate PM candidates arose both within the Congress and amongst coalition partners. In an attempt to quell such speculations, Sonia Gandhi announced that Manmohan Singh is the UPA coalition's Prime Ministerial candidate for the 2009 elections. United Progressive Alliance is projecting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as the Prime Ministerial candidate in the elections. Following the August 2008 confidence vote victory for the current government, Congress is seeing the right person in Manmohan Singh to lead it to the battle field of the 2009 elections. He is having Clean image, better economic knowledge and is acceptable to all, but weak leadership can go against him if Congress couldn't come up as single largest party.

National Democratic Alliance The main opposition, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its coalition partners in the National Democratic Alliance, announced that their candidate for prime minister would be BJP party leader Lal Krishna Advani, the Leader of the Opposition. On January 23, 2008, leaders from BJP and other NDA parties convened to officially elect him their candidate. No other party or alliance has announced a prime ministerial candidate. Strong leadership quality is his strength, but less faith of minorities can go against him.

Third Front a motley group of regional parties, as well as the Communist parties, have been striving to form a third front to counter the BJP-led and Congress-led alliances. Among the members are the United National Progressive Alliance, India's Left parties and the Bahujan Samaj Party. Once again, the media has speculated that Mayawati, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, could potentially be projected as the front's Prime Ministerial candidate, but no official move has taken place yet. If Mayawati's party can win enough seats, she has openly stated that she would be willing to take the support of the national parties to become Prime Minister. The factor of being a 'Dalit' can go with her. Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar has indicated that he is also a possible Prime Ministerial candidate post elections.

Another possibility arising in last few days could be the 'Secular Front' formed by Lalu Prasad Yadav's Rastriya Janta Dal (RJD), Mulayam Singh Yadav's Samajwadi Party (SP) and Ram Vilas Paswan's Lok Jansakti Party (LJP). Any of them could arise as the candidate for top job depending upon their seats. Lalu and Mulayam is having those 'skills' and experience while Paswan is again a 'Dalit' leader.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

IPL and we the ppl



Of course, the IPL is not merely a domestic tournament. It is a life-altering phenomenon in cricket. It is domestic only in the sense that it is controlled by the BCCI, which also benefits the most from it; but it has felt like an unstoppable force, with the power to affect every aspect of international cricket. In so many ways, it already has. And that's why the attention of the cricket world has been riveted on the discussions, or rather the lack of them, between the IPL's organisers and the Indian government over the security arrangements.


There was no way the world’s largest and most complex election exercise would not have got priority over a splurge of Twenty20 entertainment. At the same time, the organizers were left with no choice. There was no other space for the tournament in the international calendar, and the cost of not holding it was immense. But with the government refusing to provide a categorical assurance about security, and in fact giving every indication that it would prefer the tournament to be postponed, the risk of going ahead with it in India as scheduled was even greater.

However, this will be the first time a domestic tournament will be held abroad from start to finish. The IPL brought about a revolution in cricket in its first year. Will the second season lead to another? Its relocation is having both, positive & negative aspects.

What we stand to loose:

The relocation is a huge setback for the IPL. It was a tournament founded on the concept of city loyalties, and the finest aspect of the first season, apart from the quality of the cricket, was the response it generated from local fans. The money was made from television, but the real success of the tournament was felt in the stands. Taking the games away would be to deny them their natural habitat.

India would have showcased its higher security prospects and thus would have created positive environment to organize high profile sports events such as commonwealth games, Asian games and cricket world cup which is hit by recent terror activities in the region.

BCCI has been said to loose Rs.200 crores due to its relocation. At any given point of time, IPL would have 10,000 people working on the tournament. They would have consuming 30,000 rooms in hotels and 10,000 airline tickets for the purpose of the tournament, India stands to loose it.

As a positive,

it might provide a template for, and hasten the process of, Pakistan's home games being played in England or elsewhere. And if the tournament succeeds beyond drawing eyeballs on television, it could end up expanding the IPL's base and providing a tangible alternative for all subcontinent teams in these uncertain times. Even the most loyal Indian supporters will agree that these parts are far more chaotic and inherently prone to security lapses than the developed nations. The bombings in London in 2005 were an exception.

Lalit Modi, the IPL commissioner, has said the South African economy will benefit enormously from staging the lucrative Twenty20 tournament. Speaking at a press conference in Johannesburg, Modi suggested the influx of players, coaches, support staff, media and spectators would inject many millions into South Africa over the league's five-week duration.


Gerald Majola and Lalit Modi at a press conference, Johannesburg, March 24, 2009


But in the end it is as inconceivable to think of cricket without India as it is to imagine India without cricket. Not only is India cricket's economic powerhouse, but despite all the flaws of its administrators and the excesses of its fans, nowhere else is the game more alive, more vibrant, and followed more passionately. The IPL happened to get its timing wrong, but for its own sake, cricket must return home.

Sometimes a controversy ends well, and this is one of those. No major bruises, though the Congress is left looking a bit sheepish. When the first ball of the second IPL is bowled, cricket aficionados in the country will be saluting Modi, Pawar and Jaitley.