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Monday, November 27, 2017

Ashwin (300) stands tall and to understand - compare him with other elites

200 is a great number – more so, for the bowler – not many reach there – and today this man stood tall, reaching there to become the second fastest in the world and the fastest Indian to reach that landmark – Ravichandran Ashwin.  ~  read one of my recent posts (Sept 2016) and it is time to repeat almost the same words with some more spicy statistics – the man, the hero, Ravi Ashwin.

The carrom ball kissed the top of off-stump, dislodging the bails. Barring wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha, hardly any of the Indian cricketers on the field even noticed. A review, however, finally put an end to Sri Lanka’s agony four-and-half-day-long agony.  It was no ordinary ball -   a rare milestone: putting R Ashwin ahead of Dennis Lillee as the fastest to claim 300 Test victims.  Apparently, though the occasion was too big, there was hardly any celebrations from the suave gentleman offie, maybe because the win had come so easy. Ashwin merely collected the stumps after his four-for helped India rout Sri Lanka by an innings and 239 runs, which equalled India’s record for their biggest Test win. India had thumped Bangladesh by an identical margin in 2007.

The win, that gave Kohli and Co. an unassailable 1-0 lead in the series, neither required too much time nor effort. It took just over a session and 40.3 overs for India to wrap up Lanka’s second innings for 166.

Again, I recall that Chepauk test, of that classy Gundappa Viswanath innings – Andy Roberts fearsome pace – and alongside a off-spinner Lance Gibbs chugging along, with not much of turn or fortune.  A well informed Triplicane mami told me that he was on the verge of a great record (had around 275 + wickets); she told me that one day, he could take 300 wickets and get past Fred Trueman’s record.  Gibbs went on to become the highest wicket taker ending at 309.  Though he was not as acclaimed as the pacers of that era, Lance Gibbs bowled well and ended up with   309 wickets in 79 Tests - including 18 five-fors - all the while conceding his runs at a staggering 1.99 per over.   He made his debut in Feb 1985 alongside – EDAS McMorris and IS Madray !

Then that match against Sri Lanka at Cuttack in 1987, on a treacherous track at Cuttack,  Krishnamachari Srikkanth used the early and ephemeral evenness of the track to compile a brisk 40 before becoming the first batsman to be bowled by a shooter.  Dilip Vengsarkar batted with phenomenal ease as he notched up his career-best score of 166. And Kapil Dev captured his 300th  wicket as Sri Lanka surrendered meekly to lose by an innings.  That was a crowning glory to the career that started in Faislabad, revealing that Indians too can bowl fast and hurry batsmen.  He was to reach greater heights, becoming the highest wicket taker of his time stopping at 434 ~ but, then, records are meant to be broken.

Now it is the turn of our own Ravichandran Ashwin to soar great.  He is now the fastest to claim 300 test wickets .  The Tamil Nadu all-rounder also became the fastest to 2000 runs and 300 wickets in Tests. Former New Zealand all-rounder Richard Hadlee was the previous record holder having achieved this feat in his 61st  Test.

At Nagpur, the Lankan top order just gifted away wickets. Their collapse started in the seventh over when Murali Vijay held on to a screamer at short leg to send back opener Dimuth Karunaratne.  Dasun Sanaka perished to a needless shot as he charged down to Ashwin.   An Ashwin straight ball was too much for Dilruwan Perera to handle as he was caught in front of the wicket. Herath too joined the procession as Ashwin claimed his 299th victim. Then in a way, it was competition on whether it would be 300 for Ash or 100 for Umesh Yadav.  Rest is history.

Ashwin who has now bagged  300 wickets (54 matches 101 innings 15636 balls; avg 26.07; economy 2.88) has scored 2051 test runs with 4 centuries.  Besides he has 150 ODI wickets and 52 T20 wickets.  Somehow this great is kept away from the scheme of ODI by Virat Kohli and the present think tank of selectors and whether he would be picked for ODI World Cup 2019 remains a big Q !!

The off-spinner was all humility when asked to comment on the enviable record, saying any comparison with the greats would be unfair. "We are a bit more blessed than the other greats. We have technology to help. We have help with our fitness. So we shouldn't compare," he said after the top-ranked hosts wrapped up the win inside four days to stamp their class. "I really hope I can go on to double these 300 wickets. I've only played 50-odd Tests," said the 31-year-old, who finished with a match haul of 8-130.
This man is great, shrewd and yet humble – it might look he just ambles as he starts his run up and delivers  -  but he has been delivering lot consistently and at a high class helping India win. 

There are 30 odd great bowlers in that elite club and here is what it is at the top. Ravi Ashwin (54); Dennis Lillee 56; Muthiah Muralitharan 58; Richard Hadlee 61; Malcolm Marshall 61; Dale Steyn 61; Shane Warne 63; Alan Donald 63; Glenn Mcgrath 64; Fred Trueman 65 and Waqar Younis 65 ~ and now you can compare and analyse for yourself. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

27th Nov 2017. 

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Nation salutes its martyrs and grimaces in pain on the anniversary of ghastly Mumbai siege

Remembering 26/11; saluting our bravemen who saved the Nation

One grimaces in pain to read the way Police were kept on their toes in Lakhimpur city on Friday morning after members of a community allegedly celebrated the release co-founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan. Some residents of Begum Bagh colony in Shivpuri area allegedly decorated their houses with green flags and also raised slogans like 'Hafiz Saeed zindabad' and 'Pakistan Zindabad'. The issue was immediately brought to district magistrate Akashdeep's notice after which police force was rushed to the colony.

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji,  addressing the nation today in  radio programme Mann ki Baat, honoured the men and women who sacrificed their lives during the terror attacks in Mumbai in 2008. Mr. Modi was speaking on the ninth anniversary of the terror attack. “We salute all those brave women and men who lost their lives in the gruesome 26/11 attacks in Mumbai,” Mr. Modi said. “Terrorism is a threat to humanity.” “For over four decades, India has been raising the issue of terror. Initially the world didn't take us seriously but now they are realising destruction caused by terrorism.

November 26 also happens to be Constitution Day, as it was on this day in 1949 when the Constitution of India was drafted. Today is a day -  Nation can never forget -  26/11 –the day,  when it Nation  under siege by militants from across the border.  On November 23, 2008, ten Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists, trained by Pakistani military and spy agency ISI, left Karachi for Mumbai via sea. They entered India three days later on November 26, hijacking a ship owned by Indian fishermen and killing them en route. They targeted high-profile places including Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, Taj Hotel at the Gateway of India, Cafe Leopold, Chabad House, Rang Bhavan Lane near Cama Hospital and St Xavier's College. More than 160 people including 18 police officers and two NSG commandoes were killed. Around 310 others were injured as a fight back by security forces continued for about 60 hours.

Each of the terrorists landed clandestinely carried AK47 automatic rifle, around 500 rounds of ammunition, pistols, hand grenades and improvised explosive devices. The ammunition possessed by them proved enough for the Mumbai police and special commandos to keep them at toes for next three days. Of the gruesome murderers, Ajmal Kasab was captured alive. After attacking CST railway station, he and Ismail Khan had targeted the Cama Hospital. From there he ambushed a police team, killed six officials including ATS chief Hemant Karkare and hijacked their jeep. Kasab and Ismail Khan were intercepted near Girgaum Chowpatty, where Tukaram Omble grabbed the barrel of the rifle the former was firing from. This gave the police team time to overpower Kasab and capture him. He was tried and sentenced to death in May 2010. Kasab was hanged at the Yerawada jail in Pune in November 2012.

           In this great Nation of ours, even the killer was given a fair trial – the entire legal process unfolded with Kasab being served food and he asking for Urudu papers and more.  India took  the trouble to conduct and ensure, that it believed in a proper justice system and would deal with attacks against its people according to the law.

The deadly terror attacks on Mumbai in 2008 numbed the entire nation. It changed the lives of many who witnessed the macabre dance of death and destruction on Mumbai's roads and inside the iconic Taj Mahal Hotel.

It anyone ever thought that terrorism affected only those who suffered personally or only those in Mumbai, our thinking is flawed. It is worth hearing Capt Raghu Raman speak on this : in the video available on web, the hero  of the Indian National Intelligence Grid speaks at a Ted Talk at IIT-BHU, about the kind of on-the-ground decisions that the army had to take during the 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai and what we can learn about leadership from that.

This year it saddens more as closer to the 9th anniversary of the ghastly killing, a  Pakistani court  ordered the release of Hafiz Saeed, an alleged mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, in a move likely to worsen the country’s tattered relationship with the US. The Islamist cleric, who heads Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) – listed by the UN as a terrorist group – and has a $10m(£7.5m) US bounty on his head,  was to be freed after an year in detention.  On Wednesday the court in Lahore rejected a request from the provincial government of Punjab for a 60-day extension to his house arrest.  Though it was contended that JuD is a charity organisation, US says it is a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba, an anti-India jihadi group that Saeed helped found in the 1990s.

The White House on Saturday called Pakistan’s release of a militant wanted by the US as the alleged mastermind of the Mumbai massacre of 2008 a “step in the wrong direction” and said a refusal to re-arrest him would damage bilateral ties and Pakistan’s international reputation around the world.

26.1. 2008  – a sad day it was for the Nation.! ~ and if you are to read the first para again now, it will sadden you more..

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

26th Nov. 2o17

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Murali Vijay's 10th ton .......... and Nagaland all out for 2

I remember very well the Pongal Test in 1975 at Chepauk, Eknath Solkar and Farokh Engineer opened against the pace of Andy Roberts, Julian, Holder, Boyce ~ in the earlier test at Calcutta, Engineer was partnered by Sudhir Naik – and I was told by my knowledgeable friend that the best opener ever was nursing an injury and could not play – (Sunil Gavaskar) – have since seen many many openers – Chetan Chouhan, Anshuan Gaikwad,  Krishnamachari Srikkanth, Sidhu, Virender SEhwag, Gautam Gambhir, Akash Chopra, Sadagopan Ramesh .. .. .. and this morning there was a poll asking who the best Indian opener is : Murali Vijay, KL Rahul or Shikhar Dhawan ??

AT Nagpur, Indians are on a strong position thanks to the centuries by Vijay and Pujara.   Murali  Vijay - Cheteshwar Pujara pair has been on a roll. In  recent 11 partnerships, they have amassed 1163 runs at an average of 105.72. Their partnerships read: 112, 133, 27, 23, 209, 47, 16, 107, 178, 102, and 209. Their partnership on Saturday is their fourth century stand in a row, and their fifth in their last seven innings.   There is another landmark too – impressive one at that.   The stylish looking, fluent batting, 33-year-old Vijay notched a 221-ball 128 on day 2, which includeds 11 boundaries and a big six.  Vijay entered into record books becoming only the 3rd Indian batsman to score 10 or more centuries – after Sunil Gavaskar (34); Virender Sehwag (23) – followed by Gambhir (9) and Sidhu (8).

The Battle of Kohima was the turning point of the Japanese offensive into India in 1944 during the Second World War.  The battle is often referred to as the "Stalingrad of the East".  The place of occurrence,  Nagaland in North East India borders Assom,  Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Burma.  The state is inhabited by 16 tribes, each tribe is unique in character with its own distinct customs, language and dress. The state has experienced insurgency as well as inter-ethnic conflict since the 1950s.

This no post on geography but something on its poor performance in the game of Cricket.  To be fair to them, this was the first time that Nagaland and five other north-eastern states of India - Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Sikkim - were cleared to participate in the BCCI's Under-19 women's tournament along with Bihar, through the addition of Under-19 North-East Championship, specifically for these states. Nagaland made it to the Super League stage after finishing second in the North-East Championship, behind Bihar. Most players in the Nagaland team are 15- and 16-year-olds.

"The Nagaland Cricket Association was struggling to put a team together because we didn't have any academy for girls," its Coach is quoted as saying.  "We had to put out advertisements in the local newspapers, which is when the girls started coming to the academy. All of the nine students enrolled in the academy are part of this squad." "We had to start from scratch because all the girls are completely raw. In their first training session none of the girls knew what skills they specialize in. Yes, there have are a lot of loopholes to plug, but one needs to understand these girls have only started playing cricket."

Low scores and odd bowling stats have been a frequent occurrence in the tournament, including during the regional qualifying stages. In the North-Eastern Championship, a match Nagaland featured in, against Manipur, had 136 wides. Bihar, the other side to qualify for the Super League, were skittled for 21 runs by Bengal in a match in Jamshedpur on Friday. Before Friday, the lowest total in the tournament was 17 by Meghalaya, incidentally, against Nagaland.

But this one was very different..  The BCCI’s U-19 women’s one-day super league match between Kerala and Nagaland on Friday ended in farce as the Northeastern state was shot out for just two runs with as many nine batters getting out for duck here.  Electing to bat after winning the toss, Nagaland were all out for just 2 runs from 17 overs in an astonishing display. Nine batters were out for duck while opener Menka scored one run (off 18 balls) from the only scoring shot of the innings in the Group B match at JKC college ground here. Priyanka remained not out on nought after facing three deliveries.
Th Kerala notched up the win -- to pocket four points -- added to the farcical nature of the match. Nagaland’s Deepika Kaintura bowled a wide and from the other legitimate ball, Kerala opener Ansu S Raju scored a boundary to win the match by 10 wickets. Kerala reached 5 for no loss in 0.1 overs while chasing 3 for a win with Ansu S Raju not out on 4. The Nagaland team provided on the BCCI website had only their first names except for two. Most of their names appeared to be of players hailing from outside the state.

As per the Lodha Committee recommendations, the BCCI will now have to include the Northeastern states in their accredited tournaments.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

25th Nov. 2017

Fake - currency, fielding, policy .. .. and Justice !!!

Are you a fan of novelist (late) Sujatha ? and have you read this novel ??

According to the Advaita philosophy, this world we live in, the space as well as time is a projection of your consciousness or your awareness. In fact one’s mind, one’s thoughts as well as  physical attributes are just a projection of that consciousness into the state of waking. Advaita Vedanta calls this projection as Maya. Maya creates apparent multiplicity in a universe where only Brahman really exists.

        Miles away flourished ‘Maya civilization’ ~ a Mesoamerican civilization noted for its hieroglyphic script—the only known fully developed writing system of the pre-Columbian Americas.  The Maya civilization developed in an area that encompasses southeastern Mexico, all of Guatemala and Belize, and the western portions of Honduras and El Salvador.

There are so many fakes in existence !!  in the first Test at Koklatta, on  Saturday,  fourth ball of the 53rd  over, Bhuvneshwar Kumar pushed one through covers, cover fielder Dinesh Chandimal, put in a slide even when the ball was nowhere near him, tried to pose a throw in but checked himself. According to the new ICC rules, this is fake fielding. However, on-field umpires – Nigel Llong &  Joel Wilson decided against handing a penalty. This left an animated Indian skipper Virat Kohli visibly unimpressed as he gestured towards the cameras for a penalty of five runs. 

In optics, a real image is an image which is located in the plane of convergence for the light rays that originate from a given object. If a screen is placed in the plane of a real image the image will generally become visible on the screen. A real image occurs where rays converge, whereas a virtual image occurs where rays only appear to converge. In modern World as in old times, pictures do depict a lot ~ the phrase ‘may not depict the true picture’ could mean that the original occurrence could often be much wilder or bigger in impact -  Pakistan tried adding a new meaning to the lexicon – by showing ‘fake picture’ in an all important meeting of the United Nations, exhibiting their evil designs.

There have been fake currencies and fake Insurance Policies too ~ what interested us most was the ‘Fake IPL Player’ – a blogger, who provided controversial yet interesting posts on IPL team Koklata Knight Riders (KKR) – there were many inside stories often portraying negative side of players, coach and the team owner.  The posts were immensely popular and everyone thought the man providing insights of the dressing room was indeed a player frustrated by the treatment meted out.  Nothing was going right for KKR that season, two players Akash Chopra and Sanjay Bangar were sent back home mid tournament from South Africa – the team was losing and the owner changed Captain even.  All blog posts came with a disclaimer that characrers appearing are fictitious, yet there was uncanny resemblance, almost direct reference to events and bringing out of look-alike facts of the dressing room.

  All fakes are to be unearthed, placed before Law and guilty punished !  … now read this article reproduced from Times of India, Chennai edition of date :
the Mayans .. .. 

It is perhaps time to look for fake judicial officers too, not just fake lawyers. The authorities at the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry are yet to get over the shock of finding that a man managed to serve the Tamil Nadu judicial service as a magistrate for more than 21years without any recognised law degree.

Responding to a showcause notice from the Bar Council, the ‘magistrate’, P Natarajan of Ulaganeri in Madurai, said, “It is not fair and justified to cancel enrollment as advocate of a person who was in judicial service for more than 25 years, including 21 years as judicial magistrate.” Natarajan said he did his BGL ‘course’ at Sarada Law College affiliated to Mysore University in Karnataka through correspondence/ distance education mode and was awarded a ‘degree’. Apparently, he attended classes only for the third year during 1975-78. At the time of the convocation, he told the Bar Council, he was not informed that his degree was valid only for ‘academic’ purposes and not for employment.

He was then selected as judicial magistrate on February 15, 1982, and after a ‘peaceful’ tenure of nearly 22 years, he retired on June 30, 2003. As if this was not enough, within a month of his retirement, he enrolled himself as a lawyer with the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and was assigned enrolment number MS1739/2003.

After the Supreme Court ordered verification of certificates, the Bar council authorities stumbled upon his case and slapped a showcause notice on Natarajan on January 4, 2016. The notice traced the academic as well as service history of Natarajan and called upon him to explain why he should not be removed from the rolls. While calling it unjustified to remove him at this stage Natarajan replied that the proceedings against him could be dropped, more so because he had sought certain details from Sarada College and the Bar Council of India under RTI Act but both had not replied to him so far.

Sources in the Bar council told TOI that its special committee had issued notices to the Madras high court and the Tamil Nadu government, since the man had served in judicial service and was receiving his pension at present. Though the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry has already removed several hundred lawyers who did not meet mandatory requirements to continue practice, the first bench of the Madras high court has stalled the drive for the time being.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
25th Nov. 2017

Tailpiece :   ‘Sivantha Kaigal (the red hands or is it ‘tainted hands’ சிவந்த கைகள்) – had an interesting story line.  It is the story of a person who finds it difficult to find a job; joins a big Corporate.  In a few months time,  his boss, who has earned a great name is forced to take voluntary rest arising out of heart-attack, this man gets catapulted to higher echelons – as life curve goes up and up, surfaces the trouble of past – he is no MBA – but had faked a Certificate from an acclaimed University.   A sincere old person in HR finds this out – he is taken out to a lonely dam and is pushed down the stream ……  the sequel to this story was his  ‘Kalaintha Poigal’ (கலைந்த பொய்கள்) – where the daughter of the person would join the same Office and unearth the mysteries…..

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Justice Dalveer Bhandari re-elected to the International Court of Justice (ICJ); pips UK nominee

Happy news indeed ~  India’s Justice Dalveer Bhandari was re-elected to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at the Hague for a second term on Monday, after Britain withdrew its candidate Christopher Greenwood. Bhandari, 70, secured 183 of 193 votes in the United Nations General Assembly and 15 votes in the United Nations Security Council to bag the last seat at the international court for a nine-year term.

The International Court of Justice ( World Court, ICJ or The Hague)  is the primary judicial branch of the United Nations (UN). Seated in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands, the court settles legal disputes submitted to it by states and provides advisory opinions on legal questions submitted to it by duly authorized international branches, agencies, and the UN General Assembly.  Established in 1945 by the UN Charter, the court began work in 1946 as the successor to the Permanent Court of International Justice.

The ICJ is composed of fifteen judges elected to nine-year terms by the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council from a list of people nominated by the national groups in the Permanent Court of Arbitration.   Elections are staggered, with five judges elected every three years to ensure continuity within the court.

Not sure whether this needs to be projected as India achieving a  noteworthy post-colonial victory  ! as Indian nominee was elected   in the place of the British candidate. Justice Dalveer Bhandari took the last open spot on United Nations’ principal judicial wing on Monday, after the United Kingdom’s Christopher Greenwood withdraw his candidature. The move may not mean anything major in global politics, yet the media in both countries as well as analysts at large are seeing it as sign of the UK’s reduced stature in the world. The representative to the United Nations Matthew Rycroft, congratulated India and expressed pleasure at seeing its “close friend” win.  The US congratulated India as well.  Russia too congratulated India  adding that it demonstrated the strength of the global community.

However as views differ, the British media including BBC sought to analyse and project it differently – to them, the loss of a British presence around that supreme judicial bench is of huge significance - not just to the court but to the UK's standing in the world.  Britain's judge, Sir Christopher Greenwood, was hoping to win re-election for a second nine year term. He is a highly distinguished lawyer and former professor in international law at the LSE.  As they report, rather unexpectedly, Lebanon's former ambassador to the UN put his hat in the ring. So instead of there being five candidates for five places,  there were six.  The Brit media adds that the former ambassador, having spent many years at the UN, had enough friends to win the election. He won one of the slots reserved for candidates from Asia. This meant the Indian candidate - Dalveer Bhandari - had to try his luck for a slot normally reserved for Europeans and in this case that meant challenging the UK.

In recent days, the four other candidates were elected. But while Sir Christopher won the support of the UN Security Council, the Indian judge was backed by the UN General Assembly. A successful candidate needs a majority of support in both bodies. And after repeated votes, there was deadlock. The view of the British media is : The Indian government was working hard, twisting arms, lobbying furiously, pulling in favours. The Indian newspapers were full of accusations that the British were using "dirty tricks" to try to win. Some commentators compared Britain's behaviour to its old commander in chief of British India, Robert Clive. Few anti-colonialist tropes were left unused. In contrast, British ministers made some telephone calls. The British did consider invoking a little known provision in the UN Charter which allows for an arbitration process known as a "joint conference" to try to resolve such an impasse.

But in the end, the UK chose not to use this process, fearing either it would not get enough support in the UN Security Council, or that the competition would become too bitter and potentially disrupt the UK's economic relations with India. Either way, it means that from early next year, when Sir Christopher stands down, the UK will not have a judge on the ICJ for the first time since 1946. On one level, this reflects a shift in the balance of power at the UN away from the Security Council. Many members on the General Assembly resent the way the Security Council has so much power, particularly the five permanent members.  Some view this as representing a   defeat for the UK itself. This is a failure of UK diplomacy. Downing Street refused to confirm that Theresa May herself got involved in lobbying for this job - they merely said representations have been made at the highest levels of government. But Boris Johnson and his Foreign Office ministers were certainly involved. And they failed. They failed to win enough support in the General Assembly.  Some will blame this on Brexit. That might be a little simplistic. Few countries are as obsessed with Brexit as the UK. It is simply not at the front of their minds. But what is clear is that many countries at the UN were willing to defy Britain and that would have been less likely a few years ago.

They see as impact of breaking Brexit too …  as BBC puts it, in  another age, Britain would perhaps have called in favours, flexed its P5 muscles, and taken the fight to India. But instead it withdrew, at best to take a short term hit probably to avoid a long term economic loss. At worst it simply gave up because it had no alternative and as a result, for the first time in 71 years, the UK will no longer be represented in the world's highest court.

So much full of implications !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

22nd Nov. 2017.

Phulmoni Dasi rape case and today's doodle on Rukmabai Raut

The great-grandson of the British Prime Minister Lord Shelburne (later 1st Marquess of Lansdowne),  a peerage of Scotland, Henry Charles Keith Petty-Fitzmaurice, 5th h Marquess of Lansdowne KG GCSI GCMG GCIE PC was born in 1845.  He was to serve as the fifth Governor General of Canada, Viceroy of India, Secretary of State for War, and Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. In 1917, during the First World War, he wrote to the press (the "Lansdowne Letter") vainly advocating a compromise peace. We are to know him as Lord Lansdowne was appointed Viceroy of India in the same year he left Canada. The viceroyalty, which he held from 1888 to 1894, was offered to him by the Conservative prime minister Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury and marked the pinnacle of his career.   He quelled a rebellion in 1890 and is recorded for his   attempt in 1893 to curtail trial by jury was, however, over-ruled by home government.  His divisive  policies exacerbated tensions between Hindu and Muslims !

There are cases and landmark cases ~ this one of a 10 year old girl, Phulmoni Dasi will long be remembered.  The Phulmoni Dasi rape case was a case of child marriage and subsequent marital rape in India in 1889, that  led to the conviction of the husband in 1890 and triggered several legal reforms.

The Age of Consent Act, 1891, also Act X of 1891, was a legislation enacted in British India on 19 March 1891 which raised the age of consent for sexual intercourse for all girls, married or unmarried, from ten to twelve years in all jurisdictions, its violation subject to criminal prosecution as rape. The act was an amendment of the Indian Penal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure, Section 375, 1882, ("Of Rape"), and was introduced as a bill on 9 January 1891 by Sir Andrew Scoble in the Legislative Council of the Governor-General of India in Calcutta.  The case was supported by  President of the council, the Governor-General and Viceroy Lord Lansdowne.

While an 1880 case in a Bombay high court by a child-bride, Rukhmabai, renewed discussion of such a law, the tragic  death of this eleven-year-old Bengali girl, Phulmoni Dasi , due to forceful intercourse by her 35-year-old husband in 1889, necessitated intervention by judiciary.

Rukhmabai ( November 22, 1864 - September 25, 1955), was an Indian woman who became one of the first practicing women doctors in colonial India. She was also at the heart of a landmark legal case described above  She herself was married off at the age of eleven to a nineteen year old groom Dadaji Bhikaji Raut. She however continued to live in the house of her widowed mother Jayantibai who then married Assistant Surgeon Sakharam Arjun. When Dadaji and his family asked Rukhmabai to move to his home, she refused and was supported in her choice by her step-father. This led to a long series of court cases from 1884, a major public discussion on child marriage and on the rights of women. Rukhmabai wrote numerous letters in the newspapers under the pseudonym A Hindu Lady, winning the support of many and when she expressed a wish to study medicine, a fund was created to support her travel and study in England at the London School of Medicine. She subsequently went to England and returned to India as a qualified physician and worked for many years in a women's hospital in Rajkot.

            To honour her on her 153rd birthday, Google has dedicated its doodle showing a lady with a stethoscope around her neck, surrounded by women patients and nurses in a hospital.

In a petition to the Bombay High Court in March 1884, Dadaji plead to restore conjugal rights of the husband over his wife, and the court in its judgement directed Rukhmabai to comply or to go to prison. Rukhmabai refused and told the British India Court that she would suffer imprisonment rather than entering into conjugal relationship with her husband. Apart from being a doctor, Rukhmabai also worked for social causes. She wrote boldly against child marriage and women’s seclusion (purdah). On September 25, 1955, at the age of 91, Rukhmabai breathed her last.

Tailpiece :  Elizabeth Blackwell (1821 – 1910) was the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States, as well as the first woman on the UK Medical Register. She was the first woman to graduate from medical school, a pioneer in promoting the education of women in medicine in the United States; her  sister Emily was the third woman in the US to get a medical degree.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

22nd Nov. 2017.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Madras High Court out of bounds for a day ! locked !!!

By Court Order, premises could be sealed ~ can you ever imagine, Court Premises getting locked and not transacting any business ! ~ strange things do happen ..

Every time one passes by, one is awe-struck by this magnificent edifice !  ~  it is the  brick mortar in red of the Madras High Court.   The  court is one of the three High Courts in India established in the three Presidency Towns of Bombay, Calcutta and Madras by Letters patent granted by Her Majesty Queen Victoria, bearing date 26 June 1862. It exercises original jurisdiction over the city of Chennai and appellate jurisdiction over the entire state of Tamil Nadu and Union territory of Puducherry.   Even before that, Governor Strynsham Master felt that the Choultry Court was inadequate to deal with the subjects and hence, he established the first Court of Judicature at Madras and the first trial by Jury was held on 16.04.1678.

Recently, in 2017, for the  first time in the 135-year history of the Madras high court, the prestigious first bench has become an all-woman bench. Headed by Chief Justice Indira Banerjee, it has Justice Bhavani Subbaroyan, who was sworn in on Wednesday , as junior judge. Justice Indira Banerjee herself is the only second woman chief justice of the high court -the first one being Justice Kanta Kumari Bhatnagar, who held the post for more than five months from June 1992. Sir Thiruvarur Muthuswamy Iyer KCIE (1832 –1895), a native lawyer  became the first native Indian to be appointed as judge of the Madras High Court in 1877.  He acted as Chief Justice for 3 months in 1893.  Iyer was acclaimed for his sharp intellect, memory and legal expertise.

The eye-capturing building of the High Court is  an exquisite example of Indo-Saracenic style of architecture,  built in 1892 with the design prepared by J.W. Brassington and later under the guidance of the famed architect Henry Irwin, who completed it with the assistance of J.H. Stephens. Though Madras has not seen many wars and not certainly the World Wars – the High Court building was damaged in the shelling of Madras by S.M.S. Emden on 22 September 1914, at the beginning of the First World War. It remains one of the very few Indian buildings to have been damaged by a German attack.

The painted ceilings and the stained glass doors are masterpieces in themselves. The minars are quite attractive – they once housed the lighthouse of the city, which is decrepit now.  According to some reports, the lighthouse used kerosene to produce light with an intensity equivalent to that emitted by about 18,000 candles  ~ and perhaps that was one of the  reasons for attracting the attention of the German warship SMS Emden.   The Department of Posts has allotted a Postal Index Number (PIN) code of 600 104 to the zone occupied by the Madras High Court. The boundaries of the High Court complex are marked by  namely, Prakasam Road (formerly Broadway), NSC Bose Road  and Rajaji Road (the old North Beach Road)

Of the many statues, the decade old statue is apt symbolism – it is the majestic one of  Chozha, King Manuneethi Chozhan known to have ruled in the third century BC. This Tamil king is considered the embodiment of justice himself. Legend has it that he crushed his son under the wheels of the royal chariot just as his heir apparent had run over a calf !  Arising out of that deed of executing his own son, when the cow moved the kingdom bell, he became ‘Manuneethi Chozha’.  

Every year in Nov this strange ritual happens – last year it was on 28.11.2016 and this year it was on 19.11.2017 ::  Madras high court was locked for 24 hours from 8pm on Saturday to 8pm on Sunday. Heavy locks and chains made sure that no one — judges, advocates or litigants — were allowed to enter the premises  !  - what Court premises locked out ?

Photo credit : The Hindu Tamil.
No, justice was not locked out. The court was closed in keeping with a pre-British era tradition, one that requires the high court premises to be locked for 24 hours each year. Senior lawyers said the land for the construction of the court was acquired from a private person — whose name is lost with hoary antiquity — in the 1800s. Though the land was initially taken on lease, the ownership deed was later transferred to Lord Permual Temple on Parry's Corner. To ensure that no individual or entity claims ownership of the edifice, the court's administrators lock the court premises, hand over its keys to the chief priest of the temple and renew the lease agreement on one day each year.

The State Government continues to protect the building and site from bogus ownership claims while maintaining its status as a public property/pathway. In sync with the old tradition, the court's registry locks up the premises every last Sunday of November after putting up notices on its six gates that it would reopen on Monday. The current high court building moved to its brand new quarters from an edifice near Beach Station on July 12, 1892. Sir Arthur Collins, chief justice at the time, formally received permission to start proceedings in the new building from Madras Presidency governor Beilby Lawley, 3rd Baron Wenlock.

~ .. .. .. strange it may sound that the Court was locked and remained out of reach – closed, yet,  neither delay nor denial of justice to those who seek it in its corridors.

Sir Thomas Andrew Lumisden Strange (1756 – 1841) Chief Justice  in Nova Scotia, known for waging "judicial war" to free Black Nova Scotian slaves from their owners,  became the first Chief Justice of the erstwhile Supreme Court of Madras (which has since become the High Court of Madras) and in that capacity was also the first Chief Justice of the Madras Presidency, British India from 1801 to 1817.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

20th Nov. 2017.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Moody upgrade India rating; Red attack Tom Moody FB

At Kolkata, Openers KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan capitalised on vastly improved batting conditions, to lead India's recovery on the fourth day in Kolkata; Dhawan missed a century.  Earlier,  Rangana Herath's third Test fifty too the lead to 122.. .. remember that Reliance World Cup match in Oct 1987  at Chepauk between India and Australia, 2 players debuted – one who was earlier dubbed as strokeless wonder hit 5 sixers – Navjot Sidhu and shared a partnership with Srikkanth who too made a 70. For Australia Tom Moody debuted and did little of note.  He went on to play 8 tests and 76 one dayers.  The man in news,  Thomas Masson Moody coached Sri Lanka, IPL team  Sunrisers Hyderabad, Rangpur Riders, Multan Sultans and applied for the head coach position in Indian team too. 

At 202 for 2 – 70 to be scored  with about 15 overs to go, India looked set to start their defence of the title with a win ~ but Aussies under Alan Border had different plans.  Steve Waugh started the final over with 8 to be scored, Manoj Prabhakar ran himself out and it boiled to 2 off the last with Maninder, the hero of that tied test on strike.  Steve Waugh cleaned Maninder and the big Moody ran towards Steve celebrating.

The good news for India is : Moody’s Investors Service has raised India’s sovereign rating for the first time since 2004, overlooking a haze of short-term economic uncertainties to bet on the nation’s prospects from a raft of policy changes by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.  Rupee, bonds and stocks rallied after the ratings firm upgraded India to Baa2 from Baa3 and said reforms being pushed through by Modi’s government will help stabilize rising levels of debt. That’s a one-level shift from the lowest investment-grade ranking and puts India in line with the Philippines and Italy. While government officials hailed the move as long overdue, some investors termed it a surprise given that India recently surrendered its status as the world’s fastest-growing major economy amid sweeping policy change. The upgrade is a major win  for the ruling party.  The upgrade "reflects willingness of Moody’s to look beyond the transitory disruptive effects of difficult reforms," said a  senior economist.

Sri Narendra Modiji is a game changer and is always on positive news and here is he seen with the  Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France, Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian in New Delhi on November 17, 2017.  The Govt naturally is celebrating the upgrade of India’s sovereign credit rating by Moody’s Investors Service. The new rating places India at Baa2, up a notch from Baa3. The outlook has also been raised from positive to stable, while other ratings including the one for short-term local currency have seen an upgrade by a notch each. India’s last upgrade by Moody’s was 13 years ago in 2004. According to the IMF, India’s economy is expected to grow at 7.4 per cent in 2018, up from an estimated 6.7 per cent in 2017. The timely and smooth implementation of landmark reforms such as the GST and IBC as well as decisive action to resolve the non-performing asset (NPA) challenge in public sector banks are crucial for India to realise its potential real GDP growth of 8-10 per cent.  The IMF projects India to overtake Germany in 2022 as the world’s fourth-largest economy,  displacing the UK from the top five.

Moody's Investors Service, often referred to as Moody's, is the bond credit rating business of Moody's Corporation, representing the company's traditional line of business and its historical name. Moody's Investors Service provides international financial research on bonds issued by commercial and government entities. Moody's, along with Standard & Poor's and Fitch Group, is considered one of the Big Three credit rating agencies. The company ranks the creditworthiness of borrowers using a standardized ratings scale which measures expected investor loss in the event of default.  Moody's was founded by John Moody in 1909 to produce manuals of statistics related to stocks and bonds and bond ratings. In 1975, the company was identified as a Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organization (NRSRO) by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Often touted as the most literate State, Kerala Red showed their ugly face again.  When Moody’s Investors Service, the international rating agency, on Friday upgraded India’s sovereign rating after 13 long years from Baa3 to Baa2, it triggered  a war of words on former Australian cricketer Tom Moody’s Facebook page. After all, what could possibly be the connection between Moodys and Tom Moody except…..the name?  And yes, that’s exactly what triggered an online war of words, which is still continuing.  

Immediately after news broke out regarding the improved credit rating Moody's has accorded to India, hard-core CPM activists hell bent on promoting the party ideology  started showering criticism against the cricketer on his Facebook page wall. The comrades, most of them in their prime youth bluntly told Tom Moody that he should be ashamed of himself for giving an improved rating to the Indian economy under the Modi government. Some of them even dared Moody to visit Kerala. While one Comrade said Moody would fail in his mission as even Israel's secret agency Mosad could not inflict even a minor injury to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. However, there were some other comments which tried to expose the communists, but such seemingly mild criticism failed to deter the comrades from understanding their blunder attack against Tom Moody.

According to one comment, Moody gave such positive report after taking commission from Modi. Some Malayali Facebook users who understood the drama were also seen tendering apology to Tom Moody for the bizarre criticism against him. Apparently, it was only on October 4 that Moody had his last post, saying thanks for all those wished him birthday wishes.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
19th Nov. 2017.

substitution on filed ! ~ fake fielding and more !!

The 1st Test at Eden Gardens hangs on a delicate balance.  India struggling to recover from that awful start of top order failure, some respectability restored by late order and tail enders but Srilanka gaining a handsome lead – has left Indians fighting hard. Lot interesting things happening on the field at Kolkata !!

Remember, that early morning on 12th Jan 1978 as we anxiously listened to the radio – Aussies were reeling under – but whether they could avoid the follow-on ?  -  Peter Toohey 82 pulled Karsan Ghavri and a sprinting Madan lal took a good catch to make it 2-2; Aussies defeated by an innings and 2 runs at Sydney.  Those were the days when substitutes cannot stand in close-in and specialist positions and a commentator remarked that way, Madan lal should not be allowed anywhere in the field as substitute !!

Substitutes are nothing new ! ~ it would be proud moment for us to enter the field in any cricket match, at any level, carrying water, replacing a fielder or having a specific errand – appearance matters !! ~ in Nov 1983, at Ahmedabad, Gursharan Singh, a promising talent, but played only one match,  took four catches as a substitute, three of them off Kapil Dev in the second innings.  CRicinfo stats reveals that the  first substitute catch in a Test match was taken by a member of the opposing side… and the captain, to boot! When WG Grace injured a finger in the first Test ever played at Lord's, in 1884, the fielder who came out to replace him was the Australian skipper, Billy Murdoch. He was soon in action, when Australia's top scorer, "Tup" Scott, offered a catch off the legspin of AG Steel. Murdoch held on, and his side were all out.

This morning, Srilankans slumped to 201/7 when Dinesh Chandimal got out – but a fifty by HMRKB Hearth took them to 294.  Rangana Herath's third Test fifty propped up Sri Lanka's lead to 122 before the visitors were bowled out for 294 on the fourth afternoon at the Eden Gardens. Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar took 4 apiece; with Umesh Yadav also taking two wickets, this was the third time India's seamers took all ten wickets in a Test innings at home, and the first since 1983-84.

Dilruwan Perera, the Sri Lanka allrounder, survived an lbw decision after an unusual route to taking the assistance of the Decision Review System (DRS). At the time of the incident, Dilruwan was batting on 0 off 7 balls. He apparently turned and started back when the  Umpire gave him out but had some assistance from the dressing room (which was on his view as he turned back).  The non-striker Rangana Herath offered no opinion on the review !!

DRS protocol says that the  captain may consult the bowler and other fielders, and the two batsmen may consult with each other prior to deciding whether to request a Player Review. Under no circumstances is any player permitted to query an umpire about any aspect of a decision before deciding on whether or not to request a Player Review. If the on-field umpires believe that the captain or either batsman has received direct or indirect input emanating other than from the players on the field, then they may at their discretion decline the request for a Player Review.

It was in the 57th  over of Sri Lanka's innings, Nigel Llong upheld an lbw appeal from Mohammed Shami when an indipper beat Dilruwan's forward defensive and hit him on the back pad. Dilruwan turned around and began walking back,  then asked fro a review Llong had to change his decision.  In the Bengaluru Test earlier this year, umpires stopped Steven Smith from reviewing an lbw decision against him after he was seen seeking advice from the Australian dressing room.

Earlier there was ‘fake fielding’ too.  On Saturday,  fourth ball of the 53rd over, Bhuvneshwar Kumar pushed one through covers, cover fielder Dinesh Chandimal, put in a slide even when the ball was nowhere near him, tried to pose a throw in but checked himself. According to the new ICC rules, this is fake fielding. However, on-field umpires – Nigel Llong &  Joel Wilson decided against handing a penalty. This left an animated Indian skipper Virat Kohli visibly unimpressed as he gestured towards the cameras for a penalty of five runs.  According to the lawmakers of the game this action is against the spirit of cricket. MCC’s new Law 41.5 states that “It is unfair for any fielder willfully to attempt, by word or action, to distract, deceive or obstruct either batsman after the striker has received the ball.”

As you may  have observed the Umpires for this match are : Richard Kettleborough  and Nigel Llong; with  Joel Wilson as TV Umpire. .. .. .. and there came the substitution .. . Down with a throat infection, on-field umpire Richard Kettleborough pulled out of day three's play on Saturday. Kettleborough was replaced by West Indies' Joel Wilson, who accompanied Nigel Long to start the day's proceedings as India resumed on 74/5 at Eden Gardens.   Fourth umpire Anil Chaudhary became the TV umpire while Cricket Association of Bengal's Binod Thakur was inducted on board.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

19th Nov. 2017.