Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Will Modi be the next Atal for BJP??

Atal Behari Vajpayee was a gentle giant, Narendra Modi is self created portrait of muscular machismo trying to wake up his effete Hindu countrymen perpetually railing against the humiliations real and imaginary imposed by the other. 

Caught in the middle is the BJP desperately trying to be a political party in danger of fast being reduced to a one man cult. And, ten years after the Gujarat riots with no one of any standing held to account the BJP also has to deal with this festering sore which comes back to haunt it as Modi is repeatedly treated as radioactive by the NDA while being one of the few leaders who still activates the anemic faithful. 

Modi's megalomania where he has decided that he is a colossus while the rest of the BJP leadership should be grateful for his mere presence has also not gone down well for a party that used to pride itself on accountability and discipline. 

As a hapless Nitin Gadkari drawing his authority from the RSS no less watches in horror as Modi treats him and his dictates with utter contempt similar to what he reserved for best frenenmy Pravin Togadia. 

While, the Modi brand of machismo which equated the size of his chest to the prid
e of Gujarat may work in the state elections to be held there later it does confront the BJP with a Modi sized problem. 

What are they to do with him? Hs is anathema to the allies, can't get along with the other leaders whose egos match his even when they do not have his popular draw and will ensure that Nitin Gadkari currently lobbying hard for a second term as president with the RSS insisting that the BJP change its constitution to accommodate him gets torpedoed. 

And what of Advani the perpetual bridesmaid never the bride under whose leadership the BJP lost two general elections? Will he finally make way for Modi? 

Plan B of the BJP was always to replace the moderate Atalji with him pan Indian acceptance and charisma with Advani who is conspicuous by his lack of those qualities. 

That was not to be. But pity, sensible leaders like Arun Jaitly, first having to defend the indefensible and then to pander to it. 

If the BJP is to regain its space as a sensible party of the right it must make its moral accounting right. Rajdharm as Atalji gently reminded Modi has to take precedence over Newton and Modi's theories of equal and opposite reactions. 

Otherwise the reality is that the BJP will never form the government again as a Modi led BJP will be an untouchable for all including Nitish Kumar and Mamata. Sure he might be friends with Jayalalitha but, he should learn the cautionary tale of the UPA government and its ATM ministries. She will not demand a pound of flesh but, a giant gouge will the BJP play along? 

It's been ten years since Godhra. India needs a decent Opposition and closure. That will happen with genuine justice and an apology since the first and fundamental right of citizen is a right to life and no growth rate can be used as justification for not providing it. 

The BJP needs to get in touch with its soul and look for the Atalji touch again.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Chances have increased for world war 3??

International analysts have launched a debate about the probability of a start of a new world war. The plans to deploy Patriot missile defense systems on the Turkish-Syrian border were another excuse for this discussion. There are allegations that the threat from Syria is only an imaginary cause of the deployment, and in reality it has to do with Iran and its nuclear potential.

Many experts have repeatedly expressed their opinions about a probability of a start of another world war. According to them, the third world war would be a doom for humanity, since the nuclear standoff would not leave anyone alive. This statement was recently made by Hasan Firouzabadi, Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces.

According to him, the cause of a new world war can be a possible deployment of Patriot missile defense systems on the border between Syria and Turkey.
As Hassan Firouzabadi noted in his speech, this measure would lead to serious consequences for Europe and the entire humanity, noting that the new missile system was a “black mark on the world map.” NATO Secretary General Fogh Rasmussen noted that these missile systems would not stay in Turkey longer than necessary.

Currently, their deployment on nine hundred kilometers of the Turkish-Syrian border is under discussion.The reason for the deployment of Patriot was an official request by the Turkish authorities sent to NATO on November 21, 2012. On December 4, NATO representatives approved the request of Turkey.

According to the Turkish media, the authorities made this decision to protect the country against a possible attack by Syria. So far Patriot missile defense systems would be deployed in the provinces of Malatya, Gaziantep and Diyarbakir, the south-east of the country. In addition, the command center of the system will be located at a NATO base in Germany.
At the request of Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, the missile complex will be deployed in January of 2013.

At a meeting with the NATO Secretary General, Prime Minister of the Netherlands noted that Germany, the USA and the Netherlands were working closely with representatives of the Turkish side to finish the installation of the anti-missile system as quickly as possible.
However, the Chief of Staff of Iranian Armed Forces was not the only one who had a very negative reaction to the possibility of deployment of Patriot at the Turkish-Syrian border.

As noted by Ali Akbar Salehi, Iranian Foreign Minister, deployment of anti-missile system on the Turkish-Syrian border is more a provocation than a way to protect against a possible attack by the Syrian Air Force. According to him, it would be foolish to hope that the deployment of Patriot would help to improve security and stabilize the situation in the region.

Salehi also said that the issue could not be solved without the participation of Syria, therefore, Turkey and NATO should not interfere in the Syrian problems.
However, other world powers had a cautious reaction to the situation. According to head of the Russian Foreign Ministry Sergei Lavrov, the deployment of the missile complex at the Syrian-Turkish border may cause new armed clashes and even a new global war.

According to him, the new Turkish Patriot system is a serious threat to many countries, including Iran and Europe. Despite the fact that the missile defense system is designed to reflect a possible attack by Syria, its location in Turkey can be quickly changed, so theoretically, it could be used against Iran that would not be able to do anything to oppose the attackers.

Russian experts believe that despite the large distance from the borders of Iran, the main purpose of Patriot is a timely suppression of Iran’s nuclear facilities located only 500 kilometers away. As noted by Dmitry Polikanov, Vice President of the PIR Center, a possible threat from Syria is just an excuse. In fact, the U.S. plans to use Turkey as a platform from which they can quickly suppress the threat from Iran. According to him, the Patriot deployment in Turkey cannot be temporary, despite the statements of the Turkish authorities.

Now Iran will be closely watched, and any wrong move would be seen as a provocation, and the consequences will be the most disastrous for the country because Tehran will not be able to strike back. Victor Nadein-Rajewski, a research fellow at the RAS, agreed with this opinion. According to him, the final location of Patriot missiles has not yet been approved, which is alarming.

According to him, deployment of the missile defense system is a way for NATO to help to strengthen Turkey as a strategic platform for the United States to fight against Iran.
Despite the fact that the country is ruled by the Islamic government with Prime Minister Erdogan in charge, NATO was able to draw the Turkish authorities into the conflict against Iran.

Especially, by helping in the fight against Syria, where Ankara has its own interest. Not all Russian experts are that pessimistic. According to the director of the Moscow Carnegie Center, Dmitri Trenin, one cannot state with certainty that Patriot missiles would be directed against Iran. According to him, Europe has long formed anti-missile systems that can successfully confront Tehran, and currently there is no need to supplement.
Of course, if the situation with Iran gets more complicated, NATO and the U.S. will have to take additional measures to counter it, and Patriot missiles would likely play an important role. Under the current circumstances this is largely caused by a political situation in Syria and Turkey.

As General Leonid Ivashov, director of the Institute for Geopolitical Studies, noted in his speech, at this time there can be no question of Syria attacking Turkey. Syrian state is dealing with a critical problem of the civil war, and cannot even think about a centralized attack on another country whose military power significantly surpasses the capabilities of Syria. According to General Ivashov, this is not a question of protecting Turkey from an attack by the Syrians, but the invasion of Turkish troops into Syria, as Ankara has been interested in the country for a long time.

Russia’s veto is the only factor that prevented the invasion. According to General Leonid Ivashov, the new missile facility is created not for defense, but an attack either on Iran or Syria. Incidentally, the deployed complex may help to fight missiles, combat aircraft and helicopters, but would be useless in the attacks of ground forces, or short-range missiles.
However, according to NATO spokesman George Litlla, the Turkish officials have repeatedly made decisions to open fire on the Syrian side in response to the falling shells.

In addition, Turkish representatives fear that riots and growing civil war in Syria will “cross” the Turkish border because the political situation in the border areas is unstable. According to Alexander Grushko, Russia’s envoy to NATO, deployment of anti-missile systems is a sign that the alliance began to interfere in the Turkish-Syrian conflict.

The deployment of missiles once again confirms the interest of NATO and the United States in the Asian region, as well as the fact that the U.S. is going to take an interest in the Syrian conflict. As stated by Anders Fogh Rasmussen, this measure would help to demonstrate to the world that Turkey is under the protection of the world’s leading powers.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Coach should also have a nationality??

Every team needs player of its origin. Obvious? then why it is not obvious that the same is not applicable to a coach, someone who can be of any nationality as long as he can bring out the best in the side??

Keeping the wins in the last three consecutive ODIs aside, the string of defeats led to suggestions from various quarters that Team India needs an Indian coach. Unfortunately, cricket has absolutely nothing to do with caste, colour, creed and nationality of the mentor. It's a simple fact that most are surprisingly giving a miss.

The argument that team needs an Indian origin coach would be valid if several members of the side found it hard to communicate with a foreign coach in a foreign tongue. The rise of players from the grass-root levels and the heartland of the country may indeed make this a valid point in which case, this write-up is defeated in its purpose. Otherwise, it seeks and begs to differ.

Individual merit of individuals cannot be subjected to his nationality. To this author at the very least, it is better to have a maverick foreign coach who infuses energy into a team than have a coach who may be speaking the same language but nobody is really listening! Of course, someone who speaks the same tongue, has superb credentials and has a persona which commands players to play their best and enjoy every minute of doing so, would be the ideal choice. Is it then not better to just say we need a capable man and not necessarily an Indian?

Most important point raised in favour of having an Indian coach for the team is that a former cricketer who has played in this team and at the domestic level, is the best because he recognizes challenges, works against identified limitations and is a hardened veteran in the not-so-subtle nuances of sub-continental cricket. Even former skipper Sourav Ganguly said he is not a big fan of the 'obsession' to get foreign coaches.

I just thing Fletcher didn’t have the skills to manage a team that has a star in every player, and that Ganguly would be the ideal man to take over from him. I don’t understand this obsession with getting foreigners to coach our team. How can someone who isn’t an Indian understand how our system works? Look at australia they always choose a national coach in which they won three consecutive world cup. You have got to have someone who knows the inside out not only Indian cricket, but also how the administration works here. Fletcher failed when it came getting the players to understand how he works and also didn’t have the influence needed to give the players a reality check.

Ganguly was someone who always called a spade a spade and need someone like him to take over. The guy needs to be fearless and not be worried about certain people in the board who want to run the show. Who can be better than him? Also, he hasn’t retired a decade ago so he is well versed with the way things work in Indian cricket. I feel he’s the perfect guy for the job. Fletcher is just like our prime minister who never comes to media never makes any statement why india consecutively loosing??

Coach of same nationality:

South Africa: Gary Kirsten - This team is like a raging bull and has a superb matador steering its rampage.

New Zealand: Mike Hesson - Accused for his alleged role in having Ross Taylor sacked and replacing him with Brendon McCullum. Kiwis thrashed recently by South Africa.

West Indies: Ottis Gibson from Barbados - Mentored West Indies to WT20 title. Period!

Clearly then, there is no set principle that a foreign or a coach of the same nationality can ensure success and improve a team by miles.

Well, Fletcher was on the two year contract which will be ended on the coming april. So lets ripe for the indian coach.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Modi vs Rahul in 2014 loksabha election??

After the congress chintan shivir, it is decided congress decided to fight 2014 loksabha general election under the leadership of Rahul gandhi. After the smashing victory of modi in gujrat he is also become favourable for PM from BJP. With these two candidates contradiction is on who has an edge in 2014 general loksabha election. Let's try to find out.

Nobody can, of course, predict how the next general election will run out. There is much enough time between now and 2014 or even late 2013. But it is not unreasonable to presume that Modi and Rahul will be their parties’ respective standard bearers, even if they are not officially declared their prime ministerial candidates. It will be worth to watch which stratgies both the national parties adopt.

Starting with Rahul Gandhi with an initial advantage, for in his party there is no challenger. The Congress’s refusal to allow any alternative power centre to emerge whether in the youth wing or in the central leadership or in the states will ensure that he has a free run. Rahul will get whatever he asks for.

Modi has strong grassroots party support, and is certainly first among equals in the party, but unlike the Congress, the BJP is not a single-power-centre party. Every BJP Chief Minister is a power centre, and the party is India’s most federated organisation. Plus, there is parental interference – from the RSS. Modi will have more challenges before the anointment than Rahul.

Modi and Rahul also have similarities of a sort. Neither Congress nor BJP is likely to announce their candidatures in advance – for the former because it does not want to saddle Rahul with any defeat, and the latter to avoid deterring potential allies. It is more than probable, therefore, that both Rahul and Modi will be their parties’ chief campaign managers with a major say in who gets to run and who does not in the next elections. They will also crucially determine campaign strategies.

The most important element in the Rahul-Modi clash will not about ideas or policies, but their ability to tailor state-level strategies that will work for them. A Lok Sabha general election is often a bunch of state elections aggregated as a national vote.

Here, Rahul has the advantage of not raising hackles among any sort of ally – from Nitish Kumar to Navin Patnaik, the Congress would be an acceptable option at the centre.

For Modi, the search for allies has to be more strategic. The general assumption that he will find it tougher to get allies is not founded on any realistic assessment of post-poll political realities, even if pre-poll rhetoric needs allies to keep their distance from him.

If he is hoping for a reverse Hindu consolidation, Modi has to seek it through proxy – for example, in Assam, he could talk of the Bangladeshi influx. In UP, he can talk of Hindu-Muslim unity to build the Ram temple in Ayodhya.

But one point is important: at 150-plus seats, the Congress can still form a government like UPA-1, with outside Left support. At 150-plus seats, the BJP will have to provide a leader other than Modi to run a government. At less than 140 seats each, we are more likely to see a Federal or United Front of regional parties in power with outside Congress support.

This arithmetic implies that Modi has a higher hurdle to cross than Rahul. Without 180 seats, Modi is a not a realistic contender for PM.

For politics is a game played with a scoreboard, and push has come to shove for the scam, scandal tainted party that is facing diminishing returns across the country despite a slew of well-meaning social welfare schemes designed to fetch votes by the bucket.

Although the BJP is in no better shape, the word on the street is that Rahul Gandhi’s elevation will serve as an impetus for Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modio assume a bigger, larger role in the BJP before the next general elections. With his hat-trick of wins in the State and with his advertised record as an administrator, Modi has a headstart over Rahul Gandhi, nearly 20 years his junior.

Indeed paradoxically, Modi, 62, is seen as more of a youth icon than Rahul Gandhi, who was missing in action when, say, the Delhi gangrape was scorching the party or when Google, Facebook and Twitter were being clogged up by the Oxford and Harvard educated geniuses in Manmohan Singh‘s government.

However, elections in India is not a zero-sum game.

The key to 7 Race Course Road will run through state capitals – Modi will have to have a viable state level strategy, both to get the BJP more seats in hitherto weak states (UP, etc), and to create future allies. Rahul has the luxury of making his plans after the elections and choosing allies with the right numbers. He also has the option of anointing a PM – like his mother did with primeminister.

Even if Rahul has a theoretical edge, all bets are off when it comes to the final battle where guts, grit and gumption count for as much as elevating rhetoric.

In the ultimate analysis, both Modi and Rahul will try and convince the electorate that they are more than their past – or their parties’ past.

Rahul will try to distance himself from his government’s recent record. Modi will try to get the electorate’s mind off 2002. The winner will be whoever succeeds more in making voters forget their past.
So, given all the imponderables that swing into play—caste, allies, secularism, communalism, etc—who do you think will come up trumps if it is Modi vs Gandhi in 2014? Does Rahul, who has the Gandhi surname, have the pan-national appeal that goes beyond the urban middle-classes? Which of the two could garner more allies, so crucial in a coalition era? Which alliance will triumph—UPA or NDA?

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Indian cricket team back on momentum??

Team India, once impassable at home, is now a mere shadow of its reputation. The ascendancy in Gary Kirsten's era as a coach seems to be a forgotten story. India was also ranked No. 1 in Tests when Dhoni's men reached the summit and conquered the 2011 World Cup. Since then, the tides have turned and they have been subjected to a free-fall.

Plenty has gone wrong for MS Dhoni in the last 20 months: India have been thumped in overseas Tests, and then lost some more at home too; his captaincy moves have been questioned; and his batting form in Tests has been pretty ordinary - 958 runs in 33 innings at 33.03 - and those stats were propped up by home runs against New Zealand and West Indies. There's one aspect of his game, though, that has remained untouched by all these recent debacles - his ODI batting has been quite spectacular recently, even if all his runs haven't led to victories.

Since the end of the 2011 World Cup, Dhoni has played 27 ODI innings, scored 1166 runs, and averaged 83.28 at a strike rate of 92.39. The average has been helped along by 13 not-outs, but even allowing for that, these are amazing numbers: in these 27 innings he has gone past 50 on 11 occasions, and scored a century when coming in to bat at 29 for 5 in seaming conditions against a potent Pakistan attack. He has guided the team when wickets have fallen around him, consolidated during the middle stages of the innings, and been there during the slog overs, performing each role to perfection.

There has been criticism about him batting too far down the order at Nos. 6 or 7 - he has batted higher only three times during this period - but it can also be argued that he has given the specialist batsmen in the team the best opportunity to build their innings. That he has been left with so much to do is a damning indictment of the lack of form of the top-order batsmen. In these 30 matches that Dhoni has played, he has scored 16.38% of bat runs scored by all Indian batsmen, a pretty high percentage for someone who bats outside the top five in the 50-over format.

It is more of an emotional outburst to call for Dhoni's sacking. Despite results not going his way, Dhoni has performed consistently in the shorter formats. In Tests, it isn't fair to expect a No. 7 batsman to save the game every single time. The top order has hit the skids, the bowlers have struggled to pick 20 wickets and eventually MS Dhoni has had to bite the bullet. India has certainly not found its next Test or ODI captain yet. However, a T20 captain? Yes. It's perhaps time Dhoni is relieved of that responsibility. The grey hair is an indication of the stress he's had to bear over the last couple of years. Virat Kohli, who many believe is our future captain, can get a fair test handling the T20 side as he's proved to be India's run machine for the previous two years. There's Yuvraj too who can take over the T20 side.

It will be a never-ending discussion if one starts pointing out the loopholes in the grass root level where budding talents are born. Instead, the team management, selectors and the players should collectively think that it's never too late to bring about a change. Be it in terms of individual fitness, attitude towards the game or team-spirit. The game needs a strong Indian team. There is enough talent. The million dollar question is, 'will there be enough effort put in?' We'll find out in days to come.

It's about time the team management gives Rahane a go, even if he has to bat at the top of the order. For that to happen, either Sehwag or Gambhir should make way. The former has been living on thin ice for over a year now. Nobody knows, for how long his reputation can grant him a place in the side. The latter - Gautam Gambhir - has hit a dry patch too. Despite having an ODI average of over 40 in the last year (with most of his good knocks coming at the start of 2012), he has been under the scanner for repeatedly committing the same errors. Gambhir's rapport with captain MS Dhoni has also been a talking point. Who would you drop?

Rotation policy, once employed to reduce player fatigue, can be a solution to India's dilemma. Give Rahane a fairly long run while you alternate between Sehwag and Gambhir for different matches. It doesn't just give Rahane some breathing space, but it also creates a sense of competition among the senior players to save their place and perform to the best of their abilities. It is a matter of saving their career, after all. Similar approach can be used to figure out who among Manoj Tiwary and Rohit Sharma will cement his place in the ODI XI. The young talent will also gain some valuable experience this way.

India is in dire need of a bowling coach, a mentor of sorts, someone like a Wasim Akram or a Glenn McGrath who has the talent and the experience to help the Indian bowlers surge ahead in these testing times. Praveen Kumar, S Sreesanth, Irfan Pathan, Ishant Sharma, Ashish Nehra and several promising bowlers have succumbed to injuries on a consistent basis. Of course, one can't totally eliminate injuries at the International level, but preventing injuries to the extent possible will be one of the areas that should be addressed by the BCCI and it can be carried out by proper mentoring.

Most fast bowlers will fancy their chances against Dhoni in Tests, especially overseas, but in ODIs Dhoni has tackled them pretty effectively. Batting outside Asia remains a tricky issue for Dhoni - he averages only 33.13 in chases outside Asia, compared to 63.89 in Asia - but given his current form, he is India's best batting bet in ODIs regardless of the conditions.

Dhoni is although consistent when team team is passing from a bad phase. He scored century against Pak when half of the team was back to pavilion. Last two matches have awaken hopes for team india and jadega also has impressed with his performances. Will team india will be able to keep his winnning tune on and will get the momentum back??

It will be a never-ending discussion if one starts pointing out the loopholes in the grass root level where budding talents are born. Instead, the team management, selectors and the players should collectively think that it's never too late to bring about a change. Be it in terms of individual fitness, attitude towards the game or team-spirit. The game needs a strong Indian team. There is enough talent. The million dollar question is, 'will there be enough effort put in?' We'll find out in days to come.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

No one better captain than Dhoni in current team

Mahi, the local boy, When came to creaseamid loud chants. He didn’t have too much to do or too much time, but hit a boundary, in his customary style, to seal the win.

Things could have been different had the selectors not revisited (several times) all arguments – pros and cons – for a change at the top and retained Dhoni despite the Test series defeat against England because they couldn’t agree on a strong and viable alternative.

Fact is, the Indian captaincy has been like a game of snakes and ladders for the past year or so, with dangers and opponents lurking for Dhoni at every twist and turn as rivals emerged, either directly or through support from stalwarts, a couple of them even former selectors.

Indeed, only a few weeks back after resolute and resourceful England had turned the tables on India despite turning tracks and their poor past record here, Dhoni appeared to have been bitten by the deadliest snake on the board, as it were, and almost tumbled out of the game.

Remember, his leadership had been under severe scrutiny this season. After the disastrous tours to England and Australia, redemption was promised on the friendlier home pitches.

But after the 2- 0 drubbing of a New Zealand side in disarray (as it emerged later), Indian cricket’s stock plummeted further when England turned the tables on the home team in the Tests.

By that time the clamour for Dhoni’s head had reached a crescendo and it is unlikely that Sandeep Patil and Co, who had assumed charge as selectors only a while earlier, were not frenetically discussing the matter amongst themselves.

It seemed the tidal wave of negative sentiment would take them along too, but Dhoni survived.

Just about. Perhaps it helped his case that the new selection committee was still to find its bearings and was therefore risk-averse.

But risk could only be justified if the other contenders were doing well. To Dhoni’s good fortune, none was. For instance, front- runner Virender Sehwag, after a dazzling century in the first Test in Ahmedabad, faded away losing batting form as well as becoming hugely suspect in the field.

Gautam Gambhir was consistent, though he lacked big innings to seal his case. More than that perhaps frequent involvement in run-outs, sluggish fielding and a generally gloomy demeanour worked to Gambhir’s detriment.

Sehwag and Gambir were the two strongest claimants to Dhoni’s position at the start of the season, and not without good reason.

They have rich experience and been outstanding contributors: except that when runs mattered, their bats kind of ran dry.

Mohinder Amarnath, who left the selection panel after the tour of Australia and blew a fuse about Dhoni’s captaincy in the middle of the Test series against England, was a strident votary for either Sehwag or Gambhir as replacement.

But his arguments lacked sustenance for when he made his case in Australia, both these batsmen were faring poorly.

When he reiterated them this season, the situation hadn’t become any better.

Krish Srikkanth, former chairman of the selection committee, was another who launched a diatribe against Dhoni but could never adequately explain why he chose him as captain for the Test series against New Zealand. The credibility of his objections was lost in this flip-flop.

In the circumstances, Virat Kohli, who found support from the hard-boiled Sunil Gavaskar, emerged as the most likely successor.

But the team’s best performing batsman over the previous 12 months also hit a trough. The selectors settled for status quo.

This gave Dhoni breathing space. With the focus shifting to limited overs cricket, this also gave him the opportunity to come into his own as a batsman. His form in both T20s and ODIs has been outstanding and a major factor why India are in the hunt for a series win over England, having lost 2-1 to Pakistan.

In the interim, he found support in another former India captain Rahul Dravid who believes he is still the best man for the job – in Tests and ODIs – though he would like the T20 captaincy to be given to somebody else.

I would subscribe to that view because it reduces the workload on Dhoni and would allow him greater bandwidth for the other formats, especially with the BCCI now looking aggressively to build a side for the 2015 World Cup.

Of course, the equation can change if India lose the series badly, say 1-4. All things considered, captains are judged by the winsdefeats equation and an adverse result would revive most of the arguments against Dhoni’s captaincy: as also start a fresh round of the snakes-and-ladders ga

Movie Review- Inkaar love in the times of ambition

Something as simple as a vibe can form something as enormous as an opinion.

"Khamoshiyan awaaz hain labzon mein bass inkaar hai" - Sameer Anjaan's evocative lyrics and Shamir Tandon's compelling composition follows you out of this searing, probing drama on work ethics in corporate places.

This is one occasion when you don't mind being stalked.

There are no item songs in 'Inkaar'. The female form is here objectified not through celebratory songs but in the gender perceptions that often distinguish the male viewpoint from the female. The songs and music (largely by the talented Shantanu Moitra) seem to mock the sexual frisson between the two protagonists as they circle each other in a moral pugilism that can break both or one of them.

It is not easy being ambitious and true to the conscience. Towards the end of this riveting drama, Chitrangada confronts Arjun in a washroom where the light flickers menacingly on her ravaged face.

"Can people like you and I who want more from life than love, ever be happy?" she wonders in a choked voice.

Is Rahul Varma really guilty of sexual harassment? Or is the ambitious social climber Maya Luthria imagining things for her own convenience? Did she lead him on until it suited her ambitions and then cry 'harassment' when she had made her way to the top of the ladder and didn't want anyone peering up her skirt?

That versatile and vigorous storyteller Sudhir Mishra, doing yet another thematic flip-flop after the edgy crime drama 'Yeh Saali Zindagi', provides no easy solutions to the question of the male gaze and the female perception. 'Inkaar' makes you stop and think about that diaphanous divide between consensual flirting and sexual harassment.

But this is not a version of Barry Levinson's 'Disclosure'. Sudhir Mishra's treatise on the gender equation in an ambitious environment is far more dense and complex than a simple buffet of tongue-in-cheek innuendos interspersed with moral homilies. And yes, Arjun and Chitrangada are far more skilled actors than Michael Douglas and Demi Moore. It would be no exaggeration to say that the film wouldn't have worked with any other actors.

Arjun, in fact, grows better with each film, so much so that nowadays a film featuring him is an assurance of innovative aesthetics. Here, he sinks into the part of the part-mentor part-tormentor with impassioned familiarity. Arjun knows the world of the cut-throat corporate competitiveness where every promotion for an individual could be a moral and ethical demotion. As played by Arjun, Rahul Varma comes across as both sensitive and arrogant, considerate and sexist. He's a bit of a mystery, really.

Even so, Inkaar, with a running time that's little above two hours, starts out with promise and engages considerably until the plot hits a massive writer's block and transforms into an exasperating Alice who's lost her way and been kicked out of Wonderland. The upshot is a climax so moronic, it's easily one of the worst I've seen in recent times.

Truth be told, Arjun Rampal and Chitrangada, looking sharp, self-assured and comfortable in each other's presence, do the best within their limitations to not contribute to Inkaar's troubles, which is also guilty of wasting Shantanu Moitra's electric compositions around a lacklustre scenario.

In the end though, what could have been an engrossing take on modern-day relationships in a frantic, workaholic culture is single-handedly destroyed by warped publicity and ridiculous conclusions.

So am I going to recommend why two sorted-out professionals are dumbed down to thick-headed fools and sexual harassment is just another day in office? I don't think so.

Star -3/5

Why Sonia ignored actual issues in Chitan Shivir??

Finally, congress found its pace after a long spell of listlessness on its economic ideology. The series of measures on the economic front from UPA in recent times suggests that the party has bridged the gap with the government and it is prepared to take calculated risks on the reforms front. It’s a neat arrangement, the government wins back the good headlines and, as a trade off, the party gets something hugely populist as the Food Security Act.

It can be a win-win arrangement, at least from the UPA's perspective. It ensures concerns of people at both ends of the economic spectrum are addressed and provides something concrete to both the government and the party to go to people with during elections.

In her 20-minute speech, Mrs Gandhi talked about the Congress' nine straight years of rule and what it had gained and lost in that time. She touched upon coalition politics, Indo-Pak relations, gender issues and crime against women and corruption, and exhorted those gathered to "speak your mind - as we are here on business that will determine our future".

It could not be random acts of thoughtlessness that the Congress president and the party top brass would support FDI in multi-brand retail, hikes in railway fares and more recently, the partial deregulation of diesel prices. All these moves are perceived to be fraught with great electoral risk.

Also, it can be no accident that the government agrees to push the expensive Food Security Bill, which has been facing a lot of resistance within. Now that both have come together there is some semblance of order in decision-making. For a long time, the UPA II has been facing flak from all quarters for lack of coherence in policy matters, particularly in the context of the economy. With the current spate of announcements, it seems to have silenced its critics.

However, the party-government equations are a lesser worry for the Congress from a long-term perspective. Its biggest challenge is to bridge the growing distance between the party and the organisation. It needs no overemphasising that the organisation has all but collapsed in most major states.

In states like Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Bihar and Gujarat it has been out of power for a long time. In other states the party structure stands depleted and party workers demoralised. Unless the party unleashes revival efforts fast by way of building connect with the rank and file, there is slim chance of it staying a strong political force for long.

Curiously, Congress president Sonia Gandhi's address at the Chintan Shivir in Jaipur missed the point completely. She spoke about the lack of connect between the party and the youth. She said the party must recognise the new India. ”The younger generation is more demanding and less tolerant,” she added. However, there was no word on the disconnect within – the growing gap between the party’s leaders and the workers at the bottom and the middle of the structure.

It’s possible that the Congress has decided to maintain its ostrich-like approach to the bland reality staring it in the face. It’s not clear whether it would discuss the lack of strong leaders at the state level and the responsibility of the central leadership in landing the state units in such a mess.

But without taking the issues in the states head on, there is little hope that the party would come up with something meaningful. In any case, the party is notorious for dumping the recommendations emerging from the Chintan Shivirs.

The party’s real problem are its middle level leaders and their handlers in the central leadership. As the recent election in Gujarat and earlier one in Uttar Pradesh reflect, well-connected middle-level leaders could and do manipulate the ticket distribution process for selfish ends and it hurts the party’s prospects. It’s a nexus that runs deep in the party and it has been going on for a long time.

It has, in the process, created deep-entrenched interests. Though aware of the problem through several elections, the top leadership has shown no inclination to change the situation. Not long ago, desperate party workers in Uttar Pradesh complained to Rahul Gandhi about the indifference of state level leaders. It was the same in Bihar. However, the ground situation has hardly changed.

Every party has problems so does congress has, it does not have the confidence to communicate with people; and it fails to inspire trust. However, these are issues that could be handled. The real issue confronting the party is the disconnect between the party leadership and the organisation. Unless the Congress finds a solution to that it is doomed to fail.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Export of Indian Mango to USA

Global Overview — owing to their unique flavor and limited availability, mangoes are increasingly being looked upon as an exotic fruit across the globe. There are a limited number of countries that have been able to answer this sudden surge in demand for mangoes. Most of the leading mango-producing nations are located within the Asian sub-continent. The demand for mangoes has increased multifold in the last decade and India has emerged as one of leading provider of mangoes to demanding nations.

India as a Mango Destination
Due to its climatic conditions and natural soil types that are suited for cultivation of mangoes, India has emerged as the outright frontrunner in the race to being the most preferred mango supplier. It does have some competition from nations like China and Bangladesh but the margin is huge, as India alone accounts for nearly 40% of the global mango production. The rise in the popularity of this fruit has translated into a very conducive global market and nations, including those from the Middle East, the United Kingdom and Japan are known to pay very high prices for mangoes procured from the Indian sub-continent.

Currently, the US demand (from India) is centered on the Alphonso variety of mango. Indian mango varieties that are usually exported along with their months of availabilities:
  • Alphonso (March to June)
  • Dashehari (May to July)
  • Langra (June to July)
  • Chausa (June to August)

Mango Exports to the US: The Story So Far
One of India’s traditional clients for mangoes was the United States but about two decades ago, this relationship suffered a major setback when Indian mangoes were banned in the US due to some concerns regarding the quality of pesticides used in India. However, India was able to gain a re-entry into the US mango market in April 2007. This only happened after a series of decade-long negotiations and it was eventually decided that the mangoes exported to the US would be irradiated to maintain their compatibility with the quality standards.

— Lure of the US market
The US represents the single largest importer of mangoes. Establishing a long-term trade with the US market means an assurance of profitability for the Indian farmers. Further, the demand patterns in the US for mangoes is only rising with each passing season as the volume of the Indian diaspora keeps on multiplying and the increasing exposure to this fruit creates more household demand.

— Challenges for conquering the US market
India may be the largest global mango producer, but that necessarily doesn't translate into large volumes being exported. The massive domestic consumption ensures that an insignificant part of the total mangoes produced is reserved for exports.

Out of a total aggregate of 14 million metric tons, India exports only 60,000 metric tons.

The American authorities see this as a major hurdle since they need substantial volumes and that too particular ones, every year. However, with the local demand within India so robust, the incentive for the farmers to invest in specifically-grown mangoes for the US is rather limited. Again, being a short-lived fruit that requires exhaustive maintenance when being exported, trading with neighboring nations is a much more inviting proposition for mango traders in India.

There are about 1,000 domestic Indian varieties of the mango, but a staggeringly-low number of 20 are known to be classified as commercially-viable.

The Distance Deterrent — Americans are more familiar with mangoes procured from the southern American nations like Mexico. This preference is because mangoes sourced from near the American border tend to remain fresher for a longer period of time. Similarly, mangoes sourced from Indian states like Maharashtra and Gujarat are preferred in the US since they are closer to the trading route and the merchandise can American shores is a much better state.

Some quick facts about the mango trade between India and United States:
  • In 2008, India exported more than 143 metric tones of mangoes to the States. This was regarded a low-productive mango season in India due to non-seasonal rains. Still, the total trade volume exceeded $1 million
  • India’s leading irradiation facility is the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, located at Lasalgaon, Nashik, Maharashtra
  • The prices of mangoes that are air-freighted to US are very high. Therefore, the APEDA wants to export mangoes in container-shipments

Initiatives for Meeting the Quality Standards of the US Market
The APEDA, i.e. the Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority has set up a list of many guidelines that need to be followed for exporting mangoes to the United States. These guidelines are very comprehensive and include specific details across many levels including:
  • Orchard Level
  • Packinghouse Level
  • Treatment Facility Level
  • Airport level

Other bodies that are involved in framing the regulations and rules governing the quality of mangoes that gain entry into the US include:
  • USDA — US Department of Agriculture
  • APHIS — Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service
  • Dte of PPQS — Directorate of Plant Protection, Quarantine & Storage, Ministry of
  • Agriculture, India
  • NPPO — National Plant Protection Organization, India

The APHIS has laid down many requirements for the kind of India mangoes that can enter the American market. Some of the highlights of its lists of guidelines include:
  • Mangoes should be treated with appropriate irradiation technology in India and the dosage of irradiation should be a bare minimum of 400 Grays
  • All importers need to have the USDA Import Permit about 30 days prior to the arrival of all irradiated mangoes from India
  • Mangoes should have had a post-harvest, fungicidal dipping in hot water at about 52 degrees Celsius along with the addition of Prochloraz at 500 ppm
  • Every mango consignment should have been inspected by the NPPO and USDA-APHIS
  • Each mango consignment should carry a Phytosanitary Certificate that is issued by the NPPO

At the moment, the average cost of a carton of Indian mangoes carrying a standard 12 pieces (packed by-the-dozen) costs about $35. When compared to mangoes sourced from South American nations, like those across the porous borders of California, these are very expensive. Here, a same packing of mangoes would cost a maximum of $10 – $12. With the onset of substantial subsidies in shipment costs and the rise in the number of irradiation facilities in India, the mango trade with the US is bound to improve. Traders in India are hoping to bring down the average price, for an average American consumer, to about $15 to $20 per carton of mangoes.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Bangla board should chang its attitude towards Pak tour..??

Bangla Team were all set to tour Pakistan in April 2012 after a deal was made between the bangla board and pakistani cricket board. Disappointingly the tour did not happen as a Dhaka court order embargoed the series. Bangladesh was supposed to play three ODIs and two T20Is. Time moved on and the proposed series looked a possibility again.
Kamal's dream of becoming the ICC vice-president came true and his legacy as BCB chief was to be carried on by Nazmul Hassan, an MP from the ruling party. On November this year Hassan revealed that the BCB had made a written commitment to the PCB on touring the country in the latter part of 2012. Hassan said that compulsary steps would be taken regarding the tour and didn't reveal by whom the letter was sent. Hassan and the BCB were in the second phase of talks with the PCB as the first phase which was about the security issues had been dealt satisfactorily.
Before Bangladesh premiere league, bangalesh was scheduled to pakistan for a solitary ODI and T20. One could feel the amazement amongst passionate Pakistani fans who were yearning for the return of international cricket to Pakistan.
On December last year, while addressing to media, Hassan said that the tour to Pakistan had been ruled out for the moment neither saying 'yes' or 'no'. "The ICC minutes have it that we have made an unconditional commitment to tour Pakistan. But there is concern among us about the country's security situation, it has deteriorated. We don't think it will be wise to visit Pakistan at this time," he said.
But Hassan and his men did have a satisfactory talk regarding the security of Pakistan while they were in conversation in the first phase. Now, if the meeting regarding the security had been satisfactory enough then why this sudden stepping back by the BCB remains a moot question. In fact, Pakistan's security has been too shaky for the last couple of months. I don't think the BCB slept while the Polio Vaccine workers were attacked, Malala was shot or during the serial bomb blasts that had been taking place in many areas of Pakistan. Bearing such incidents in mind was it apt and appropriate by the BCB to wave a green flag regarding the Pakistan tour?
Rather than being non-committal, the BCB must come to a specific decision. If they wish to tour then they should proceed accordingly and if they don't wish to tour then they should say no straight way. This drama isn't doing any good to Bangladesh's image. In fact, this game of yes-or-no is questioning our commitments.
Sadly, the cricket fans of both the countries are the ones suffering. The war of words between fans on both sides on social websites is pathetic. As a matter of fact, Bangladesh and Pakistan cricket fans should never been at daggers drawn. Again, other than their army, the common people of Pakistan are very kind and humble towards Bangladesh and convey their utmost sadness regarding 1971. But the much cherished relationship is getting soured due to the twisted attitude of the BCB.
If the BCB had given a written commitment to Pakistan then it becomes a responsibility for Bangladesh to tour Pakistan. Bangladesh should respond to those fans that are deprived of cricket for the last three and half years. We mustn't forget Pakistan's help in building our cricket when we had no hope. We were provided coaches from them, they had provided us ample support in the ICC regarding our Test status, they had supplied us players for our Dhaka League in the 90s when cricket was still not popular and in last year's BPL it had been their players who were instrumental in making the tournament a mega hit.
Bangladesh must tour Pakistan and should not neglect. Pakistani board was always helpful to bangla baord. But yes, before that Pakistan must ensure a full-proofed security and the BCB must monitor it thoroughly before saying yes. The BCB must stop its twisted attitude regarding the tour and be specific. It will be a victory of cricket as Pakistan recently visited india.

Movie Review- Table No. 21

First movie the year, generally records says never does a good business except last year no one killed jessica, in the starting i m saying does not mean it will not be a good movie. It's a nice acting suspense thriller flick.

An average class couple Vivaan (Rajeev Khandelwal) and Siya (Tina Desae) win a fully-paid trip to the Fiji Island for their anniversary. Cut to the picturesque locales of Fiji, the extravagance of their free trip, some song and dance sequences and an interesting turn. Enters Mr. Khan (Paresh Rawal) a millionaire restaurateur cum game show host who offers the couple a game Table No. 21 that could change their lives.. The price money is a whopping 21crs that can be easily won but with an only catch - You cannot quit the game and if you lie you die! What follows is a series of twists and turns and a blend of love and lies, truth and treachery, money and mind-games.

Paresh Rawal, looking like a reject character from Mad Max 2, plays a man named Khan who lures Vivaan (Rajeev Khandelwal) and Sia (Tena Desae) to Fiji to participate in a Web-based game show that will add Rs.21 crore to their low bank balance if they truthfully answer a series of questions (why Fiji? Probably because that country’s tourism department invited the producers over).

Ironically, Rajeev Khandelwal who was once the host of the reality game show Sach Ka Samna which dealt with the same topic only less brutal finds himself on the other side of the table with this film. And it's only filmmaker Aditya Dutt to be credited for such a casting. Known for his popular Bhatt film Aashiq Banaya Aapne, Aditya brings to celluloid a very interesting concept. A thriller revolving around a game show appeared intriguing right from the promos itself. However, the sooner the film starts unfolding itself with all the gruesome tasks that the actors are made to execute, one easily starts gauging the actual plot and it turns out to be pretty much so.

It's the predictability of the plot that gets to you and also the many loopholes that come your way as the story progresses. It's the build up to the suspense, primarily the game show part, instead of the suspense itself that makes for an intriguing plot. The suspense comes about as a done to death twist. 

For a film based completely on three characters, Aditya Dutt does a very good job not just in casting but also in the way he extracts performances from his actors. Paresh Rawal who is in top form post his last superhit OMG: Oh My God experiments with his look and get into the mode of a menacing and sinister looking mode. He pulls off his part very well. Rajeev Khandelwal too puts up a good show and contrasts Paresh Rawal's eccentricity and evilness with his vulnerability and strength very well. 

Table No. 21, although may not be a completely out of the box, never before concept but it's the execution of the story and the acting that makes this film a worth watch.

Stars- 2.5

Friday, 4 January 2013

Sehwag must have to score on board for Team India??

Sehwag is the second most senior player in India's present ODI squad but playing like a spoiled brat who refuses to tone himself down, change with time and assume responsibility. He must have to take responsibility to give india a quick start. Sehwag's failure is hurting India as much as his success benefits the team. And despite failing repeatedly, the opener is showing no signs of an attempt to moderate himself, indicating he doesn't acknowledge the sorry state of Indian cricket.
There was a time when legends like Tendulkar, Ganguly and Dravid in the XI, Sehwag could take that extra liberty to go slam-bang at the top. Not anymore. Not only have those big names disappeared, but also the youngsters are proving to be square pegs in round holes. That, in fact, also tells that the Delhi dasher isn't proving to be an inspiration in the dressing room, and he can't, until he plays like a responsible senior.

With Sehwag's poor form and to some extent numb attitude, India lose on two fronts: a game-changer on the ground and a shepherd off it. Not that he will teach youngsters the correct way to move their feet or the need for a straight elbow. Instead, Sehwag will tell them how to perform under the pressures of international cricket – day in and day out. That's how he himself benefited under Tendulkar, Ganguly, Dravid and Laxman. Sadly now, when it's time to repay, Sehwag is proving to be a disappointment.
Being an opener in every format, Sehwag's continuing failures put added pressure on the team. Perhaps India could have coped with that in the early 2000s but asking youngsters, however talented they may be, to repeatedly bat at 20 for 2 is a bit too demanding. One may counter that argument saying that Dravid did that in his early days, but there are great players and there are good players. India's great players have left. The young crop we have now comprises only good players, who need experienced ones like Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh and Gautam Gambhir to act like guides if India were to come out of this slide and rebuild in the next couple of years.
Somewhere down the line it seems Sehwag clenches his fists on the topic of captaincy. His desire to lead India is not a secret, but when you let it affect your mindset, you lose the chance to become a great player. Sehwag averaged just over 21 last year, with a solitary fifty. His dismissals in the ongoing series against Pakistan point yet again to a man fading, or perhaps having lost it.
Ajinkya Rahane is ready and a capable opener. He deserves an extended run at the top of the order in ODIs. But if Sehwag stay in the team just on reputation, he will be doing nothing but blocking the path of a deserving youngster.
Now a time India needs Sehwag - badly. Not only can he can give a quick start which will remove pressure from middle order but also he can win matches on his own but he is one player who has an infectious rub when on song. His spark at the top can ignite the whole team, and it's not a myth. We have seen that happen and there's no reason why it can't happen again – provided Sehwag spends some time on crease and then riping the ball out the rope.