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Saturday, February 16, 2019

aftermath of #Pulwamatragedy ~ Nation shows it cares !!

Iran warned neighbouring Pakistan today stating  it would "pay a heavy price" for allegedly harbouring terrorists who killed 27 of its elite Revolutionary Guards in a suicide bombing near the border earlier this week, state television reported. Revolutionary Guards chief Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari also accused Tehran's regional rival Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates of supporting terrorist groups that attack Iranian forces, saying they could face "reprisal operations."  "Why do Pakistan's army and security body ... give refuge to these anti-revolutionary groups? Pakistan will no doubt pay a high price," Jafari said in remarks live on state television.

Pakistan is a terror state and abets terrorists brazenly ~ the scars of Pulwama tragedy would never heal .. following the Pulwama terror attack in which more than 45 CRPF soldiers were martyred, the entire nation has stood up in support of the Armed Forces and the martyr’s families.

In a heartening gesture, the Reliance Foundation has offered to look after the families of the martyred CRPF soldiers. This shows how the nation is showing a sense of gratefulness for those who make the supreme sacrifice in order to protect their fellow citizens. Reliance Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Reliance Industries Limited. Recently, it had toppedthe Hurun Indian Philanthropy list. The Foundation stated, “As a mark of our gratitude to the martyrs, Reliance Foundation expresses its readiness to assume full responsibility for the education and employment of their children, and the livelihood of their families,” said the company in a statement.”If necessary, our hospital is ready to provide the best possible treatment to the injured jawans. We shall also deem it to be our duty to shoulder any other responsibility the government may place upon us in service to our beloved Armed Forces.” It added, “The entire Reliance Parivar fully shares the outrage of 1.3 billion Indians at the barbaric terrorist attack on a CRPF convoy on the Jammu-Srinagar highway on Thursday, in which 40 brave jawans were martyred. No evil power in this world can break India’s unity or our resolve to defeat terrorism, which is an enemy of humanity.”

                The 'Bharat Ke Veer' contribution platform, that collects public funds for CAPF personnel killed in action, has got "unprecedented" donations of over Rs 7 crore following the Pulwama terror attack, officials said. Officials manning the online portal of the Union Home Ministry have also asked citizens to "desist" from donating money for the slain men in uniform at any other platform except the 'Bharat Ke Veer'.

The Shri Siddhivinayak Temple trust in Mumbai  announced an ex gratia of Rs 51 lakh for the families of the CRPF personnel who lost their lives in the Pulwama Attack. The contribution was confirmed by the chairman of the temple trust Aadesh Bande. Of the deceased jawans, two of them identified as Nitin Rathod and Sanjay Rajput hail from Buldhana district in Maharashtra. Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis took to his official Twitter handle and said, “We have announced 50 lakh for the kins of martyred jawans from Maharashtra and Government will take responsibility of their rehabilitation. 125 crore Indians are their family members.” He also said that India would strike back with full force and will avenge the brutal incident.

Mobile internet services were on Saturday suspended in most parts of Kashmir while the network speed was throttled in other parts as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order, officials said. Mobile internet has been suspended in south Kashmir's four districts of Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama and central Kashmir's Srinagar and Budgam districts, they said.  The officials said the network speed has been throttled in north Kashmir's Baramulla, Kupwara and Bandipora districts. They said the high speed internet has been suspended as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order in the wake of alleged harassment of Kashmiri people in Jammu and outside the state.  

Former India cricketer, Virender Sehwag  extended support towards the bereaved families of the jawans martyred in Pulwama. He tweeted, “Nothing we can do will be enough, but the least I can do is offer to take complete care of the education of the children of our brave CRPF jawans martyred in #Pulwama in my Sehwag International School @SehwagSchool , Jhajjar. Saubhagya hoga.” Therefore, the former cricketer is going to look after the education of the children of martyred soldiers. This is a respectful gesture and shows that the nation is going to do everything that can be done in order to support the security forces of the country.

Boxer Vijender singh tweeted : I’m donating my one month’s salary for the martyrs of #PulwamaTerrorAttack and want everyone to come forward and support the families. It is our moral duty to always standby them and make them feel proud of their sacrifices.  Jai Hind    #PulawamaAttack #PulwamaRevenge

Vidarbha captain Faiz Fazal said that the team will donate the prize money they are getting from their Irani Trophy win. “We as a team have decided to dedicate that money to the families of those who lost their lives. (It is) a small gesture from the team and the VCA,” said Fazal.

We can’t actually change the void that is created in the life of martyrs’ families. Loss of life can never be fully compensated. And we cannot match what the members of the Armed Forces contribute towards the nation either. However, the nation is striving to do what it can. The nation has understood that merely expressing gratitude and gratefulness towards the martyrs and a sense of sympathy towards the bereaved families is not going to be enough. In fact, it is our duty to ensure that we look after the families of the martyred soldiers. It is not only up to the government to work towards the welfare of such families, but the society should also contribute in whatever way it can. Hopefully, society will continue to play its part. If the CRPF soldiers could go to the extent of giving up their lives for the nation, we can at least ensure that we look after the martyrs’ families.

In a bold move, the makers of the popular sitcom the Kapil Sharma Show, and the broadcasting channel Sony Entertainment Television have sacked controversial politician and ex-cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu from the show.  This decision to sack Sidhu from the Kapil Sharma Show has been taken in the light of the massive outrage over the atrocious comments Sidhu made in favor of Pakistan after the Pulwama attack.  To quote the officials, who spoke about the decision to Times Now, “The channel has told the production house to sack Sidhu. It’s not a temporary thing. They are going to get him out.  For those unaware, Navjot Singh Sidhu, well notorious for his penchant for Pakistan, tried to exonerate Pakistan in the light of the recent Pulwama attack. He repeated the rhetoric of terror has no religion, as he said, “For a handful of people, can you blame the entire nation and can you blame an individual? It (the attack) is a cowardly act and I condemn it firmly.” If that wasn’t enough, he even went on to say that ‘terror has no nation’. This was enough to trigger a massive outrage against him on social media. A massive campaign titled #BoycottKapilSharmaShow was launched, where people threatened to boycott the show until and unless Navjot Singh Sidhu was thrown out from the show.

A day after withdrawing the 'Most Favoured Nation' (MFN) status granted to Pakistan in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack, India today hiked the basic customs duty on all goods imported from the neighbouring country to 200%.  At the same time, the government also announced its plans to initiate diplomatic steps to ensure the complete isolation of Pakistan in the international community. The MFN status is given to a trade partner to ensure non-discriminatory trade between two countries. Although India had granted the status to Pakistan in 1996, Islamabad did not reciprocate despite it being required to do so as a member of the World Trade Organisation. Although the Union government says that withdrawing the status will hurt Pakistan at a time when it is struggling financially, the move is mostly symbolic because bilateral trade between the two countries comes up to barely $2 billion a year. India mainly exports cotton, dyes, chemicals, vegetables and iron and steel to Pakistan while importing fruits, cement, leather, chemicals and spices.

Meanwhile, global pressure is building on Pakistan to act against perpetrators of the attack. Despite Chinese reservations, New Delhi has urged the international community to back the naming of JeM leader Masood Azhar as a "UN designated terrorist". The United States has also asked Pakistan to "immediately end support and safe haven to all terrorist groups". Pakistan is already in the 'grey list' of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an inter-governmental body that works to stop terror financing, among other things. However, India wants it to be competely blacklisted.The FATF blacklist is meant for countries that are deemed "non-cooperative" in the global fight against money laundering and terror financing. If the FATF blacklists Pakistan, it may lead to downgrading of the country by lenders like International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Asian Development Bank and the European Union.

Let us remember our bravehearts and thank all those who care for our soldiers and for the Nation. Jai Jawan

Regards – S. Sampathkumar
16th Feb 2019.
PS : I may not have captured all those good souls who have tried to respond showing their care and concern – this is a small dose that Nation is concerned – and hopefully, the Sidhus of the Nation are negligible and are taken care of .. !!

Friday, February 15, 2019

Nation mourns Pulwama ~ some reactions ! - moksha dweepam at Thiruvallikkeni

14th Feb (2019) would remain ever a dark day for the Nation ~ we mourn those heroes who were martyred in a dastardly attack  .. .. it is an attack on the Nation, shocking to see the blood and skin of our brethren killed in action. In the wake of the Pulwama attack in Jammu and Kashmir, social media has been flooded with messages paying tribute to the CRPF personnel who lost their lives in the blast.

First Kashmir, it not what it is portrayed it to be ~  it has a glorious history .. ..  Utpala dynasty, a Kashmiri Hindu kingdom, ruled over the Kashmir region from 8th to 10th century CE. The kingdom was established by Avanti Varman, ending the rule of Karkota dynasty in 855 CE.  The cities of Avantipur and Suyapur were founded during the reign and many Hindu temples dedicated to both Vishnu and Shiva.  Pulwama (known as Panwangam in antiquity] is around 40 km (25 mi) from the summer capital of Srinagar. Pulwama is often called the "Anand of Kashmir" or "Dudha-Kul of Kashmir" on account of its high milk production.   The district is famous for Archeological monuments especially those left by Raja Avantivarman.  Kashmir towards the end of last century became barren and devoid as Kashmiri pundits were driven out in pogrom

Things have worsened and on 14th Feb 2019, in a  first major terror attack in three years, more than 45 CRPF personnel were killed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district when a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist rammed an explosive-laden car into the bus they were travelling in on Thursday afternoon. JeM claimed responsibility for the attack and identified the bomber as a local terrorist.   How many papers had this on this first page and how was it worded – were the terrorists ? – was the killing denounced ? – and did they Pak was behind !! – now you know your media and those Secularists who had ‘save Syria’ in their profile ! – how many of them have ‘our Army or save Kashmir’ in their profile now.  We have been following some false heroes for their tinseldom actions and believing them to be good – how many of them tweeted condemning the killings – where are they hiding ? – why so many are silent – has not the killing shaken them !!  - sad.

India today withdrew the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status it had accorded Pakistan in trade in a move to “isolate’’ the country following Thursday’s terrorist attack in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir that killed about  CRPF officers. “The government will now identify items imported from Pakistan on which duties can be raised since it is no longer bound by the MFN rules. Other measures such as import ban and port restrictions will also be considered. This exercise will be carried out at the highest level,” a government official  communicated. 

Massive anti-Pakistan protests rocked different parts of the country in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack in which at least 37 Central Reserve Police Force personnel lost their lives. It was organized at Thiruvallikkeni too ~ surprisingly Police denied permission for a procession till neighbouring Thiruvatteeswaranpet and denied usage of mikes too.

             In Jammu, demonstrations and candle light marches were held at dozens of places. Another protest took place in Bhopal by the workers of the Bharatiya Janata Party, who also expressed their grief over the loss of lives.  There were many in every other part of the Nation. At Thiruvallikkeni divyadesam at 7.15 pm, Hindu Munnani organized a walk mourning the death of Indian soldiers, condemning Pak and terrorism, and all those who support terrorist organizations.  The procession wound through the mada streets and ended with ‘moksha dweepam’ lit in front of the Temple.

The Jaish-e-Mohammad, the consistent author terrorist  attacks in Kashmir, has shaken off the shackles placed on it by prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s government in Pakistan. This sunrise will have consequences in Kashmir, and beyond. Pulwama attack ominous sign for Valley as US withdrawal from Afghanistan may mean advantage Pakistan.  Pakistan is being rewarded by the Donald Trump administration for sponsoring cross-border terrorism. The deal with the Afghan Taliban is not possible without Rawalpindi’s support. Behind the words lie a lethal reality: for months now, the Jaish has been blossoming in Prime Minister Imran Khan’s not-so-naya Pakistan, systematically expanding its infrastructure and capabilities. A day after 40 CRPF jawans were martyred when explosive-laden SUV rammed into one of the buses out of a 70-vehicle CRPF convoy in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district, Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu said: "Terrorism has no religion, no nation". Sidhu also said only talks can resolve India's differences with Pakistan. Sidhu's comment is in sharp contrast to what his party earlier put up on media, though Congress is known to speak in too many voices.

Attacking Sidhu for he what he deemed an "inappropriate comment", retired Major General GD Bakshi said Sidhu has not faced what the CRPF has, what men in uniform routinely do in conflict areas. Bakshi called Sidhu's comment "shameful". He is not only receiving a backlash from his opponents, but also from Twitterati who are asking fans to boycott The Kapil Sharma Show and Sony TV to kick Sidhu out of the show.  .. concluding about the media, a  Deputy News Editor of NDTV tweeted against the Nation supporting Jaish and NDTV promptly suspended Nidhi Sethi  for 2 weeks – that speaks volumes of what they are !!

Irrespective of what the famed cine stars of Bollywood and Tamil tinseldom tweet or be silent,  paying no heed to those campaigners of ‘save Syria’ – we mourn the death of the great sons of the motherland who have once again given their present to save our future.  This day, if you had eaten well and going to sleep well, it is because of such great souls and it is our bounden duty to mourn them.

Jai Jawan .. .. long live our soldiers – Mera Bharat mahan hai.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
15th Feb 2019.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Pulwama of Utpala dynasty ~ sad killing of 40 CRPF in Kashmir

14th Feb (2019) would remain ever a dark day for the Nation ~ we mourn those heroes who were martyred in a dastardly attack today !
Pic credit :

Utpala dynasty, a Kashmiri Hindu kingdom, ruled over the Kashmir region from 8th to 10th century CE. The kingdom was established by Avanti Varman, ending the rule of Karkota dynasty in 855 CE.  The cities of Avantipur and Suyapur were founded during the reign and many Hindu temples dedicated to both Vishnu and Shiva and Buddhist monasteries were built, notable of which is the Avantiswara and Avantiswami temples.  King Avantivarman  who founded the dynasty ruled between  855 to 883 CE.

Pulwama (known as Panwangam in antiquity] is a town and a notified area committee in Pulwama districtin Jammu and Kashmir, India. It is around 40 km (25 mi) from the summer capital of Srinagar. Pulwama is often called the "Anand of Kashmir" or "Dudha-Kul of Kashmir"  on account of its high milk production.  Pulwama being a part of the beautiful valley is bounded by Srinagar in the North by Budgam and Poonch Districts the west and by Anantnag Districts in the South and East. The District was formed in 1979 by separation of Tehsils Pulwama, Shopian and Tral of District Anantnag. The total area of the district is 1090 Sq Kms as per Census 2011, the district consists of 331 villages including 08 un-inhabitated.

The district is famous for Archeological monuments especially those left by Raja Avantivarman.   The climate in the district is temperate with mercury going 30o C in summer and below freezing point in winter.  The district is reported to be one of the pretty spots on the earth, because of its congenial climate, innumerable springs streams, water falls, fragrant flowers, delicious fruits and other natural sceneries. Besides District Pulwama is famous all over the world for saffron cultivation which is mainly grown in Karewa lands of Pampore, Kakapora and Pulwama Blocks. Agriculture is the main occupation of people.

Today, it is in news for all wrong reasons ~ more than 40 army men killed. .. ..   In a first major terror attack in three years, at least 39 CRPF personnel were killed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district when a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist rammed an explosive-laden car into the bus they were travelling in on Thursday afternoon. JeM has claimed responsibility for the attack and identified the bomber as a local militant. In a telephonic call to a local news agency, Jaish has identified the suicide bomber at Adil Ahmad, a resident of Gundi bagh in Pulwama. The bus was part of an army convoy coming from Jammu to Srinagar. It is the deadliest attack in the state since the 2016 Uri attack.

Terming the attack as despicable, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted that the sacrifices of security personnel will not go in vain. He also spoke with Home Minister Rajnath Singh and other top officials in the wake of the attack. The Centre has dispatched teams of NIA and NSG with forensic experts to Srinagar to assist Jammu and Kashmir Police in forensic evaluation of the scene of the crime.

Expressing condolences to families of the deceased in the Pulwama terror attack, the Embassy of Russian Federation said they denounce terrorism in all its forms and reiterated the need to combat these inhuman acts with decisive and collective response without any double standards, ANI reported.

A very sad day for the Nation !

With profound grief- S. Sampathkumar
14th Feb 2019.

Feb 14 ~ Capt Cook .. .. to Coimbatore blasts

Feb. 14th ~ why attach any significance when none exists !!

When it commenced it voyage, sure none would have ever dreamt of the quagmire that the vessel was to encounter…. It was the tanker MV EnricaLexie  on voyage from Singapore to Egypt with a crew of 34 including 19 Indians ~ it had somebody special – the six Italian marines from the San Marco Regiment guarding the vessel.It entered to its way of notoriety when the Marines fired at a fishing trawler named St. Antony that  had left Neendakara in Keralawith a crew of 11 to fish for tuna.  On that fateful day of 15th Feb 2012,  the shooting and killing of Indian fishermen occurred closer to shores of Kerala and soon there were different versions on the incident and the place of occurrence. It was sad death for Ajesh Pink and Valentine aka Gelastine, natives of Tamil Nadu and Kerala respectively,  shot dead by Italian marines of the Reggimento San Marco, Marina Militare.

With mushrooming of Corporate MNCs, there is globalisation and lot to learn from what happens around the globe.  In the past few years lot has been done to promote 14th Feb – as many ensure pushing their sales. Globally, there are lot of apps on the market for young folks in search of love: Tinder, Bumble, and OkCupid, to name a few- all aiming at potential mates judge one another based on looks. Times reports that Willow, a new app hitting the App Store  is seeking a different approach.  It reportedly fills the void in match-making !

Miles away, NASA made a last ditch attempt trying to revive Mars rover Opportunity, before calling it quits. The rover has been silent for eight months, victim of one of the most intense dust storms in decades. Thick dust darkened the sky last summer and, for months, blocked sunlight from the spacecraft's solar panels. So now on 14th Feb, Opportunity is officially dead.  During a press conference, NASA said that Opportunity hadn't responded to a last-ditch effort Tuesday to establish contact. A planet-encircling dust storm cut off communications with Opportunity on June 10, 2018, preventing its solar panels from storing power. Since then, over 830 rescue commands had been beamed to the rover. On Tuesday night, despite the transmission of commands and Billie Holiday's I'll Be Seeing You to Mars via the Deep Space Network, the rover couldn't be roused. NASA's Science Mission Directorate, said during a press conference that with a sense of deep appreciation and gratitude, they declare the Opportunity Mission as complete.  

Opportunity was, by far, the longest-lasting lander on Mars. Besides endurance, the six-wheeled rover set a roaming record of 28 miles (45 kilometers.) Its identical twin, Spirit, was pronounced dead in 2011, a year after it got stuck in sand and communication ceased. Both outlived and outperformed expectations, on opposite sides of Mars. The golf cart-size rovers were designed to operate as geologists for just three months, after bouncing onto our planetary neighbour inside cushioning air bags in Jan 2004.

Captain James Cook FRS (1728 - 1779) was a British explorer, navigator, cartographer, and captain in the Royal Navy. Cook made detailed maps of Newfoundland prior to making three voyages to the Pacific Ocean, during which he achieved the first recorded European contact with the eastern coastline of Australia and the Hawaiian Islands, and the first recorded circumnavigation of New Zealand.  In three voyages, Cook sailed thousands of miles across largely uncharted areas of the globe. He mapped lands from New Zealand to Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean in greater detail and on a scale not previously achieved. Cook was attacked and killed in 1779 during his third exploratory voyage in the Pacific while attempting to kidnap Kalaniʻōpuʻu, a Hawaiian chief.  He left a legacy of scientific and geographical knowledge which influenced his successors well into the 20th century, and numerous memorials worldwide have been dedicated to him.  In 1779, his attempted kidnapping of Kalaniʻōpuʻu, the ruling chief of the island of Hawaii and the decision to hold him in exchange for a stolen long boat (lifeboat) was the fatal error of Cook's final voyage, and ultimately led to his death.Cook's arrival in Hawaii was followed by mass migrations of Europeans and Americans to the islands that ended with the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii, the aboriginal monarchy of the islands.

Over 240 years ago, on the morning of 14.2.1779,   Cook and his men launched from Resolution along with a company of armed marines. They went directly to the ruling chief's enclosure where Kalaniʻōpuʻu was still sleeping, and tried kidnapping him.  Cook's men and the British Marines were confronted on the beach and was killed in the melee.  That occurred on Feb 14, not known as Valentine’s Day at that time. 

It was on this day, Feb 14, 1998 that Coimbatore was subjected to the most devastating attack of terrorist bombings Tamil Nadu has ever witnessed. On Saturday, February 14, going by the official accounts,  58 people were killed and over 200 injured in the 12 bomb attacks in 11 places, all within a 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) radius. Several bombs that failed to detonate were defused by the bomb disposal squads of the Army, the National Security Guards and the Tamil Nadu Commando School. An abandoned car laden with a horrifying 70 kg of explosives, discovered on East Lokamanya Street in R.S. Puram, close to the BJP meeting venue, gave cause for much anxiety for days until the complicated device was dismantled.

Within hours of the blasts, the Tamil Nadu Government banned Al-Umma and the Jihad Committee. Al-Umma founder-president S.A. Basha and 12 other members of the organisation were arrested in Chennai; explosive materials and weapons were seized from his house in Triplicane, Chennai. A judicial committee formed  in Apr 2000 under Justice P.R. Gokulakrishnan to probe the case confirmed that Al Ummah was responsible for the attacks.  Hundreds of innocents lost their lives, thousands lost their livelihood – and this day continues to haunt them all.

With grief ..
14th Feb 2019.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

using technology ! ~ delayed DRS .. .. forgetting stump mic !!

Often Vadivelu’s comedy scenes are hilarious and deliver sense .. .. his comedy dialogues become ‘catch-words’ like :  வட  போச்சே!’;   மாப்பு வெச்சுட்டான்யா ஆப்பு;  ‘நடுவுல இருக்குற கம்பியை மறந்துட்டேனே’;  ‘உனக்கு வந்தா ரத்தம், மத்தவங்களுக்கு வந்தா தக்காளி சட்டினியா? ’; ‘மண்டையில இருக்கிற கொண்டையை  மறைக்கலையே !!’ ~ often people tend to forget smaller but significant things and end in agony, as experienced by couple of Cricketers, forgetting the presence of stump-mic.

It is not the most recent innovation.  The Super Eight match WC 2007  between Australia and the West Indies that was played in Antigua  was the first  to utilise stump microphone technology in a move designed to make sure that even more decisions made by umpires are correct.  That innovative technology was aimed at providing the onfield Umpires hear faint edges too, through the earpieces that were connected to stump microphones.  That has provided entertainment for some, horror for some !

Once  Ambati Rayadu who  was the substitute fielder in the World Cup clash against Ireland in 2015 got a taste of Dhoni's casual roasting. Suresh Raina was bowling when Dhoni remarked, "Rayudu jaagkezara. Uskepaerkaisehilraha hai dekhkarthoda anticipate kar, volleyball ki tarahkhadahua hai beach pe." (Rayudu wake up a bit. Look at how he moves feet and anticipate where he will hit. Don't just stand there like you're in a beach volleyball court.)

More recently, attention has been focused on technology and data-driven insights. Some have been great fun. In the Big Bash League in Australia a few years ago, they had displayed a heart-rate monitor when a batsman took guard—a fun way to measure the otherwise unquantifiable stress levels out in the middle.  Tim Paine's chat behind the stumps was not seen as sledging but more of a banter, something hilarious. From sledging Virat Kohil, giving it to Rohit Sharma and asking Rishabh Pant to babysit his kids, Paine  was  in fine form.  Little Rishab Pant matched him word by word, calling him a temporary Captain, later visiting his house for baby-sitting !

Amit Bhandari had figures of 7.4-0-31-3 yet never played for India after that match against Zimbabwe.  Earlier, he made a forgettable one-day debut against Pakistan in the Asia Cup at Dhaka in 2000, smashed for 75, got two wickets and didn't play for another four years. He was brought back for a solitary game against Zimbabwe in 2004 and never played for India again.   He is in news now, as he was attacked by men wielding hockey sticks and iron rods during a cricket match at Delhi's St Stephen's Cricket Ground on Monday. Bhandari, who suffered head and ear injuries, was watching a selection trial game with two other selectors at the time. He was taken to a city hospital immediately, and Dedha, whose actions were reportedly in retaliation for not being selected in the Delhi Under-23 team, as well as one of his accomplices were arrested.  A life ban has been recommended for Anuj Dedha, the Delhi cricketer who assaulted Amit Bhandari, the former India bowler and now chairman of selectors for Delhi's senior and Under-23 teams. The recommendation to ban Dedha was taken at a Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA) meeting attended by its president Rajat Sharma, members of the senior selection panel, the head coach and the team manager. The decision also found support from former Delhi and India opening batsmen Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir.

At Stumps today  Vidarbha 245 for 6 (Sanjay 65, Wadkar 50*, Karnewar 15*, Gowtham 2-33, Jadeja 2-66) trail Rest of India 330 by 85 runs  .. are you following this match ?  it is Irani Cup 2019 .. .. .. despite losing only six wickets on the second day, Vidarbha failed to take control of the Irani Cup tie in Nagpur, as their attritional batting kept them 85 runs behind Rest of India's 330 when play ended. The Z. R. Irani Cup (earlier called Irani Trophy) tournament was conceived during the 1959-60 season to mark the completion of 25 years of the Ranji Trophy championship and was named after the late Z. R. Irani, who was  long time treasurer.  

The scheduling of India’s domestic cricket has sparked controversy yet again. The staging of a tournament like Irani Cup after the 2018-19 Ranji Trophy has earned a lot of criticism and the performance displayed by the players during the first-class match also did not convince many.  Defending Ranji champions Vidarbha, who won their second successive title this year, took on the Rest of India (ROI) in Nagpur without two of their premier players – Umesh Yadav and Wasim Jaffer – both of whom were in great forms this season. It was suspected that with the Indian Premier League (IPL) and World Cup lined up over the next few months, the ROI players were not too interested to take the long-format game seriously and succumbed to playing far too adventurous shots that are unsuitable in four-day games.

In 2012  ROI piled mammoth total against Rajasthan.  Murali  Vijay batted to glory,  reaching the highest individual score (266)  in the tournament's history, beating a 22-year-old record held by Praveen Amre, to pretty much ensure the Ranji champions would be denied the Irani Cup for a seventh year in a row.  Way back in Nov. 1990, against Bengal, ROI had declared at 737/7 with Ravi Shastri the captain making 217 and Pravin Amre made 246.

The one match we would ever remember is that of Oct 1988 which brought VB Chandrasekhar into National reckoning.; that remains the only Tamil Nadu ever won Irani Cup.   ROI captained by Arunlal made 433 with good contributions from IB Roy 60; Navjot Sidhu 86, Srikant Kalyani 93; Jeshwant 62.  S Vasudevan took 5 for 116.  Krish Srikkanth leading TN made 57 and TN were all out for 226.   Gopal Sharma took 6/69.  ROI made the blunder of batting again and this time were shot out for 132 in less than 50 overs with Vasudevan taking 4 and Krish  Srikkanth taking 3 for 14.  Chasing a target of 340, Srikkanth and VB Chandrasekhar plundered at will and TN made the required runs in 79 overs brining out a remarkable victory which remains etched in memory.  Hirwani and Gopal Sharma were hit to all parts of Chepauk as VB played a great knock.

At Kingsmead, an apparent DRS timing error may have cost Sri Lanka a wicket on the first morning.  Two balls after he had Dean Elgar caught behind in his first over of the day, Vishwa Fernando rapped Hashim Amla on the pads to spark a confident appeal for lbw. Umpire Aleem Dar was unmoved, and after a short discussion Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne asked for a review - but Dar turned down the request on the basis that the visitors had taken too long to ask for it.   Section 3.2.2 of the ICC's Test playing conditions stipulate that: "The total time elapsed between the ball becoming dead and the review request being made shall be no more than 15 seconds," and "If the on-field umpires believe that a request has not been made within the 15 second time limit, they shall decline the request for a Player Review." According to the commentators on the SuperSport broadcast of the game, only 13 seconds had elapsed when Karunaratne asked for the review, and the TV umpire Ian Gould would have been in charge of timing the 15-second interval between the ball going dead and the review time limit.  Had they been able to take the review, Sri Lanka would have had South Africa wobbling at 0 for 2 as replays showed that Amla would have been out lbw.

Shannon Gabriel, the West Indies fast bowler, has been given a four-match suspension by the ICC for his use of an apparently homophobic remark directed towards Joe Root in the St Lucia Test. Gabriel, who pleaded guilty to the offence, was fined 75% of his match fee and received three demerit points, pushing him over the threshold for a ban.
Gabriel was charged with a Level Two offence under article 2.13 of the ICC's Code of Conduct, covering "personal abuse". There was no formal hearing with the match referee, Jeff Crowe, after he accepted the charge. Although Gabriel was not in the original squad for the first two ODIs against England, he is understood to have been lined up as an injury replacement for Keemo Paul. The comment at Root was picked up by the stump mics while batting on the third day responding to an unheard comment from Gabriel. "Don't use it as an insult," he said. "There's nothing wrong with being gay."

The incident was dealt with at the time by the on-field umpires but Gabriel was charged the following day after the footage received widespread attention. Root said at the close that things said on the field "should stay on the field", but nevertheless received praise for his stance, including from UK equality charity Stonewall.  Speaking on Wednesday before the news of Gabriel's ban, England coach Trevor Bayliss repeated his feeling that stump microphones should be turned down between deliveries. As well as Gabriel, Pakistan's Sarfraz Ahmed was last month given a four-match suspension for making a racist remark remark that was picked up by the TV broadcast.

Sarfraz Ahmed, the captain of the Pakistan men’s team, was banned for four matches after he admitted breaching the International Cricket Council’s anti-racism code. Sarfraz made comments to South Africa’s Andile Phehlukwayo – picked up by the stump mic – during  second one-day international in Durban with Sarfraz later meeting the all-rounder and issuing a public apology. The ICC chief executive, David Richardson, said those actions had been taken into consideration when determining the punishment. “The ICC has a zero-tolerance policy towards conduct of this nature,” Richardson said. “Sarfraz has promptly admitted the offence, was regretful of his actions and has issued a public apology, so these factors were taken into account when determining an appropriate sanction.”

Sarfraz met Phehlukwayo  later  to apologise for his remarks, which included the Urdu word “kaale”, meaning “black”. Sarfraz posted a picture of the meeting on Twitter, writing: “This morning I apologised to Andile Phehlukwayo and he was gracious enough to accept my apology and I hope the people of South Africa also accept my apology.”  The ICC added that Sarfraz will now undergo an education programme relating to the offence, while the Pakistan Cricket Board remains unhappy with the decision despite Sarfraz’s apology.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
13th Feb 2019.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Less John Maynard Keynes ! Russia bans text as it lacks patriotism !!

How good were you in studies and did you study Economic in college with interest ! ~ do you like working long hours in Office, idling time, enjoying your time socializing or spending more time with our loved ones than in making money, - what are our priorities and who set them  ?  Back in 1930, John Maynard Key predicted that the working week would be drastically cut, to perhaps 15 hours a week, with people choosing to have far more leisure as their material needs were satisfied. The world was then gripped by a dreadful slump but in the long run Keynes was sure mankind was solving its economic problems.  More than a hundred years have passed by, and the younger generation works, sleeps and lives in Office !!

In the colonial ear, there was ‘India Office’,  a British government department established in London in 1858 to oversee the administration, through a Viceroy and other officials, of the Provinces of British India. Upon the partition of British India in 1947 into the two new independent dominions of India and Pakistan, the India Office was closed down.  In October 1906, Keynes's Civil Service career began as a clerk in the India Office.  He enjoyed his work at first, but by 1908 had become bored and resigned his position to return to Cambridge and work on probability theory, at first privately funded only by two dons at the university – his father and the economist Arthur Pigou.

The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money of 1936 is the last and most important book by the English economist John Maynard Keynes. It created a profound shift in economic thought, giving macroeconomics a central place in economic theory and contributing much of its terminology– the "Keynesian Revolution". It had equally powerful consequences in economic policy, being interpreted as providing theoretical support for government spending in general, and for budgetary deficits, monetary intervention and counter-cyclical policies in particular. It is pervaded with an air of mistrust for the rationality of free-market decision making.   Keynes denied that an economy would automatically adapt to provide full employment even in equilibrium, and believed that the volatile and ungovernable psychology of markets would lead to periodic booms and crises.

John Maynard Keynes, 1st Baron Keynes,  CB FBA [1883 – 1946] was a British economist whose ideas fundamentally changed the theory and practice of macroeconomics and the economic policies of governments. He built on and greatly refined earlier work on the causes of business cycles, and was one of the most influential economists of the 20th century. Widely considered the founder of modern macroeconomics, his ideas are the basis for the school of thought known as Keynesian economics, and its various offshoots.  During the Great Depression of the 1930s, Keynes spearheaded a revolution in economic thinking, challenging the ideas of neoclassical economics that held that free markets would, in the short to medium term, automatically provide full employment, as long as workers were flexible in their wage demands. He argued that aggregate demand (total spending in the economy) determined the overall level of economic activity, and that inadequate aggregate demand could lead to prolonged periods of high unemployment. Keynes advocated the use of fiscal and monetary policies to mitigate the adverse effects of economic recessions and depressions. In the mid to late-1930s, leading Western economies adopted Keynes's policy recommendations. Almost all capitalist governments had done so by the end of the two decades following Keynes's death in 1946.

The early stage of the Keynesian Revolution took place in the years following the publication of Keynes' General Theory in 1936. It saw the neoclassical understanding of employment replaced with Keynes' view that demand, and not supply, is the driving factor determining levels of employment. With that lengthy background, read this news item titled -   ‘Less Keynes, More Love: Russian Economics Textbook Pulled For Not Praising The Motherland’ !!

A textbook on economics has been banned from use in Russian schools after an expert review deemed it lacking in patriotism, its author told RFE/RL.  Igor Lipsits, a professor at the Faculty of Business and Management at Moscow's Higher School of Economics, said that he received an e-mail from his publisher Vita-Press with instructions to edit the book in line with an expert review ordered by the Russian Education Academy, a government body focused on pedagogy. The high-school text had been removed from the Education Ministry's list of approved textbooks, Lipsits was told, meaning Russian schools can no longer purchase and use the title in classes.  The expert review, a copy of which was provided to RFE/RL by Lipsits, notes that "the examples cited [in the book] do not promote love for the Motherland."

In its e-mail dated February 1, which Lipsits forwarded to RFE/RL, Vita-Press recommended that the author add details about unspecified "plans for the next economic breakthrough" and discuss the influence of the government's import substitution -- a campaign launched after Russia embargoed certain food imports in response to Western sanctions - - on people's "sense of pride in the country." Vita-Press head Lyudmila Antonova confirmed in an interview with the Russian daily Kommersant that the recommendations included in the letter came at least in part from the expert review. What exactly "facilitating love for the Motherland" involved, or when the next economic breakthrough was expected, was not made clear.

Lipsits said that the textbook had previously passed expert reviews by two government bodies, but the subsequent review ordered by the Education Ministry reached a negative verdict and demanded that revisions are made. The Russian Education Academy told Kommersant that the Education Ministry was responsible for the expert analysis. The ministry, for its part, denied involvement in the final review. Lipsits said he has no intention of adding "gleeful words about an economic boom and patriotic fervor in favor of import substitution.""I've become unused to writing such things in the 25 years" since the Soviet Union ended, he told Kommersant, "and I'm not keen to revive my skills at windbaggery."

"My conception of patriotism was formed way back in my youth," he later wrote on Facebook. "  Since 2012, the Russian Education Ministry has overseen a campaign to censor high-school textbooks and introduce stricter controls over their content. Enlightenment, a publisher with ties to Putin's inner circle, emerged with a near-monopoly over the textbook market that it continues to enjoy today.  In May 2018, Russian Textbook, a nonprofit representing textbook publishers, sent an open letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin signed by several dozen authors. The association lists around 30 publishers as its members, but does not include Enlightenment. In the letter, the authors criticized the government's expert review process, pointing out that the federal textbook list has not been renewed for over four years and most titles on the list have not been updated since 2012.

Concluding its e-mail to Lipsits, the publisher Vita-Press predicted that the Education Ministry's demands from textbook authors would only get stricter in the future.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
11th Feb 2019.
Pic credit : financial express
Article credit:

Novaya Zemlya in Russia invaded by Polar bears !!

Polar bears are attractive animals in white;  No other animal symbolises global warming like the  white polar bear.  -  though thought to be so, they are not so !!  -  their  fur is translucent, and only appears white because it reflects visible light. Beneath all that thick fur, their skin is jet black. Polar bears have a very strong sense of smell, which they use to find seal breathing holes in the ice. Once it has found the hole, the bear will wait patiently until the seal comes up for air to attack. They can even detect a seal in the water beneath a metre of compacted snow. Over the past three decades, we have grown used to images of malnourished or solitary animals cast adrift on broken ice.

Novaya Zemlya (lit. the new land in Russian), also known as Nova Zembla, is an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean in northern Russia and the extreme northeast of Europe, the easternmost point of Europe. West of Novaya Zemlya is the Barents Sea, and to the east is the Kara Sea. Russian officials have declared a state of emergency in parts of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago after what has been described as a “mass invasion  in the islands' human settlements.  Authorities on February 9 said incidents have been reported in Novaya Zemlya towns of bears attacking people and entering residential and government buildings, yes it an invasion of Polar bears that has made people scary, afraid of leaving their houses, their daily activities disrupted.. .. children not allowed to go to school  -  the reports suggest that   the influx of bears is being caused by the seasonal migration of animals and the availability of edible wastes in the island settlements… you know – the colour and eating habits of Polar bears of Antarctica  ?

To state the obvious: polar bears should not be wandering into human habitation, and certainly not in these numbers. That they are doing so in Belushya Guba shows how they are being driven off their normal migration routes and hunting trails by a changing climate. This has long been predicted – with the Arctic heating twice as fast as the rest of the planet, winter temperatures are rising and the sea ice – which is the primary habitat of polar bears – is shrinking.   The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is a hypercarnivorous bear whose native range lies largely within the Arctic Circle, encompassing the Arctic Ocean, its surrounding seas and surrounding land masses. It is a large bear,  with the adult male weighing  around 350–700 kg,  while a sow (adult female) is about half that size.  Although most polar bears are born on land, they spend most of their time on the sea ice. Their scientific name means "maritime bear" and derives from this fact. Polar bears hunt their preferred food of seals from the edge of sea ice, often living off fat reserves when no sea ice is present. Because of their dependence on the sea ice, polar bears are classified as marine mammals.

Because of expected habitat loss caused by climate change, the polar bear is classified as a vulnerable species.  The good news is that Russia has vowed not to shoot dozens of polar bears terrorising an Arctic town amid fears a plan to relocate the predators will end in disaster.  Officials are preparing an urgent operation to sedate and remove the 52 bears after they invaded Belushya Guba on Russia's Novaya Zemlya archipelago and started 'chasing' frightened locals.  The beasts will be transported a long distance away from the town - but critics of the scheme warn they could rapidly come back.  Extraordinary pictures and video show how people are living in fear in the settlement with polar bears stalking apartment blocks and scavenging at dumps. The head of the local settlement said that Russia's nature conservancy agency Rosprirodnadzor - which bans slaughtering the endangered wild animals - is sending a team to the remote islands to sedate and move the animals.

It is stated that a  state of emergency in the settlements for an unlimited time, has been announced and Rosprirodnadzor has been asked to provide people who will catch the bears, sedate them, and take them out of settlement without shooting them.  A WWF expert in Russia blamed the country's defence ministry - which controls the territory around the settlement - for failing to act sooner ~ he further forecast the plan to move the bears would end in disaster. He said, 'There are many more polar bears on shores because of lengthy absence of ice. 'They come to the shore, attracted by human settlements which they specially like when the rubbish disposal system is not set up properly.'  As it would be too difficult to remove all 50 bears, some pack of leaders or the most daring bears could be identified and taken away.  Alexey Kokorin, head of the WWF climate programme, said: 'These are males, because females and cubs are hibernating. 'But in fact both males and females see humans for just one thing - food. 'Once they see these strange-looking two-legged seals, they know 'Ok, this is food'.'  According to reports, the  animals are 'literally chasing people and even entering the entrances of residential buildings'.

Russian laws forbid the slaughter of polar bears except in specific cases where they attack humans. The besieged town is five miles from a Russian military base. Some experts say climate change is to blame for the bears behaviour - because the ocean is no longer frozen. If you remember the Q at the beginning on the colour of Polar bear at Antarctica, - googly, as there is no Polar bears in Antarctica (South Pole) – you get to see only Penguins.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
11th Feb 2019.