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Thursday, January 31, 2019

Shubhman Gill debuts ! ~ stunner of Hardik Pandya was blindfold technique !!

1983 India’s tour to WI there were surprises – Kapil Dev was the Captain, Anshuman Gaekwad and Srinivasan Venkatraghavan recalled for their experiences for the toughest tour and .. .. there was an young wicket-keeper, Kiran More, a leading Tamil daily put his name wrongly, as those days, many prospects were literally unknown beyond their territory.  .. not any longer – people follow and some make impact at young age .. Shubman Gill is a prodigy – Kohli praised him of possessing so much talent that he himself had only 10% at his age !!

Shubhman Gill’s rise has been meteoric .. .. his  first call-up to the national squad may have come in unexpected circumstances - with India forced to replace Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul - but it's something Indian cricket watchers had expected would happen, sooner rather than later. Yuvraj Singh, his Punjab team-mate, had said  "He (Gill) is a special talent. After a long time there is a young guy whose batting I like to watch. He is very exciting. After the 2019 World Cup, he can make it to the (Indian) side."  The sudden vacancies in the squad have meant Yuvraj's prediction has come real much sooner. In strange circumstances, he is replacement for Hardik, who has played a match already .. today reportedly  MS Dhoni was not yet fit, but he handed over a new cap to an exciting debutant in recent times.

Rwanda is a country in Central and East Africa and one of the smallest countries on the African mainland. Located a few degrees south of the Equator, Rwanda is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  .. .. Abuja  is the capital city of Nigeria located in the centre of the country within the Federal Capital Territory.  Abuja is Nigeria's administrative and political centre. It is also a key capital on the African continent due to Nigeria's geo-political influence in regional affairs.  We are reading because of some Cricket happening in Abuja – yes, Rwanda womens team is playing a ODI series with Nigerian team.

In New Zealand,  Smriti Mandhana  continues to be a smashing hit – this  time with Mithali Raj for company,  she scored big for a second game in a row - she has passed 50 eight times in her last ten ODIs - to lead India to an eight-wicket winin the second Women's Championship game in Mount Maunganui on Tuesday. The win, though, was set up by India's bowlers, who, after Raj opted to field first, shot the home side out for 161 in 44.2 overs. Amy Satterthwaite, the New Zealand captain, did her bit by scoring 71, but there was little of note apart from her innings as India dominated proceedings. Jhulan Goswami had the best returns among the Indian bowlers, but it was a combined effort, with all the frontline bowlers getting among the wickets.  With a small target in front of them, India started poorly, losing Jemimah Rodrigues for a duck in the second over and Deepti Sharma for eight not much later. But that's where it ended for New Zealand, as Mandhana and Raj put together an unbroken stand of 151 runs to take India to the target in just 35.2 overs.

In the 3rd ODI, everyone was talking about that absolute stunner that Hardik Pandya brought out to dismiss Kane Williamson .. .. .. and media is putting technology behind that stunning effort.  A 'blindfold technique' to increase reaction time, leather balls of various weights to gauge trajectory in breezy conditions and a simulation machine for slip-catching have made the Indian team a remarkably improved catching unit, fielding coach R Sridhar said on Wednesday.

While the 'blindfold technique' was specifically used in England for red-ball cricket, a simulation machine called 'Teammate' was used in Australia for slip-catching. When asked about the 'blindfold technique' specifically, Sridhar explained: "We have a feeder behind a curtain and the catcher doesn't know from where the ball is coming from.  "We would slide it from under the curtain...It did improve their reaction time (reflex), we did that extensively in England throughout the Test series. It was specifically for red-ball cricket." Now, balls of varying weights are being used during the ODIs against New Zealand in order to help the players prepare for skiers with steady breeze threatening to change the trajectory.

"We brought a different type of machine called 'Teammate' for slip-catching simulations. We did a lot of blindfold work or reaction work. By the time, we reached Australia, it was a well-oiled machine and if you see, Virat took some brilliant catches," the fielding coach gave a peek into his trade secret. Asked about how the team is countering the breeze while handling skiers, Sridhar said: "The biggest challenge you face in New Zealand as a fielder is the breeze. Most of the batting and bowling plans are based around that breeze. "If we see the ball wobble a lot in air, we try and simulate that in practice, use balls of different weights, so that the ball swerves and swings more in the air." Sridhar also informed that the Indian team's support staff is in touch with various IPL teams to ensure that players adhere to the "follow-up programme".

Sridhar also praised comeback-man Hardik Pandya's stunning catch off Yuzvendra Chahal's bowling to dismiss rival captain Kane Williamson. "The desperation he brought was magnificent to see. He is always a good fielder and dying to get into the thick of things and be a part of this and get back to what he loves doing, that is to play cricket and as best as he can." "He (Pandya) made a very difficult catch look easy. It was a piece of magic and he is known for that and he is one of our best fielders. Hardik brings a lot to the team. Not only the balance but other factors as well," he concluded.


With regards – S. Sampathkumar
31st Jan 2019.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Baroda dynamite case .. .. Coke and more

Ever heard of  ‘Baroda dynamite case’ > ? 

A decade or so ago, - the ad campaign 'Thanda matlab Coca-Cola' made the almost universal rural word for soft drinks a hot catchphrase, and the marketing strategy ensured that villagers slowly turned converted to ‘sugary bottled drinks’ !

A politician, a trade union leader, ex-Union Minister, passed away – the web is abuzz with many attributes hailing him as a great fighter, a fearless man and more .. ..  the drink that we often take ‘coke’ was invented in 1886 in Atlanta, Georgia by Dr S John S Pemberton who tried it out on customers at his local chemist Jacobs Pharmacy – it proved popular and went on sale at 5 cents a glass.

                          The over 40-year-old Baroda Dynamite Case was one of the important chapters in the life of former Union minister George Fernandes, who was jailed during his fight against the imposition of Emergency by the then Indira Gandhi-led government.  George Fernandes is no more – the trade unionist born on 1930 passed away yesterday.  MP from Rajya Sabha from Bihar was a key member of the Janata Dal and the founder of the Samata Party. He held several ministerial portfolios including communications, industry, railways, and defence.

A native of Mangalore, Fernandes was sent to Bangalore in 1946 to be trained as a priest. In 1949, he moved to Bombay, where he joined the socialist trade union movement. Becoming a trade union leader, Fernandes organised many strikes and bandhs in Bombay in the 1950s and 1960s while working with the Indian Railways. He defeated S K Patil of Indian National Congress in the 1967 parliamentary elections from the South  Bombay  constituency. He organised the 1974 Railway strike, when he was President of the All India Railwaymen's Federation. Fernandes went underground during the Emergency era of 1975, while challenging Prime Minister Indira Gandhi for imposing a state of emergency, but in 1976 he was arrested and tried in the infamous Baroda dynamite case.

In 1977, after the Emergency had been lifted, Fernandes won the Muzaffarpur seat in Bihar in absentia and was appointed as Union Minister for Industries. He was a defence minister in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government (1998–2004), when the Kargil Warbroke out between India and Pakistan, and India conducted its nuclear tests at Pokhran.

In 1974, he organized all India Railway strike as  President of the All India Railwaymen's Federation, bringing the Nation to a creeching halt.  Tens of thousands of Unionists were detained under preventive detention laws.  George was suffering from Alzheimer's and had been out of the limelight for many years. He had recently contracted swine flu and died on Tuesday, his long-time associate Jaya Jaitly said. Known to be honest and forthright, Mr Fernandes was often described as a rebel who fought for the rights of the poor people and low-paid workers.

An activist who worked with Fernandes during the Emergency period  was quoted as saying that by procurement of dynamite, the plan was to give a message to the government that they would "not take imposition of Emergency lying down".   Fernandes was shown as the 'mastermind' of the conspiracy and as accused number 1 in the chargesheet filed by the CBI in a Delhi court where the case was heard.  Later, when the Janta government of Morarji Desai came to power, the cases against Fernandes and others were withdrawn.

Are you fond of bottled cool drinks ?  ~ what is your  favourite ?  it that Pepsi or Coke,!!

Coca-Cola India Private Limited, is the Indian subsidiary of Atlanta-based The Coca-Cola Company that sells concentrates for a wide range of juice, juice drinks, and aerated beverages.  In 1950, The Coca-Cola Company opened its doors to India for the first time. However, 27 years later, in 1977, they chose to exit the country, protesting new regulations and legislation by the Government of India limiting the dilution of equity of multinational corporations. On October 24, 1993, they decided to re-enter the market, and have maintained a strong presence ever since.  Though Fernandez is given the credit for their packing-off, the  countdown to Coca-Cola's impending exit started in Jan 1974 when the Indira Gandhi government  introduced the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA).

Coca-Cola alleged that it had decided to exit India as local authorities wanted full disclosure of the formula for making the concentrate. That allegation was not entirely true.  After Coca-Cola's exit, several Indian employees of the company were left jobless. To avoid a backlash, the government decided to come up with its own version of Coca-Cola. Fernandes said a 'swadeshi' substitute drink called Double Seven or 77 was ready and would be marketed in a few weeks. The name of the drink had a political undertone as well, since 1977 marked the end of the Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi, her defeat in the elections, and Janata Party's ascension to power.

The government asked the Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) at Mysore to develop the formula for Double Seven, to fill the void left by Coke, according to a report by India Times. Double Seven, marketed by a government-owned company Modern Food Industries, wasn't a success. The drink faced tough competition from Campa Cola, Thums Up, Duke's, McDowell's Crush and Double Cola. As the Morarji Desai government collapsed in mid-1979, Double Seven lost major market share. The Indira Gandhi-led government which returned to power in 1980 was indifferent to Modern Food Industries. The company soon started incurring losses and stopped manufacturing the product !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
30th Jan 2019.

intolerance ! ~ not a whimper when Kerala transfers Police Officer !!

Intolerance and conspiracy theories have haunted the margins of France’s ‘‘yellow vest’’ movement since the first protests over fuel taxes roused the discontented middle of French society. The men and women in safety vests blocking traffic and intimidating shoppers on the Champs-Elysees vent a range of grievances against the government.  But over 11 weeks of protests, views from the fringes have bubbled through the diffuse and leaderless movement and have been amplified: anti-Semitic rants about banking, a Holocaust survivor harassed on the subway, assaults on journalists, and claims the government concocted terrorist attacks or deadly accidents to divert attention from the demonstrations.  There has been scattered violence, with clashes between protestors and police, and the authorities worry that the extremists have taken over the center of the movement.

Intolerance ! ~   what or how would people react !!
The ancient "Babylonian" story (539 BC) depicts the conflict between Prince Belshazzar of Babylon and Cyrus the Great of Persia. The fall of Babylon is a result of intolerance arising from a conflict between devotees of two rival Babylonian gods—Bel-Marduk and Ishtar. 

Intolerance painting by François Dubois - Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts., Public Domain,

Heard of  St. Bartholomew's Day massacre -  in 1572, was a targeted group of assassinations and a wave of Catholic mob violence, directed against the Huguenots (French Calvinist Protestants) during the French Wars of Religion. Traditionally believed to have been instigated by Queen Catherine de' Medici, the mother of King Charles IX, the massacre took place a few days after the wedding day (18 August) of the king's sister Margaret to the Protestant Henry III of Navarre (the future Henry IV of France). Many of the most wealthy and prominent Huguenots had gathered in largely Catholic Paris to attend the wedding. The massacre began in the night of 23–24 August 1572 (the eve of the feast of Bartholomew the Apostle), two days after the attempted assassination of Admiral Gaspard de Coligny, the military and political leader of the Huguenots. The king ordered the killing of a group of Huguenot leaders, including Coligny, and the slaughter spread throughout Paris. Lasting several weeks, the massacre expanded outward to other urban centres and the countryside. Modern estimates for the number of dead across France vary widely, from 5,000 to 30,000.

People would conveniently not speak of such ‘intolerance;  Intolerance is a 1916 epic silent film directed by D. W. Griffith.  Regarded as one of the great masterpieces of the silent era, the three-and-a-half-hour epic intercuts four parallel storylines, each separated by several centuries: (1) a contemporary melodrama of crime and redemption, (2) a Judean story: Christ's mission and death, (3) a French story: the events surrounding the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre of 1572, and (4) a Babylonian story: the fall of the Babylonian Empire to Persia in 539 BC.

Intolerance (noun) would mean : unwillingness to accept views, beliefs, or behaviour that differ from one's own.

To us, it is nothing new ~ the  intolerance debate heightened in 2015, when over 50 authors and artists returned government awards, saying not enough was being done to control intolerance.  Often some fringe actors who have lost their market, would criticize the Govt at the centre blaming them for all the woes (including their films not running enough days!) – the actor who thinks himself to be an intellectual would reel out a long sentence dotted by commas, stating that the Centre is intolerance.   The tolerance-intolerance debate in India has often trudged such depths, with multiple protests, some of them against protestors of a different hue.

While lot of hue and cry would be aimed at the Centre, ruling BJP, everyone of them including the actors would remain silent, if it happen in a State not ruled by BJP – selective memory, selective scathing criticism.  Please tell honestly, whether you have read or seen this newsitem in many main media and whether any actor voiced anything against Kerala Govt (I don’t expect though !) .. .. what would you want the Police to do, when there is news on a criminal hiding ? – if you ever thought searching the premises for arresting a criminal, sorry ! – your thinking is flawed.  For, before, you need to ask and find out, where it happened, who is the victim, who is the perpetrator and in which place it occurred .. .. remain mum, if it is Kerala and done with the support of Red Kerala Government !

A young woman  IPS officer has been moved out summarily  from the post of deputy commissioner in Kerala  reviving to commoners  the question of political interference in police administration in the state.

Chaitra Teresa John was shifted within hours after she raided the office of the Thiruvananthapuram district committee of the CPM. The decision to transfer her was apparently taken by chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, reports the Telegraph.  Teresa John had gone to the party office after she gathered information that some workers belonging to the CPM youth wing DYFI, wanted in connection with an attack on the local Medical College police station, were present there.

The youths had apparently tried last week to forcibly free from the police station two DYFI activists arrested in a case registered under the Pocso Act. The officer could not find any accused in the party office. The CPM took serious offence of her action and demanded her removal. “Raiding the party office was not a right action. The officer could not even find an accused inside the party office. I have got complaints against the police, after which I also asked the DGP to probe the action,” Vijayan told the Assembly on Monday. The Opposition did not pursue the issue further in the House.  This is not the first time that workers of ruling parties have tried to browbeat the police force. It is a common practice in Kerala, irrespective of whether the Left Front or the Congress-led United Democratic Front is in power. Only, the tendency of ruling party workers meddling in the working of the police force is more evident during the Left rule.

Allegations that district and even local party offices control the police are common whenever the CPM had come to power. This is more rampant in party strongholds such as Kannur. The current state secretary of the CPM, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, had once threatened to turn police stations into bomb-making units.  The action against an officer who was doing her duty has come at a time the police force under Vijayan has been accused of “inaction” in a number of cases. This is the one reason that has been cited by the district CPM secretary while demanding removal of the police officer for “demeaning the party”.  Teresa John had booked leaders of the CPM-backed union of government employees for vandalising an SBI office opposite the state secretariat during the recent Bharat bandh.  This was not to the liking of the state CPM leadership.

The action against the officer certainly has not gone down well with the public’ but there have been no cries of intolerance, award-wapsi, nay not even any mention in Kerala media ! – that is secularism and press in India. Shame !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
30th Jan 2019.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Sun (outage) stops play at Napier One dayer

For the NZ tour Jasprit Bumrah was rested .. .. and India captain Virat Kohli will not play the last two ODIs of the New Zealand series, and the T20s that follow; he has been rested for those games, the BCCI said on Wednesday. Rohit Sharma will captain India in his absence. No replacement player has been named for Kohli.  This will be the first time this decade India will be playing an ODI outside Asia (excluding Zimbabwe) without Kohli.  Can you ever imagine, why play was held up at this stage for more than half an hour ?

In Mar 2013 came the news that Trading members of the NSE may face connectivity problems at various times because of Sun Outage between March 5 and 18, - it was - a Sun Outage  caused by an interruption in the geostationary satellite signals due to interference from solar radiation.  It was stated by the Stock exchange that "Indian Space Research Organisation has informed us that there would be Sun Outage for INSAT-3A and INSAT-3E satellites affecting the VSAT connectivity from March 5, 2013 till March 18, 2013 due to which trading members may face connectivity problems at different times on different dates based on their geographical location during this period," the NSE said in a statement.

A Sun outage, Sun transit, or Sun fade is an interruption in or distortion of geostationary satellite signals caused by interference (background noise) of the sun when it falls directly behind a satellite which an earth station is trying to receive data or transmit data to. It usually occurs briefly to such satellites twice per year and such earth stations install temporary or permanent guards to their receiving systems to prevent equipment damage.   Sun outages occur before the March equinox (in February and March) and after the September equinox (in September and October) for the Northern Hemisphere, and occur after the March equinox and before the September equinox for the Southern Hemisphere.

Today at Napier, India made a clinical victory – the scorecard reads :  India 156 for 2 (Dhawan 75*) beat New Zealand 157 (Williamson 64, Kuldeep 4-39, Shami 3-19) by eight wickets (DLS method)!! .. .. ..   many a times,  rain has played a spoilsport for the game of cricket, even washing out matches in several instances.  It helped Australia escape a certain defeat at Sydney only recently.. ..  but things took a turn for the strange today in the  1st ODI in McLean Park at Napier.   It was not Sun, or bad weather, but bright Sun – sunlight  for a while  because the flare from the setting fireball blinded the sight of Indian batsmen.  The play was held up as India were chasing at 44/1 when opener Dhawan complained that he wasn't able to spot the ball delivered by New Zealand's Lockie Ferguson.  Many on Twitter noted that normally the cricket pitches are positioned in a North-South direction to avoid such interference from the sun. However, the pitch at the McLean Park is facing the East-West direction

Mohammed Shami continued to challenge for India's first XI come World Cup with another lovely display of seam bowling to set up a comfortable win for India - their first in an ODI in New Zealand since 2009 - in the opening ODI of the five-match series. Back together for the first time since the Asia Cup final in September last year, the two wristspinners, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, tied the hosts in knots.  New Zealand's innings lasted only 38 overs and the  target of 158 was never going to test India.

India were missing two vital cogs, the best white-ball bowler in the world, Jasprit Bumrah, and Hardik Pandya, whose presence allows them to play the two wristspinners together. With Vijay Shankar in as Pandya's replacement - not in his league at the moment - India were finally happy to take the risk of playing both the wristspinners together. New Zealand went the other way tactically, picking the pace of Doug Bracewell over the wristspin of Ish Sodhi and the batting-first role of Colin de Grandhomme.  In what reportedly looked to be a 300+ wicket, the Indian bowlers won the match.  Kuldeep  ran through the tail, with MS Dhoni calling the last wicket blow for blow. "He will defend eyes closed, you can go round the wicket and bowl the other one." Kuldeep went round the wicket, Trent Boult tried the dourest front-foot defensive, and the ball didn't turn in, taking the outside edge for slip to gobble it.

The only thing between Indian and victory was the setting sun, which was in the batsmen's eye, causing a delay of more than a half hour, and not for the first time at McLean Park where the pitches run from east to west. Post a delay of more than a half hour, India - already 10 overs into the chase - were asked to get 156 in 49 overs. As a final piece of good news, Shikhar Dhawan - averaging 20 over the last nine innings - signaled return to form with an unbeaten 75.

McLean Park has a previous for it with the angle of the sun at around 7pm making it unsafe to play cricket. Two years ago, a T20I between Bangladesh and New Zealand was held up because of the same issue. On January 19 this year, a Super Smash match between Central Districts and Canterbury was also stopped for a while. The organisers were actually hoping for some cloud cover during the ODI between India and New Zealand.

South African umpire Shaun George said he had never seen such an occurrence in his 14-year umpiring career. "The setting sun is in the eyes of the players and we need to think of the safety of the players as well as umpires," he said. He also said the move to go off was initiated by the umpires. "There was an awareness of it by the players but they didn't appeal." New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said at the press conference there was no other option but to wait in such a situation. "

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
24th Jan 2019.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

70th Republic Day .. .. .. and some history of the Nation

26th Jan 2019 is a great day for the Nation – it marks India’s 70th  Republic Day.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will be the chief guest of this Republic Day parade. 58 tribal guests, 22 tableaux will mark 90-minute parade.  The Republic Day parade at Rajpath has the President of India, who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces, taking the salute.   This year’s  Republic Day parade will see women taking the forefront. This year will be the first time that a woman officer will lead the Army Services Corps in the parade. The Daredevils Motorcycle Team will include a woman officer in their team. Scripting history, 2019 will also be the first time a woman contingent of Assam Rifles will take part in the parade.

For the uninformed,  Indian Republic Day honours the date on which the Constitution of India came into effect on 26 January 1950 replacing the Government of India Act (1935) as the governing document of India. The Constitution was adopted by the Indian Constituent Assembly on 26 November 1949, and came into effect on 26 January 1950 with a democratic government system, completing the country's transition towards becoming an independent republic.   26 January was chosen as the Republic day because it was on this day in 1930 when Declaration of Indian Independence (Purna Swaraj) was proclaimed by the Indian National Congress as opposed to the Dominion status offered by British Regime.

After centuries of bondage, India  ceased to be a colonial Raj and obtained freedom  on 15 August 1947. The independence  was formalized by the  Indian Independence Act 1947 (10 & 11 Geo 6 c 30), an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that partitioned British India into the two new independent Dominions of the British Commonwealth.  Upon obtaining freedom, the Nation became a constitutional monarchy with George VI as head of state and the Earl Mountbatten as governor-general. The country, though, did not yet have a permanent constitution; instead its laws were based on the modified colonial Government of India Act 1935. On 28 Aug 1947, the Drafting Committee was appointed to draft a permanent constitution, with Dr B R Ambedkar as chairman. While India's Independence Day celebrates its freedom from British Rule, the Republic Day celebrates the coming into force of its constitution.

George VI (Albert Frederick Arthur George; 1895 – 1952) was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death in 1952. He was the last Emperor of India and the first Head of the Commonwealth.  Though he lived between 1895 to 1952, he was Emperor of India for the period 11.12.1936 till 22.6.1948 i.e., for a period slightly over 11 years 6 months.  For the records,  there were only 5 Emperors : Queen Victoria,    Edward VII, George V, Edward VIII and George VI.

Just as the previous Mohammadean Kings,  the British too indulged in fanfare.  The Delhi Durbar was an Indian imperial style mass assembly organised by the British at Coronation Park, Delhi,  to mark the succession of an Emperor or Empress of India. Also known as the Imperial Durbar, it was held three times, in 1877, 1903, and 1911, at the height of the British Empire. The 1911 Durbar was the only one that a sovereign, George V, attended.

After the nominal Mughal Emperor was deposed at the conclusion of the Indian Rebellion of 1857 (10 May 1857 - 1 Nov 1858), the government of the United Kingdom decided to transfer control of British India and its princely states from the mercantile East India Company (EIC) to the Crown, thus marking the beginning of the British Raj. The EIC was officially dissolved on 1 June 1874, and the British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli, decided to offer Queen Victoria the title "Empress of India" shortly afterwards. Victoria accepted this style on 1 May 1876. The first Delhi Durbar (which served as an imperial coronation) was held in her honour eight months later on 1 January 1877.

George VI  was the last Emperor of India and the first Head of the Commonwealth. As the second son of King George V, he was not expected to inherit the throne and spent his early life in the shadow of his elder brother, Edward.  In the mid-1920s, he had speech therapy for a stammer, which he never fully overcame. George's elder brother ascended the throne as Edward VIII upon the death of their father in 1936. However, later that year Edward revealed his desire to marry divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson. British prime minister Stanley Baldwin advised Edward that for political and religious reasons he could not marry a divorced woman and remain king. Edward abdicated to marry Simpson, and George ascended the throne as the third monarch of the House of Windsor.

During George's reign, the break-up of the British Empire and its transition into the Commonwealth of Nations accelerated. From 1939, the Empire and Commonwealth – except Ireland – was at war with Nazi Germany. War with Italy and Japan followed in 1940 and 1941, respectively.  After the independence of India and Pakistan in 1947, George remained king of both countries, but relinquished the title of Emperor of India in June 1948.

Edward VIII  who was Emperor of India, from 20 January 1936 until his abdication on 11 December the same year, passed away in 1972.  Ascending the power after his father’s death,  , he showed impatience with court protocol, and caused concern among politicians by his apparent disregard for established constitutional conventions. Only months into his reign, he caused a constitutional crisis by proposing to Wallis Simpson, an American who had divorced her first husband and was seeking a divorce from her second.   When it became apparent he could not marry Wallis and remain on the throne, Edward abdicated.

There is a statue of King George V near flower bazaar police station ~ in fact the area was known as Georgetown. 
King George V at Georgetown

There is this statue of Queen Victoria lying forlorn within the compound of Madras Univesrity.    Robert Bourke, 1st Baron Connemara, Governor unveiled it on 20.6.1887 funded by  Vizianagaram  Goday Narayana Gajapathi Rao.  For sure, at that time, it should have been a centre piece, though now it is neither on the gate nor people care to see – in fact, there is so much of thick vegetation that the statue is almost covered from the road side…  Queen Victoria (Queen Empress of India) [1819-1901], the monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from June 1837 until her death.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
23rd Jan 2019.

remembering the Great Nethaji Subash Chandra Bose today - 2019

After their first defeat at the hands of British in 1757, there arose many instances  when Indian patriots formed groups and fought hard and bitter battles exhibiting selfless sacrifice.  Alongside hundreds of Velu Thampi, Peshwa Baji Rao, Sardar Shyam Sing, Rani Laximibhai, Tantia Tope, Maharaj of Dumraon, Nana Sahib, there are many hundreds hidden whose exploits, history did not record or were neglected by the British historians and later partisan historians.  

Years later in the foreign land came another clarion call for organizing Indians in self-defence and fighting for Independence occurred.  In a conference at Tokyo in March  -Giani Pritam Singh, Swami Satyanand Puri, Capt, Mohammed Akram and K. A. N. Iyer crashed and died while proceeding for attendance. Delegates to the Conference came from Hongkong, Shanghai and Japan, Malaya and other places.  Rash Behari Bose presided. The Conference decided to start the Indian Independence movement amongst Indians in East Asia. It was also decided to raise an Azad Hind Fauj and resolved  that military action against the rulers of India will be taken by the Indian National Army.  The next conference was at Bangkok in June 1942, under Rash Behari Bose. The Indian National Army was formed on September 1, 1942. Capt. Mohan Singh was appointed G.O.C.   A large body of nearly 7,000 well disciplined troops was raised, the training and fighting being done with British Arms, The  Army was governed by the Indian National Army Act which was specially prepared in August 1942.

The history of freedom movement in India, often is  summarized in one pithy sentence: "Mahatma Gandhi gave us freedom through non-violence." For sure freedom was not that easy and there were so many sacrifices of persons with varied thought processes. The best and the bravest men and women of an enslaved nation hastened the demise of the mighty British empire by resisting them tooth and nail in the trenches of every part of the Nation.  They were brutally crushed by the Imperialist regime and have been relegated, not getting their due share in history.   

Give Me Blood!   I Promise You Freedom!!   The British are engaged in a worldwide struggle and in the course of this struggle they have suffered defeat after defeat on so many fronts. The enemy having been thus considerably weakened, our fight for liberty has become very much easier than it was five years ago. Such a rare and God-given opportunity comes once in a century. That is why we have sworn to fully utilise this opportunity for liberating our motherland from the British yoke.  The first phase of our campaign is over. Our victorious troops, fighting side by side with Nipponese troops, have pushed back the enemy and are now fighting bravely on the sacred soil of our dear motherland.

excerpts of speech addressed at a rally of Indians in Burma, July 4, 1944 – the very famous words of one of the greatest sons of this soil - Subhas Chandra Bose,  very popularly known as Nethaji (lit. "Respected Leader").  From history books, we read that the great person Nethaji was born on 23rd Jan 1897 and lived till  18th Aug 1945 [this will remain disputed as the Nation yearns to know of the reality, the mystery shrouding his disappearance !] :   He was not born in Bengal but in Cuttack, in Odisha. 

History records that Bose was elected president of the Indian National Congress for two consecutive terms but resigned from the post following ideological conflicts with Mahatma Gandhi. Bose believed that Mahatma Gandhi's tactics of non-violence would never be sufficient to secure India's independence, and advocated violent resistance. He established a separate political party, the All India Forward Bloc and continued to call for the full and immediate independence of India from British rule. He was imprisoned by the British authorities eleven times.  His stance did not change with the outbreak of the second world war, which he saw as an opportunity to take advantage of British weakness. At the outset of the war, he fled India and travelled to the Soviet Union, Germany and Japan seeking an alliance with the aim of attacking the British in India. With Japanese assistance he re-organised and later led the Indian National Army, formed from Indian prisoners-of-war and plantation workers from Malaya, Singapore and other parts of Southeast Asia, against British forces. With Japanese monetary, political, diplomatic and military assistance, he formed the Azad Hind Government in exile, regrouped and led the Indian National Army to battle against the allies in Imphal & Burma during the World War II

the man, the rebel with a cause, for sure was brilliant, innovative and out of the box – in 1942, in Berlin,  – six months after Adolf Hitler had assured Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose that he could travel to Japan, he was still stuck in Germany. It was at that time,  Emilie Schenkl gave birth to their daughter, Anita. But duty beckoned the warrior. On February 8, 1943, Bose bade them farewell and boarded a German U-180 boat. He would not see them again.

Interestingly, do you know that he was conferred with Bharat Ratna but the award was subsequently withdrawn. The award was established by the first President of India, Rajendra Prasad, on January 2, 1954. The original statutes did not make allowance for posthumous awards but later added in 1955 statute. Subsequently, there have been ten posthumous awards, including the award to Subhash Chandra Bose in 1992, which was later withdrawn due to a legal technicality, the only case of an award being withdrawnIt was withdrawn in response to a Supreme Court of India directive following a Public Interest Litigation filed in the Court against the “posthumous” nature of the award. The Award Committee could not give conclusive evidence of Bose’s death and thus it invalidated the “posthumous” award.

There is some little connection of this Great Person to Chennai and in particular Triplicane, associated with many freedom fighters including SubrahmanyaBharathi, Sathyamurthi and more.  Long ago, the famous road – Pycrofts Road was renamed BarathiyarSalai, winding  from Presidency College / Marina Ground to the present EA Mall.  There is this landmark house, where  Nethaji  stayed in Sept 3,4,5 of 1939 and again 2 days in Jan 1940 : when Nethaji visited

~ and this is no simple vintage car – a National treasure – the Audi Wanderer W24 now kept at Netaji Bhavan in Kolkata.  In 1941, the 1937 Audi Wanderer W24 transported Netaji from his Elgin Road residence in Kolkata (then in Bihar) to Gomoh railway station to catch the Kalka Mail to Delhi despite 24x7 surveillance by the British.

Saluting the Great Man ~ Nethaji Subash Chandra Bose

With fervour – S. Sampathkumar
23rd Jan 2019.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

India takes on New Zealand at Napier in ODI 2019

Shikhar Dhawan needs 10 runs more to become the 13th India player to reach the 5000-runs milestone. With Dhawan having batted 117 times prior to this match, he can become the joint fourth fastest there along with Brian Lara (118).  Hashim Amla reached 5000 in 101 matches, Vivian Richards & Virat kohli in 114 and Brian Lara in 118.  India take on New Zealand at Napier tomorrow ~ in Kiwiland, Indians have played 34 One dayers since 1976 – have won 10 and lost 21 – 1 Tie and 2 No results.

In this aerial photo – one could zoom and see the bridge over river Coovum ~Singara Chennai.  Napier Bridge is an important landmark – often shown in films to show that scene occurs in the city [LIC Building, Central Railway station are the other].. this bridge is built over the ‘Cooum River’ – not exactly looking like a river now-a-days.  Reportedly it  is the shortest classified river draining into the Bay of Bengal. This river is about 72 km in length, flowing 32 km in the Urban part and the rest in rural part. Much money has gone in the drain with successive Governments claiming to clean up the Cooum river spending crores of rupees and opposition alleging scams.

Francis Napier, a  colonial administrator, served as a Governor of Madras from 1866 to 1872; he also acted as the Viceroy of India from February to May 1872, temporarily though arising out of the assassination of the Earl Mayo…. and the bridge leading to Fort St. George / War Memorial overlooking island grounds is named in his honour. 

New Zealand belongs to Maoris, the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand. The Māori originated with settlers from eastern Polynesia, who arrived in New Zealand in several waves of canoe voyages; over several centuries in isolation, the Polynesian settlers developed a unique culture that became known as the "Māori", with their own language, a rich mythology, distinctive crafts and performing arts.

The 1st One dayer of the present series is to be played  at Napier, a New Zealand city with a seaport, located in Hawke's Bay on the eastern coast of the North Island. About 18 kilometres south of Napier is the inland city of Hastings. These two neighbouring cities are often called "The Twin Cities" or "The Bay Cities" of New Zealand. Napier is about 320 kilometres northeast of the capital city of Wellington. Napier is the nexus of the largest wool centre in the Southern Hemisphere, and it has the primary export seaport for northeastern New Zealand – which is the largest producer of apples, pears, and stone fruit in New Zealand.  Napier is a popular tourist city,  which was ruined by the 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquake and has recovered well thereafter.  McLean Park the venue of day is also a Rugby ground; it is the  home teams for this ground are the Hawke's Bay Rugby Union and Central Districts Cricket Association. The two ends of the stadium are named the Centennial Stand End and Embankment End. Its close proximity to the International Date Line makes it the world's most easterly Cricket  ground.

The Napier Bridge and Napier city in New Zealand bear no connection.  The city is named after General Sir Charles James Napier, [1782 – 1853] an officer and veteran of the British Army's Peninsular and 1812 campaigns, and later a Major General of the Bombay Army, during which period he led the military conquest of Sindh, before serving as the Governor of Sindh, and Commander-in-Chief in India.

Napier commanded the 50th (Queen's Own) Regiment of Foot during the Peninsular War in Iberia against Napoleon Bonaparte. Napier's activities there ended during the Battle of Corunna, in which he was wounded and left for dead on the battlefield. Napier was rescued, barely alive, by a French Army drummer named Guibert, and taken as a prisoner-of-war. Nevertheless, Napier was awarded an Army Gold Medal after he was returned to British hands. Napier volunteered to return to the Iberian Peninsula in 1810 to fight again against Napoleon in Portugal, notably in the Battle of the Côa, where he had two horses shot out from under him. Napier returned to England and became the General Officer Commanding of the Northern District in England in April 1839.

In 1842, at the age of 60, Napier was appointed Major General to the command of the Indian army within the Bombay Presidency. Napier remained for a while as the Commander-in-Chief in India. He also quarrelled repeatedly with Lord Dalhousie, the Governor-General of India. The source of the dispute was Dalhousie's behaviour on India's north-west frontier. Napier returned home to England for the last time. He was still suffering with physical infirmities which were results of his wounds during the Peninsular War, and he died about two years later at Oaklands, near Portsmouth, England, on 29 August 1853, at the age of 71.
Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson

The city of Napier in the Hawke's Bay region of New Zealand was named after Sir Charles Napier.  To the Cricket fan with unquenching desire to know more and more of the game.  Way back on 22nd  Feb 1976, India played New Zealand in ODI no. 36 -  3 south Indians – R Sudhakar Rao and Pochaiah Krishnamurthy alongside veteran Bhagwat Chandrasekhar made their debuts.   NZ made 236/8 (8 ball overs those days!) – India chasing were all out for 156.  A day earlier in the 1st ODI (no. 35) India made 154 and NZ chased it so easily losing a solitary wicket.  Debutants Parthasarathi Sharma and Dilip Vengsarkar opened for India; Syed Kirmani was the other debutant.

New Zealand could be more stronger opponent than Australia ~ wish Indian team wins here too.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
22nd Jan 2019.