Friday, 27 June 2014

India, a Sporting Disaster

India is a cricketing nation they say. We have had amongst the best teams in the world these past few years, especially since Dhoni took over as captain. We won a number tours, some at home and others abroad. We even won more than one world cup and maintained our standing in world rankings for some time before we had a bad spell recently. All is good and well for the Indian cricket team at the moment.

So what about other sports?

Our national team didn't qualify for the Football World Cup in Brazil.

Our players are still not getting paid for playing hockey for the nation.

Our athletes in shooting do not have enough money or facilities to practice.

Our archers borrow equipment from other countries during tournaments.

Our nation is represented by the Olympic flag since we are banned from participation.

And, we have no notable athletes in cycling, high jump, long jump, pole vault, swimming, discus throw, javelin throw and track events. Only tennis and chess are the two other games where we make what little impact we do in the international sports arena.

So why is it that we have no standing whatsoever in any other game but cricket, I wonder. Taking into consideration what I've seen happen all these years, I can only come to the conclusion that cricket is the drug that is being injected into the public to keep them occupied. That cricket is being used just like the Roman games at the Coliseum. It was a well known fact even then that an entertained populace is a satisfied and lazy populace which will keep one on the throne as long as they are entertained.

Cricket in India is not controlled by the government but by an independent body known as the Board for Control of Cricket in India. This is not a government body and does not come under anyone’s purview but the justice system of India. There is no regulation or audit by anyone and therefore the so-called ‘Indian’ cricket team actually does not even represent the nation. They play for a private organization which hires politicians and bureaucrats to enhance its political leverage.

On the other hand, almost every other outdoor game is controlled by the Government of India through the Sports Ministry. But still they are doing nothing at all to give these games and their prospective players a chance to flourish not only at the state and national, but also the international stage. Building a cricket ground in a city that already has one is alright, but building a hockey or football pitch where there are none is probably a waste of money.

Being the second largest population on the planet, we can be sure to find enough players for every sport there is and win half of them at the very least. Instead, we don’t even qualify or participate in over half of such events and get banned from the one true world championship, the Olympics. The problem is that we have the players, we have the passion, we have everything except equipment, infrastructure and funding to let our players practice and develop to the standards of the world.

To this I can only say, “Well played India, well played.”

Saturday, 21 June 2014

On Mistrusting your Children…

Dear Mistrustful Parent,

I am forced to write this letter on behalf of your children today because I have seen enough of their suffering and it is time that you notice it too, before it is too late.

Now, after you read this letter, you may wonder why your children didn’t tell you all this. Well, just know that’s because they are scared you’ll become even worse than before or feel that it won’t make single iota of difference to you which is a much more frightening prospect if you ask me.

So, coming to you again. This is what your behaviour normally looks like:

·         You bind your children to yourself.
·         You confine them to the prison you so naively call your home.
·         You check on them like a detective for hire (or you hire one if you have enough money)
·         You go to meet their teachers even when you’re not called.
·         You create a ruckus in their office if they are not there.
·         You wait up at night till they are back home with a shoe, broom or belt in your hand.
·         You call them fifteen times for every hour they are not home.
·         You investigate all their friends like the police do to suspected criminals.
·         You follow them to see where they go.
·         You constantly accuse them of lying to make sure they never do so.
·         God forbid they are seen with members of the opposite sex; you go bat shit insane demanding answers.

And then you tell them that they don’t have a life…

I can understand your need to keep your children safe from this big bad world and give them a better life by protecting them from everything that’s out there. Well, what do your children know? They are so innocent that they will probably go around with the wrong kind of company and get mixed in matters that they shouldn’t get involved in but what about the values that you have imparted to them? What about the strength that you have given them? What about the character that you have built in them? Doesn't that count for anything?

Do you not trust your own upbringing to take care of your children? Do you feel that you were an inadequate parent? Do you feel that your lack of attention towards your children will reflect in their behaviour later on? Is that way you mistrust them so much; because you mistrust yourself?

You may or may not know this, but your children probably feel suffocation, frustration, despair, anger, hopelessness and loneliness because of what you are doing. Your children are like coiled springs ready to unwind the moment there is a tiny ray of hope that they can escape you. In case that they cannot, they try to escape by means of the knife, rope or bottle.

Is this what you want for your children, a life of misery and childhood memories only filled with trauma and unmitigated hatred for you?

I hope not and it is with that hope and a teardrop that I end this letter to you dear Parent.

Yours in hope,

The Concerned Friend.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Boys will make Mistakes…

Oh really, will they?

At least this is what our ministers and leaders of political parties have to say to the sexual harassment and rapes that are taking place in their state and the country. Boys will be boys huh?

Well, boys may be boys and men may be men but one thing is for certain, the mindsets of our leaders themselves are ridiculously slanted and not only in matters of gender but also in human rights, equality in society and in matters of morals which they preach like they just received the ten commandments atop mount Sinai.

Because it is for their own good.
Image Courtesy: Google Images.

However, coming back to the point; it is as amusing as watching a dark comedy to see the mistakes that these beloved boys whom politicians defend so matter-of-factually make. They tease women till they run away, stare at their body parts until the sun hurts their eyes, whistle at them till they need water for their parched throats, pass lewd comments till they run out of their pathetic repertoire, follow them on their vehicles till the arrow reaches red, touch them till they have accurately measured everything and rape them like they’re those blow-up dolls they use at home.

But come on, these aren’t major crimes right? They’re just mistakes that boys make after they are seduced by the women who WANT these boys to do all the above mentioned things to them. It is so totally the fault of women that the boys in fact are unassuming victims in such cases.

Seriously, what would happen if the girl that such an innocent boy raped turned out to be HIV+ or happen to carry any other sexually transmitted disease? Won’t it just destroy the life of this young boy who got carried away in the seductive walk of that girl carrying a pile of books to college?

Phew! It is so dangerous nowadays for such innocent boys on the streets. These wily women will do absolutely anything to catch their attention. They usually do things like keep walking, not pay attention, drive away, walk a bit faster and try to get away. These are the things that actually get these innocent boys turned on even more and then they get trapped and mistakenly, in their innocence, rape and kill those girls in their innocent lust.

And then it’s still hunky dory till they manage to stay away from the law, but when they get caught it is more torture for them. The whole of society condemns them for their mistaken misdeeds and the only ones who support them are their beloved uncles with seats in the state cabinet, union cabinet or in a boardroom. These are the only people who truly understand the condition of these misunderstood boys. They appeal to the rest of this cruel society to forgive these small mistakes and move on.

There is however a remedy for these innocent boys. These boys should be castrated in their own interest so that they can no longer be seduced by basically any woman in society. How about that?

Thursday, 5 June 2014

The Chosen One (Guest Post)

On the 17th of January 2014, my one and only invitation to write a guest post for another blog materialized when my post, ‘The Power of Division in Religion’ was published on Namrota Mazumdar’s blog, Coffee Beans. Ever since then I've been pestering her to write a guest post for mine, not because I had to compensate for her asking me, but because it was only then that I had understood the concept of having a guest on the blog.

Namrota is one of the best bloggers I've read in this one year of blogging. She is one who puts all her energies into creating a post that is not only engaging but also which conveys all she wants to say in a limited number of words. I can safely say that she has never disappointed her readers, especially me; such a wordsmith of high calibre is she. I am privileged to have her on my blog and what with a post that has implications such that might horrify the best of you.

The Chosen One! Lucky Orphan…
By Namrota Mazumdar

Life duels within a little body that has not seen the world for say more than a couple of years is thrown in the dark and cold well of categories. Categories with tags like lineage, legitimacy, religion…etc. The reason behind such spiteful action is that the child has nobody in the world to call his or her own. The child is an orphan. And the couple who is there to choose a baby to make their own…to call their own have their preferences listed already.

They don’t have children, Mother Nature was harsh on them and for some medical reason they can’t conceive a baby. So, they are at an orphanage to pick a baby. Now when it’s in their hands to select their child, they put forward their tiny list.

No medical problems
Must belong to their religion (caste doesn't matter, they aren't sectarians; blessed souls)
Legitimate birth (How can a couple from a good educated family bring home a child born out of rape or out of wedlock?)

Not much they are asking, are they? God bless them!

Not everyone is so much privileged to have their choice materialize. Like the husband once mentioned to one of his kin, who thought otherwise about their list, we go to buy apples we pick the lovely red juicy ones. Handsome thought I must say, putting babies and apples side by side, the best fruit known to humanity…remember the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. How many of us get to choose our children, eh? Lucky couple! And what perfection personified parents the chosen one would be honored with. The child would grow up with their values and principle and carry forward the purity of humanity the foster parents preach and practice. Lucky child!

So, maybe it’s not cold and dark well nor the action is spiteful, is it? I take back my words and gracefully bow down to the couple and their likes. 

Monday, 2 June 2014

Buying out the Fourth Estate

Today, a lot of media has come under the power of industrialists. It’s not just a lot, but a major portion I believe. Large corporations are buying off small newspapers, television channels, websites or head hunting their best employees to work for their media subsidiaries.

Image Courtesy: Google Images.

It seems all the varied media houses, all the options in the media that we had are being collected under a few big banners who mean to take control of what is viewed by the populace, not only in India but round the world. It is of course in the interests of these oil barons, telecommunication tycoons and entertainment giants to buy out or control a majority shareholding in news outlets.

It is not hard even for a layman to understand what kind of manipulation of the news can take place once the channel or channels are in direct control of their new boss; Positive publicity, doses of advertising, hiding unfavourable news and sensationalizing the news to increase viewership and thereby, revenue.

Image Courtesy: Google Images.

Assuming that those who start news outlets in the form of newspapers, television channels and news websites do so with a view of upholding the true spirit of journalism, we can see what happens after they are bought out by these selfish and to an extent, parasitic corporations who then manage to pocket truckloads of cash by just giving the public the show they want, and not anything substantial.

Journalism, ever since it got pulled into the race for giants trying to control the media, has become a difficult job. Trying to publish a substantial news story becomes as much of a job as getting the story especially if the story is about something that concerns the other subsidiary company held by the parent company which also happens to be a major shareholder of your media house. It can also be difficult in case the story is about that minister or officer or public figure whose campaign is funded by the corporation that owns your media house. Well, if it positive news, it will probably run the whole day but if it is even slightly negative, it goes against the policies of the newspaper or channel. Clear out the story or clear out your desk.

Image Courtesy: Google Images.

Another disastrous downside of these mergers and buyouts in the media is that large corporate now own many channels and publications under a single roof. If one of them does not bring in as much revenue as the rest, it will either be shut down or downsized to cut losses. It is because of this very same reason that sensationalism has become a big part of the media today. Ridiculous things are hyped, people are made to shout at each other, anchors try to grab the limelight and in the middle of all of this, the substantial news is loss in the echoes of those trying to get it out over the cacophony of all the garbage that occupies our screens.

With the latest buyout of those who claim to be ‘18 till they die’, here’s hoping that this media house doesn't change its colour from Red to Saffron.

Here is a video that will help you understand what is happening to the Indian media, albeit from a foreign perspective: Indian Media has never had it so Bad