in the crosshairs

Category archive


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!

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.

Opinion: Mallya is No Son of Soil

in Opinion by

Deve Gowda, who served as the prime minister of India for less than a year in the previous century has come out in defence of beleaguered businessman Vijay Mallya.

The former PM said that mistakes do happen, and Mallya is not somebody who would abscond as he is the son of soil. He was quoting directly from the tweets that Mallya posted a couple of days back.

His reasoning was quite absurd – Mallya came from a reputed family and was born in Karnataka, so there isn’t a tiniest chance that he would take the Lalit Modi route.

Why did Gowda defending the person who has rendered thousands jobless, salary less and owes several crores to state banks. To add to it, there is also the allegation that service taxes that were charged from customers were not paid to the government, but instead, siphoned off to offshore accounts.

Mallya was nominated twice as an independent to Rajya Sabha by JD (S), the party that Gowda and sons chug the wheel. And, Mallya has left the country using his diplomatic visa, which comes along with his position as MP. So, any kickbacks to Mallya gets aimed at those who sent him to the upper house.

Mallya is no son of soil. In fact, somebody who is true to the country would never abscond, after getting a hefty payday for selling off his company. I believe that the entire episode spanning the pay check for non-compete agreement was scripted to the tee. Since it is a publicly traded company, the agreement had to come out in the open. Else, it would have been a hush hush affair, and the media would not have got a chance to launch a snarl attack on him.

Businesses go bad most often than not. But, it is the lavish lifestyle that Mallya lead which agitates the nation, the salaries that were withheld that enrages the crowd, and the large sums of money going missing from Indian government coffers that infuriates the media.

Mallya’s partner in Force India venture, Subrata Roy Sahara has landed in a similar soup of owed money, and is currently in Tihar jail for the past two years. Why is Mallya still outside? Maybe, the only distinction between the two is the MP status. Maybe Mallya forethought the required badges before hand!

It is time to cough up what is owed or face the music like everybody else. The son of soil does not get exemptions, not here, not in any other country.

Why is Rape an Epidemic in India?

in Opinion by

On any day in a given year, your favorite newspaper carries a news item (however small) of rapes and molestation across the country. It reported such news before Nirbhaya and it continues to do so even now. The steam gathered since Nirbhaya, tolerance levels among the citizens went down and public outcry was a result. We witnessed how Indians came together at the India Gate to protest. Keep Reading

Go to Top