With the BCCI chief trying to fool people in the most shocking manner, it is high time the legends of the game listen to their conscience and speak on behalf of those who made them what they are: their fans!
By: Keyur Seta
Politicians and big-shots trying to fool the aam junta is nothing new in our country. For them, the common public is either unintelligent to fall in the trap or too busy in their own life to pay heed to the issue. But the way N Srinivasan, the President of the Board of Control For Cricket in India (BCCI), is lying through his teeth has set a new benchmark in trying to take the country for a ride!
Let's have a look at the background of the issue first. As we all are aware, Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, owner of Chennai Super Kings, is arrested for his alleged role in betting and match-fixing (or spot-fixing as they are calling it) in the so-called cricket series Indian Premier League (IPL). So according to the IPL rules, the team can be banned due to their owner’s malpractice.
But to make sure his son-in-law doesn’t get into trouble and his team isn’t banned, Srinivasan has come up with a shocking theory. According to him, Gurunath is neither the owner of CSK nor he is associated with the team in any way. In fact, he also says, Gurunath is just a cricket enthusiast who travels with the team!!! Well, even mentally retarded individuals won’t believe such a theory.
The President has clearly done way too ahead in trying to fool the people of India due to the following reasons:-
- Gurunath’s ID card, which is splashed across all TV channels, mentions him as the owner of CSK.
- We have seen him giving numerous interviews on TV as the owner of CSK.
- His visiting cards mention him as the owner of CSK. This was also shown across various news channels.
- (Best point of all) He was seen bidding for his team at IPL team auctioning.
Before this incident, nobody knew that a mere cricket enthusiast gets all these privileges! I can assure to Srinivasan that I am a much bigger cricket enthusiast than Gurunath. So will I be given the opportunity to speak as a team owner and bid for the team during auctions?
More than Srinivas’s shocking claims, it is the audacity at which he is making them and, in turn, blaming the media for ‘hounding’ him that speaks volumes about his adamancy for fooling the people of India!
On the contrary, we should thank the media, especially Times Now, for not giving up on the issue and asking what billions of cricket fans across the country are desperate to ask. In fact, we can only rely on the media because the big names of the game aren’t going to utter a word on the issue. This is so evident from yesterday’s press conference where Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni just behaved like a puppet on the hands of his CSK owner and the BCCI President!
It was highly sad to see someone so confident and brave transforming into a scary bone! If this continues, be rest assured, the whole issue will soon be swept under the carpet. It is high time the big names of Indian cricket, including the Tendulkars, Dravids and Dhonis, raise their voice on behalf of those who have made them what they are: their billions of fans! It is up to them to decide to choose between their bosses and their conscience!
By: Keyur Seta
The phenomenon of hero worshipping is very old among Hindi cinema lovers. There is nothing wrong with it since these actors have entertained us and helped us escape from our stressful routine. But when hero worshipping goes onto a level that people turn a blind eye to the high level of crime their onscreen ‘hero’ commits, be rest assured we are living in dangerous times.
I have always found it questionable and even disturbing to see people demanding forgiveness for Sanjay Dutt despite him being convicted in an utterly dangerous crime of storing arms in connection with the 1993 bomb blasts. But my disturbance scaled higher levels recently when I saw the actor being surrounded and cheered by his fans when he was about to surrender at the Tada Jail. It’s so funny to see people supporting a criminal just because he is a big Bollywood superstar!
All these disturbing scenes have given rise to a single question in my mind – Suppose if a common man like me was convicted under the arms act in connection to a crime as serious as 1993 bomb blasts, how many people would have supported me and demanded forgiveness for me? Nobody would have simply because I am not a superstar! The public would have burnt my effigies in fact! So how can the law be different for a common man and a filmstar?
It is been argued that Dutt has already spent some time in jail but is it enough for a crime as serious as this? His supporters are also raising the point that he deeply regrets what he did. So suppose if I commit a similar serious crime and then repent my acts, will people demand for my forgiveness too?
In the midst of this madness, Nana Patekar’s brave and bold statement on the issue has come as a pleasant surprise. The fearless way in which Nana has expressed no mercy for Dutt has increased my respect for him manifolds. Perhaps, he is the only one from the film fraternity to have spoken about equality in law.
As for the rest from the industry, they scream about honesty, truth and justice only in their films. Their fans whistle and clap whenever their favorite actors speak about these three issues. In real life, both parties will go all out in supporting a criminal activity.
Watch Nana Patekar giving a fearless opinion against Sanjay Dutt's mercy:
By: Keyur Seta
With unthinkable amounts of money involved in every stage of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the arrest of S Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila on charges of spot fixing (or match fixing) doesn’t really come as a surprise. It is believed that money is the root cause of all evils. So when the amount of money involved is abnormally high, evil surely can’t be kept away.
Coming to the topic of banning IPL, I know it might sound outrageous to some. To put forth my point, I would like to list the following changes that have taken place in the cricket world after the emergence of the IPL: -
- Every season of the IPL is started in the most shocking manner with the auctioning of players where they are literally sold as if they are just commodities.
- Due to the absurd amount of money being paid to the cricketers, even for just warming benches, a number of players are more interested in playing for their IPL franchises rather than their country. In fact, Albie Morkel and David Hussey have gone on record in saying they aren’t interested in playing for their respective countries. Virendra Sehwag’s shocking decision of skipping India’s England tour in 2011 instead of the IPL (which was before the England series) to undergo an operation for a shoulder injury is still fresh in cricket lovers’ minds.
- To spread the so-called game, the makers have also gone the Bollywood way of objectifying women, not just with those sleazy cheerleaders but also in the form of TV presenters, who are chosen just for their looks rather than an iota of cricket knowledge.
- Players are asked to launch their respective team’s clothing. They are also forced to walk on the ramp (which they do it embarrassingly). And the worst of all – those ‘after match wild parties’. So we have product launches, ramp walks, skimpily clad cheerleaders (for lusty men who aren’t much interested in cricket), glamorous TV presenters and high octane parties. Can we have some cricket too?
- We do have but it is just a bang-bang version with batsmen only wanting to hit over the ropes and bowlers just praying for a false shot from them. No, I am not completely against the T20 format but there has to be some regulation since the format just takes away the actual cricket skills from players. If you have 80 or more matches in a span of less than two months, there will be constant deterioration of skills. This is visible from the fact that hardly any batsman is capable of playing a long, fighting innings in Test Matches these days. Bowlers too are losing the threat and skills required to outplay the batsmen in the longest format since they have started relying on batsmen’s mistakes.
And now, we have the mother of all disgraces – spot fixing scandal involving Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila. (Even last year, five players were caught in a similar scandal in a TV sting operation.) Personally, I am not at all surprised after hearing some inside stories about the IPL. Unfortunately, I can’t write about it since the people, who revealed this, don’t want to be quoted. But even if we put your common sense into work, don’t we find it weird how a large number of matches go till the last ball or last few balls only in IPL and not any other tournament?
Although there are talks that the arrests are just the tip of the iceberg and many more shocking details and arrests are soon to follow, I tend to disagree. The IPL body and BCCI won’t let it happen simply because it will get all the big names exposed which in turn would ruin the prospects of earning unthinkable amounts from the so-called cricket series. Ideally the tainted cricketers should be thrown in jails like other criminals. But the BCCI and IPL authorities will just sweep the dust under the carpet by just banning the players, which is equal to rewarding them.
Coming to the original question, isn’t it the need of the hour to just ban IPL considering the high level of disgrace it has brought to our dear game of cricket? But as said earlier, the people controlling cricket won’t ruin ‘everyone’s’ prospects of earning enormous bucks. There is, however, a chance of it happening. How?
It is we the people who have let something as shameful as IPL ruin the cricket by investing our huge amounts of money and our precious time in following it. IPL would have been nothing without such high level of public participation. So the power of bringing this polluted version of cricket down also lies with us.
What happens when people don’t turn up in cinema halls to watch a particular movie? It just gets removed ASAP. The same thing can happen with IPL if we just give a cold shoulder to it. If people don’t turn up in the stadiums and don’t turn on their TV sets, it will generate huge amounts of loss in terms of ticket and advertisement revenue, which will throw a clear message to the authorities. (Personally, I find it weird to think people still spending thousands even after such shameful cases coming to the forefront.)
So all those who have always loved or even worshipped cricket, it is time to show your love for the game by simply ignoring the pollution called IPL. Let us join hands to rescue our dear game!
By: Keyur Seta
The recently concluded first test match between India and Australia at Chennai will mostly be remembered for Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s unbelievable knock of 224. But taking nothing away from Dhoni, this feature focuses on India’s batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar’s 81 in the first innings that rescued India from a ghastly situation.
However, since last 24 years, Sachin’s greatness has been described millions of times in so many ways that there are no words or adjectives left in the dictionary to write anything new about it. So I won’t go into how wonderfully he played under pressure (like always) because that has been reported everywhere and we all have seen it. Instead, I will focus on the background of the innings which goes back to the start of January this year.
Sachin wasn’t having a good run in test cricket during the latter part of 2012. Somehow he was not able to stay long at the crease and was getting bowled most of the times. Apart from the man himself, it was also heartbreaking for us, the fans. Naturally, his bad run also gave a free ticket to these silly news channel anchors to force him to retire. Such a thing can happen only in India where those who mustn’t have held a bat in their lives can dictate terms to the best batsmen ever!
Any international player with such experience would have labeled this period as a bad patch without accepting that something is wrong with his game. At the most, he would have practiced in the nets for long hours or taken guidance from his coach.
But Sachin is not ‘any international player’. Despite bagging the most number of batting achievements ever, he was humble enough to accept some error in his play. And instead of just resorting to basic techniques to improve his game, he went back to play domestic cricket for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy. Despite having played at the biggest international platforms, there he was playing in the Ranji Trophy Quarterfinal against Baroda at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium with the same determination.
Much to his and his admirers’ delight and relief, the Master Blaster went on to score a hundred and drove his team out of trouble. This might appear as just a domestic level century but Sachin and his admirers, who had gathered to watch him despite India-Pakistan one dayer being played elsewhere, knew the worth of the innings. A couple of over-enthusiastic fans also ran to the field and, much to everyone’s disbelief, touched their God’s feet! I and my friends were hugely lucky to witness the scene in front of our eyes.
This was followed by a half century in the semifinal against Services. More than the innings what was more impressive was that a player of Sachin’s caliber went to play at a venue which was as poor as a school playground! He was looking great in the final against Saurashtra as well but was run out by fellow batsman Wasim Jaffer. But instead of giving an angry look to Jaffer, Sachin gave him words of encouragement! Who would have done that considering the innings was so important for him and the team? This time, we witnessed the kindest side of a champion, again in front of our eyes. The pep talk helped Jaffer who made a valuable contribution to Mumbai’s 40th Ranji triumph.
This isn’t all though. Sachin slammed another ton in the Irani Trophy match next week, once again witnessed by us. Sadly, other batsmen threw their wickets which left him stranded on 140. What was noteworthy here was Sachin’s disappointment to see Mumbai falling short of Rest Of India’s total although he scored a hundred. This proves that even a domestic match means so much to him despite tasting World Cup glory and some memorable test victories!
In this way, he had a series of good scores before the first test against Australia. This helped him and India immensely for the Master Blaster was able to dig the team out of a hole after being 11 for 2!
The reason I find this story fascinating is because Sachin could have opted to rest instead of going back to domestic cricket since there wasn’t a chance of him being dropped from the Indian squad. But his actions clearly showed his love for the game and his concern towards his own form despite being at the top of the world for more than 20 years! And his concern didn’t deter him to accept his bad run in front of the world and improve his form by going a level below.
What makes Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar so great is not only his supreme talent but also his humble, down to earth nature which can be seen from the example above. It is this lovable human quality that is responsible for him winning hearts not just in India but world over and being an inspiration not just for upcoming cricketers but for people from all walks of life… including me!
The fact that Swami Vivekananda’s 150th Birth Anniversary is one of the most important occasions for the country can be seen from the numerous celebrations and enlightenment programs taking place not only all over India but world over. However, when every state in India celebrated the historic event, government of Maharashtra gave a cold shoulder to it citing lack of funds!
As shocking and shameful as it sounds, the incident was revealed by Swami Sarvalokananda (Adhyaksha, Ramkrishna Math Mumbai) during the 151st Janma Tithi celebrations of Swami Vivekananda at Ramkrishna Math and Mission Mumbai on Sunday. “I personally approached Maharashtra Government. They asked us to prepare a budget for it. We did the hard work of preparing it and submitted it to them. But for six months we didn’t hear anything from them,” he said.
He further says that he again approached them but they just received fake assurances for several months. “Then I was told that the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister have rejected the proposal citing shortage of funds,” he says. Naturally, the people gathered at the venue started exclaiming “Shame, shame.”
According to him, along with several others, this is a matter of shame when governments from several states in India have celebrated the event and spread the message of Swami Vivekananda. This is more ironical when we take into account that the great patriot monk had visited Mumbai (then Bombay) thrice in his lifetime. “The city is blessed thrice by Swamiji. In fact, he left for the historic Parliament of Religions in Chicago from Mumbai’s naval port,” said Swami Sarvalokananda.
Leader of opposition Vinod Tawde, who was the chief guest at the event, revealed how he too tried in vain to persuade the government in doing something for the event. “I called the Chief Minister regarding this but he always kept delaying it,” said Tawde during his electrifying and enlightening address to the people gathered in large numbers.
Earlier in the day, Tawde, Swami Sarvalokananda and other prominent personalities unveiled the opening of Swami Vivekananda Chowk, just outside the lane of the Math. The day was also celebrated in various ways at the Mumbai Math and all over India.
There comes a time in everyone’s life when he or she is unable to react at something. I am facing that situation ever since I heard the news of the passing away of Shri Yash Chopra, one of the greatest filmmakers and pillars of Indian film industry. The feeling is more profound because deep inside everybody knows there can be no replacement for such a legend! Even those who aren’t much into films are influenced by his films at some point in their lives since the feeling of love is present in all of us.
But I will never label him as ‘King Of Romance’ like most of us. That title doesn’t do justice to his achievement. Looking at his overall career, most of his successful films haven’t been love stories. Examples – Dhool Ka Phool, Dharmputra, Waqt, Daag, Deewar, Trishul, Kala Patthar, Darr, etc.
When I associate him with love, it purely means the love of human association (instead of just the love between the hero and heroine) which he brought alive on screen so successfully. The love between a son and a mother in Deewar and Trishul, the love among a family in Waqt and most importantly, the love that defines humanity to be the only religion in Dhool Ka Phool and Dharmputra.
With his death, the world has not only lost a great filmmaker but also someone who had pulled up his socks to spread love and humanity, something which is the need of the hour.
May his soul Rest In Peace and may his family, friends and we, the well-wishers, garner the strength to overcome this tragedy and be able to continue his mission of spreading love.
Have a look at Yashji’s last interview with Shah Rukh Khan: -
This is the above mentioned scene from Dharmputra: -
If there is anyone who is expected to safeguard law and order in India the most, it is obviously the Law Minister of the country. However, the whole of India was in for a shock today when the Law Minister Salman Khurshid himself openly endorsed lawlessness by threatening to physically harm anti-corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal.
Trying to hit back at allegations made by Kejriwal, Khurshid openly told a news channel, “Let Kejriwal come to Farrukhabad. Let’s see whether he succeeds in returning back.” Through this statement, Khurshid clearly indicates physical assault on Kejriwal, which definitely amounts to breaking law.
The statements give rise to a number of serious questions. – How can a Law Minister openly endorse breaking of law? Do you have a right to punish a criminal when the Law Minister himself encourages crime? The ruling party has to answer these questions and the only option they have is to remove this person who calls himself the Law Minister. But after a huge number of anti-national actions and statements by the ruling party itself, I wonder whether it has any right to continue to stay in office. The feeling that the British have started ruling India again is produced by the UPA government time and again.
Khurshid’s open dhamki however didn’t deter Kejriwal to name BJP President Nitin Gadkari in a scam where he grabbed land allotted to poor farmers of Vidarbha. Of course as expected, the party has rubbished off all allegations. I don't know whether the allegations are 100% true but like numerous other instances, BJP or the government won’t even order any kind of probe in the issue. After Anjali Damania’s experience with Gadkari, it is clear all parties are unofficially united when it comes to corruption.
It appears weird to many including me that Kejriwal isn’t going to court against Kejriwal or Vadra. But after he highlighted today how these court cases and probes account to nothing, I am slowly starting to agree with him. If you look back at history, you realize these big shots always get away even after committing the most heinous of crimes. Forget politicians, even a hardcore terrorist like Ajmal Kasab is enjoying his stay in India even four years after he openly killed innocents in Mumbai!
So it is up to the people of India to realize how all parties are together involved in money grabbing and then punish them with the power of their vote. Of course, it would be great and ideal if law punishes them but I hardly have any hope for it considering India’s current scenario.
Today’s date saw two ironical incidents indicating that the law exists only for the common man while politicians can walk free even after committing crimes openly!
On October 12 at 1 am, Congress MP Vitthal Radadiya refused to pay toll at a toll naka in Porbandar, Gujarat. When insisted and was asked for his identity papers, he quickly took out a long rifle and threatened to shoot the toll naka executives. He didn’t stop at this as he even smashed the toll cabin with his rifle. Radadiya’s criminal activity was recorded in the CCTV camera of the toll naka. But despite that, just no action is taken against him even after more than 12 hours of the incident.
What’s terrible is that the Vadodra (Baroda) Police has been saying they are studying the CCTV footage to identify the offender. Do they think we are complete fools? The statement comes as a complete shock since the whole country has seen him in the CCTV footage flashed across all news channels.
In fact, Radadiya himself has also confessed his involvement while speaking to the media. However, he has given a totally different version of the story. According to him, he was threatened by a group of people which forced him to take out his gun in self defence. I have not seen a bigger liar than this fellow, who (according to a news channel) has the second largest complains in the parliament! Just watch the video below to know whether he was really threatened by anyone: -
On the other hand, Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and other anti-corruption crusaders were earlier in the day arrested and beaten in Delhi just for protesting against (so-called) law minister Salman Khurshid. The protest was an outcome of no action or even an investigation on the CAG report that states that the funds raised for physically challenged were misused by Khurshid. In fact, the authorities showed no qualms in even arresting and beating up physically challenged people who took part in the protest! Inhuman is a mild term to describe it!
India’s constitution has given a fundamental right to its citizens to hold a peaceful protest. But the frequent arrests of the anti-corruption activists during a number of their peaceful protests prove that India’s government itself has nothing to do with terms like constitution and democracy. Not just that, the government or the Congress walas are also ready to go any length to protect open crimes committed by their own men like Radadiya.
After the way Congressis have broken all records in the last year and a half or so in bringing biggest shame to India after independence, I feel only two types of people can vote for their party now – the ones who are involved with the party and those who are totally ignorant about their anti-national activities. It will be no different than voting for the ones who have brought back British Raj!
(Do read the end)
On Thursday October 4, 2012, a friend of mine mocked Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement saying its end is very near. Call it a mere co-incidence or whatever, just the next day, team Anna members Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan exposed how Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Sonia Gandhi, received properties worth Rs 500 crore at a cheap rate from DLF in return for favours received from Congress. The anti corruption crusaders indirectly replied on my behalf that the movement is far from over!
In order to prove their claim, the activists also presented proofs in the form of documents they obtained from registrars of the companies. It takes great courage to openly come out against someone who is family to someone so powerful. I am saying this because we all know, since last year or so, how the current government has proved itself to be no different than the British rulers.
Else, how can you justify Vadra’s name among those who are exempted from frisking at all airports in India? (see 1st picture). In fact, his is the only name that is mentioned in the list whereas the rest are only the names of positions. A shining example of misuse of power by the Congress chief in the worst possible way to facilitate her family!
Coming back at the activists’ claims, as expected, the whole of Congress, in one voice, have rubbished them off while saying all silly things to Kejriwal and Bhushan. Some are acting as per Madamji’s strict orders while others are trying to impress her. Nice try! Of course, just like the shameful coal scam, the government isn’t allowing any probe else it might create problems for them. If this isn’t the case, why not call for at least an independent probe by the CBI in the case?
Ever since Kejriwal decided to form a party, I have found him to be a bit too aggressive and at times over-the-top. However, now I am starting to get convinced that one needs to meet fire with fire while dealing with such anti-national forces.
Of course, Hazare is not a part of the party as he has a difference of opinion on it. This isn’t a ‘split’ among the group as extensively reported by a section of media gone corrupt. Although Hazare and Kejriwal might be on different roads but their destination is the same – to end corruption.
There are a large number of people who aren’t supporting Kejriwal’s decision of forming a party. In fact, there are plenty who have never supported this anti-corruption movement. I would like to narrate a fictitious scene to them – A group of dacoits have been looting a village since years. They are determined to continue looting it in the future as well. On the other hand, there are people who are trying to stop the loot and get the dacoits punished. Whom will you support? The choice is yours!