Wednesday, 21 September 2011

The Road Not Taken

Being an Indian, how can I miss out on Cricket and especially after a pulvirising tour to England. But hold on, I am not here to talk about why India failed and what could have been done to avoid it, nor about how can they play CLT, should they play IPL... these are already enough grounded and worth no penny talking about!!

What really amazes me is, despite a shameful performance in the Indian tour to England 2011, the Indian team is back home with out much of a fuss. no threats nothing. Wow, does this send a message to the Cricketing world that Indian fanatics have become gentle and matured enough to accept defeats? If you track back, there had been incidents where Mohammed Kaif's house had been attacked, because he did not perform in the tour to South Africa 2007, and other incidents of decorating the 'more than life size cut-outs' of the Indian cricket team with garland of shoes etc., Come on, we take pride in halting a world cup (loser) match at Eden Gardens (1996 world cup against Srilanka and the famous Kambli crying incident), riots in the India Vs Pak Test match 1999 again at Eden Gardens (after which the rest of the match was played with out any spectator in the stands) and many more such incidents. Baah, who ever called it Eden 'Gardens'.

That reminds me of a joke that was cracked after a debacle tour of India (I was too young to remember which one) the joke goes like this, Ravi Shastri was pecked by his wife to get to the market to buy some groceries. Shastri, who feared the reactions of the angry Indian fanatics, decided to disguise his identity by wearing a saree. He then gets on to the road and is on his way to the market. When he is at the market, there is this lady who keeps following Shastri. Shastri  afraid of being caught starts to walk faster, leap, sprint.. but the lady followed all his steps.. finally she narrows down on Shastri and catches him red handed. "Tell me now, aren't you Ravi Shastri", Shastri accepts his identity but pleads not to reveal this. The lady replied "I would have, had I not been Dilip Vengsarkar".

Coming back to the real, now that the Indian players are back and there aren't any visible (or audible) tantrums thrown at them. Fair enough. I take it that people have gone beyond being crazy. But much of the talks are about how the future unfolds. While it is the same old process of identifying a talen, nurture the same, Bring him under the lime light, earn money (the board) through him and the process goes on and on and on, aren't we missing something more to it?

I have a simple question to BCCI, why isn't India producing any world class Umpires? Almost all the test playing nations have one (or more) umpires in the current Elite umpires pannel. Why are all veterans choosing commenting over other jobs of the game? Imagine a match where Saurav Ganguly would be one of the field umpires? [can't stop thinking that, when 3rd umpire upholds decision he wouldn't dare to take off his shirt and chant F**k that F**K that]. Imagine Dravid umpiring with his unintimidating looks and smile. I haven't seen any domestic/international (Indian) player aiming to be the umpire after losing hope of playing for the country. Isn't umpiring after a tenure of say 10 years in the game is a job half done? Is it the pay? is opening an Academy easier than umpiring? Now dont talk about Venkataraghavan, how long can you ride on a old horse? I know Srinath did Match referee job, but why not umpiring?

Would this change our fortune? Of course! Imagine BCCI comes up with a rule that, all players after their retirement should umpire domestic matches for a minimum of 2 years. On field umpires have got the best view of any player's technique. They can make recommendations about the players to watch for, to the respective zonal selection panel. wouldn't there be logic in identifying the talent pool. Aren't umpires ambassadors of the game as well? Who can forget Dickie Bird, David sheperd, Steve Bucknor, Venkataraghavan? Given the economy I am pretty sure that no one would consider umpiring as their sole profession (starting from the scratch). We are too caught up with the fame, franchise, positions, etc., and in the process forget to build a concrete base and derive pride.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Osama's killing- a Pride or Prejudice??

In the wake of 9/11(2011), US of A had released the documentary video of their pursuits and the success story in the killing of Osama bin Laden. While many of my friends felt that US had been really intelligent in their operations, been ridiculously determined, risking SEAL lives for killing the terror king, to me US of A had been thoroughly unprofessional, unethical and is just an emerging dictator but for its economic crisis.

In case you have not watched the video yet, US had been spying its suspicious country's airspace using a custom made air plane vehicle (unmanned) and this vehicle was responsible for sending footage and images it would hover around. What is so special about this instrument? Well, it will not be picked up by the radars operated by (suspiciously) any of the countries. Basically its a stealth mode of entering and spying any country. This flies at a height of 50,000 ft. Once the target is (well actually half) confirmed to be living in the spying area, it took about completing the mission of 'Killing Osama bin Laden'. Fair enough, especially when considering the loss incurred by losing twin towers, not just the wealth but more importantly innocent lives. Now comes the second part of unethical behavior. US loads its 2 custom made helicopters (which is akin to the spying vehicle I mentioned above that it will not be picked up by the radars) with its esteemed SEAL team to kill Osama Bin Laden. The mission is completed successfully. However, one of those helicopters had crashed and hence is unable to make its way back to US of A. Hence they detonate it so that no country will be able to decipher the components of this aircraft.

The fact that US of A had been involved in an unethical behavior of intruding in another country's airspace (with out their permission) and no country had raised their voice against it, beats me. While there had been many conspiracy theories on the very 9/11 attack itself, how can this act be left unquestioned? The poor developing country (the victim country) could not do anything because of political reasons, nor could any of the neighboring countries raise a voice. And the fellow developed countries and the UN is all just awe-struck on the bravery of the mission. How can any country be spared for doing this?

Is it all fine if the performing country feels that it is justified in doing such an act? Hypothetically, what would be US's reaction if India sends such an undercover troop to lift (or kill) Warren Anderson whom they are protecting from extradition? India is justified and has all documentary evidences to prove that he was behind the sufferings of atleast 20,000 dead and 40000 still alive victims of the Bopal Gas leak! (20000 lives is lesser than 2700+ killed in 9/11?) If India takes that mission will US and other developed countries and the UN be silent spectators? So, is any country allowed to do that as long as they can prove to the world that the intended person or his acts had caused loss of life or lives? While, India is still requesting US to interrogate David Coleman Headley, Pakistan to jail Hafiz Muhammad Saeed. Is it fine if we too follow US's way? Will the world accept?

Isn't this invasion of another county's space a kind of war? Just because we being a developing country (well there again I have my doubts. Have any of you in your life time heard or seen a country upgrading from a developing country status to a developed country status? its political again) we have to give way for all acts of the developed countries? Do they convey a message that they have superior technology? Definitely not. I can vouch that my (any) country can produce a similar device which can get unnoticed (even by God), but it is the ethics that bind them all. US of A, by breaking that ethic is passing a wrong message to the world. While my country which is honoring human rights is still considering the Rajiv Gandhi's assassins mercy plea, US is going about killing people (one of the women in the house was shot as well). I think Osama should have been punished legally and not unethically. The biggest joke of this documentary is US of A is being proud to say that they performed the death ceremony as per Muslim rituals. Who cares?

So next time when you spot something in the airspace, don't even think that it is an UFO from another planet, it could as well be an UFO (US Flying Object) from your neighbouring country spying you.