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Wednesday, February 27, 2019

get to know Indian History - valour of Lance Naik Karam Singh, winner of Param Vir Chakra

One should feel sad ~ for the real-life story of  Nation’s heroes have not been in School curriculam.  We read more of British history and Moghul history !! – a design by the British and later day Commies.

Decades ago, this book titled ‘Pathinaalu Naatkal’ [14 days] impressed me most…. It was a story on Indo-bangla war … the hero is Indian pilot who gets captured and falls in the hands of a Paki general who hates India…..  the air warfare was so wonderfully depicted with Sujatha touch of humanism….

The Indo – Pak war which liberated Bangladesh officially began on 3rd Dec 1971 when West Pakistan launched a series of pereemptive air strikes on Indian airfields. On 6th Dec 1971,India recognized East Pakistan as Bangladesh.  On 16th  Dec 1971 – Pak forces surrendered to India ~ Lt Genl AAK Niazi, Supreme commander of Pak Army in East Pak surrendered to Lt Gen Jagjit Singh Arora……..  The direct military conflict between India and Pak that gave rise to a new Nation –Bangladesh occurred in 1971. It is considered to be one of the shortest wars in the history.  During the course of the war, Indian and Pakistani forces clashed on the eastern and western fronts. East Pakistan officially seceded from Pakistan on 26 March 1971. Wikipedia reports that between 90,000 and 93,000 members of the Pakistan Armed Forces including paramilitary personnel were taken as Prisoners of War by the Indian Army. It is estimated that between 2,000,000 and 3,000,000 civilians were killed in Bangladesh, and hundred thousands of  women raped by the Pakistani armed forces.

Now more of our own History ~ the day when India became free – 15th Aug 1947,   the state, like Hyderabad and Junagadh, and unlike over 500 other princely states, had not acceded to either India or Pakistan. Its maharaja, Hari Singh, was reluctant to join either of the dominions and wished to keep his state independent. Threat from Pakistan was imminent.  On October 22, 1947, over 5,000 tribesmen, with weapons and transport supplied by the Pakistani Army, entered Kashmir and seized Muzaffarabad, Domel and Uri and surged towards Srinagar. Two days later, the Maharaja offered to accede to India and asked for immediate military assistance. VP Menon, secretary in the ministry of states, flew to Jammu and got the instrument of accession signed by the maharaja on Oct 26.

Operation J&K commenced at first light on the morning of Oct 27. One after another more than a hundred planes, both civilian (BOAC) and military (RIAF), flew out of Safdarjung Airport, ferrying weapons, rations and troops of the Sikh regiment led by Lt Col Ranjit Rai who was one of the first soldiers to sacrifice his life, but not before his unit had succeeded in establishing a bridgehead on the Baramula-Srinagar road which halted the invasion and saved Srinagar.

On hearing that Indian troops had landed in Srinagar Pakistani governor general Mohammad Ali Jinnah ordered General Douglas Gracy, acting chief of the Pakistan Army (both India and Pakistan had British officers in top echelons) to move his troops into Kashmir on the Rawalpindi-Srinagar road towards the Banihal pass and cut off Kashmir from Jammu and the rest of India.  Mountbatten and his chief of staff, General Hastings Ismay, flew to Lahore on November 1. They spent over three hours with Jinnah discussing Junagadh, Hyderabad, and Kashmir. When Mountbatten suggested impartial plebiscites the Quaid-e-Azam spurned the proposal.

On November 8, Nehru wrote to his Pakistani counterpart, Liaquat Ali, enumerating India's proposals: Pakistan should publicly compel the raiders to withdraw; India would withdraw its troops as soon as the raiders withdrew and law and order was restored; both governments should make a joint request to the UN to hold a plebiscite at the earliest. By mid-November Indian forces had retaken Uri and secured the Valley.  Jhangar was captured in March 1948 and Rajouri taken next. By early March the threat to the lines of communication from Jammu to Naushera was neutralized. Having fully secured Ladakh and Rajouri Poonch, India accepted ceasefire for which international pressure had been building up and could not be resisted any longer. The guns fell silent on the last night of 1948 and ceasefire became effective from January 1, 1949.

India agreed to a plebiscite subject to certain very specific conditions, the most important of which was that Pakistan should withdraw all its troops and vacate the entire territory of the former princely state of Jammu & Kashmir. This Pakistan refused to do and still refuses to do.  Yet some fools, who have not read History would write on social media that India has not so far conducted referendum in Kashmir.

On 13 Oct 1948, when the Pakistani attackers tried to recapture the Richhmar Gali of the South and Nastachur Pass of the East of Tithwal respectively and they planned to re-attack and capture the Richmar Gali. Lance Naik Karam Singh at that time was commanding the section of Richmar Gali. The fight began with an initial attack of howitzers and guns. All the bunkers were destroyed by heavy firing from the enemy’s side. All the communication links and lines got damaged and there were no ways for Karam Singh to communicate with the commander, in order to ask for any assistance and updating the situation. But Lance Naik Karam Singh did not give up his high morale and went bunker to bunker to give aid to the wounded crew men, he was himself badly injured, but he showed the attitude of a lion and rescued two injured comrades and brought them back to the main company position.

The enemy got to grab its positions near the Frontline but Karam Singh was completely fearless stepped forward in front of the enemy and bayoneted the invader to death. Singh overpowered the enemy so much that the enemy became clueless and they finally decided to set back. The battle of Tithwal would always be remembered for the great actions of Lance Naik Karam Singh; his daring spirit had been commendable that made him a true deserver of the Param Vir Chakra.

Subedar and Honorary Captain Karam Singh PVC, MM (1915 – 1993) became the first living recipient of the Param Vir Chakra (PVC), India's highest award for gallantry. Singh joined the army in 1941, and took part in the Burma Campaign of World War II, receiving the Military Medal for his actions during the Battle of the Admin Box in 1944. He also fought in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947, and was awarded the PVC for his role in saving a forward post at Richhmar Gali, south of Tithwal. He was also one of the five soldiers chosen to raise the Indian flag for the first time after independence in 1947.

We did not study the Battle of Tithwal of 1948 and sadly, Indians do not know much about their hero Param Vir Chakra awardee Capt Karam Singh.  As the battle at Tithwal continued for months, the Pakistanis grew desperate and launched a massive attack trying to  capture the Richhmar Gali, located south of Tithwal, and the Nastachur Pass, east of Tithwal.  Although outnumbered ten-to-one by the Pakistani troops, the Sikhs repelled their attacks multiple times. Under the heavy Pakistani fire, Singh moved from position to position, boosting the morale of his men and intermittently throwing grenades. Despite being wounded twice, he refused evacuation and continued to hold the first line of trenches.  Singh’s valour is exceptional and commendable. 

In the 1980s, the Shipping Corporation of India (SCI),   named fifteen of its crude oil tankers in honour of the PVC recipients. The tanker MT Lance Naik Karam Singh, PVC was delivered to SCI on 30 July 1984, and served for 25 years before being phased out. The government also built a memorial in his honour at the District Administrative Complex in Sangrur.

Jai Jawan ! long live our soldiers ~ mera Bharat mahan hai !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
27th Feb 2019.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Pooja for students of SYMA Growth 11th batch - 2019

SYMA has an unsaturated desire for serving the Society.   SYMA [Srinivas Youngmen’s Association]  has been in the field of Social service since 1977 ~  in the past few years, our initiative in the field of Education ‘SYMA Growth’ has been prospering.  SYMA Growth – a fullfledged tuition centre, is our  cherished initiative in educating the economically poor children, uplifting their standards and making them responsible citizens, by providing quality educational support throughout the year free.    In this beautiful World, most students are frightened to face the Public examinations.  SYMA’s vision is  to provide good quality education training free of cost  for those students who suffer for want of opportunities.  On 6th  July 2008,  Mr.R Sekar, IPS, Commissioner of Police launched our Tuition Centre ‘Growth’  and a right beginning was made.  Every year since, we have been tasting grand success with very good results.

The classes for the present academic year started  in June 2018   after our initial screening ensuring that the most deserving were selected on economic criteria.  The Centre is run on all days from 6 - 8 pm in the evening and on Sundays @ 10-12 am and has  +2 Commerce, + Science Group; X standard – Tamil and X Std English medium – each having around 30 students. 

The Examinations are closer and today 24th Feb 2018, SYMA organised a Pooja at NKT National Boys High School, praying for the success of our students and for the well being of the Organisation in continuing this good cause.  All our students were present in time.  Special pooja  was conducted by Sri Rengaswami battar (89 years young) and Sri Devaraja Swami, Chinnamurai Archagars  of Sri Parthasarathi Swami temple who blessed the students.   

For motivating the students and to make them feel, that exams are no demon, we had an young London educated Lawyer Ms Smrithi Arya, who specializes in Intellectual property law.  Our Secretary S. Sampathkumar (yours truly) spoke to the students, wishing them and introduced the special guests.  Ms Smriti dwelt at length on the need for focusing and strategizing. She mingled so well with the students, making them dream of emulating her and her speech was laced with practical anecdotes and personal experiences. 

Mr G Narayanan was a very very special Guest –- he possesses Advanced diploma in Avionics Engineering (Indian Navy) and served for 15 years in Indian Navy.  We felt that only people like him deserve the high platform and every Indian should salute such Service personnel wherever we meet them.  He is an Alumni of Naval Elect Training academy, INS Valsura and had served on-board Aircraft Carrier INS Viraat for trial sorties of Russian made ASW helicopters during Gulf war.  He retired as Chief Aircraft Artificer on successful completion of 15 years.  Winner of many medals and accolades, he had received commendation from our Hon’ble APJ Abdul Kalam for Indigenisation project on Russian ASW helicopters along with scientists from DRDL & DRDO.   We felt so happy in having him in our midst and his speech was heard with rapt attention not only by the students but by SYMA members.

The success of SYMA Growth in uplifting the students from lower echelons of society is fully because of the untiring efforts of teachers of SYMA Growth.  The teachers present today spoke and wished the students.  Mr Srinivasan, advised on the need for putting in right efforts and gave useful tips in writing exams.   Mrs Subashini emphasised on right diet and not eating junk food while preparing for the examinations.  Mr R Seshadri @ Durai, summed up and proposed the vote of thanks. TP Srikanth conducted some fun games for the students and prizes for the winner in the games, as also some gifts for the teaching staff, courtesy ITC Limited.

Our Teachers were honoured with memento (silver medal).. .. .. enabling the students write the exams well, pen sets were given to all students. SYMA places on record our profound thanks  to the Management of NK Thirumalachariyar National Boys High School, Mr S. Venkatadri, HM, NKT Boys High School, our beloved teachers of SYMA Growth, Mrs Thara, and the volunteers.   Special appreciations are due to M/s Manpower Group India and Mr PV Venkatesan – for their support in fully-funding this project for the 3rd continuous year.  We would also like to mention the efforts of Mr Durai and Mr TJ Ramani in visiting the facility daily and in the conduct of full-fledged model exams in all subjects.  Thanks to Mr KV Srinivasan & Mr Kanakarajkumar for the photos of the occasion.   There are so many of you, who have contributed in the success of Growth and a BIG THANKS to you ALL.

                   The day concluded with special dinner for our students.   We now look forward to our students coming out with flying colours in the Public Examination.

Regards – S. Sampathkumar
24th Feb 2019.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

India lost Vizag T20 ~ should India boycott WC 2019 or at least refuse to play Pak ??

At Vizag, India faltered from 80/3 in 10 overs to 126/7 – and it appeared as though Aussies would win hands down .. after 18 overs they required 16 off 12 – and Jasprit Bumrah bowled a great over – it was 0-1-0-1 and then he had Handscomb skying high and well taken by Dhoni and cleaned the leg stump of Coulter-Nile. But Umesh Yadav could not defend – as Jhye Richardson and Pat Cummins hit a four each – and ran like hares in between, winning off the last ball. Earlier, the teams observed homage before the start of the game for Pulawama killings.

Game of Cricket  is enjoyable but – should India boycott World Cup 2019 ? – or at least refuse to play against Pakistan, if the Govt decides so against the Nation that kindles terror .. .. some would speak about losing points in that game, some more would say ‘do not mix politics with sports’ – this certainly not politics but the interest of the Nation.  Remember Pak players were there in inaugural IPL in 2008 and an year later – they were banned – roof has not come down, in playing without Paki players in IPL.  

When Shahid Afridi went unsold, Pak and its COO Wasim Bari made a hue & cry.  Pak board Chairman Ijaz Butt expressed in 2010  - "It really does not bother us; what difference does it make to us if our players don't play in the IPL this season? They didn't play in the last season as well."  .. then Pakistan's sports minister Aijaz Hussain Jakhrani  said - "Pakistanis must boycott IPL matches on television, ban the use of Indian products and stop watching Indian films featuring Bollywood stars who are IPL franchisees till an official apology is received from the Indian government and the IPL organisers." IPL 2019 is about to start, yet there is no Pak players – it has not harmed India or Cricket in any manner.

In Jan 1996, a truck (42-6452) containing about 440 pounds of high explosives crashed through the main gate of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, in Colombo, a seaside high-rise which managed most of the financial business of the country. As gunmen traded fire with security guards, the suicide bomber in the lorry detonated the massive bomb, which tore through the bank and damaged eight other buildings nearby.  It was gruesome .. .. .. and had its impact on Cricket !!!

Aaron Finch, the Australia captain, chose  to bowl first in the first T20I in Visakhapatnam. India captain Virat Kohli said he would have liked to bowl as well.  India picked three spinners - the allrounder Krunal Pandya and a pair of legspinners in Yuzvendra Chahal and Mayank Markande, making  his international debut. They also gave KL Rahul some game time at the top of the order, resting Shikhar Dhawan in order to do so. Australia, handed a T20I debut to Peter Handscomb.  They went in with an attack featuring as many as four frontline quicks in Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jhye Richardson and Jason Behrendorff, and the legspinner Adam Zampa. The fast bowlers kept their nerves scoring the required 14 off the last Umesh Yadav over.

The 1996 World Cup was the last time the tournament was managed by the host country and not the ICC.  In 1999 it was in England – and it proved to be more a marketing show than the game itself as the England captain Alec Stewart and his team-mates Graeme Hick and Adam Hollioake stood around the World Cup trophy posing for photographs with the supermodel Caprice, chosen as one of the cricket ambassadors during the tournament, to promote the sport. Caprice, flicking her long blonde hair out of her eyes, even tried bowling a few overs.  Caprice had the honour of modelling the hosts' blue uniform - far removed from the sport's traditional image of white flannels and sleepy village greens.  She admitted she did not know which team are defending champions - Sri Lanka. And her presence raised some eyebrows at Lord's, the home of cricket, where members confine talk of statistics to overs, runs and maidens of a different kind.

Carl Lewis too would have a different story to tell !  ~  Frederick Carlton "Carl" Lewis  won nine Olympic gold medals, one Olympic silver medal, and 10 World Championships medals, including eight gold. His career spanned from 1979 to 1996, when he last won an Olympic event. He is one of only three Olympic athletes who won a gold medal in the same individual event in four consecutive Olympic Games.  Not many would know or remember that he could easily have added one more Olympics to that, if not for his Govt decision (would one call it political stamping Sports !)

Lewis was a dominant sprinter and long jumper who topped the world rankings in the 100 m, 200 m and long jump events frequently from 1981 to the early 1990s. He set world records in the 100 m, 4 × 100 m and 4 × 200 m relays, while his world record in the indoor long jump has stood since 1984. His 65 consecutive victories in the long jump achieved over a span of 10 years is one of the sport's longest undefeated streaks. After retiring from his athletics career, Lewis became an actor and has appeared in a number of films. In 2011, he attempted to run for a seat as a Democrat in the New Jersey Senate, but was removed from the ballot due to the state's residency requirement.

Comparisons were beginning to be made with Jesse Owens, who dominated sprint and long jump events in the 1930s. Lewis qualified for the American team for the 1980 Olympics in the long jump and as a member of the 4 × 100 m relay team. The Olympic boycott precluded Lewis from competing in Moscow; he instead participated in the Liberty Bell Classic in July 1980, which was an alternate meet for boycotting nations. He jumped 7.77 m (25 ft 5 3⁄4 in) for a bronze medal, and the American 4 × 100 m relay team won gold with a time of 38.61s. 

In 1980, President Jimmy Carter informed some 160 U.S. athletes and coaches that the United States would boycott the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow in response to the Dec 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. It marked the first and only time the United States boycotted the Olympics. The presidential announcement came after the Soviet Union failed to comply with Carter’s Feb. 20, 1980, deadline to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan. The Soviets had invaded Afghanistan in 1979 to bolster the country’s pro-Soviet regime against Islamic insurgents. “I can’t say at this moment what other nations will not go … “ the president told the athletes who had assembled at the White House. But, he added, “ours will not go. I say that not with any equivocation; the decision has been made. The American people are convinced that we should not go … The Congress has voted overwhelmingly, almost unanimously, which is a very rare thing, that we will not go. And I can tell you that many of our major allies, particularly those democratic countries who believe in freedom, will not go.

“I understand how you feel, and I thought about it a lot as we approached this moment, when I would have to stand here in front of fine young Americans and dedicated coaches, who have labored sometimes for more than 10 years ... to become among the finest athletes in the world, knowing what the Olympics mean to you, to know that you would be disappointed. It’s not a pleasant time for me.” Carter added.  Eighty nations were represented at the Moscow Games — the smallest number since 1956. Canada, West Germany, and Japan joined the United States in boycotting the games. But Carter failed to persuade Britain, France, Greece and Australia to also observe the boycott. When an international coalition suggested that the boycotting nations send athletes to compete under a neutral Olympic banner, Carter threatened to revoke the passport of any U.S. athlete who attempted to do so. His decision affected not only athletes, but also corporate advertisers and broadcasters such as NBC.  The Soviet Union and 13 of its allies retaliated by boycotting the 1984 Olympic Summer Games in Los Angeles.

Though the  Olympic Games is the biggest  international multi-sport event, it has seen as many as 7 boycotts,  all of the Summer Olympics. The first boycott occurred at the 1936 Summer Olympics and the most recent was at the 1988 Summer Olympics. Rhodesia is the only country which has been prevented from entering, when its invitation to the 1972 Summer Olympics was withdrawn by the International Olympic Committee, following protests by other African countries.
Concluding with Cricket, in 1996 after that bombing in Colombo, referred to at the start, at least two teams forfeited their games, without playing in Sri Lanka.  Aussie  coach Bobby Simpson asked: 'Who wants to be around when bombs are going off?' But the World Cup organising committee, Pilcom, was unsympathetic to any requests to reschedule matches. Australia and the West Indies refused to send their teams to Sri Lanka  - on 17.2 Australia forfeited their match to Sri Lanka, and on 26.2 West Indies too forfeited their game enabling an easy passage to Sri Lanka, who went to win the World Cup in 1996.

So, don’t say as if ‘boycotting or refusing to play a team’ is new – it has happened earlier and if Pak continues to abet terrorism, there is no point in having any relations including any Sports. Stop terror, Save Nation – any game is of lesser significance than the Nation.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
24th Feb 2019.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

records tumble at Dehradun ~ Hazratullah Zazai sizzles !!

How often do you follow matches not involving India – that too between minnows ! – today – saw this match briefly and was wondering whether the ground was too small or .. .. !! – awe-struck !!

Shreyas Iyer smashed the highest T20 score by an Indian batsman to help Mumbai thrash Sikkim by 154 runs in their opening Group C clash of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in Indore on Thursday. Iyer went all guns blazing to hit 147 off just 55 balls. The Mushtaq Ali Trophy is the domestic T20 tournament. Iyer's 147 is the highest T20 score by an Indian and in the process he surpassed wicket keeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, who had scored an unbeaten 128 for Delhi Daredevils in the IPL.

At Dehradun,  Congress General Secretary Harish Rawat on Friday said the party will launch sincere efforts to build a grand Ram Temple at Ayodhya if it comes to power after the Lok Sabha elections. "On two previous occasions, the Congress made sincere attempts to build the Ram temple when it was in power. We will sincerely launch efforts to build the Ram temple if we come to power," Mr Rawat told reporters in Dehradun. Asked whether this the party's official stand, Mr Rawat said: "My statement regarding the Ram temple was widely reported in the media. There is no denial from the Congress."  -  what is happening .. yesterday Rahul was walking to Thirumala .. ..

Post Pulwama attack, various groups are taking out processions at regular intervals in different parts of the Nation, and Uttarakhand is no different. Candlelight march and processions by people chanting slogans against Pakistan is a common sight now. Dehradun, however, was surprised when an unexpected group of people shouted anti-Pakistan slogans. They were Afghanistan cricket fans who chanted “Pakistan Murdabad” during the Afghanistan versus Ireland T-20 international cricket match in Dehradun on Thursday night. The cricket series between Afghanistan versus Ireland began at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Dehradun with the first T-20 match. About 40-50 Afghanistan cricket lovers were present in the stand and they surprised Dehradun sports lovers by chanting “Pakistan Murdabad” many times during the match.

Dehradun is the interim capital of Uttarakhand. Located in the Garhwal region, it lies 236 kilometres (147 mi) north of India's capital New Delhi and 168 kilometres (104 mi) from Chandigarh. During the days of British Raj, the official name of the town was Dehra. Dehradun is located in the Doon Valley on the foothills of the Himalayas nestled between the river Ganges on the east and the river Yamuna on the west.. It is well connected and in proximity to Himalayan tourist destinations such as Mussoorie, and Auli and the Hindu holy cities of Haridwar and Rishikesh along with the Himalayan pilgrimage circuit of Chota Char Dham.

Dehradun is also known for its Basmati rice and bakery products.  Noted Indian revolutionary - Rash Behari Bose 1886 -  1945) was associated to this place. He was one of the key organisers of the Ghadar Mutiny and later the Indian National Army. Rash Behari Bose handed over Indian National Army to Subhas Chandra Bose.Rash

The Delhi Conspiracy case, refers to a conspiracy in 1912 to assassinate the then Viceroy of India, Lord Hardinge, on the occasion of transferring the capital of British India from Calcutta to New Delhi. Hatched by the Indian revolutionary underground in Bengal and Punjab and headed by Rashbehari Bose, the conspiracy culminated on the attempted assassination on 23 December 1912 when a homemade bomb was thrown into the Viceroys's Howdah when the ceremonial procession moved through the Chandni Chowk suburb of Delhi. Although injured in the attempt, the Viceroy escaped with flesh wounds, but his Mahout was killed in the attack. In the aftermath of the event, efforts were made to destroy the Bengali and Punjabi revolutionary underground, which came under intense pressure for some time. Rash Behari successfully evaded capture for nearly three years, becoming involved in the Ghadar conspiracy before it was uncovered, and fleeing to Japan in 1916.

Today at Dehradun – in the match between Afghan and Ireland – yes it is a netural venue, hosting for Afghanistan in the present T20 series too.  Batting first Afghan made mammoth 278/3 and beat Ireland 194/6  by 84 runs.  Paul Stirling stirred his bowlers but was frustrated.  Opener Hazratullah Zazai scored 162* off mere 62 studded with 11 fours and 16 sixers; other opener Usman Ghani made 73 off 48.  First wicket fell @ 236 at 17.3 !!
278 - The highest-ever total in T20Is. The previous record was 263 for 3 amassed by Australia against Sri Lanka in Pallekele in 2016. 162* - Hazratullah's score, the second-highest individual innings in the format. He fell ten short of Aaron Finch's record of 172, achieved against Zimbabwe in Harare last year. Finch and Zazai are the only two players to score in excess of 150 in T20Is. Apart from his 172, Finch had scored 156 against England in Southampton in 2013.

Interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
23rd Feb 2019.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Google doodle of the day and .. .. 'திருக்கவாலு'

Another interesting Google doodle this day !  -  Stingrays are commonly found in the shallow coastal waters of temperate seas. They spend the majority of their time inactive, partially buried in sand, often moving only with the sway of the tide.

1970களில் ஓர் மதியமும் மாலையும் சந்திக்கும் ஒரு நேரம். மெரினா கடற்கரை ~ அன்றைக்கும் இன்றைக்கும் நிறைய மாறியுள்ளது.  அன்று பிரபலம் - 'ரேடியோ பீச்' - மாநில கல்லூரி எதிரில் - ஒரு ரவுண்டானா - அதன் நடுவில் வானொலி இருக்கும்.  மாலை மாநில செய்திகளை கேட்க நிறைய பேர் வருவார்கள்.  சற்று முன் சாலையில் 'மெயில் வெண்டி நின்றிருக்கும்.  வரிசையாக பல டீம்கள் கிரிக்கெட் விளையாடுவார்கள்.  எங்கள் டீமின் அதி வேக பந்து வீச்சாளர்   என்னுடன் படித்த ஒரு மீனவ நண்பன்;  அவனது உறவினர் ஒருவருடன் பேசிக்கொண்டிருந்தான். 
                                      அவரது கையில் ஒரு பை ! - அதீத ஆர்வத்தில் அதைப்பற்றி வினவ, அவர் கூறியது - 'திருக்கவாலு' – [with his pronunciation, little was understood] – another day, asked my classmate again – and that moment was frightened – for it was not simple the tail of fish – but a deadly weapon in gangwar !!  அது திருக்கை எனப்படும் மீனின் வால். திருக்கையின் வால் உடலைவிட நீளமாகவும் இருக்கும். அந்த வாலில் மிக நுண்ணிய முட்கள் ஆயிரக்கணக்கில் இருக்கும். அதை சவுக்கு போன்று பயன்படுத்தினால், படும் இடத்தில் தோல் கழன்று, சதையையும் பிய்த்துக்கொண்டு,  இரத்தக்களரி, இரணைக்களரி தான்.   திருக்கை  என்பது பெரும்பாலும் தட்டை வடிவ உடலும், நீள வாலும் கொண்ட ஓர் நீர்வாழ் உயிரினம் ஆகும்.  இவ் விலங்குக்கு எலும்புக் கூட்டிற்கு மாறாக சுறா மீனைப் போன்ற வளையக்கூடிய அல்லது நீட்சிதரும் (நீண்மையுடைய) குருத்தெலும்பு கொண்டது.

Stingray injuries are caused by the venomous tail spines, stingers or dermal denticles of rays in the order Myliobatiformes, most significantly those belonging to the families Dasyatidae, Urotrygonidae, Urolophidae, and Potamotrygonidae. Stingrays generally do not attack aggressively or even actively defend themselves. When threatened, their primary reaction is to swim away. However, when attacked by predators or stepped on, the stinger in their tail is whipped up. However, this is normally ineffective against sharks, their main predator.  Stings usually occur when swimmers or divers accidentally step on a stingray, but a human is less likely to be stung by simply brushing against the stinger.

Steve and Terri spent their honeymoon trapping crocodiles together. Film footage of their honeymoon, taken by John Stainton, became the first episode of The Crocodile Hunter. The series debuted on Australian TV screens in 1996 and made its way onto North American television the following year. The Crocodile Hunter became successful in the United States, the UK, and over 130 other countries, reaching 500 million people. The man’s  exuberant and enthusiastic presenting style, broad Australian accent, signature khaki shorts, and catchphrase "Crikey!" became known worldwide. Sir David Attenborough praised him  for introducing many to the natural world.  A controversial incident occurred during a public show in 2004, when he carried his one-month-old son, Robert, in his arm while hand-feeding a chicken carcass to Murray, a 3.8-metre (12 ft 6 in) saltwater crocodile. The infant was close to the crocodile, and comparisons were made in the press to Michael Jackson's dangling his son outside a German hotel window. In addition, some child welfare groups, animal rights groups, and some of his  television viewers criticised his actions as irresponsible and tantamount to child abuse.  He  apologised on the US NBC show.  Though he had been in control of crocs for ages, the  incident prompted the Queensland government to change its crocodile-handling laws, banning children and untrained adults from entering crocodile enclosures.

CRIKEY! It is a word made famous by one man, the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin. A man who lived in his khakis and spent most of his time darting the bite of a venomous snake, wrangling a crocodile, or rescuing an animal in need of help. He had an infectious personality that was saturated with enthusiasm and a love for life and wildlife alike.  Fatal stings are very rare; when television presenter Steve Irwin was killed in 2006, it was only the second case recorded in Australia since 1945. In Irwin's case, the stinger penetrated his thoracic wall, causing massive trauma.

Stephen Robert Irwin (22 Feb 1962 – 4 Sept 2006), nicknamed "The Crocodile Hunter" was an Australian zookeeper, conservationist, and television personality. Irwin achieved worldwide fame from the television series The Crocodile Hunter (1996–2007), an internationally broadcast wildlife documentary series which he co-hosted with his wife Terri; the couple also hosted the series Croc Files (1999–2001), The Crocodile Hunter Diaries (2002–2006), and New Breed Vets (2005). They also owned and operated Australia Zoo, founded by Irwin's parents in Beerwah, about 80 kilometres (50 mi) north of the Queensland state capital city of Brisbane.

Irwin died at 44, after being pierced in the heart by a stingray barb while filming an underwater documentary film titled Ocean's Deadliest. Though his life was cut short when he was impaled through the chest by a stingray in 2006 near the Great Barrier Reef,  his legacy remains immense. He was a popular television personality, a zookeeper, science educator, and a conservationist. He would have been 57 years old today, and a Google Doodle not only honors him, but also the work he dedicated his life to.

In the eyes of critics, his stunts sometimes went too far, there was also a time he was investigated for filming too close to humpback whales and penguins, possibly putting them at risk. (He was never charged with any crime.) Antics aside, his devotion to animals and conservation began long before the show ever existed. His father, Bob Irwin, was a herpetologist who founded a zoo in Queensland, Australia, where Steve grew up. Steve would come to run the park, now called Australia Zoo, and promote the educational and conversation efforts there. “My job, my mission, the reason I’ve been put onto this planet, is to save wildlife,” he once said. He had reason to worry. His Wildlife Warriors charity bought up hundreds of square miles around the world for wildlife conservation. The charity, which is still operating today, is also involved in conservation efforts for animals like Sumatran tigers, koalas, Cambodian elephants, and more. The Australia Zoo even manages a 500-plus-square-mile reserve in the north of Queensland, named after Irwin.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
22nd Feb 2019.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

India in ICJ ~ and criticising the old man of Cricket !!

After missing tours to India and Bangladesh in order to pursue short-form contracts, the 39-year-old Jamaican mades his West Indies return against England yesterday in the first one-day international at the Kensington Oval.  He made runs, a ton in fact – yet is being criticized !! -  As well as confirming he will retire from international one-day cricket after this year’s World Cup – “The youngsters owe it to me [to lift the trophy]” – Gayle was asked if England’s 100-ball tournament launching in 2020 appeals to him.

Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav (alias Hussain Mubarak Patel)  is alleged by the Pakistani government that he was arrested in the Pakistani province of Balochistan on charges of terrorism and spying for India's intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing.  India maintains that  he had been "kidnapped last year from Iran and his subsequent presence in Pakistan has never been explained credibly". On 10 April 2017, Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Field General Court Martial in Pakistan. On 18 May 2017, the International Court of Justice stayed the execution pending the final judgement on the case.. .. .. the hearing is now on

On 19.2.2019, Pakistan was snubbed at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) when it sought for a replacement of an ad-hoc Pakistani judge during the hearing of the case.  Pakistan's Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan said his country's ad-hoc judge to the ICJ, Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, suffered a cardiac arrest on Monday during the first day of hearings of the case and requested that his replacement be sworn-in before he could make his argument. However, the ICJ President, Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, overlooked the plea and told the Pakistani advocate, "I would like to ask you to read your statement if your statement is ready. We are ready to hear you and hear your side." Mr Khan then went on to make his argument, a day after the Indian side told the world court that Mr Jadhav had been sentenced to death by a military court during a "farcical" hearing and that he should be released forthwith.

During the hearing yesterday, India's advocate Harish Salve raised questions over how a military court could hold a trial for a civilian without giving him a due and transparent right to defend.  Mr Khan, in his counter, said, "Local laws are within the domain of parliament and the independent courts of Pakistan. Similarly, the creation of military courts was through this parliamentary process."

The 2019 Cricket World Cup (officially ICC Cricket World Cup 2019) is the 12th edition of the Cricket World Cup, scheduled to be hosted by England and Wales, from 30 May to 14 July 2019.   The first match will be played at The Oval while the final will be played at Lord's. It is the fifth time that the Cricket World Cup will be held in England and Wales, following the 1975, 1979, 1983 and 1999 World Cups. The format for the tournament will be a single group of ten teams, with each team playing the other nine teams, and the top four teams progressing to a knockout stage of semi-finals and a final.

The ICC and the 2019 World Cup organising committee remain confident that the tournament's biggest match, to be played between India and Pakistan on June 16 in Manchester, will go ahead despite the volatile situation between the two countries in the wake of a terrorist attack in Kashmir last week. With the World Cup starting in 100 days, there are have been scattered voices that want India to boycott the group match against Pakistan. The fixture itself remains the biggest game of the tournament: nearly half a million applications for tickets poured in as soon as the ICC opened its ballot. Even the World Cup final, to be played on July 14 at Lord's, paled in comparison with about a quarter of a million applications.

A top BCCI official said that the World Cup match between India and Pakistan will not take place if the Indian government is against it.  "If the government, at that point of time, feels that we should not play then we should not play. It is obvious that we won't play if Govt so decides   ~ there have been some comments that the points would be awarded to Pak – but does that really matter.  After Pulwama, when Pakistan continues to nurture terrorists against India, why play them – even if it were to be finals, we should not ! – winning World Cup is not the main thing – our soldiers at Pulwama and on the border are most important.  Whatever be the decision, I have made mine – I would not watch India-Pak match, nor write about the match !!

At Bridgetown England secured a big win after a high chase.  England 364 for 4 (Roy 123, Root 102) beat West Indies 360 for 8 (Gayle 135, Hope 64) by six wickets.   England, led by Jason Roy and Joe Root centuries, showed why they are World Cup favourites, gatecrashing Chris Gayle's retirement party and posting their highest successful ODI chase to win the series opener against West Indies in Barbados. Self-proclaimed "Universe Boss" Gayle bossed the England bowlers around once he hit his stride, smashing 12 sixes as he led West Indies to their highest score against England. But, on an enviable batting pitch and against a line-up as strong as England's, 361 still looked to be an achievable target for the world's No. 1 side.

Media reports in a particular fashion stating that Gayle took a long time to settle in the official start of his ODI swansong, having declared that he would retire from one-day cricket after the World Cup, starting in May. After 14 overs, Gayle had just 12 runs off 36 balls; by end of the 35th he had faced 100 deliveries for his century. There were periods of this innings when he looked like an old man who had played for a year or five too many. He can hardly run (there were only two twos in his entire innings), he looked exhausted long before the end and, for the first 15 or so overs, when other openers might be taking advantage of the field, he could barely lay bat on ball. Had he been caught by Jason Roy - as he surely should have been - when he had just 9, there may well have been questions asked about his future: that drop came off his 33rd ball. Until then, he really had looked awful. One wag in the press box even labelled him "Universe Dross". He is 39, after all, and hadn't played an ODI since July. He hadn't scored an ODI century against a team other than UAE or Zimbabwe since 2013; he hadn't scored one against England since 2006. "The package Gayle brings with him is not entirely positive, though. His lack of mobility in the field is a throwback to Victorian days"  Time catches up with everyone.

What was conveniently forgotten is -  he does have nearly 10,000 ODI runs. And he does have 24 ODI centuries. Which is as many as Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy combined. More than all that, yesterday, he made  135 off 129 balls but also caught on with his team-mates, who added 11 of their own for a world record 23 sixes in West Indies' total of 360 for 8. So you blame who scored a majestic 135 with 12 sixers – it was the bowlers who could not defend 360 and don’t blame the batsman, especially Chris Gayle. He hit his first six of his 37th ball and, by the time he had faced 122, he had added 11 more. That's 12 in 86 deliveries. At one stage he hit four in six balls (excluding wides) and seven in 21, with his second 50 taking just 24 balls. He basically clears his front leg, makes no attempt to keep the ball on the ground - there were only three fours in his innings - and hits mightily, brutally, fantastically hard.  Nine of his sixes were in the arc between long-on and square leg; two were over long-off; one, ridiculously, flew off the edge and over third man.

There is another man – the mercurial MS Dhoni who at this age displays remarkable agility, great speed in thinking, decisive in DRS and the speed between the wickets - can both hit sixes and scamper quick ones and twos.  Has there not been criticism in India too !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
21st Feb 2019.