in the crosshairs

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Abhinav Kaiser

Abhinav Kaiser has 61 articles published.

The Curious Case of IPL, Indian Drought and the Indian Media Circus

in Opinion by

The past three days have been all about shifting IPL out of Maharashtra, and pictures of drought in Latur district. TV channels are filled with images of problems faced by water scarcity, the amount of water every family gets and then the groundsmen at Wankhede watering the lush outfield.ipl-water-stadium

Mumbai BJP raised the issue of shifting IPL out of Maharashtra earlier this month. Incidentally, the same party is in power in the state as well as in the center. They contend that when the state is reeling under severe drought, wasting 70,00,000 liters of water is nothing short of a crime.

The facts are in front of us. It has barely rained in Maharashtra in the past two years. Close to 1 crore farmers are impacted due to shortage of rains. A cricket stadium requires around 1,00,000 liters of water for every application, and three applications are needed in a week to keep the grass healthy.draught-latur

The movement that the Mumbai unit of BJP started, has quickly caught the snares of the entire media, and a host of NGOs have jumped onto the bandwagon. They have raised a PIL in the Bombay high court asking for the IPL matches to be moved out of Maharashtra, to which, the judges have agreed in principle, and have allowed 1 match to continue, and could jeopardize the fate of the remaining 18 matches.

I understand that there is scarcity, a real threat to human lives in Latur district. Mumbai and Pune are the locations where the IPL matches are being planned. The distance between the two places is nearly 500 kilometers. Is there a real plan in place to transport the water to Latur? The answer is no.Water-barrels-latur

In the Newshour debate on #timesnow, Arnab Goswami, who is an ardent supporter of moving IPL out, has been upping the ante by asking the Tendulkars and Gavaskars of Mumbai to support the cause. He blatantly supports the NGOs who support his views, and puts down the Charu Sharmas and Atul Wassans who speak with logic and pragmatism.

In one such debate today, Atul Wassan asked the question of how the water saved here would be taken to Latur. He further asked why only cricket, why not empty swimming pools, ration bath cycles and regulate water usage by other means. To which, one of the NGOs said that cricket is a sport that Indians revere, and it is a symbolic gesture to show the farmers who are dying that India cares about them.

This has to be the emptiest argument one can make, and I am surprised that the media and other liberals have caught onto the symbolism of stamping cricket with one foot and thumping their chests as a symbol of narcissist pessimism.

Symbolism is a show of chauvinism. It should not be used to make a point or two. If there are practical mitigation plans, by axing the games, then let’s hear it. If not, don’t throw a spanner in the works because you can.

RK Mishra, who once made a name for himself through the Lead India campaign mentioned about the measures taken in California. But he stuck to his guns when it came to India, he wanted IPL out. Why do you want to bring in examples from other countries which are practical and then when it comes to our country, have a different yardstick to berate our countrymen.

In Melbourne, the last time when there was a drought, car washes were 100% banned. People were asked to take showers by keeping a bucket next to them, for shower water harvesting. This water was meant to be used for flushing toilets. Gardens and lawns were not to be watered. This is just a sample from a slew of practical measures the state of Victoria undertook. There were no symbolic gestures.

Indian showmanship is routed through opposing the rich, the popular, and taking a moral high stance. Media loves to dig into this dirt, bring in some pseudo-liberals to up the ante, and watch the fun by taking sides. This must stop.

Unless and until the media or the people who are fighting the PIL can prove the direct correlation between the IPL and the drought situation, it’s game-on.

The justice league works in different ways. The first match of IPL, to be played on 9th of April between Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Stars getting washed out due to heavy rains. That would make one hell of a headline!

Indian Brand Smartron Launches t.book and t.phone

in Technology by

Indian start-up Smartron, with Sachin Tendulkar as one of the investors has launched an ultrabook t.book and a smartphone t.phone which runs on Android based Tron-X.

The batting maestro who is also the brand ambassador for Smartron said, “I have always been fascinated by technology. Smartron’s founding vision for the need for a robust product ecosystem in the country to grow is very impressive. We need to support brands that are ‘designed and engineered in India’ by our Entrepreneurs and Engineers that ably compete in the global markets.”

t.book is a 2 in 1 ultrabook which acts as a tablet as well as a lightweight laptop. It features a WQXGA (2560×1600 pixels) screen, 2.0 GHz Intel Core M processor, 4GB of DDR3 RAM and 128GB SSD storage. The storage can be further expanded up to 128GB with a microSD card.

Smartron-t-book

The ultrabook runs on the Windows 10 operating system and the specs are similar to Mac Air, and other light weight competitors like HP Envy and Microsoft Surface. It comes in gray and orange colors. It’s 10,000 mAh powers the t.book for ten hours.

MRP is set at Rs.40,000.

The smartphone, t.phone, features 5.5″ screen and runs Tron-X, which is an Android based OS which provide IoT experience to users. Meaning data captured in one device can be captured across multiple devices instantly. Say a photo clicked on your smartphone gets across your laptop and tablet, and you could receive and make calls, send and receive SMSs using any of the devices.

Smartron-t-phone

The price of the t.phone is yet to be revealed.

Smartron was started by Mahesh Lingareddy and is founded strongly on Indianism and is backed by the make-in-India initiative launched by prime minister Narendra Modi. The entire range of products including microchips is manufactured indigenously.

The company claims to have invested $10 million in the past couple of years, in its bid to create a strong IoT ecosystem. They are in search of more funds, $100 million in precise, to be spent on research and development in the next 5 years.

The IoT company having Tendulkar as the investor need not look any further for marketing and advertising concerns. He is keen on promoting the products on all mediums.

Virat Kohli: Demi-God of Indian Cricket

in Cricket by

On Sunday, against Australia in a virtual quarter final, India were down in the dumps. The openers had failed yet again. The powerplay overs were seen as too restrictive for the Indian batsmen to take singles. Yuvraj struggled as always. But one man stood his ground, his feet firmly planted, spotting the ball as big as a comet, and waving his wand to send the ball to all corners of the stadium. Virat Kohli, the demi-god of Indian cricket has announced his invincibility status to the world.

Cricket aware audience felt that India probably had an outside chance when Yuvraj went, and the runrate was creeping ever so creepily. Only singles and twos were on offer many a time. Who would have thought that the straight batted Kohli would unfurl more straight bats at the Aussie bowlers to send their deliveries back into the crowds. Who would have thought that Indian would complete a simple victory with five balls to spare. None could believe that the proud cricketing country of Australia would bend their knee to the true masterclass since Don Bradman.

Kohli never threw caution into the winds, never did he go for a cross batted heave which costed his wicket against the Bangladeshi Tigers. He was cool, composed and looked to place the ball and run singles and twos. Yuvraj was probably the only one who hindered his running, not the poor Aussies.

Critics who have played cricket at the highest level compare the RCB captain to Tendulkar. How dare they? Tendulkar was regarded as the god of Indian cricket, but he did not bail India out of tough situations as Kohli did. Tendulkar struggled mentally when he got closer to landmarks. Kohli romps home by skipping on one leg. Compare the records of the two players when India has won, especially while chasing. Well, there is no comparison. Apples to oranges. They cannot be compared.

Whether India win the T20 world cup or not, Dhoni must vacate and make way for the crowning of prince charming. It’s time to see the back of non-performers, which is pretty much the entire team, and make way for the deserving. The time is ripe for the Indian kingdom to be ruled by a warrior who’s par excellence, the supreme commander of world cricket to have a team of his choice, sans Yuvraj of course.

Flintoff could yap all that he wants, compare lowly with average players from the English kindergarten, truth be told, Kohli is insurmountable.

Uber Introduces Family Profiles; You Can Pay for Other’s Rides

in Technology by

It is common in India that the person requesting the cab may not always be paying for it, or have the means to it. Like say your wife is going to the mall, and she does not own a card of her own, and doesn’t wish to use cash.

The current Uber app restricts sharing in terms of payments, and we are allowed to pay for ourselves only, and the same card cannot not be used across multiple Uber accounts.

The family profile feature is being piloted in a few locations in the US, and will get rolled out worldwide after its deemed success.

The family feature doesn’t necessarily mean that it is restricted to family members, but anybody who the Uber account holder wishes to add. The maximum number of family members/friends who can be added is restricted to 10.

On the Uber app, go to settings -> add a family profile, and add all the contacts who you wish to associate as family.

family-profile-uber

After they are added, the people you have chosen can request rides from their own phone using the Family Profile as their payment method.

The person making the payment will receive the payment receipts.

switch-family-profile-uber

Bharat Mata Ki Jai: Waris Pathan from AIMIM Suspended

in Politics by

Waris Pathan believes in loyalty to his political boss, the boss who is responsible for handing over tickets, and the person who can possibly elevate him politically.

Wait, this party which we are talking about is only Hyderabad specific, as quoted by Javed Akhtar, it’s a Mohalla party. So, the elevation would be towards the general secretary of this Mohalla party?

Anyway, little did Waris know that he would be kicked out of the Maharashtra assembly for toeing the line of Osaduddin Owaisi.

Politicians from all other parties, spoke in one voice to suspend Waris from the assembly. The speaker acted on the motion, and this necessarily puts him out of mantralaya and he will not be even allowed to get into the premises.

Waris Pathan had said – “We will say ‘Jai Hind’ but not ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and there cannot be any compulsion.”

To this, MLAs from across the parties unanimously opposed the MLA from AIMIM and demanded an apology. Soon, the demand turned into suspension, which was acceded.

I am happy to note that parties with ideological differences came together when our motherland is facing its worst crisis with people opposing the very spirit she represents. The topic of prasing Bharat mata has revealed the true colors of politicians who are basically wolves in sheep clothing.

Thank you Mohan Bhagwat for raising the slogan, and the need for India to chant it. And to Javed Akhtar for that wonderful retirement speech which shook the curbed patriotic cymbals in us.

Shameless Osaduddin Owaisi Says He Will Never Say Bharat Mata Ki Jai

in Opinion/Politics by

At a public rally in Latur district of Maharashtra, Osaduddin Owaisi of AIMIM party has proclaimed that he will never say bharat mata ki jai, even if a knife is held to his neck.

His comment was in response to RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s call to introduce pro-India chants in schools.

Bhagwat made the suggestions in the backdrop of anti-national activities in JNU and other campuses across the country. Imbibing the spirit of nationality must start at an early age, to prevent them going rogue against the nation in their youth, was the crux of the message.

Owaisi’s objection to the suggestion is disgusting. Especially, when a lawmaker makes such comments. If there is no spirit of nationality with the lawmaker’s, then what are they protecting by going to the parliament? Are they protecting their self interests and those who share their beliefs?

I strongly believe that nationality should be central to everybody who wishes to associate themselves with citizenship in India. The suggestion is just an expression which will help young minds orient in the right direction, and help them to become able and responsible citizens, and not end up like Kanhaiyas and Anirbans of JNU.

Owaisi’s justification was that bharat mata ki jai is not part of the constitution, so he is not liable to chanting the slogan. So, then, it is time to get it included and corner those who oppose nationality.

Batman v Superman Trailer 11 Minute Combo – Must See

in Entertainment by

Batman vs Superman is the most awaited movie of the year, and the trailers keep getting better. Probably, there is far too much revealed in the plot. Avengers: Age of Ultron suffered from having showing off to much in the trailers, and the movie came out to be a dud in comparison. I sincerely hope that S v B does not suffer from the same predicament.

To me, it looks like Batman takes an exception for superman’s indulgence in the safety of the city. He is retired, and turns back into super life as Batman yet again. He is lazy to start with, but gets better as gets acclimatized. Keep Reading

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