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Tuesday, May 28, 2019

forfeiture in Sports ~ Davis Cup and Test at Oval - Afridi knows no history !!


Former Pakistan player Shahid Afridi who courts controversy again and again,  reacted angrily to Gautam Gambhir’s suggestion that India should not play against Pakistan in the upcoming World Cup in England.  As most angry reactors are, Afridi knows little of history or Truth !

In Feb, with not all of us following - Prajnesh Gunneswaran failed to pull off an upset against Italy's Andreas Seppi and India were eliminated from the Davis Cup after losing the knockout World Group Qualifiers 3-1. After choosing the grass of Calcutta South Club, India had given themselves the best chance against hard court and clay lovers Italy but India's weakness in singles bit them once again. India's top singles player Prajnesh was up against Italy's most experienced player Seppi;  the Italian proved to be just too good for the Indian.  With Prajnesh's 1-6, 4-6 loss, India lost the tie and Ramkumar Ramanathan's final singles rubber was not even played. India had received momentary hope in the tie from the doubles win of Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan but Prajnesh could not be up to the task.  To all Tennis lovers of this land – have you heard of Jasjit Singh ?  ~ a former Professional Tennis player of  India. 

South Africa's Lloyd Harris reached the second round of a Grand Slam for the first time at Roland Garros on Monday, lending weight to his nickname of 'The King'. The 22-year-old from Cape Town defeated Czech veteran Lukas Rosol 6-1, 4-6, 2-6, 6-1, 6- - "I was only 19 when I made it into the South Africa Davis Cup team which was a group full of older guys -- 27, 28, and into their 30s," Harris told AFP.  Davis Cup !!

The Davis Cup is the premier international team event in men's tennis,  run by the International Tennis Federation (ITF), contested annually between teams from competing countries in a knock-out format. It is described by the organisers as the "World Cup of Tennis", and the winners are referred to as the World Champion team.  The competition began in 1900 as a challenge between Great Britain and the United States.  The most successful countries over the history of the tournament are the United States (winning 32 tournaments and finishing as runners-up 29 times.) The present champions are Croatia, who beat France to win their second title in 2018.

Jasjit Singh born in Delhi, became the first Sikh to play for India Davis cup team, selected for 1974 Davis Cup. His first appearance was a loss to Japan's Toshiro Sakai in a dead rubber, as India had already secured the tie. India then faced the Australian team in the Eastern Zone final and Jasjit was chosen ahead of Anand Amritraj to play the first singles rubber.  In front of a Calcutta crowd, Singh managed to beat his Australian opponent Bob Giltinan in four sets, to give India a 1–0 lead.  John Alexander won; India came back strongly in the doubles;  Singh lost the reverse singles to  Alexander.  India won the tie 3–2 after Vijay Amritraj defeated Giltinan in the deciding match.

India has had some successes in Davis cup with noteworthy victories in the tournament between 1921-1929, defeating the likes of France, Romania, Holland, Belgium. Spain and Greece – all of them strong teams with top-ranked players – among others. The inspirational performances from Cotah Ramaswamy and Krishna Prasad brought laurels to the country. India regularly won the Zonal finals in the 1960s and played the Inter-Zonal finals during the 1960s.  India reached its first final in 1966 which is widely considered its best ever result in the tournament. Powered by the legendary Ramanathan Krishnan and Jaideep Mukherjea, India beat Brazil 3-2 in the Inter-Zonal Final at Kolkata to qualify for the Challenge Round but lost 1-4 to Australia, Krishnan and Mukherjea managed to beat the 1965 Wimbledon champions Newcombe and Roche in the doubles.

The 1974 Davis Cup was the 63rd edition of the most important tournament between national teams in men's tennis. 57 teams would enter the competition, 33 in the Europe Zone, 12 in the Americas Zone, and 12 in the Eastern Zone.  South Africa defeated Colombia in the Americas Zone final, India defeated Australia in the Eastern Zone final, and Italy and the Soviet Union won the Europe Zones. In the Inter-Zonal Zone, South Africa defeated Italy and India defeated the Soviet Union.

The final,  was scheduled to be completed by 1st Dec 1974, but India forfeited the match – yes, under instructions from the Govt., India did not want to play South Africa and the match was awarded to South Africa by default.     After defeating Australia and Russia, India had a realistic chance of winning the Cup, but he Congress Govt ruled by Mrs Indira Gandhi decided that they would not play against SA, in protest of Apartheid practice prevalent in the country.  The decision, which most believe came from Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, ceded the Cup to South Africa and came as a crushing disappointment for the players on both teams.  The boycott did spare the South African officials that ran Ellis Park in Johannesburg, which was scheduled to host the matches, from having to accommodate Indian fans.

.. .. well, that is not all ~  in 2009 - International Tennis Federation (ITF)  declared India the winner of  Davis Cup tie in Chennai after Tennis Australia (TA) said it would not send a team due to security fears.  By virtue of its decision not to send a team to compete against India, Australia  forfeited the tie.

Afridi may not know or follow Tennis – yet Afridi though not part of playing X1 was part of that tour 2006 – 4th Test at Oval reaching an end, after an extraordinary day of rumour, speculation, and high farce that brought the game to the brink of one of the biggest crisis in recent memory. The decision was finally made at 10pm London time, in a makeshift press conference hall in the bowels of the Oval pavilion. It was the first such forfeiture in 129 years of Test cricket. Four long hours after play was called off for the day, and after protracted negotiations between the ICC, the ECB and the PCB, it was left to David Collier, the ECB's chief executive, to read out a statement that will doubtless raise more questions than answers. According to Surrey officials, 12,000 tickets had been sold in advance - all of which will now have to be refunded, along with 40% of day's takings - a combined loss of about £400,000. The initial incident took place in the 56th over, when umpires Darrel  Hair and Billy Doctrove deemed that the quarter seam on the ball had been raised and would therefore have to be changed. But the situation only really kicked off after tea, as the Pakistanis remained in their dressing-room in protest at the decision.

Pakistan became the first team in 129 years to forfeit a Test, after taking umbrage at being punished for ball-tampering on the fourth day of the Oval Test of 2006 by the umpires, Australian Darrell Hair and West Indian Billy Doctrove. What began simply as a five-run penalty soon escalated into a diplomatic standoff and an issue of national pride. Pakistan refused to take to the field after tea, and though they changed their minds later, the match was forfeited.

.. .. .. this time, the forfeiture, if it happens, if India, refuses to play Pakistan, could be lucky for Pak in earning points, as they have never beaten India in a Cricket World Cup.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
28th May 2019.


WC set to start ~ should India forfeit its game against Pakistan ?


In January 1996, the Central Bank in Colombo, was bombed by the LTTE. It was one of the deadliest terrorist attacks. 91 people died and there were more than 1400 people who were injured.  A truck containing about 440 pounds of high explosives crashed through the main gate of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, a high-rise building which managed most of the financial business of Sri Lanka.

Michael Slater, the former Australia opening batsman and now commentator, will be heard on Channel Nine's World Cup broadcast after the ICC confirmed he remains a part of the world broadcast feed for the event, due to begin on May 30. Following a highly publicised incident on Sunday when Slater was escorted from a Qantas domestic flight from Sydney to his hometown of Wagga Wagga, after becoming embroiled in a heated argument with two female fellow travellers, ESPNcricinfo understands he was spoken to by host broadcasters and reminded of the behavioural standards all commentators must uphold.  Cricket World Cup 2019 is all set to begin !

Steven Smith has dismissed his reception by the Hampshire crowd as "white noise" and "water off a duck's back" after his century helped Australia to a 12-run victory over England.  Both Smith and David Warner were booed loudly by large sections of the crowd when they came out to bat and when they were dismissed, but Smith was also jeered when he reached fifty and then when he completed a sprightly hundred.

India would start their campaign at Southampton on 5th June (8th match of tournament) against South Africa.  On 9.6, we play Australia;  On 13.6 at Nottingham, we play Newzealand; on 16.6 – set to play Pakistan at Manchester;  22/6 Afghanistan at Southampton; 27/6 at Manchester against West Indies; 30/6 against England at Birmingham; 2/7 against Bangladesh; 6/7 against Sri Lanka at Leeds.. ..  of these should India play Pak at Manchester or should they refuse to play – meaning forfeit the game ! [please don’t jump on board with usual views of ‘games are different than politics’ – ‘this has never happened before’ – both are myth]

In the wake of the Pulwama terror attack in February this year, several citizens,  cricketers including Gautam Gambhir had raised their voice against neighbouring nation Pakistan and urged the government to cut all cricketing ties with them. Former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi lashed out at cricketer-turned-MP Gautam Gambhir for suggesting that India should forfeit its match against Pakistan in the upcoming World Cup. Addressing a press conference on Saturday, the 44-year-old called Gambhir ‘foolish’ and also said that the citizens of India voted for a candidate who lacks wisdom.  Words from a cheater who has always fought with everyone .. ..  only recently, Pakistan opener Imran Farhat  criticised Shahid Afridi for ruining careers of other players for his own good. In his autobiography titled “Game Changer”, Afridi had revealed that he was not 16 years old when he made his senior national debut as he was born in 1975 and not 1980 ! – this is the kettle !!

Though there are no indications at present on India not playing Pakistan at Old Trafford, Manchester on 16.6 – it is for India to decide and Afridi can have no role in it.  First let him mend his fence and think of what he did to Pak cricket and palyers rather than advising any Indian.  He has attitude problem and bad mouthed India when IPL was out of bounds ..  .. that is one of his bones of cry.   Junaidkhan was dropped and reacted on twitter with mouth plastered.  On being asked about Junaid Khan’s reaction to being dropped from the 15-member Pakistan squad, Afridi said that the seamer’s method of protest was wrong, but he would have done the same.

What Pak prime minister Imran Khan has proved by refusing to condemn or take any action against the Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammad which has openly claimed responsibility for the Pulwama suicide-car-bombing is that the 1992 World Cup winning captain is no longer a sportsman but just another pliable politician who will do anything to stay in power even if it means selling his soul to the PakisCan army’s ISI.  Now is here what history tells us .. :

Three weeks before the 1996 World Cup, as many as 1000 people were affected due to a terrorist attack in Colombo. This raised concerns over playing the match in Sri Lanka especially in Colombo. On the eve of World Cup, the hosts Sri Lanka faced Wills XI, a combined team of players from India and Pakistan. The game was organized to put away the security fears of teams.  In the 5th game of the tournament, Australia and Sri Lanka were set to face off at the RPS Stadium in Colombo which was the first game of both sides in the tournament. The Aussies decided to pull out of the game and were in Mumbai at the time of the game and conceded two points to Sri Lanka. The two faced off in the final in Lahore which Sri Lanka won by seven wickets to lift their maiden CWC title. Much like Australia, the Caribbean team too showed fears in playing against Sri Lanka in Colombo. However, the walkover given by Windies to Sri Lanka gave a chance to the underdogs.

Before you try to link Srilanka, LTTE terrorism and more .. forfeiture / walkover was not restricted to Sri Lanka alone .. .. .. England were placed in Group A during the 2003 World Cup alongside formidable teams in form of Australia, India and Pakistan. England were slated to play their first match in Harare against Zimbabwe. England forfeited the game over moral, political and contractual aspects. The England team were clear about not touring Zimbabwe prior to the start of the tournament. The then British Prime Minister Tony Blair ordered his team not to play in Zimbabwe Much like England, the New Zealand side showed fears in touring Kenya owing security reasons. The Kenyan capital Nairobi was under terrorist threat and the game between the hosts and Kiwis was slated in the same city. The Blackcaps were clear with their stand of not playing the game in Kenya and ended up conceding four points.

~ and there are so many instances of teams not participating in Olympics .. .. boycotting the games

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
28.5.2019.

Monday, May 27, 2019

17th Lok Sabha ~ look at some of the successful candidates


The 2019 Indian general election was held in seven phases from 11 April to 19 May 2019 to constitute the 17th  Lok Sabha. In a mass electorate of about 900 million people – around 67% voted.  Bharatiya Janata Party won 303 seats, further increasing its substantial majority and the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance won 353 seats giving Narendra Modiji another chance.  Congress is not even the official opposition as it could win only 52 seats.

There were empty rhetorics – actor Prakash Raj was making so many criticism but could get less than 30000 votes describing it as a ‘ slap on the face’.  Away, stunned by the rout of his Rashtriya Janata Dal in Bihar and Jharkhand in the Lok Sabha election, Lalu Prasad gave up lunch after the declaration of poll results on May 23 for two days.

Before you proceed further, someone who knows politics will admit that the way elections happen, especially party tickets and candidature has changed forever in Tamil Nadu.  Way back in Dec 1984, in the 8th Legislative assembly elections for the Triplicane constituency, I worked for an independent who got close to 3000 votes.   A small team of us campaigned vigorously, drew the party symbol on roads / walls, made door-to-door campaign – life was simple those days – the candidate could meet people, talk to them – our campaign team of 15 odd people could criss-cross roads, even where the main political parties were making campaign – don’t think these are possible now ! ~ the candidates are powerful, wealthy and there is so much of money and muscle power unleashed by regional parties of Tamil Nadu.

Statistically that was the 8th  legislative assembly election for Tamil Nadu.  Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (ADMK) won the election and its leader, incumbent M. G. Ramachandran (MGR) was sworn in as Chief Minister, for the third time. In that general election M. Karunanidhi did not contest, perhaps the only time  since 1957 until his death.

This election has made us raise our heads looking at some of the young MPs and some achievers too.  From Bangalore South comes Tejasvi Surya, youngest member from BJP,  an active member of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and General Secretary of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha. He won the elections by defeating B. K. Hariprasad of Congress by 3,31,192 votes.

In Andhra Pradesh, Araku valley, YSR Congress Party MP Goddeti Madhavi who has won the Araku Lok Sabha seat has the least declared assets worth Rs one lakh. The  youngest woman MP will be Chandrani Murmu, a 25-year-old Biju Janata Dal candidate who had won the Keonjhar seat in Odisha, whereas, the oldest is a 74-year-old Congress candidate Preneet Kaur from Patiala in Punjab.

Murmu, an engineering graduate, was just another girl seeking a job after obtaining her B.Tech degree. Chandrani Murmu, a tribal woman,  made history after winning the Lok Sabha seat from Keonjhar in Odisha. She has become the youngest Member of Parliament (MP) at the age of 25 years and 11 months.

There are names like -  Dushyant Chautala from Hisar Constituency in Haryana, the grandson of noted politician Om Prakash Chautala, was the youngest member of the 16th Lok Sabha. Chirag Paswan won the second consecutive time from Jamui seat in Bihar by nearly 5.3 lakh votes over his main rival Bhudeo Chaudhary of the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party.  Chirag Paswan is son of Member of Parliament and Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan. Chirag has a B Tech in Computer Science. He acted in the Bollywood movie Miley Naa Miley Hum in 2011; that  film failed at the box office,  ending his Bollywood career.

The Women's Reservation Bill may still be pending in Parliament, but 33% of the candidates from Odisha elected to the Lok Sabha are women, that too representing different sections of society.  Seven of total 21 MPs from Odisha are women. While five women have won the elections on Biju Janata Dal tickets, two belong to the BJP. They include a former IAS officer, a doctor, an engineer, a grassroots-level leader, a member of erstwhile royal family, and a homemaker.

The woman photo at the start, Aparajita Sarangi  has won from  Bhubaneshwar is a former IAS Officer.   A former Odisha cadre Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1994 batch, Sarangi quit her job and joined the BJP in 27th November, 2018 to contest the 2019 Indian general election. She was fielded against Biju Janata Dal's Arup Patnaik.  Sarangi was awarded  Shakti Samman in 2012. She had last served as the Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Rural Developmentand has also worked as Bhubaneswar Municipal Commissioner and secretary of the state’s mass education department. Her husband, Santosh Sarangi, is also an IAS officer of the same batch.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
27th May 2019.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

SYMA Growth Interviews ~ we march on to our 12th year


SYMA has an unsaturated desire for serving the Society. SYMA [Srinivas Youngmen’s Association]  has been in the field of Social service since 1977.  Education is the most important thing in life – it will give Worldly pleasures  and give pleasure to the world too; it will not diminish by giving; it will spread the fame of those possessing it; cannot be destroyed… there is no better medicine  than Education that can cure all ills.   At SYMA, we realize that  Education can refine a person and ensure one’s success in life.   We at SYMA, feel strongly the primary responsibility  of improving the Society and helping the underprivileged. 

6th July 2008 was indeed a very auspicious day ~ for on that day 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.   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. 

A few decades ago, things were far  were far different when we joined, studied and left … not these long queues, ordeal of admission, it was mostly of simple application filling and getting in – but when a seat is gotten with great difficulty, how many parents would visit the school, know the teacher of their son/daughter, ever interact with them. ….  Those days, the teacher was a learned, highly respected man – commanding wishes when he (or she) walked on the roads – and do you remember your favourite teacher ??   ~ how were you admitted in to school and as a parent what is your experience attending an interview for admission of your child ??  ~ every year,  we get more applicants for our free tuition centre – SYMA Growth .. .. in mid 1970s, my parents had some difficulty in enrolling my elder sister in to 3rd standard of N. Samarao School at Singarachari St. .. .. an innocuous statement by the school authorities, that enrolling in 1st Standard (no L.Kg / U.Kg at that time) – made by parents took the child playing at home and  put me into school – even they had not planned and had taken simply because there was none to take care ! ~ and thus began my education career .. ..  ‘Abhyium & Nanum’ movie was interesting – it revolved around Raghuraman and his home in Ooty. The way he narrates the story of his daughter Abhi's enrollment in school and his endless preparations for the 'parents' interview, not to mention his wife Anu's own treatment, was hilarious.

A couple of years back, The Hindu had an article on a techie taking half a day’s leave from work to collect the LKG admission form for his 4-year-old daughter from a famous Chennai convent.  He realised he had arrived late – he was there at 6 a.m. — only to find out that many other parents, also seeking LKG admission for their children, had parked themselves at the school much earlier. To avoid the rush, the school had put up notices outside asking parents to not wait as plenty of forms available, but this did not help. While some came in the morning, a large number had begun queuing up since the previous night.  This year for the 30 odd seats in each section of SYMA tuition centre, we issued around 45 applications for Commerce group & X English medium i.e., ensured issuance of application for all those who stood in the queue at the appointed hour – then in due process, giving weightage for host of factors that include parental income, parental education, disabilities, if any; single parent !; children brought-up by grandparents, type of school, locality and more – we gave marks to each applicant and based on that was the selection process of students  – we had set our eyes on random no. generation even !!!

I have been posting about our full-time tuition centre SYMA Growth providing quality tuition free to under-privileged children.  SYMA Growth students hand-picked from lower strata of society did so well last year too.  In  +2 it was  ‘all pass’ – making us proud.  [15 of them in Science group and 28 in Commerce group]   Our Student Ms Varsha was the topper in Science with 545 out of 600.  4 of them got above 400; 9 students are in the bracket 300-400.  In the Commerce group, the topper is Pugazhenthi 506/600.  6 got more than 400 and 12 above 300.  In X Standard too, our students  performed well.   In English medium out of 24 / 23 have passed (the other one is being checked) – our Growth topper is Ms Harini with 427/500 & Ms Jeevitha secured 418/500. o   In Tamil medium, (which perhaps represents the poorest of poor in the society) – of 13 students – 12  have passed.  The topper is Ms Afrin Banu with 318/500.

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.    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.  Special appreciations are due to M/s Manpower Group India and Mr PV Venkatesan – for their support in fully-funding this project for the academic year 2019-20 too.

Every year we conduct a personal interview for the students and their parents. For X standard it was conducted on 23.5.2019 and today (25.5.2019) it was for +2.  Primarily, to students,  we emphasise the need for being disciplined, coming to classes punctually and concentrate on studies.  To parents, this is to emphasise the value of this tuition centre, not to get carried by the notion of ‘free tuitions’ –realise the quality, the need for having  a vision for their children, follow-up with teachers and our coordinator on the way their ward attend tuition and the way they shape up. There is certain need for regular interaction and regular follow-up and we make them understand how parents have a role in shaping the career and in ensuring a right environ for their children to study.

11 years have fleeted past; SYMA office-bearers carry on with same zest and zeal in providing quality education to poor free and in assisting them reach higher echelons of society – only education can do that and SYMA Growth is the best platform as evidenced by the results thus far.  During the personal interaction with the parents, I was pleasantly surprised and really felt happy in hearing that a student of our Growth has since joined BDS [Dental medicine] through NEET and is studying well.  When the mother praised us for the role in shaping the role of her daughter and raising their value in society, we felt overwhelmed.

WE pray to our Sri Parthasarathi Emperuman, the presiding deity of Thiruvallikkeni divyadesam to keep showering his munificence and show us the path, give us the strength to work untiringly for the goals of SYMA ~ which is social service to the society without thinking of any recompense.

Here are some photos of the interview of X standard students of SYMA Growth.  SYMA rededicates itself to the cause and have initiated the beginnings for 12th year @ SYMA Growth – the Academic year 2019-20.  This year too - @ Growth, we have 4 Sections – X Std Tamil; X Std English; +2 Commerce & +2 Science.  

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
25.5.2019










Thursday, May 23, 2019

Lok Sabha 2019 results ~ fir ek baar Modiji Sarkar


BJP’s big victory is the main headline everywhere globally too. BJP made handsome gains in West Bengal and has managed to thwart the threats from BSP-SP Mahagathbandhan in Uttar Pradesh. The saffron wave not only swept through the Hindi heartland and Gujarat, but also rippled through West Bengal, Odisha, Maharashtra and Karnataka. Only Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh appeared untouched. Even in Telangana, the BJP was ahead in four seats, the same as the Telangana Rashtra Samiti.  ‘ it is Modiji Sarkar’ again !! 
                                 
Repeating its near improbable feat of landslide victory in North and West India with a vote share of nearly 50 per cent, the NDA has taken a massive lead over the Congress-led UPA. The alliance has crossed the majority mark of 272 and is moving towards 350 seats mark out of the total 542 Lok Sabha seats.  Riding on a massive saffron surge sweeping through most parts of India, the BJP-led NDA government looks set to become the only non-Congress government to return to power in the Indian political history. After Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, Narendra Modiji is also the third prime minister of India who has been able to retain power for a second term with full majority in Lok Sabha.

The Indian Lok Sabha, is composed of representatives of the people chosen by direct election on the basis of the adult suffrage. The maximum strength of the House envisaged by the Constitution is 552, which is made up by election of upto 530 members to represent the States, upto 20 members to represent the Union Territories and not more than two members of the Anglo-Indian Community to be nominated by the Hon'ble President, if,  in his/her opinion, that community is not adequately represented in the House. The total elective membership is distributed among the States in such a way that the ratio between the number of seats allotted to each State and the population of the State is, so far as practicable, the same for all States.

In the first ever General Elections held to Lok Sabha, the composition was – Congress 398; Independents 36;  Communist Party 17; Kisan Mazdoor Praja Party 10; Hindu Mahasabha 4; Tamilnadu Toiler’s party 4 ~ among others …

In Lok Sabha 2019 results announced now, Prime Minister Narendra Modiji  recorded a spectacular victory in Varanasi, clocking a margin of 4,75,754 votes.  Modi polled a total of 6,69,602 votes while his nearest rival, Shalini Yadav of the Samajwadi Party (SP), got 1,93,848. Ajay Rai of the Congress got 1,51,800 votes.  In 2014, Modiji  won from Varanasi by a margin of 3.37 lakh votes.  Varanasi has been celebrating the Prime Minister's victory since the morning with songs, dance and sweets.
Modiji at Mukthinath (Salagrammam divyadesam)

The other camp is glum .. .. Rahul Gandhi, president of the Congress party, congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi this evening for his spectacular re-election and asked him to "take care of the interests of the country"; the 48-year-old also conceded defeat in Amethi to BJP leader Smriti Irani – handing over the constituency that has been with his family for four decades. Mr Gandhi has reportedly offered to resign as President of the Congress, though the party is unlikely to accept.

It would be surprising if the results of India’s national elections, declared today (May 23), surprised Rahul Gandhi.  Gandhi debuted in electoral politics in 2004, contesting the general elections that year from the Gandhi family pocket borough of Amethi in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The seat was earlier held by his father, and though the party has almost vanished from the state, Amethi, along with Rae Bareli, has remained unbreached as his family’s parliamentary bastions. Yet,  this is not the first major defeat that the scion of the Indian National Congress’s first family has suffered since his entry into the Indian political scene. The only difference is that his party had hit the rock bottom in the last parliamentary elections in 2014, from where it could only go in one direction: up.

Rahul however won Wayanad.  In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, M I Shanavas of INC won in this seat by defeating the CPI candidate by a margin of 20,870 votes which was 2.28% of the total votes polled in the constituency. INC had a vote share of 41.21% in 2014 in the seat. In a huge setback to the Congress, veteran party leader Mallikarjun Karge was defeated by BJP's Umesh Jadhav in Gulbarga by a margin of 95,452 votes.  Popularly known as "solillada Saradara", (a leader without defeat), this was the first electoral loss in Kharge's political life spanning several decades. While Jadhav secured 6,20,192 votes, Kharge got 5,24,740 votes, according to the Election Commission.

Terming the Lok Sabha poll results as unprecedented, BSP president Mayawati again raised doubts over EVMs on May 23 and indicated that her alliance with the SP and the RLD will continue. "We had not contemplated that the alliance will fare so badly. People are not able to digest the poll results. It is against their sentiment and aspirations," she said. Pointing fingers towards electronic voting machines (EVMs), the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo said, "Several shortcomings of conducting elections through EVMs have come to our notice and there is opposition to EVMs all over the country." She added that after this results, whatever confidence people had in EVMs will disappear.

To end with some KQ -      Shri G.V. Mavalankar was the first Speaker of Lok Sabha (15 May 1952- 27 February 1956) while the first Deputy Speaker of Loksabha 1952 was  Shri M. Ananthasayanam Ayyangar.

So it is Modiji sarkar again !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
23rd May 2019.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

UK Chaos !! littleport riots - this day – 203 years ago !


Everybody claims to love peace, yet there are so many disturbances in the civil society ~ often there are theories that chaos, riots are doctored – sometimes by the rulers and many a times by the opposition to ensure defeat of the other ideology – how bad these schemers are – they try to gain making others life miserable .. .. … ……

In Aug 2011, there were riots - a series of riots spreading to almost a week,  when thousands of people rioted in cities and towns across England, saw looting, arson, and mass deployment of police, and resulted in the deaths of five people.Protests started in Tottenham, London, following the death of Mark Duggan, a local man who was shot dead by police on 4 August. Several violent clashes with police ensued, along with the destruction of police vehicles, a double-decker bus and many homes and businesses, thus rapidly gaining attention from the media. The following days saw similar scenes in other parts of London, with the worst rioting taking place in Hackney, Brixton, Walthamstow, Peckham, Enfield, Battersea, Croydon, Ealing, Barking, Woolwich, Lewisham and East Ham.

Back home in India, in Mar 1908 -  V. O. Chidambaram Pillai and Subramania Siva were arrested in Tuticorin – crime, delivering inflammatory speeches against the Govt and the British foisted sedition case against them.  A riot broke-out demanding their release – called ‘Tinnevely riot’ –a direct response  to the arrest and subsequent conviction of Indian nationalists Subramania Siva and V. O. Chidambaram Pillai.  Public buildings except the town office were attacked and furniture destroyed though there was no loss to life. Twenty-seven persons were convicted for participation in the riot. .. .. British clamped many restrictions and supressed any uprising with iron hands (boots) – yet there were some in the land, who adored the British, stating that coming from land of disciplined people, they would not tolerate chaos .. .. and that was their ‘brand intolerance’ ~ history would reveal that United Kingdom has not been a land of paradise !

The Swing Riots were a widespread uprising in 1830 by agricultural workers in southern and eastern England, in protest of agricultural mechanisation and other harsh conditions. It began with their destruction of threshing machines in the Elham Valley area of East Kent in the summer of 1830, and by early December had spread throughout the whole of southern England and East Anglia.

There were widespread agitations against Corn Laws too. The Corn Laws were tariffs and other trade restrictions on imported food and grain ("corn") enforced in Great Britain between 1815 and 1846. The word "corn" in the English spoken in Nineteenth Century Britain denoted all cereal grains, such as wheat and barley. They were designed to keep grain prices high to favour domestic producers, and represented British mercantilism. The Corn Laws imposed steep import duties, making it too expensive to import grain from abroad, even when food supplies were short.The Corn Laws enhanced the profits and political power associated with land ownership. The laws raised food prices and the costs of living for the British public.

In that so called peaceful land, riots broke out on this day – 203 years ago !  - know as Ely and Littleport riots of 1816, occurred between 22 and 24 May 1816 in Littleport, Cambridgeshire. The riots were caused by high unemployment and rising grain costs, much like the general unrest which spread throughout England following the Napoleonic Wars.

In 1815, the government increased taxation on imported wheat and grain to help pay for the costs of the Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815). Poor laws, such as the Speenhamland system, were designed to help alleviate financial distress of the poorer communities, but such systems helped to keep wages artificially low as the farmers knew labourers' wages would be supplemented by the system. Basic commodities, like cereals and bread, became heavily over-priced, creating widespread social unrest. The worst hit were the families of the men returning from the Battle of Waterloo (1815) who arrived home at a time when unemployment was already high. One reply to a questionnaire circulated by the Board of Agriculture in February, March, and April 1816 reported that "the state of the labouring poor is very deplorable, and arises entirely from the want of employment, which they are willing to seek, but the farmer cannot afford to furnish."   The cost of wheat and bread were raising astronomically.

The Littleport riot broke out when a group of residents met at The Globe Inn. Fuelled by alcohol, they left the inn and began intimidating wealthier Littleport residents, demanding money and destroying property. The riot spread to Ely where magistrates attempted to calm the protests by ordering poor relief and fixing a minimum wage. The following day, encouraged by Lord Liverpool's government, a militia of the citizens of Ely, led by Sir Henry Bate Dudley and backed by the 1st The Royal Dragoons, rounded up the rioters. In the ensuing altercation at The George and Dragon in Littleport, a trooper was injured, one rioter was killed, and at least one went on the run.

Littleport is a large village in Cambridgeshire with a population in 1811 of 1,847. On 22 May 1816, a group of 56 residents fuelled by alcohol, directed their anger at local farmer Henry Martin. He had been overseer of the poor in 1814 and was not well liked by the parishioners.  The rioters began at Mingey's shop, where stones were thrown through the windows, and then they invaded Mr Clarke's property and threw his belongings into the street. The rioters  visited the premises of disabled 90-year-old Mr Sindall, throwing his furniture into the street; his housekeeper, Mrs Hutt, was intimidated by a rioter wielding a butcher's cleaver… after many looting,  the rioters arrived at the house of the Reverend John Vachell, who, after threatening to shoot anyone who entered his house, was disarmed when three men rushed him.

Edward Christian, Chief Justice of the Isle of Ely was entitled to try the rioters alone. The government, in this case via the Home Secretary, Lord Sidmouth, nevertheless appointed a Special Commission, consisting of Justice Abbott and Justice Burrough. The rioters were tried in the assizes at Ely during the week commencing June 1816. 23 men and one woman were condemned, of which five were subsequently hanged. General unrest and riots such as that at Littleport may have been a factor in the government passing the Vagrancy Act of 1824 and subsequently the Metropolitan Police Act of 1829.

The Judge sentencing and punishing people observed that - It is of the highest importance to the peace and safety, not only of this isle, but of the surrounding country, that all who are present on this solemn inquiry, and all who read the account of its proceedings (and there are few parts of the kingdom in which it will not be read) may be convinced by the awful lesson which may here be taught, that whatever wild or chimerical notions may prevail of the power of an armed multitude, the law is too strong for its assailants; and that, however triumphant or destructive their sway for a few days, those who defy the law, will ultimately be compelled to submit either to its justice or its mercy.

Some of the convicts were transported and sailed   on the convict ship Sir William Bensley, which departed for New South Wales in Oct 1816.  At least 5 were executed after conviction of diverse robberies during the riots at Ely &Littleport. .. including them there were total of 83 persons executed in 1816 charged with riots.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
22nd May 2019.

Gomathi Marimuthu tests positive ! ~ doping in Sports !!


In the field of athletics, more specifically, sprint race – Usain Bolt is an emperor.  Bolt improved upon his second 100 m world record of 9.69 with 9.58 seconds in 2009 – the biggest improvement since the start of electronic timing. He twice broke  the 200 metres world record, setting 19.30 in 2008 and 19.19 in 2009. His achievements as a sprinter have earned him the media nickname "Lightning Bolt".  In case you still remember 2008 Olympic Games, held at Beijing in Aug, 2008 – where a total of 10,942 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) competed in 28 sports and 302 events.  Not many of us may remember or know that Nesta Carter was (yes, WAS) a Gold medallist.  Nesta Carter, a Jamaican sprinter, was successful as part of the Jamaican 4 x 100 metres relay team, taking gold and setting successive world records at the 2011 World Championships and 2012 London Olympics.   Almost a decade later, the International Olympic Committee sanctioned Carter for doping at the 2008 Olympic Games, meaning that Carter lost gold medal for the Men's 4x100m Relay ~ and that resulted in a medal less for Usain Bolt too .. ..

Doping in Sports in nothing new ~ perhaps in earlier era, tests were not as severe ad perhaps some got away with it ..the sporting World that had always admired Lance Armstrong for his resilience, was shocked to hear the doping allegations.  When Seoul Olympics was on air live in 1988, the heart throb was Ben Johnson, born in Jamaica but running for Canada – one of the firsts to break the 10 sec barrier.  

My favourite writer Sujatha wrote a novel in Kumudam titled ’10 second mutham’ – a story of an Indian female athlete who is trained to break the barrier of 10 seconds and her emotional relationship with the coach formed the nucleus of that story.  

It was indeed thrilling watch to watch Ben Johson finish with 9.79 seconds. Actually closer to the finish, he turned his neck to see where his competitors were and started celebrating with a hallmark rise of fingers. He was praised so much and the race would remain etched in one’s memory. It is another matter that he was snatched of the Gold in a few days due to his testing positive for the prohibited drug. From the start he dominated reportedly hitting a max speed of 30 mph (48/3 kmph) and completed the lap in 48 strides.The same Olympics also showcased - Florence Delorez Griffith Joyner (1959-1998), considered the fastest woman of all time.  Known as "Flo-Jo", Griffith Joyner was the big favourite for the titles in the sprint events at the 1988 Summer Olympics.  Though records keep tumbling down, for women her record of 10.49 seconds remains. 

Photoed here is : Gina L├╝ckenkemper, German track and field athlete who won gold in the 200 metres at the 2015 European Junior Championships. She took part in the 100 metres at the 2015 and 2017 World Championships.

Gomathi Marimuthu had been the biggest surprise for India with her 800m gold at the recent Asian athletics championships in Doha, and immediately back home, some were trying to portray as if she had been neglected, she had no money to buy running shoes even (suggesting that her shoes had different colours, which was more of a fashion statement) and burying the fact that she had been employed in Govt dept as a sports recruit .. ..   now she is in big doping trouble.

The Tamil Nadu athlete has failed a dope test for a banned steroid at last month’s Doha Asians and now faces a four-year ban. It is another news that She had tested positive in the Federation Cup held more than a month before that !“I don’t know what really happened, I will surely be asking for my ‘B’ sample to be tested,” Gomathi reportedly informed the media  from New Delhi on Tuesday evening. “I was supposed to fly to Spala (Poland) today.”

Impressed by her time in the two-lapper, the Athletics Federation of India had planned to train her for the 4x400m relays too. Gomathi was supposed to leave from Delhi for Spala on Tuesday with a bunch of athletes for training and competition but the federation has now stopped her from going. Gomathi’s struggles in life had been one of the best stories to emerge from the Doha Asians. She has been in the form of her life, first winning the gold at the Federation Cup in 2:03.21 and then improving it to a personal best 2:02.70s in Doha for her maiden Asian title.That gold brought her an automatic berth for this September’s World championships in Doha.

But Gomathi, who was not a national camper, would not even have made it to Doha if the results of the dope tests taken during the Federation Cup held in Patiala from March 15 to 18 had come on time.She tested positive in both (Federation Cup and Asians),” confirmed Adille Sumariwalla, the AFI president. He added - “We have zero tolerance to doping. As far as we are concerned, she is immediately suspended provisionally. She has the right to get her ‘B’ sample tested. If she is innocent and her ‘B’ sample is okay, we take her back, otherwise, straight away she is suspended for four years.”

India could now lose one of the three golds it had won at the Doha Asians  and that does not augur well for the Sports in the Nation.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
22nd May 2019.