Here, I intend to write what comes to my mind about India. This could be about anything, politics, religion, movies or remote happenings. Feel free to check this blog for updates, who knows some could be of some interest to you.

Friday, August 24, 2007

India vs India

I couldn't think of any other title when I write about the war between the cricket leagues(Indian Cricket League-ICL and Professional Cricket League-PCL) being formed in India and they cannot have better leaders to lead the battle (Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar). This will be interesting to watch than any of the matches played by the team.

I am happy about the formation of these:

  • The false association of patriotism with the game will fade away and hopefully it will be seen as just a game. It will set the importance of the game's position amongs other games right.It is sad that now the common man, next to the Indian Army, considers the Indian cricket team as the pride of the nation and as the ones who hold the Indian flag high.
  • This will bring to light more talents and stars which earlier used to fade out before being noticed
  • Break the monopolistic behaviour of the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI)
  • Bring more opportunities to retired cricketers and reduce the involvement of people who are miles away from the game.
  • Make the cricketers millionaires to billionaires
  • Popularize 20/20 form of the game and thus saving a lot of viewers time that is SPENT in watching either 8 hours or 40 hours versions of the game.
  • Roll-in MORE money into the game. In fact, the whole chain of events is all nothing but a media-war. The root-cause lies in the tussle of broadcast rights between Zee network and BCCI.

And every coin has a flip side. There could be a few risks:

  • Our dear politicians could pounce on the opportunity and completely colour the field with party poilitics
  • Betting and match-fixing could increase as more money is involved
  • Cricketers could easily be manipulated to speak and work against the interest of the game
  • Use of performance enhancing drugs could creep in to meet the competiotion

Indian cricket is getting more interesting off the field than on the field which in the past few years is nothing unusual.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

(In)tolerance of expression

The physical attack on Taslima Nasreen in Hyderabad made me think about the deteriorating tolerance amongst Indians for the expression of others. Or is it so...? Let me consider a small list of recent incidents :

  • Andhra MLAs, 20 MIM(Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen)activists manhandle Taslima Nasreen.

  • Neeraj Jain of VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad), barged into the fine arts department of Vadodara's Maharaja Sayajirao University, vandalised paintings that weren't even up for public exhibition but meant for internal assessment.

  • M F Husain's gallery in Ahmedabad was vandalised by the VHP and Bajrang Dal, part of a chain of events that forced one of India's greatest living artists to live abroad in exile.

  • Information and broadcasting ministry issues periodic bans on TV channels like AXN and FTV.

Can you spot one common thing in all the above incidents which I've picked at random at different points in time? Each of these news item is attached to some political faction. We don't see any news either in television or the dailies where the general public has initiated a protest against some form of art. This is truly encouraging.
We know that all (no exceptions here) political parties and extremists group live on and wait for such opportunities to gain popularity. The sincerity of these protests are understood by us without any specific mention. Truly, these are entertainment and mere entertainment to me a momentary highlight on these groups and we forget them soon.

On the other side, I have seen that these incidents has benefited the victims on a long term. Salmaan Rushdie, Taslima Nasreen, MF Hussein, Mallika Sherawat and FTV just to quote a few would have been less popular without such incidents in their career.