Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Should India consider new T20 captain?

Soumyajit Ghose
Now that India have comprehensively lost in the T20 Cricket world cup consecutively twice, both the BCCI and the selection committee should be doing a bit of rethinking. Considering the idea of having M S Dhoni as the captain for test, one day and T20 squad has poorly backfired for the shortest version of the game, the selection committee should now be working out plans to appoint a new captain among the existing young T20 cricketers.

Over the past few years, the strategy of the selection committee over selection of captains has changed with M S Dhoni being hugely successful in all formats of the game. Dhoni’s inconsistency in T20 success after winning 2007 T20 World cup was mostly overshadowed by his achievements in other formats of the game. The selection committee was also complacent enough to let it pass through its reasoning. The committee when questioned by media over 2009 T20 world cup failure, wherein the Indian team lost all the super eight matches, cited performance of individual players and other factors as its reasons. The captainship of the team was not questioned as nobody doubted Dhoni’s ability considering his past success in the T20 format and his overshadowing accomplishments in other formats of the game.

Comparatively, the Australian captain Ricky Pointing, who was their most successful one day and test captain, was brought under review after the 2007 and 2009 T20 World cup debacles, only to be  later replaced by Michael Clark as their T20 captain. The BCCI and the selection committee have made a huge blunder by not considering the options of captain after India lost all the matches in the super eight stage of the 2009 T20 World cup. Now that they have repeated it again in this years T20 world cup, the selection committee should seriously consider bringing in a new captain from the existing bunch of T20 cricketers.

Moreover, with the passage of time the sensitivity of the Indian audience, the Board of Control for Cricket in India, the selection committee and the Indian team members towards debacles in major ICC tournaments has been soft and weak. There is no more huge hue and cry over these failures as people have learnt to be rational in their reactions. Only the media makes huge critical headlines to induce the popular mood. The passivity of the audience can be attributed to wholesome effect of the team but the reaction of the board, selection committee and the team is totally bewildering. If the board, selection committee and the team becomes insensitive to major debacles at these tournaments, then the matter is serious. After all, the members of the board, the selection committee and the team should ensure that cricket is played in the national spirit and not seen as just any profit making initiative.

As the Indian team represents India at the ICC tournaments, the sensitivity of the debacle should be called for. Being just a monetary success, will not fulfil the cause of the Board as it will have to identify with the national spirit and come down heavily on the causes of the debacle. As a matter of fact, it will have to open up options in the captains category like it does for the players of the team.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Contemporary Swamism & Politics

Soumyajit Ghose
Creating a huge uproar among the media, political and societal spheres, the sex scandal involving Swami Nityananda is set to achieve new dimensions in defining the growing influence of contemporary Swamism and the cardinal role of politics in its infamous revelations. Swami Nityananda is presently facing serious allegations of rape though proving them might be a tedious task. One can easily see the tainted image of the Swami in the Video footage but what remains unobvious is the timing of the revelation and the motive behind the exposure.

Religion and Politics have ruled the roost in a country marred by superstitions and lack of intrinsic political understanding. Considering the past in the light of murder allegations against seer Shankaracharya of Kanchi, the case is witnessing hostility from the witnesses itself as they turn down on their previous statements in the case. It only goes on to show that the whole accusations were either motivated against the seer by the political heavyweights of Tamil Nadu during the period to achieve their own end or else they were just intended to malign him only with no actual intention of punishing him for his acts.

Now the question arises as to why this whole episode of Swami Nityananda was revealed at this point of time and the possible motive behind it. The answer could well be attributed to lack of proof and yes the timely confession from the Tamil Actress. Both the confession and the video footage came at about the same time. Nityananda has been around for quite sometime so why has the revelation come now. The intention behind the timing and the underlying benefactor in the whole episode is somewhat missing yet is indicating in itself. As Swami Nityananda faces the interrogators, he too is destined to come out clean with witnesses possibly turning down their statements during the course of the case. What remains is whether the people in general have gained in terms of understanding about the rivalry between religion and politics.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A Squirrel’s Death

Soumyajit Ghose
Death or demise of any person, animal or living being evokes gloomy feelings and thoroughly calls for a small show of regard for the being that is no more existent in the world. Somehow this small regard for the death of other beings is fading from the human populace with the influx of modern lifestyle that leaves no time for one’s own self. It is our new ways of lifestyle that has transformed us into overtly insensitive and selfish beings.

Our insensitiveness can be attributed to the fact that we no longer have regards for our fellow beings death owing to our so called schedules that leaves no space for excuses. Man has already put this disregard into practice with deaths becoming a common sight. Being a journalist and witnessing deaths everyday had evolved such a feeling in me also. However, I was ignorant of the disastrous extent to which this practice has gripped our fellow beings.

It happened that I was returning from office at about 9.15 in the night. I usually take a small ride on the city bus before descending at my stop. I have to cross both the up and down roads on the square in order to reach my place located on the other side of the road. The stop has wide roads and requires me to watch the lights before I move across. I crossed the first half and reached out for the second part as I waited for the lights to turn red. As I was crossing the second half of the road, I was watching my steps - a regular habit of mine - when suddenly I came across a Squirrel who seemed to have become a victim of the modern traffic.

Being busy in my thoughts, I raised my foot so as to trample the small creature when suddenly my eyes caught sight of the Squirrel and I just leaped out of the way to avoid it. I moved on quickly to the other side of the road with the light just remaining red for some seconds. After I had reached the other side of the road safely, I began to look back at the small creature that seemed to have caught my attention. It was not moving. I had to move on.

Feeling hungry at this point of time and worried about the fact that food is scarcely available after 9.30 P.M at my place, I started to move hurriedly in the direction of my place. Despite all this thoughts troubling me, I could not get over the intense feeling of returning back and picking up the small animal to safety. My feeling intensified with the positive reflections that the Squirrel might only be injured and alive… After a brief walk, I halted and gave a second thought. My intrinsic quality to help someone took over my thoughts and before I realized, I was moving back towards the same road. While I was walking, I imagined the animal to be injured and alive and started reflecting over the prospects of me quickly crossing the roads while picking up the creature considering the traffic.

As I moved towards the edge of the road, I could clearly view the Squirrel on the road and my heart pounded hard over each passing vehicle. They somehow missed the small creature. When I reached at the edge of the road, I saw that the traffic lights were green and the vehicles were moving speedily across the road. I was keeping an eye over the Squirrel which showed no signs of movement. As the lights slowly approached red, the vehicles drove fast to avoid being stuck by the traffic signal. I was beginning to become increasingly doubtful over my belief that the small creature was still injured and alive. I moved a little closer and watched it when suddenly, a bus speedily drove by….over its remains. I lost all my hopes as I watched the other vehicles stop over the red light.

The creature did not move a bit and more so I was now scared to view it. I was stuck at the spot out of sheer shock of not being able to pull it to safety. My heart, dejected at the thought of not being able to help the creature, was feeling gloomy. I was absolutely down when I suddenly viewed a two wheeler stop by the carcass of the Squirrel. The rider looked at it and being unmoved by the sight waited for the lights to turn green. I started to seriously hope that the two-wheeler did not crush the carcass of the Squirrel as it lay in the line of its tyres. The lights turned green, the vehicles moved, the two-wheeler also moved but without missing the carcass of the creature. The two-wheeler crushed the carcass like a sponge as the Squirrel’s head lifted up owing to the pressure of the tyres and fell as the two-wheeler moved ahead. The carcass was crushed twice by the two tyres of the two-wheeler.

While I watched the whole thing, I could do nothing. I was trembling with pain and utter ‘disregard’ for the person who despite viewing the carcass, left no chance of trampling it.

My views about man’s intrinsic quality to be emotional and sensitive were battered like anything. I could not believe that man can be so insensitive to the carcass of a small creature, a carcass that lied dead on the middle on the road. May be if human beings can be insensitive to its own fellow beings, this is only a small creature.

I have never viewed the death of a Squirrel in such a manner as the creatures are said to be very agile and athletic in their behaviour. May be their agility was beaten by the speed of the vehicles with perfect schedules that run faster than the Squirrel’s effort to cross the road.

As I was returning back, I had a quick overlook of my second thoughts about the sight of the creature lying on the road. I thought that if the Squirrel was breathing its last, I could at least carry it to a safe place and let it die peacefully without further pain. My thoughts just vanished with the view of the rider trampling the carcass of the Squirrel.

The time schedules of man are so binding that it leaves no space for personal reflections and emotions. It is ironic that man is always found praying against natural calamities while at the same time showing complete disregard for its creations. He is always witnessed complaining against the natural calamities whenever it strikes the human populace.

I reflected that may be one day man is fated to die a similar death with his corpse being crushed on and on repeatedly by time schedules of nature.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Unsettling thoughts over RNBDJ

Soumyajit Ghose
Films have a lasting impact over me especially when it essentially tries to define any particular relationship with a new perspective. As part of the popular belief, films are considered reflection of our cultures, traditions, behavioral patterns, thoughts and actions. Sometimes it also reflects the ambiguity that an individual undergoes in various real life situations. This ambiguity not only perturbs my thoughts but also intervenes into the intrinsic beliefs so as to affect a crossover of reflections.

I happened to view a movie named “Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi”, a typical Shah Rukh Khan movie. The movie was typical in the sense that Shah Rukh is famous for emotional, romantic themes in his movies.

However, the cause for my unsettled thought was the concept of the movie wherein the lead character Suri views “Rab” or God in his wife, the female lead of the movie, Tani. I was perturbed over the fact that how can someone view the Almighty in his own wife. Given the fact that God or Almighty exists in every life form in accordance with the scriptures, why is not the male lead in the film able to view the Almighty in other people also. Is he so much entranced so as to view the Almighty in only his wife and not in any other life forms? Viewing the Almighty or God in others is like attaining the highest level of thought wherein the human being is completely disillusioned to the core. Showcasing the value in the film is indeed appreciative while its narrow definition – limiting it to the wife only – is really disheartening.

The character in the movie attributes his beliefs, prayers to his love, his wife. Love has been attributed with anything and everything positive. Some of the philosophers and poets have also attributed love to the Almighty. In accordance with the Hindu Philosophy, God or Almighty is considered absolutely pure and is the major source of disillusionment. Since, the female form in this world is universally considered as representative of “Maya” or Illusion. How can Suri’s wife in the film be only identified with God or the Almighty?

The Upanishads in its writings talks about “Twat Vam Asi”. It means that ‘thou have the spark’ or in other words a spark of the divine resides in our self i.e in every life form including me. In other words the Almighty already exists in all life forms – men, women and all. It is beyond my understanding why the movie has to specifically highlight the universal truth about God or Almighty to define a simple Husband and Wife relationship in the film. It seems the concept of the movie was designed to encash upon the complete dearth of knowledge in this regard among the youngsters who are responsible in making the film super successful. Not to forget it is Shah Rukh Khan’s youth fans who make his films a Superhit.

The film is one of most successful films of the year 2008, despite the fact that the film introspects into a complex concept. Moreover, the film goes on to highlight the intricacies of husband-wife relationship through the lens of spiritualism. The conditioning of love with abstract concepts thoroughly disintegrates my rational thought and continues to be so whenever the song “Tujhme Rab Dikta Hai” (I visualize the Almighty in you) is played around my ears.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Obscenity on the Wheel

Soumyajit Ghose
One of the most attention grabbing view while riding on a two-wheeler is watching couples expressing their abundance of love on the bike itself. This is in itself a very spectacular view from the point of view of an amateur onlooker. Considering the fact what you are viewing right on the road, the sight creates ripples in your mind as to what has occurred to these couples so as to express such profound love while on the bike and more so on the road.

We (I and my friend) were returning on the bike after attending the special classical programme of famous singer Shubha Mudgal at Ravindra Bhawan, Bhopal. Under the spell of classical music (with constant rendition by the singer) and discussing the same, it so happened that suddenly we came across a couple who were profusely busy in an obscene act of love on the bike itself. The sight could be well distracting for anyone riding so close. Immediately another bike with two young lads was seen viewing the same act with utmost interest. They made some ugly remark which was smartly ignored by the couple. The incident was really an eye-opener as it revealed the intricacies of it and the ensuing acts.

The attitude of the couple can be described as an act of public notoriety causing inconvenience to others. With the law banning public obscenity, the couple seems to be consciously engaged in the act knowing the lackadaisical attitude of the law keepers. The couple was mindless of the consequences of such act that seem trivial to them while having the potential to blow into a crime. Such small act of unprovoked illustration of love amounts to sending wrong signals to the onlookers. They seem to view it as an open invitation to the privacy of the couples. This open invitation is quickly transformed into an eve-teasing act with young lads finding it easy to eve-tease the couple. With a little more provocation, the act turns ugly with molestation and sexual abuse. Such acts of eve-teasing are very common in the city streets considering the high numbers of couples engaging in public obscenity.

Such incidents increase in number with the profile of the city. With the huge amount of eve-teasing in the city streets, both registered and unregistered, it is not surprising that the figures of cases involving sexual abuse, molestation and rape are very high. With the police too busy in curbing the acts of terrorism, such incidents are considered a minor thing until it transforms into a major incident.

What is really disturbing is the people’s reaction to such obscenity and their stance on the issue. The couples engaged in the act consider it to be their conjugal freedom while the onlookers seem pleased at teasing them in the public. The fact missing is restraint, both on the part of the onlookers and by the couples. The couples on their part do not want to restrict such act to their privacy while the spectator seems to be free to eve-tease anyone on the street. The question lies as to who should exercise restraint? - the Couple or the spectator.