Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Glorifying India's God like game beneath strong undercurrents


Did I waste my time while I laughed, cried, screamed, shouted and tweeted my way in exhilaration, as I watched the Indian Premier League (IPL) T20 season 3 cricket matches this year?? This is indeed the question I ask myself umpteen numbers of times, since the rotten affair of the IPL has been brought to light by the media and by the governing council of cricket in India.

And why only accuse the 58 matches this year (minus two matches which I ignored after the IPL scam broke out) for killing our time over doctored matches and inadvertently contributing towards filling deep pockets of the governing body. In fact, we have been duped for not realising this way back in year 2008 when IPL was baptized as a new “fatafat” (quick) cricket format. This was in fact the same year when planet earth was hit by recession and every business, investors, public sector companies, consumers, and those doing something for a living, was feeling the pinch of the recession....except, IPL Cricket which was and is still believed to be inimitably "recession proof".

The invincible T20 format
IPL cricket take-off in the year 2008 was unforgettably the biggest billion dollar creative project commissioned by flamboyant Mr. Lalit Modi, whose daring marketing and branding techniques and out-of-the-box thinking, made the T20 format the world’s best cricketing set-up ever made in history. Each of the eight teams competing in IPL are composed of high profile cricketers from different nations, thus making this the world’s first “Cosmopolitan” game ever.

Glorifying sophisticated thugs
In a span of just 3yrs, IPL came to be known as a game which entertained its spectators both on the grounds and off the grounds with its grandiosity and lavishness…a game of sports and entertainment. Until of course this month when a series of tweets between Lalit Modi and a prospective candidate of the newly endorsed Kochi team, opened up the Pandora’s box...exposing the “can of worms”.

Eventually, the cricket format which earned good name, was now branded as a game of slush money, kickbacks and match-fixing. Allegedly, kickbacks in crores were earned by commissioner & imposter, Lalit Modi, and also by a few team owners and officials who were hand-in gloves with the IPL chief.

Don’t loose our dinosaur
IPL T20 cricket is a milking cash cow for the Indian government...bringing in the monies that the governing authorities need to realise its infrastructural, health, and educational promises made to the people of this country. After the “Braking exposé” of all the sham-scam's in IPL management three years from its inception, there are plans of putting the entire billion dollar project to rest. However, the question to ask here is ….Should we really suspend a project which displayed the highest earnings on our balance sheet? Or should we crackdown and remove the filth in the system in the first place.

If you ask me, I believe we should clean up the system firsthand by amputating the rotten arm of the IPL and retain the good arm before season IV takes off next year. In chorus, we need to get people with an energetic and positive mindset to handle IPL affairs. In fact, flamboyancy to some extent is mandatory to give this game an entertaining zing.

And when the God of cricket and master blaster, Sachin Tendulkar himself says that, “IPL will overcome current crisis,"...we should seriously take this demigod's conviction to save this God like game of IPL. Aaii Laa ;-)

Thanks for visiting my blog. Do write to me with your reactions, opinions or critical comments at simplymearl@live.com or leave your inputs in the comments tab below.

Before I sign out, as I always say take very good care of yourself and God Bless!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Appetizing “Media Fodder”


What happens when two celebrated sportspersons, one playing for India while the other playing for Pakistan, fall in love and decide to tie the knot and be legally called husband and wife? You surely will have scores of fans and the general public congratulating the two sportspersons and wishing them a good luck charm for a happy married life. Conversely, there are sections of society and political groups who defame the couple for even thinking about marrying a person from a rival country, especially in the current scenario when tensions are brewing between India and Pakistan….eventually politicizing a simple love story between a young boy and a girl.

Now let’s add some spice to the story by introducing an unknown Muslim girl, a self-confessed size 10, who comes from nowhere and claims that she is married to the Pakistani sportsman and come storm-or-rain, she will not permit him from saying “Kabool Hain” (I Do), until he does not give her a divorce and sets her free. The entry of this “mysterious girl” makes the story juicier and something that any Bollywood Director/ Producer would vouch to follow and get inspired from. Besides beneficiaries from Bollywood, sections of Media go gaga over this spicy tale...eventually spinning out a typically 3rd page story on the front page.

This is exactly what happened, when India’s ace tennis magnet, Sania Mirza, and Pakistan’s cricket sensation, Shoaib Malik, announced their courtship. Certainly, not overlooking a very important character in this story…….the mysterious size 10 girl at the crossroads, who completes the love triangle, “Mrs. Ayesha Siddhique Malik” from Hyderabad, India.

When personal lives of public figures are washed in public
Just after the news about “Sania-Shoaib-Ayesha” - “India-Pakistan” love affair broke out, media went berserk quiet literally! Media houses, both electronic and print media went on an overdrive feeding the public with minute-by-minute updates of the Sania-Shoaib-Ayesha marriage fiasco. So much so that one television channel even panned their cameras inside Sania’s living room and balcony to get a closer peek into her personal life.

Sections of TV news channels and the press lapped up the news as if they have been malnourished for days and truly so…. Journalism which ideally is the fourth estate for educating and informing people in a fair and objective manner, about the political, social and economical status of the country and also for giving a voice to those who don't have any say, are straying away from the core ideology. Certainly, some of the news channels stand by maintaining those principles while the rest media jokers have lost it completely, drooling over news that is “spicy and juicy”….just like KFC’s yummy chicken lollipops….Umm!!

Advantage Sania
Pakistan media did not give this Sania-Shoaib-Ayesha’s private love affair an extra “inning-full” coverage as compared to Indian media who chewed over the story for weeks together…refusing to flush it down the drain. Apparently Pakistani media did not cover this story extensively because Shoaib Malik is not as big a star as Sania Mirza is in India. In fact, Pakistan would welcome the Indian bride, Sania Mirza, offering her a Pakistani passport in a platinum plate…because Pakistan does not boast a tennis pulse and undeniably Sania Mirza is the ONLY ONE who could fill the vacuum in Pakistan’s sports arena.

Paying heed to good journalism
In the same breath, also accepting the fact that “Journalism” is indeed a valuable governing fourth estate which even today plays a significant role in making the guilty carry their cross right up to Calvary and bestowing the innocent with justice through effective media trails…undeniably, an important part of any moral civilization. As Walter Lippmann defines journalism saying, “There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth and to shame the devil - remain detached from the great.”

While some media houses follow this fair doctrine, majority of them scavenge for stories which guarantee high TRP’s (Television Rating Points), constantly looking at the negative and controversial aspect of news. Thus, eventually sensationalizing news or better still “Bollywoodisation/ Hollywoodisation” of news.

Promptly recollecting what the 36th President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, said while wittingly describing media, “If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read: "President Can't Swim."

On that witty note, I will sign out for now...but don’t forget to keep your eyes on this blog site for my next amusing piece.

Thanks for visiting my blog. Do write to me with your reactions, opinions or critical comments at simplymearl@live.com or leave your inputs in the comments tab below.

Before I sign out, as I always say take very good care of yourself and God Bless!

Friday, April 2, 2010

“Ring A Ring A Roses….A Pocket Full of Posies”

Effective 1st Apr 2010, nearly 200 million children living in this elephant like - mammoth, lumbering, sturdy - vibrant nation called India, can quiet literally sing along on the tunes of the folksong “Ring A Ring A Roses.” On this April Fools day, the government of India spins out a decree making the Right to Education (RTE) a fundamental right of every child.

It is indeed a whopping project undertaken by the administration, which promises free and compulsory education as a right of every child of this nation whose age group spans between 6-14yrs. This initiative will beget equality and diversity amongst children irrespective of sex, religion, standard of living, or status in society.

Quality Education for all
The Prime Minister of India makes the RTE act an important part of his agenda and takes the lead to announce the proceedings of the act, enforcing it upon the nation saying, “The Right to Education Act (RTE) will realize the dreams of many children across the nation and it is a key to progress and empowerment of the children to become better citizens of the nation.”

Spread the word to fight illiteracy
The enactment of the law is finally done…and now it is the role of not only the government to facilitate smooth roll-out of the project…but we as citizens of this country and guardians of our children need to do our little bit as well.

When I spoke to a few people like my vegetable vendor, the milkman, my domestic help, and the office boys, I received a glowing response from each one of them. Every parent and guardian – rich or poor - wants their child to go to school to get their share of education. Underprivileged parents and families from the backward class also have dreams synonymous to the families from the elite class…it is a hope of giving the best education to their children and helping them realize their dreams. But their financial condition mostly comes as a bottleneck towards fulfilling their dreams.

Socialistic ideologies pertinent in segments of society
Detractors from the elite class of society argue saying that 25% reservations in private schools will eat up their share of seats. They may be absolutely correct when they say that ‘Reservation’ is a bad word and that it shouldn’t be used to violate the rights of others. However, you cannot pigeonhole this act on the same parity as the quotas chalked out for- women in Parliament; scheduled caste and scheduled tribes; or for religious minorities.

These are reservations for children who have the same nationality, who are ambitious, who have merit and the IQ to move ahead in life, who want to flaunt their own house and car when they grow up, who want to be treated equal, and who want to speak the global language that the world speaks today….So why not give them a chance!!

We need to mull over the nitty-gritty’s of this act and support the children of this nation in receiving quality education across the board. Rich or poor - girl or boy – majority or minority, it should be education for all.

In the same vein, the Indian government needs to do wonders with Healthcare in India. Medical Insurance to each and every citizen of this country should be made mandatory and should be moderately sponsored by the government.

Come one, Come All…

Thanks for visiting my blog. Do write to me with your reactions, opinions or critical comments at simplymearl@live.com or leave your inputs in the comments tab below.

Before I sign out, as I always say take very good care of yourself and God Bless!