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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bharat Bandh today - its impact and implications

It dawned normally – slowly Sun came out on what was to be another scorching hot day; the Sunset would also be as normal as ever.. Chennai swelters in heat, no rain – some powercut and people were anxious on the impact of the call by the opposition – their concern was whether there would be any impact on public transportations, whether auto rickshaws will ply and continue to fleece them….. things looked as normal as ever as one travelled to Office this morning. 

If you wonder, or did not know – today is ‘Bharat Bandh’ – the unprecedented hike in petrol prices has helped the Left and the right to make common cause tomorrow for a nationwide protest, described by BJP and its allies as Bharat Bandh and by Left as all India protest day.

Bandh  is a Hindi  word meaning 'closed', is a form of protest used by political activists.  When Bandh is declared the protagonists want the life to come to a standstill and for doing that transportation would have to be stopped and shops and establishments closed.  A couple of decades, most were State run and anything against the State would paralyse the normal life.  It was extremely powerful means of civil disobedience and protest against the actions of the Govt.  One of the more famous Bharat Bandh was organized in Aug 1989, when Rajiv Gandhi was in power.  As the opposition resorted to stoppage of public transportation and threatened the shops to close [cinema theatres also would remain closed – as also hotels], the Govt did all that was in its power to break the bandh.  Curiously, the PSU employees were asked to attend Office and to facilitate their attendance they were allowed to report to their nearest branch – it was mockery of work – an employee working in a Branch going to another Branch was only symbolic attendance – no functional work took place that day.

Just as the Opposition claimed that the Bharat Bandh was a success, the Govt. on its part claimed that it had dissipated into a non event as people attended Offices !!

This bandh [31st May 2012] is the coming together of BJP, Left and other non-Congress parties.  Mulayam Singh Yadav's Samajwadi Party, which is supporting the UPA goverment from outside, has also given the bandh call tomorrow so has BJD in Odisha. In Tamilnadu, the situation is always bizarre and is unlikely to have any major effect.  AIADMK has staged protests and so did DMK on its own in which dramatic statements and veiled threats  were made  to pull out of the UPA.

Political parties try to score some brownie points and now a days bandhs do not get any visual results.  Parties would announce that its leaders will take part in rallies in public meetings – bigger leaders would turn up cautiously weighing the mood of the public, which these days is lukewarm response at best.  The rewards are illusory for the Organisers as also those whom they expect would join these form of protests.  Sadly such protests hit the people working in the unorganised sector most as their day’s wage might get lost for no fault of theirs.  The Communists who claim to represent the worker, wage earner and unorganized sector would do nothing on this count.   

Hours after making a statement that he would pull out of the UPA government if it continued with its anti-people policies, DMK leader Karunanidhi backtracked saying that he never threatened to quit.
“We can’t say we will quit if there is no rollback of petrol prices. We never threatened to pull out of the UPA. Communal forces will enter government if we quit” he said, at a hastily convened press conference in Chennai.  Earlier Karunanidhi created a media frenzy when he said, ““If this government continues to violate the fundamental principles of the Dravidian movement, we will have no hesitation in separating from the UPA alliance”.

There were times, when call for Bandh threatened to immobilize and paralyse the way of life of commoners but over the years Indian democracy has matured and it is time, the political parties too learn their way in finding out newer ways  of channelling popular sentiments without causing economic losses and inflicting misery on common folks.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

Vishwanathan Anand retains World Chess Championship beating Boris Gelfand

It is known to be a game of ‘intelligent people’ – has class and culture. The World Championship was between a man born in 1969 – in Foreign countries, he is known as ‘Vishy’ – which is not his name but that of his fathers’. His father Vishwanathan was an Engineer and General Manager of Southern Railway. Vishwanathan Anand started playing the game from the young age of 6, never had a tutor and has done the Nation proud……..

His opponent now – Boris Gelfand is an year elder, born in Minsk in to a family of Engineers. In a match he was pondering almost 40 minutes for the opening and later paid rich tributes to his opponent stating ‘ Vishy is not just an excellent speed chess player – he’s an excellent player in all time controls!’. You need to appreciate the great player who was not afraid to praise another player, even when he was his opponent.

Very Happy news is that our own,Vishwanathan Anand has retained the World Chess Championship defeating Boris Gelfand of Israel.

The World Chess Championship 2012 was a match between the current world champion Viswanathan Anand of India and Boris Gelfand of Israel, winner of the Candidates tournament. The tourney took place from May 10 to 30, 2012, in the Engineering Building of the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. The prize fund was approximately 2.5 million US dollars. The match format was 12 games, with the first game on May 11. The normal FIDE tiebreak protocol was in place: should the match be tied 6-6 tie-breaks, rapid games were to be played, if still tied, then blitz games, and finally an Armageddon game if needed. In the initial set of 12 matches, the players tied after six fairly short draws.

Gelfand drew first blood in game seven, in which Anand made some provocative or inaccurate moves and Gelfand held a commanding position. The very next day, revenge was had in game eight when Gelfand got his queen trapped on move 17--the shortest loss in WCC history! Then after four more draws, the match headed into overtime. Known for his prowess at rapid play, Anand was the clear favorite going into tie-breaks. After a victory in the second rapid game, and two more draws, Viswanathan Anand defended his title once again. Vishy has been holding the title since 2007. He last defended his title by winning the World Chess Championship 2010 against Veselin Topalov.

After the tie in the 12 games, Anand today [30.5.12]  retained the World Chess Championships title, his fifth crown and fourth in a row, after beating Israel's Boris Gelfand in a tense rapid game tie-breaker here today. Anand beat Gelfand 2.5-1.5 in rapid chess tie-breaker. The first game of the tiebreaker ended in a draw in 33 moves before Anand beat Gelfand in the second game in 77 moves. The two of the remaining four-game rapid chess tie-breaker ended in a draw as Anand successfully defended his world championship title for the third time in a row.

This was 42-year-old Anand's fifth World Championships title and fourth crown in a row. The Indian chess wizard bagged his first world title in 2000 before winning three in a row in 2007, 2008 and 2010. He has been the world champion since 2007.

Today 30th May 2012, is certainly  a very  happy day to all Indians, Chess fans and fans of Vishwanathan Anand

Kudos to Vishwanathan Anand.  Wishing you many many more victories.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
News and Photos source :

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Career high for Virginie Razzano - Serena sent packing

If you have been watching Tennis for more than a decade now, you sure would have seen her stream-rolling past her opponents in grand style and winning title after title.  Age, state of health, surface, opponent – nothing mattered as Serena Williams would ruthlessly decimate her opponents – she has always won her 1st round at all Grand Slam with ease and …….. ‘old order changeth’ – she suffered a shocking loss in the 1st round to a 111 ranked player at a ground named after an early French aviator and fighter pilot of WW 1.  

Serena Jameka Williams  has occupied the No. 1 spot for long.  She became the world no. 1 for the first time on July 8, 2002 and regained this ranking for the fifth time on November 2, 2009.  She is the only female player to have won over $35 million in prize money.  She has  27 Grand Slam titles - 13 in singles, 12 in women's doubles, and 2 in mixed doubles.  Besides, she has also won  two Olympic gold medals in women's doubles
file photo of Serena

One of the most dominant players of modern era, she went down to the unheard 111th-ranked Virginie Razzano of France – in the match she came within two points of victory nine times, yet remarkably failed to close the deal.  The 23 minute final game with 30 points was most exciting but not the desired end for her fans. Razzano finally won after a marathon 3 hours and 3 minutes play.  Before this match, Serena had a clean 46 off 46 in the Opening rounds in Tennis top venues – so clinically routine that she would only win.  – and that was not to be this time, a stunning defeat of 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3 loss to Razzano  at Roland Garros.

May be the fall has a lot to do with her state of health as she returned to action last year after missing about 10 months because of a series of health scares, including two foot operations.  The one who has always made news of winning has made news with shock exit for the first time in a Grandslam career extending from 1998 when she was just 16.    Maria Sharapova won 6-0, 6-0, and Rafael Nadal began his bid for a record seventh French Open championship with a 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 victory over Italian Simone Bolelli.   Sania Mirza and her American partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands, seeded 15th, were packed off 3-6, 6-4, 5-7 by the Russian-Romanian pair of Nina Bratchikova and Edina Gallovits-Hall in the opening round.

French Open, the premier clay court tournament  named after the famous French aviator Roland Garros, is held over two weeks between late May and early June in Paris, France, at the Stade Roland Garros.

The winner - Virginie Razzano has a distress story.  Razzano paid tribute to the man who had been both her coach and partner for the past nine years; Razzano’s fiance — Stephane Vidal, also her longtime coach — died at age 32 of a brain tumor in May 2011, a little more than a week before her first-round match at last year’s French Open.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Is Petrol hike justified - partial relief likely soon.....

Demand and Supply are the fundamental concepts of Economics and basics of market economy.  Demand, simply is how much (quantity) of a product or service is required by buyers.   Supply on the otherhand, is how much (quantity) is available for sale – there of course would be other variants like the price, the place, the period, substitutes,  changes and more…

Demand is price-relative – it is how much of quantity the market desires at a given price. Supply represents how much the market is willing to offer at the given price.  The correlation between price and how much of a good or service is supplied to the market is known as the supply relationship. Price, therefore, is a reflection of supply and demand. The law of demand states that, if all other factors remain equal, the higher the price of a good, the less people will demand that good. In other words, the higher the price, the lower the quantity demanded.  When it comes to Supply, the  higher the price, the higher the quantity supplied. Producers supply more at a higher price because selling a higher quantity at a higher price increases revenue.   That would not apply to essentials – even here, on a longer period, the market forces would try to stabilize.  Even for an essential  commodity, people might strive to consume less and use less, if the price goes upward steeply.

Dr Manmohan Singh is a very learned person and he has tossed the market theories in his own manner………  the petrol prices went up, immediately, people would start speaking of not taking their vehicles out, pooling vehicles, going by public transports and more plans – theoretically, the steepest price hike ever should have driven people away and there should have been a situation where supply exceeds demands – thereby more available in the market..  Whosoever’s design it was – there was artificial demand – made acute by the panic reaction.. even after the price increase the petrol was not available, and people madly stood in queues fighting for a bottle of petrol at much higher prices at some places !!!! – now if you are still on a queue or have been thinking of running away from office in the middle in search of a petrol bunk where the fuel is available…………… wait…. (if only you can)

The good news is that 2 tankers carrying diesel and petrol  have docked  at the Chennai port on Tuesday [29/5/12] and a third set to steam in today.   The vessel of IOC with 26,000 kilolitres of diesel, reached the city before noon on Tuesday and began offloading its consignment.  Meantime, Chief minister J Jayalalithaa convened a meeting of officials and later said retail supply of fuel would resume by midnight.  The second vessel with capacity of 18000 kl of diesel would start pumping out soon today.   The third one, a smaller one, carrying 6,000 kilolitres of diesel is expected to arrive today evening.   Chennai Port has only one berth for oil consignments.  The chief minister said 2,000 kilolitres of diesel would also be brought to the city from Bangalore by road.  So the situation would ease soon and petrol would be available more easily after all the chaos.  

More than that, it appears that after the steepest hike, State-run oil marketing companies are ready to cut the price of the fuel by about Rs 1.67 per litre on 1 June when they undertake a ‘price review’, according to a report in The Economic Times.  As has happened in the past, the price rice would be corrected in shorter span – a tactics of appearing to provide some relief by loading too high and then removing something small later !!!  

It is another factor that the first justification every time has been that the State run Companies are incurring huge losses by heavy subsidies and supplies at a controlled rate !!.  Factually, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) reported a jump of 3.24 times in standalone net profit to Rs 126.70 billion for the quarter ended March 31, 2012 as compared to Rs 39.05 billion in the same period last year. For the year ended Mar. 31, 2012, it has posted 46.03% decreased in consolidated net profit to Rs 42.25 billion as compared to Rs 78.30 billion for the year ended March 31, 2011.  Still Oil Companies, Ministry and ruling Govt while about losing money in selling fuel.  Remember all these profits comes after the mindless spending in advertisements and promotions and the high management costs of the Corporation.   Again a portion of this profit is aided by cash subsidies and payments from other state-run companies to compensate for the losses made from selling fuel at below-market prices.  There are reports that BPCL’s profit nearly quadrupled to Rs 3,963 crore. HPCL’s net profit also jumped more than 300 percent to Rs 4,631 crore from a year ago. Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), despite its subsidy-sharing burden, also managed to post a 102 percent jump in net profit to Rs 5,644 crore for the January-March quarter.

You may never understand the ground reality – it is not Rs.xx hike in petrol that the aamadmi suffers – it would hit him everywhere he goes – the commodities and vegetables will be up stating petrol hike,  even non-related thing like rent might go up – one has to grin and bear.  Petrol is not subsidized but this hike will push more people towards diesel, which is subsidized by Govt.   The Govt. has gone on record that it has no intention of hiking the prices of diesel, LPG or kerosene (which are bigger problems than petrol in terms of subsidies) in the near future.

As you count the holes in your pocket due to the petrol hike, know that nearly 40 percent of the price of petrol is made up of taxes by the centre and the states.   Centre wants the States to reduce the VAT to provide some relief !   Firstpost reports that Central Govt. levies a fixed excise duty of about Rs 14.78 per litre of petrol. States impose an ad valorem (value-added) tax, which increases every time the price of the fuel increases. Among the States, the BJP ruled Goa is different – it is the only State to have slashed sales tax dramatically in recent months: A few months ago, it cut nearly its entire tax on petrol, making the fuel cheaper by Rs 11 per litre.

So whether it is Centre, State or Oil Companies – all unduly benefit by every price increase……… if the rates are determined by market forces, that is determined by what they buy, why is that there has never been a steep reduction in price, when the crude oil barrel rates went down in International market.  The political game continues, and more people are out there in the hot Sun, standing in serpentine queue waiting for their turn for a bottle of petrol at inflated price !!!!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

London Olympics 2012 - the cost of insuring Basketball star Luol Deng

Mostly the prices of articles or services go up and we end up paying more for the same year after the year.  Insurance product is not so – effectively the market forces pull the rates down and all Insurers are suffering the down syndrome – the falling prices and end up collecting much lesser premium for the same risk or even for a higher Sum Insured than that of last year.  In such a scenario, how would any Insurer react to a premium of around Rs.2.62 crores !!!!!!!!

Before you try to locate that source of business, Dinka is an ethnic group inhabiting the a region in the  Nile basin.  They are mainly agripastoral people, relying on cattle herding at riverside camps in the dry season and growing millet and other varieties of grains.   This man belonging to Dinka clan ethnic group moved from his birth place to Egypt to escape civil war.  Since birth, he has lived in Egypt, UK and USA.  He is a famous sportsperson -  represented England at Under-16 and Under-19 level, and is an ambassador for the London 2012 Olympic Games. In October 2006, he  became a naturalised British citizen in a ceremony in Croydon and was called up to play in European competition for the Great Britain team.

He is  Luol Deng, 27 years of age, a  professional basketball player for the National Basketball Association's Chicago Bulls and the Great Britain national basketball team. He plays the small forward position. He was selected to his first All Star game during the 2011–12 NBA season, joining teammate Derrick Rose.   He was born in what is now South Sudan, Deng fled the country with his family as a child, moving to Egypt and then the United Kingdom, becoming a British citizen in 2006.  The amount that read represents the insurance premium that is to be paid to ensure his participation in Olympics which the  Britain's basketball chiefs have vowed to cover   !!!!

No doubt it is not the normal premium for any other Star and seemingly is high cost insurance for the Chicago Bulls star.  Deng has been nursing a wrist injury for the closing months of the NBA season, a pre-existing condition which means his lucrative $27-million-dollar contract is not covered by the league's insurance during the Olympics.  That would only mean that British Basketball will  have to find around £300,000 pounds to insure Deng for the games this summer, according to some reports -an enormous amount for the relatively cash-strapped governing body.  British Basketball has already in the past paid additional insurance to cover an old back injury sustained by Deng, but cash for the new premium will have to be found by diverting resources from other programmes, officials said.

It is stated that Luol Deng is hugely committed to the British Basketball programme and he has maintained this stance, despite recent pressure for him not to play after injuring his wrist during the highly-demanding shortened NBA season.  Authorities of the British Basketball stated that they admire and support the player’s stance and the fact that Luol has been managing his body extremely well, as revealed by the high amount of minutes he was able to play for his club after sustaining the injury in January this year.

The Basketball authority spokesperson is quoted as saying "We pride ourselves on having an expert medical team for all our players and he will receive the best possible care when he is with us. Our world-leading staff are now widely known and accepted in the greater basketball community and we have worked very hard to build this reputation over the last six years.  "The insurance to cover Luol is always expensive due to his high value, and due to the back exclusion placed on him by the NBA's insurers some years ago.  "Our medical expert opinion remains that his back is no worse than others in the NBA but we have had to continue to cover this as we are contracted to do.

The injured wrist situation has made the already  exorbitant premium even more expensive but Britain in basketball circles is not big and as a emerging Nation wants that Luol Deng must play at any cost and hence willing to pick up the costs of additional insurance.  Some in social media have tweeted suggestions that  Luol Deng, with an annual salary in excess of £10 million, should pay the £300,000  insurance money currently being demanded by the Chicago Bulls if he wants to play in the Olympics  but Sports authorities feel that Deng has already made enough sacrifices for Great Britain. Deng has been there in UK for the past 5 years except 2009 and has cut down his rest time to play for the minnows of world basketball.  The authorities are also categorically clear that there can be a notion that some can be wealthy enough to buy their way into a National team.  

Though NBA has its own insurance programme, Deng has been identified as one of NBA’s high risk list of players and hence the expensive additional cost which the British Basketball is now willing to bear.  That is the way some Countries nurture and strategise their plans for medals or high performance in specific Sports.

At a personal level, Luol Deng has been associated with numerous charities, including UK children's charity School Home Support and  Lost Boys of Sudan and other refugees. He is also a spokesperson for the World Food Programme.

The countdown to London Olympics 2012 has already begun in some circles

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

Fuel Shortage: Petrol / Diesel not available - trouble in Chennai

Oil companies last week raised the price of petrol by Rs 7.50 per litre. The petrol price in Chennai went up to Rs 77.53 per litre.  In Economics, when prices go up, demand would decrease.  The city presents an ugly sight with massive crowds queuing up for hours to get little fuel – people becoming restless and fighting with others, as tempers fray.    Here, people are struggling to get the goods even at a higher prices, even where they are prepared to pay more than the risen price.  The City has plunged in to a deep crisis.  After the steep petrol hike, there have been assurances that diesel prices still would not go up.  In a piquant situation, most petrol bunks have run dry or [in fact] have stopped dispensing – strange because – diesel is not sold as traders still expect a rise in price and perhaps are hoarding for making gain; petrol is not being indented as some partial roll-back in prices is expected.

Photo courtesy : Hindu Businessline.
End result is commotion – long and winding serpentine queues in front of the few open Petrol bunks – frayed tempers, fisticuffs, heated exchange – all on hot days with city already suffering from power cut……. What an ordeal for the common man.. petrol prices have gone up by Rs.7.50; left with no choice, common man has the mental make up to fill up the vehicles – there sure would be spiraling prices – vegetables will go up citing hike in petrol price, autos and vehicles [even ones running on diesel] would quote the scripture for hiking the rates.  It is common in the city to watch petrol pumps announcing dry, open ones feeling restive facing massive crowds with people queuing up with cans and bottles to get petrol.   It is a blame game - the petrol pump associations are blaming oil companies for not supplying enough fuel, oil companies have vehemently denied any shortage.

Tamil Nadu Petroleum Dealers Association President  said there was shortage of supply of petrol and diesel due to reported under production by the refineries. And there was a peculiar justification stating the demand has risen ! – has that happened overnight ? – and what logic that people buy more when prices have gone up ??  It is stated that there are penal provisions and authorities can verify the stock and take action against hoarders.

It is stated that crowds at two petrol pumps at Ekkaduthangal around 10 am caused a traffic backup stretching as far as the Kathipara flyover.  Unable to reach the point of congestion from the Guindy side, traffic cops trying to clear the roads said they had to rely on their colleagues from Ashok Nagar, where the roads were empty, to track back and lend a hand. Similar scenes were heard  all across the city.  It is torrid, scorching heat, traffic jams and pressure of how long would the fuel in the vehicle last !!

Slowly but surely, the diesel shortage would affect the operation of Companies as most run on diesel generators due to frequent power cuts.  There are reports of  BPCL  planning to move an oil tanker to the Chennai port tomorrow. Both IOCL and HPCL tankers are also expected to berth at Chennai port by tomorrow and is expected to infuse 67,000 KL of diesel into city pumps.  Some opine that the unplanned shutdown of one of the units of CPCL from April 27 to May 14 impacted availability of diesel to a certain extent. The shutdown of MRPL between April 12 and 22 due to water shortage further impacted availability across the three Southern States — Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

The Oil Companies have made a request to consumers not to take more than their requirements and hoard diesel. Tamil Nadu, through the Civil Supplies Department,  is also expected to  carry out checks to ensure that no hoarding takes place.  One shudders to think of what would happen if the State run Metropolitan Transport Corporation runs short of diesel.  A Press release from the State-level coordinator for oil industry states that State Govt convened a meeting and that three tanker vessels with fresh supplies were expected to berth at Chennai port today [29.5.12]   The spokesperson is quoted as stating that there was no issue with petrol availability but there was some problem of dealers insisting on combination of loads, as ordering a full tanker load (either 12,000 or 20,000 litres) of petrol alone entails a huge investment.

For motorists, however, the chaotic situation continues as there is panic reaction, long serpentine queues, frayed tempers but no solution immediately seen.    Do you have a cycle at home and is your place proximate enough ?

Elsewhere, after  Kerala and Uttarakhand, Delhi is the third to give the common man slight respite from the steepest-ever hike in petrol prices – it is no reduction in any great measure; Delhi announced a 20% reduction in VAT which will bring the rate by Rs.1.26 per litre.  – still Rs 71.92 a litre.  However, the capital will have to shell out more money for compressed natural gas (CNG) which would cost more after a proposed levy of 5% tax in the Budget yesterday.

With regards
S. Sampathkumar.

West Bengal celebrates KKR victory - India beats Malaysia

Cricket whether in its pristine Test format or the pyjama T20 is enjoyable – but be clear IPL is Club Cricket has no National or State leaning – Chennai Super Kings is a franchisee with Chennai based India Cements owning it – otherwise it does not represent the State of Tamilnadu or the metropolis of Chennai. Some seem to have some delusions still !

On Sunday [27.5.12] in a thriller, little known Bisla helped KKR beat CSK in the finals of IPL 5  - it stretched into night and trying to keep awake, I waited to listen the post match interviews; the award ceremony; expert views; may be ex-cricketers receiving cash purse and more…….. but ended up seeing the theatrics of Shahrukh Khan, his acrobats, he applauding his children, thanking his wife and keeping the mike for long.  The great orator Sherry (Navjotsingh Sidhu) ended up praising and speaking something un-understandable…….. being away from the ordinary crowd is one’s mistake !!

Away at their home, Kolkatta is buzzing with happiness.  Petrol hike or any other problems are common man’s – elated at the KKR’s maiden title triumph, the West Bengal government has announced that it  will felicitate the victorious city franchise in a ceremony at the Eden Gardens.  The CM, Mamata Banerjee  is quoted as saying  "This is a big achievement. The team from the city  has won and we are all proud of that. Shah Rukh  is our brand ambassador and his team has won, so we want to felicitate the winners on behalf of the state government”.  The IPL champions will also participate in a road show Tuesday starting from Hazra Crossing in the south of the city and going to the state secretariat, the Writers' Buildings. The show will culminate at the Eden Gardens where the felicitation ceremony will be organised.  Many State Minsters are expected to participate in this National event !!

This morning India defeated Malaysia 3-2 in Sultan Azlan Shah Cup which obviously would attract much lesser attention.  It is an annual international men's field hockey tournament held in Malaysia. It began in 1983 as a biennial contest. The tournament became an annual event after 1998, following its growth and popularity. The tournament is named after the ninth Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King) of Malaysia, Sultan Azlan Shah, an avid fan of field hockey. The current champions are Australia, who won the title by defeating Pakistan in 2011 final. 

Goalkeeper Bharat Chettri is leading the 18-member Indian hockey team in the 21st Sultan Azlan Shah Cup Tournament being held at Ipoh, Malaysia  from May 24-June 3.  The seven-nation tournament  features Argentina, Britain, India, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand and Pakistan. Apart from hosts Malaysia, all other teams shall be playing at the London Olympic Games in July.  India lost to NZ; beat South Korea; lost to Britain and have now beaten Malaysia.  India will play Argentina on 30th and Pakistan on 31st May.

India have won the title on five earlier occasions -- 1985, 1991, 1995, 2009 and 2010.  Much is expected of Sandeep Singh, Ragunath, Rupinderpal Singh, Birendra Lakra, Chettri, Danish Mujtaba, Tushar Khandker.  

Today, India bouncing  back from Sunday`s loss to Great Britain,  played a brisk game in a fast-paced encounter and led from the start, but had to ward off Malaysia`s determined fightback.  The  highlight of the day was title favourites Great Britain`s 2-3 shocking defeat at the hands of Argentina which  has completely opened up the tournament.  New Zealand still leads the standings with nine points from three successive wins, while both Argentina and India lie second with six points from four matches each.

Danish Mujtaba deflected in Sarvanjit Singh`s shot into the boards in the 10th minute and then Shivendra Singh sent a scorching grounder into the boards from top of the circle in the next minute. India  wasted a number of scoring chances as S K Uthappa shot straight into goalkeeper Subramiam Kumar in the 16th minute and then Yuvraj Walmiki shot wide after the ball was switched around in a brisk counter-attack in the 26th minute.  This was Malaysia`s first loss in three outings, having drawn their previous two matches.

May be they are speaking the truth – but yet it makes a sad reading.   Former India hockey captain and India`s chef-de-mission for London Olympics Ajitpal Singh feels that it won`t be possible for the current team to win any medal at the quadrennial extravaganza.  India have qualified for the London Olympics in February after a gap of eight years and the former players said a top-six finish will be a good performance for the current team.  Former Olympic gold medallist Zaffar Iqbal is also of the opinion that a medal is a distant dream.

But to an ordinary devout Indian fan, these words do not matter, as we hope against hope for a podium finish for India at the Olympics.  All the best to our National Team

With regards
S. Sampathkumar
29th May 2012.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Pilot strike enters 21st day - cripples Air India

Sad, the  strike by pilots of national carrier Air India continued for the 21st day today [28th May 2012] mounting losses to more than Rs 300 crore (about $55 mn).

The Aviation industry in India  for long has been considered to be one of the fastest growing sectors globally. The sector has undergone rapid transformation since the liberalization drive that began in the earlier half of the decade.  In 1932, JRD Tata founded Tata Airline, the first Indian airline. At the time of independence, nine air transport companies were carrying both air cargo and passengers.In early 1948, Government of India established a joint sector company, Air India International Ltd in collaboration with Air India (earlier Tata Airline) with a capital of Rs 2 crore and a fleet of three Lockheed constellation aircraft.   The Government nationalized nine airline companies vide the Air Corporations Act, 1953. These government-owned airlines dominated Indian aviation industry till the mid-1990s. In April 1990, the Government adopted open-sky policy and allowed air taxi- operators to operate flights from any airport, both on a charter and a non charter basis and to decide their own flight schedules, cargo and passenger fares.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation of the Government of India is the nodal Ministry responsible for the formulation of national policies and programmes for development and regulation of Civil Aviation and for devising and implementing schemes for the orderly growth and expansion of civil air transport.

It was to be a marriage of convenience – but has irked all partners – going terribly wrong.  Years ago, Indian Airlines (IA) was merged into Air India (AI) to form Air India Limited (AIL), the faultlines among its employees are sharper than ever and threaten to pull the entire airline into an abyss.  Indian Pilots’ Guild (IPG), a union that represents pilots from the erstwhile Air India, are on strike

When formed Air India had ‘Maharaja’ as its logo, whose hospitality has now touched newest lows, with losses mounting to thousands of crores year after year; worser still, the market share of the airline has also slipped terribly.  Before the merger in 2007, Air India had been profitable for 4 straight years and Indian Airlines for 3 years.  After the merger, it has been downhill all the way, with the combined entity posting increased losses with every passing year.   ‘We call him a Maharajah for want of a better description. But his blood isn't blue. He may look like royalty, but he isn't royal.' These are the words of Bobby Kooka, the man who conceived the Maharajah.  The famous figure made its appearance in Air India in 1946 when Kooka was the Commercial Director; he, Umesh Rao, an artist with J.Walter Thompson Ltd., Mumbai, together created the Maharajah.  He symbolized grace and high living…. His outsized moustache was most prominent.   Now after 50 years, he is struggling in existence is indeed sad state of affairs.  

Now the merged entity is sucked deep into losses with the current losses alone estimated around Rs.300 crore.  These are losses of ticket cancellations, unused labour and bulk of Boeing 777 fleet being grounded – reports IANS.  From 1 June, the airline will operate only 38 services instead of the regular 45. The airline had decided last week to reduce fares by placing a large chunk of seats under the lowest fare category to augment its share in the domestic and international sector.  The price reductions, truncation of schedule whereby seven International destinations including Hong Kong, Osaka, Seoul and Toronto, being dropped from the regular routes are loss of face but still measures aimed to curb the rising losses.  That makes the operations under a contingency plan whence  only a bare minimum number of flights are maintained by clubbing operations to various destinations in Europe and the United States.  Still, Air India has maintained that it has enough executive pilots to operate long-haul destinations in the US and Europe.

The ground (or grounded) reality is that the Pilot’s  strike has crippled its operations and they are even thinking of wet leasing i.e., renting of aircraft with pilots and cabin crew.  The Board has to urgently decide on the induction date of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner into the carrier’s fleet and a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) for employees.  Things certainly do not look rosy for the Indian National Carrier.

Chaudhary Ajit Singh founder member of Rashtriya Lok Dal  is presently the Civil Aviation Minister. He is the son of former prime minister of India and Jat leader Choudhary Charan Singh.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.
28th May 2012.

trouble in Rayalaseema following Jaganmohan Reddy's arrest

In earlier Centuries, there existed dynasties – the eldest [or sometimes the bravest] son of the King became the King either by process of handing over by the Father to the son or by removal of father by the son………  that is what we read in History. 

Surprisingly, this place was once part of the Chola Empire between the 11th and 14th centuries AD. It became part of the Vijayanagar Empire in the latter part of 14th century. The region was under the control of Gandikota Nayaks, governors of the Vijayanagara empire for about two centuries. The most illustrious ruler during this time was Pemmasani Thimma Nayudu – but please do not ask, who was the ruler defeated by the YSR –  it is Kadapa or Cuddapah District, now known as   YSR Kadapa District  from July 2010, renamed in honour of Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy, a former chief minister of Andhra Pradesh who was a native of the district and who was popularly known by his initials "YSR".  

There is high drama in parts of Andhra; some members of his family have gone on a hunger strike to protest his arrest.  Police have enforced prohibitory orders banning assembly of 5 or more people.  Undaunted by the disruption of their two-hour protest, Reddy’s family members are now sitting outside the premises of their house, surrounded by a throng of supporters. They also say that they will fast until he is released.  The Party has called for a daylong Andhra Pradesh shutdown Monday to protest the arrest 

In the 9th LS Elections [1989-91], YS Rajashekar  Reddy won the Cuddapah seat on behalf of Indian National Congress; he represented the constituency in Tenth; Eleventh; Twelfth; 13th; 14th – in the  15th, it was his only son YS Jagan Mohan Reddy who got relected in 2011 also.  But he resigned his Congress seat, contested for his own party YSR Congress party in May 2011 in the by-elections and won with a historic margin of 5,21,000 votes while his mother Y S Vijaya Lakshmi won with a majority of 85,191 votes in Pulivendula Assembly constituency. Jagan Mohan polled 6,55,496 votes and won by a margin of 5,21,000 votes which is a record in the state's history.

Dynasty rule is nothing new to Indian Centre and States – Nehru, Indira, Rajiv and Congress (with Sonia); M Karunanidhi (Maran, Stalin, Alagiri, Kanimozhi, Dayanidhi Maran….); Charan Singh – Ajit Singh, Mulayam Singh Yadav – Akilesh Yadav; - only a few in a long list of examples……… from a small-time businessman to a formidable political leader, Y S Jaganmohan Reddy -- better known as Jagan -- had a rather smooth ride for over a decade before hitting one bump after another and finally finding himself in CBI custody.   According to his election affidavit, Jagan Reddy is India’s richest Member of Parliament with declared assets (net of liabilities) valued at Rs 365 crore. His wife has properties, cash and jewellery worth Rs 47.25 crore (net of liabilities). That a mere MP can accumulate so much wealth is anyway cause for concern; that he has not disclosed all his assets – often held by proxies – shows how the powerful manipulate the system to accumulate wealth for their own ends.  It is not of what he owns but more of the  fact that Jagan has misled the Commission about his assets. For example, he did not declare his palatial houses in Hyderabad and Bangalore worth over Rs 200 crore.   After three days of intense questioning,CBI has arrested Jagan on charges of criminal conspiracy,  cheating and falsification of accounts of the IPC and under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The agency is investigating what is being called the Jagan assets case on the Andhra Pradesh high courts directive in July 2011.The court order was in response to a PIL by a Congress MLA.

The rise and emergence of the only son of the  late Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, has been phenomenal. From a  tiny power company Sandur in Karnataka, it has exploded in to many states including North eastern states.  His business graph rose meteorically once his father became the state Chief Minister in 2004 and Jagan started venturing into many other businesses including cement plants, infrastructure and media. His father’s tragic death in a helicopter crash in Sept 2009 has literally changed everything.  He wanted the CM’s throne but Congress High command was unwilling.  The disillusioned rebelled and went on 'Odarpu Yatra' path to build his political career independently, much to the discomfiture of the ruling party.  In no time, Jagan's popularity graph shot upwards while that of the ruling Congress' dipped gradually.

When Kiran kumar reddy became the CM in Nov 2010, Jagan came out of Congress fold and started his own party.  Now in a political move, he is trapped in disproportionate asset case and arrested  by CBI.  The speed with which his assets have been acquired is under CBI scanner now.  Whether such cases conclude and that too in any timeframe is anybody’s guess and has a wealth of history !!

Kadapa, formerly Cuddapah, is in Rayalseema, a region considered to be hot and arid.  The name reportedly originated from ‘Gadapa’ meaning threshold or gate – the gateway from the West to the most Sacred Hill of Thirumala.   Legend has it that Kishkindakanda occurred in Vontimitta in Kadapa. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.
28th May 2012.

KKR pips CSK in the IPL race......... Bisla Who ?

Can you identify this (now) famous person ?? 

Nothing wrong with this photo – it was a game 10 years ago and do not know  why this man was trying his hand at bowling – yesterday the World came to know more of him – 

...........but before you read anything – what would people do from today……….  Is it not too difficult to be at home, watching nothing, after seeing so much of action.

That man is - Manvinder Sultansingh Bisla, from Haryana and you now know who he is – basking in glory being the Man of the Match in the high profile finals.   History beckoned him even as he got a late-door entry.  Laximipathy Balaji on whom Gambhir depended so much was down with injury,  in his place Bret Lee was brought in; a foreigner had to be dropped – axe fell on Brendon McCullum [it looked a faulty move at that time !] – KKR had to accommodate a wicket keeper, in came Bisla, who has had a good tournament thus far.  Manoj Tiwary came in place of Debabrata Das – 3 changes !!!

It started very much the Chennai way – the feared Brett Lee went for 42 in his 4; Shakib Al Hasan 25/3; Sunil Naraine went for 37 off 4; Kallis 34 in 4;  Bhatia 23 in 3 and Yusuf given the only over against left handers went for 17.  CSK finishing at  190 for 3 and in the very first over Hilfenhaus removed the feared Gautam Gambhir off his last delivery.  So it looked a regular ending and expectations that more people would today talk of match-fixing and Srinivasan having his way, matches ending the way he wants to be !!!!!   Bisla made 89 off 48 and by the time he got out, the match, the match was firmly in the hands of KKR – though fans at Chepauk would still expecting things to turn in their favour.   The experience of Jacques Kallis took them home, though in between Yusuf Pathan launched the ball to the moon, but could not clear mid wicket and perhaps ended his chances of getting into Indian team for T20 WC.  Knight Riders had rode on Gambhir and Sunil Naraine to reach the finals – both failed, yet they won speaks of their balance.

Sunil Naraine was picked as Player of the Season and he spoke of being picked by the WI for playing in England !  - the leading run scorer was Chris Gayle and most wickets was Morne Morkel – his brother Albie Morkel collected the award on his behalf…………….. but the prize of the best catch (Karbon kamal……) went to David Hussey,  Michael Hussey was very much there – he was not called, but an official collected the award on DJ’s behalf !!  -  the little known, Mandeep Singh of Kings XI was the   Rising Star of the tournament.   He thanked Vikram Rathour.  Who ??  - in June 1996 at Edgbaston he made his debut in a Test along with : RC Irani, AD Mullally and MM Patel (England); SB Joshi, PL Mhambrey, BKV Prasad and V Rathour (India).  That was not Munaf Musa Patel, but  Minal Mahesh Patel, a left arm spinner, who played for England in 2 Tests both against  India.
[photos above : source :]

At Chepauk the  celebrations went on and on and there were never ending interviews with Shah Rukh Khan doing whatever he was not allowed to do at Wankhede including few tumbles.    There were so many and Wasim Akram the bowling coach said - "I have won World Cup for Pakistan, but this is very different feeling. I am very happy. Knowing our owner SRK, it is going to be a madhouse."  - no comments required on this.

For a quick recap
In June 2008, in IPL 1 – Rajasthan Royals 164 for 7 (Yusuf 56) beat Chennai Super Kings 163 for 5 (Raina 43, Yusuf 3-22) by three wickets
In May 2009 Deccan Chargers 143 for 6 (Gibbs 53*, Kumble 4-16) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 137 for 9 (Ojha 3-28, Symonds 2-18) by six runs  - that Indian Premier League was in South Africa – at  New Wanderers, Johannesburg
In Apr 2010, in version 3, Chennai Super Kings 168 for 5 (Raina 57*, Dhoni 22, Fernando 2-23) beat Mumbai Indians 146 for 9 (Tendulkar 48, Pollard 27, Jakati 2-27) by 22 runs
In May 2011,   Chennai Super Kings 205 for 5 (Vijay 95, Hussey 63) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 147 for 8 (Ashwin 3-16) by 58 runs

To conclude with an unconnected news,  Nagaland state government has built a new cricket stadium in Dimapur. The Sovima Cricket Stadium, built at a cost of Rs. 10.33 crores, is the second cricket ground in the north-east region of India after Guwahati in Assam.  The stadium, which took eight months to build, will allow young players to train in Nagaland, as opposed to having to travel to Guwahati and other places for matches and coaching camps.  So, get ready to hear a few new names from the North East in the next version of IPL

Before we conclude, yesterday, it was a test of leadership and not necessarily the winning captain won that…  in Gautam Gambhir Vs Mahendra Singh Dhoni – it was a clash of leaders with different personalities.  Even though unusually, Dhoni talked to Hilfenhaus many a times during the last over, he must be appreciated for his unflappable self during ups and downs – he is one person who never throws tantrums, never stares at his fielder when he misfields, never shouts when the bowler strays down the leg – as a leader he inspires and puts a lot of  emphasis on the players going and enjoying the game, and expressing themselves.   Gambhir also led by personal example and style, he did fail in the finals is a different story – he has been intense and combative, stating that you step on the field to win and not to be ncie, could barely control his temper at the press conference, strongly criticising the bumbling middle-order and asking them to take more responsibility in an earlier match when they lost.  There was also a tiff with Mahela Jayawardene over a disputed catch, the sort of incident Dhoni is unlikely to be involved in.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Schoolboy genius Shourrya Ray cracks 350 yr old Newton puzzle

On a Saturday evening [26th May 2012] browsing  made me read about a new place and of a wonder kid.  Have never heard of or was interested to know of Dresden –  it is the Capital city of the Free State of Saxony in Germany. It is situated in a valley on the River Elbe, near the Czech border.

Away, there was a boy who  was more interested in making mechanical  devices than in studying. He made a windmill which could grind wheat and corn, and he made a water clock and a sundial. His teachers thought of him as a poor student. He wanted to go to college, but he didn't have the money to go. He enrolled at the lowest entry. In this position he had to serve the other students by running errands for them. He even ate the leftovers of their meals, but he would do anything to get an opportunity to learn. Even when he was in college, he was not outstanding and received no awards.  When the university shut down because of the plague, he went home and continued to study on his own. He had a notebook with 140 blank pages and he began to fill them with notes as he read and experimented.  His childlike curiosity led him to make some very important discoveries when he became a man. Within a period of a year and half he made three great discoveries.

With this lengthy introductory passage, it may not be easy to identify that genius but a single word would do – yes the word “Apple”.  Often it is quoted that one day when he was drinking tea in the garden, he saw an apple fall to the ground. He started thinking about why it fell, and finally concluded that the same force which caused the apple to fall also kept the moon in orbit around the earth. This same force, gravity, * also kept the planets in orbit around the sun.

That is - Sir Isaac Newton [1642 – 1727] an eminent  physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist, and theologian, who has been "considered by many to be the greatest and most influential scientist who ever lived. His monograph Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, published in 1687, lays the foundations for most of classical mechanics. In this work, Newton described universal gravitation and the three laws of motion, which dominated the scientific view of the physical universe for the next three centuries. The Principia is generally considered to be one of the most important scientific books ever written, due, independently, to the specific physical laws the work successfully described, and for the style of the work, which assisted in setting standards for scientific publication down to the present time.

But for nearly 350 years after his findings, Scientists have confounded and were not able to calculate the flight path of a ball and also could not predict how it will hit and bounce off a wall.   Previously it had only been possible to estimate this using a computer, wrote the paper.  Now a 16 year old genius has cracked the puzzle and [in our nature of finding something related to us – he has an Indian connection]

Dailymail and many other papers now have the news of the genius school boy from Dresden, Germany.  He is only 16 and has  managed to crack puzzles which have baffled the world of Maths for more than 350 years.  His name is Shouryya Ray  and he is  hailed a genius after working out the problems set by Sir Isaac Newton.   He has  solved two fundamental particle dynamics theories which physicists have previously been able to calculate only by using powerful computers. 

Ray reportedly first came across the old problem when his secondary school, which specializes in science, set all their year-11 pupils a research project.  On a visit to the Technical University in Dresden pupils received raw data to evaluate a direct numerical simulation – which can be used to describe the trajectory of a ball when it is thrown.  When he realised the current method could not get an exact result, Ray decided to have a go at solving it. He puts the whole thing down to “schoolboy naivety” - he just refused to accept there was no answer to the problem.   “I asked myself: why can’t it work?” he told the paper.

Ray has been fascinated by what he calls the “intrinsic beauty“ of maths since an early age, according to the report. The boy was inspired by his engineer father who began setting him arithmetic problems at the age of six.   He could  crack the puzzle and his solutions mean that scientists can now calculate the flight path of a thrown ball and then predict how it will hit and bounce off a wall.

Though he reported to have begun  solving complicated equations as a six year old but says he's no genius – and that itself perhaps is a hallmark of a genius.   Daily mail reports that when  he was young, his father, an engineer, began testing his brain by setting him arithmetic problems.  After arriving from Calcutta four years ago without knowing any German, Shouryya is now fluent in the language.   His intelligence was quickly noted in class and he was pushed up two years in school - he is currently sitting his exams early.  Modestly Shouryya has pointed out he was weak points as a mathematician, and says he is not as competent in sport.

You can read the full story at :  Genius Shourrya Ray

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

It is intent and not act - attempts of armed hijacking is piracy

Often one gets confused with a simple Question – is it the Crime that is worse, or its intention, or its severity i.e., based on what happened.  In a simple analogy, when a dog chases a man, you fear its ferocity and try to hit it with a stone or club with a stick – would not wait to be bitten, to find out how worse it is and then punish the dog accordingly.  

Sec  378 of Indian Penal  code states “ -Whoever, intending to take dishonestly any movable property out of the possession of any person without that person's consent, moves that property in order to such taking, is said to commit theft.”  The common law burglary as defined by Sir Matthew Hale is :  “ The breaking and entering the house of another in the night time, with intent to commit a felony therein, whether the felony be actually committed or not.”

Thus it would appear that it is intent and not what actually transpired that would make it a crime !!.  In April 2010, a small gang of Somali pirates fired on the USS Nicholas.  It was no ordinary vessel, a frigate of US, the third ship of the United States Navy to be named  after Major Samuel Nicholas, the first commanding officer of the United States Marines. A third-generation guided missile frigate, she was  launched 23 April 1983.   On April 1, 2010, Nicholas  lit to look like a merchant vessel,  came under fire from Somali pirates while deployed in the waters off of East Africa near the coast of Kenya and Somalia conducting anti-piracy operations. Nicholas seized five pirates, sank their skiff and captured a pirate mother ship.  The pirates were tried in the U.S. and convicted of piracy, which carries a mandatory life sentence.  

The group of men on a skiff fired AK-47s at the ship and launched rocket-propelled grenades into the air, but they never managed to board capture or seize the Navy frigate.On appeal, the men argued that their actions did not meet  the definition of piracy under the law. They pointed to the  Supreme Court's 1820 decision in United States v. Smith, which  defined piracy as robbery at sea.  The crime of piracy is defined by the law of nations with reasonable certainty. Robbery or forcible depredation upon the sea, anima furandi*, is piracy by the law of nations and by the act of Congress.  It was argued that Piracy was only a sea term for robbery, piracy being a robbery committed within the jurisdiction of the admiralty.

  • Animus furandi is a Latin term which means the ‘intention to steal.’ In order to constitute a crime of larceny, the thief must take the property animo furandi.

There is news from UAE quoting  ‘Iran and an American-led naval coalition’ each said Thursday they responded to a distress call by a U.S.-flagged cargo ship that came under fire from gunmen in the Gulf of Oman a day earlier.  Armed guards aboard the 488-foot (148-meter) Maersk Texas thwarted the attack northeast of the Emirati port of Fujairah, Danish shipper A.P. Moller-Maersk said. The attack  is reported to have happened not far from the tense waters of the Strait of Hormuz, a key transit point for a fifth of the world's oil.  A.P. Moller-Maersk is reported as stating that armed attackers in "multiple pirate skiffs" raced straight toward the ship around noon Wednesday despite clear warning signals from the Texas. Guards on board fired warning shots, but the suspected pirates opened fire, prompting ship guards to shoot back at them, according to the shipping line.  No one on the Texas were reported to have been  injured in the incident.  Meantime, Iranian news agencies reported that the suspected pirates fled when Iran's navy intervened after responding to an emergency call from the American ship.

It is reported that the full facts of the event have yet to be fully ascertained and  Piracy has to be judged according to a number of factors.  The spokesperson declined to say who the attackers might have been if not pirates, though he noted that fishermen and smugglers frequent the area. The Combined Maritime Forces is a naval partnership including more than two dozen nations that operates in and around the Middle East. It is commanded by a U.S. Navy admiral.  While the Iranian aid to the Texas is not acknowledged to have been real, reports suggest that such assistance would not necessarily be out of the ordinary.  It is claimed that when a vessel is in distress and its distress call is heard, the immediate response is to help.  It is further stated that American ships have occasionally come to the aid of Iranian merchant vessels in similar circumstances.

That is recent news – getting  back to Apr 2010 incident when small gang of Somali pirates fired on the USS Nicholas. After a pursuit, naval forces captured the pirates and transported them back to the United States to face piracy and related charges. The men were found guilty and convicted to life in prison, the punishment for piracy, plus 80 years. On appeal, the men argued that their actions did not meet the definition of piracy under the law.  In a latest pronounced verdict,  U.S. federal appeals court made clear that the definition of piracy includes violent attempts to hijack a ship, even if unsuccessful, and upheld convictions against five Somali pirates.  The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Richmond, Virginia, upheld what federal prosecutors described as the first U.S. piracy convictions in 190 years, finding that an individual does not have to seize or rob a ship to commit piracy.  The court rejected a bid by five Somali men to overturn their convictions for attacking a U.S. Navy ship they mistook for a merchant vessel in 2010.

On 23rd May 12, the Three-judge panel  of the 4th Circuit unanimously stated that piracy would include violent unsuccessful attempts.   The  Fourth Circuit made clear that anyone who attempts an armed hijacking of another vessel on the high seas is a pirate under U.S. law.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.