Thursday, July 29, 2010

Who wants to be punched by the bachelor?

That's the name they should have given to the Indian TV equivalent to the popular show in the US.
Let me put in my disclaimer early, I do not follow Indian television , apart from what I read online once in a while, so my details might be a bit iffy.
The particular 'bachelor', prone to domestic violence, I am referring to is Rahul Mahajan.
He is the son of the late BJP Politician Pramod Mahajan, and that in a nutshell is his claim to fame. That's if you don't count the time he nearly od'ed on coke , his fathers personal secretary his partner in crime wasn't as lucky and did actually od.
Since Pramod Mahajan in his pomp was one of the most powerful men in the country, Rahul Mahajan despite his shenanigans probably lead the good life.
He can be called India's Paris Hilton, famous for being famous, (just a little more vicious)
With this background, to add to a failed marriage( apparently domestic violence was to blame there as well) , you have to be wondering whether the Indian version of bachelor should have been named Finding a Bride for Chucky.
Sure the producers played up the redemption aspect of the whole spectacle, and sure our 'hero' made the right sounds about appreciating the opportunity.
But a few months post show and marriage, the 'lucky' girl runs into a bout of hubby temper along with the attendant beat down. And I get the sickening feeling , due to the utter predictability of this all.
Fine , everybody bought into it, but as a girl looking for a husband(even if its on TV) , would you go for this work of art? Was this the best India had to offer?
No woman should have to experience domestic violence and it annoys me no end that a TV show would put these young women in harms way fully knowing the kind of person they selected. I think the young lady who did agree to marry chucky was dumber than a door knob. However , it feels bad to rail against a victim, and tell her she deserved it.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Time for change

With the Indian test team getting handled in Sri-Lanka, its time to talk about the elephant in the room. Yes the Indian test team has been ranked No.1 for the past several months, but with the lack of bench strength and a toothless bowling attack it is perhaps time to bite the bullet and look ahead rather than myopically try to maintain an undeserved No.1 ranking.
Tendulkar , Dravid and Laxman cannot be expected to play beyond another couple of years. Of these modern day greats only Tendulkar can be certain of commanding a place till he chooses to call it a day. If the other two are allowed to choose their time of departure, Indian cricket will be left with 3 rookies about the same time. Sure Raina and Yuvraj will probably occupy 2 slots and can hardly be called rookies, but it would serve Indian cricket if they would be eased into the scheme of things rather than pushed into the deep end. All this means that its time to start rotating the middle order batsmen.
Now to focus on the bowling. Well I have nothing there, the best I can come up with is offering a few Pakistanis Indian citizenship, after all there have to be a few who would be classified as Person's of Indian Origin.
Jokes apart, there has to be a concerted effort to manage the workloads of the faster bowlers. Regular tours of the A Team need to be organized for those who have fallen by the wayside. Also though this will not have an immediate impact, there should be some fairness in drawing up contracts. Fast bowling is a far more injury prone profession when compared to batting or bowling offspin. This has to be recognized. Fast bowlers need to be compensated adequately for subjecting their bodies to the rigour they do. This might in some way encourage them to keep the hostility and pace up.. since it invariably seems to drop once a bowler has been with the team for a while.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Its better to Jaw Jaw than to War War... Really?

India and Pakistan , neighbours by compulsion , have just concluded a round of talks . What were they talking about? Precisely that, the agenda of what they should be talking about. That talking to Pakistan is an exercise in futility should have been established by now. But when you have a leadership that publicly, states that talks is the only option, well talk is what you are bound to do, however futile it is.
The latest round of talks was 'derailed' due to the release of information by the Indian Home Secretary GK Pillai, which revealed that the ISI (Pakistan's Intelligence agency) was beyond the attack on Mumbai in 26/11. To most with half a brain , this should have been evident. Sure, uneducated kids can be taught to shoot a gun. But an k like the Mumbai one needs more than the ability to shoot a gun.
What stands out is to me is that the Indian establishment appears to be aware that the attack on Mumbai had the backing at the higher levels of he Pakistani establishment, much like Kargil.
If this is in fact the case, why exactly are we talking? There are only 2 possibilities. Either the people we are talking to encouraged the attack of 26/11 and would be more than willing for repeats or they are too weak to prevent attacks. In either case, it becomes the Indian Governments duty and responsibility to act to defend its citizens from future attacks emanating from Pakistan. This will possibly lead down a slippery slope to war. But what choice do you have as a nation? The very basic expectation of any nation state is to be able to defend its civilians is being called into question time and again. Time and again Pakistan has played the school bully and punched India in the nose.. Time and again India has backed away from a fight, paying heed to the possibility of a nuclear war. At the very least end this charade of talks. People point to the seemingly unending rivalry between Germany and France , which has now morphed into an inseparable union as a model for future Indo-Pak relations. But they forget the many horrible and crippling wars that preceded the current state of affairs. As things stand now the Republic of India cannot reconcile with what Pakistan stands for. So really is the Jaw Jaw really better?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Burqa ban in France

Last week, the lower house of France's overwhelmingly voted to ban the burqa in public places.Why is this a big deal? Well a Muslim population that already feels hounded and looked down upon,will further feel the West is out to get them.
I have mixed feelings about this Being born and brought up in India, where secularism means accommodation of every religion,(its a unique brand of secularism.. found only in India) I personally would not support the burqa ban. On principle, why stop someone from wearing a burqa when we don't stop them from wearing a mini-skirt. But you can turn around and say, why allow the burqa in Paris, when you can't expect to see a mini-skirt in Saudi Arabia?
But saying the burqa is a mere article of clothing like the mini-skirt is an understatement.
Its a reflection of attitudes towards women. From what I understand, a burqa is supposed to keep Men from having impure thoughts about women. So women are objectified as mere vessels of temptation by one interpretation. Its a reflection of the truly unequal status accorded to women. On principle I cannot find any reason to condemn France's burqa ban. But any true reform cannot be imposed from outside , it will have to come from within.
On a side note, I found it interesting that 2/3rds of Americans did not support a ban on burqa's while 80% of Europeans support it.
So maybe its time to revise the opinion n who the Great Satan is?