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Saturday, October 19, 2019

Remembering the martyrs and saluting Police .. ..


This morning Marina beach was abuzz  ~ vehicles were not allowed to be parked in the inner ring road.  There was large posse of Police nearer Gandhi statue too! You see them everywhere and seek their help – the men and women  in khaki,  those known for bravery and safe-guarding us – “ Police ” ~ 21st October is the day to remember them.

It is unlikely that most of us would recognize the names of Dharman, Rajguru, Chandra, Edward Joseph and some others .. .. for sure you have read about them.

Tamil Nadu Police Department is the primary law enforcement agency of the State that has more than a century old history.  In some ways, the engagement by Pedda Naik to guard the town of Madrasapatnam way back in 1659 was perhaps a precursor.  Close on the heels of Indian Independence struggle, Madras Dist Police marked the beginning of Modern day Madras Police.  With the implementation  opf  Madras District Police Act XXIV in 1859,  new recruits were inducted in the police force.

National Police Commemoration Day is observed every year on October 21 remembering the brave policemen who sacrificed their lives while discharging their duties. Rich tributes are paid to the martyrs on this day.   On this date in 1959, a Central Reserve Police Force patrol at the Indo-Tibetan border in Ladakh was ambushed by Chinese forces as part of the ongoing Sino-Indian border dispute.  Last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modiji  inaugurated India's first national police museum in Delhi on the occasion of police commemoration day.

On this day, every year, Nation pays homage to the policemen martyred in firing by Chinese troops in 1959 and more than 34000  others who laid down their lives protecting India's unity. Observed as 'Police Commemoration Day', October 21 commemorates the sacrifices of the 10 policemen while defending India's borders with China in 1959, a statement by the ministry said.  At Chennai, Police Officials and others pay homage at the martyr memorial inside the IG Office Complex on Beach road. 

It is the day to remember the heroes of the Nation who safeguard us and who sacrificed their lives for protecting our tomorrow.

In Chennai, the Police Department has announced some changes in traffic due to the observation of Guards Memorial Day in the section from Santhome to R. K. Salai on 19th and 21st October.  In an announcement released yesterday, it is mentioned:
‘The Police Memorial Day is observed in front of the Memorial located in front of the Tamil Nadu Police Department Headquarters at 8.00 AM on the 21st  of October. Rehearsals are to be carried out on this today (18th October) and tomorrow (19th). So, some traffic changes as under are being made for these 2 days. 

Next time, you see a friendly Police Cop, remember to salute him ~ for it is because of them, we live in peace.

Our former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was cruelly assassinated by a suicide bomber in Sriperumpudur on 21st May 1991.  It was carried out a member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.  Alongside Rajiv, many others too lost their lives and many more were maimed suffering physical injuries throughout their life.  Among those killed were these Policemen :  Mr Dharman,   a Special Branch head constable in Kancheepuram.  Mr Rajguru, Police Inspector, Pallavaram; Ms Chandra, constable; Mr Edward Joseph, Police Inspector

Remembering and saluting those unknown faces – Tamil Nadu Police and Police Organisation of India – Jai Hind .. Jai Jawan – Salute to Police

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
19th Oct 2019.
Biblio : https://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/rajiv-gandhi-assassination-other-people-killed-2813120/

Thursday, October 17, 2019

change in rule ~ Super Over that robbed Kiwis of the World Cup 2019


Do you still remember that Group D match in -  ICC World Twenty20 at Durban, played on Sep 14 2007  !  ~ if not for the date or otherwise, for the result and more so, for the manner perhaps !!

A month or so ago, the match between Trichy & Madurai threw up a tie.  Siechem Madurai Panthers won the toss and put Ruby Trichy Warriors in.  Murali Vijay brought up his second half-century in as many matches with a six off R. Mithun. Murali’s unbeaten 78 off 66 and K Mukunth’s 32 took Trichy to 142/6.  In reply, Panthers, despite losing two wickets, raced to 59 in the first six overs with opener K.B. Arun Karthick (46, 26b, 7x4, 1x6) scoring the bulk of the runs.  But the  match went into Super Over in the midnight.  Abhishek & Arun Karthik opened – the team made just 12 runs – 2 balls wasted !  Requiring mere 13 it was Tanwar to bowl- Murali Vijay slashed at a wide delivery and hit it straight to Mithun at deep point.  in chase the team could not score just 13 !! 

For the not so well informed – a ‘Super Over; called  a one-over eliminator  is a tie-breaking method used in limited-overs cricket matches, where both teams play a single, additional over of six balls to determine the winner of the match. A match which goes to a Super Over is officially declared a "tie", and won by the team who scored the most runs in the Super Over. If the Super Over also ends in a tie, the winner is typically decided by  some other parameters.  A Super Over was first used in 2008 in Twenty20, replacing the bowl-out method that was previously used for breaking a tie. The Super Over was introduced into One Day International (ODI) cricket at the 2011 Cricket World Cup knockout stage, but it was left unused. 

The entertaining Cricket World Cup 2019 ended with ‘a virtual no result’ – yes – ‘a tie’ – a super over ending in another tie but England winning the tournament after 48 games, for the first time and, and New Zealand not losing the match !   "Ridiculous", "absurd", "random", "arbitrary", "unsatisfactory", "galling", "unfortunate", "a shame" ~ is what Kiwis media had to scream for they felt treated unfair.  Black Caps fate  on a World Cup final was decided by a countback of boundaries hit.   The hosts England became the World Champions after tying with New Zealand on 241 each after their respective 50 overs. They both scored 15 in the super-over shootout – but England won thanks to hitting more boundaries in their 50 overs.         

The rules for the Super Over read : -
         The team batting second in the match will bat first in the Super Over.
         The fielding captain or his nominee shall select the ball with which he wishes to bowl his over in the Super Over from the box of spare balls provided by the umpires. Such box to include the balls used in the main match, but no new balls. The team fielding first in the Super Over shall have first choice of ball. The team fielding second may choose to use the same ball as chosen by the team bowling first. If the ball needs to be changed, then playing conditions as stated for the main match shall apply.
         The loss of two wickets in the over ends the team’s one over innings.
         In the  event of the teams having the same score after the Super Over has been completed, if the original match was a tie under the DLS method, clause 15 immediately applies. Otherwise, the team whose batsmen hit the most number in the match (ignoring super over) shall be winner.
·         If still equal, a count-back from the final ball of the Super Over shall be conducted. The team with the higher scoring delivery shall be the winner. If a team loses two wickets during its over, then any unbowled deliveries will be counted as dot balls. Note that for this purpose, the runs scored from a delivery is defined as the total team runs scored since the completion of the previous legitimate ball, i.e including any runs resulting from wides, no ball or penalty runs. of boundaries combined from its two innings in both the main match and the Super Over shall be the winner. ~ and there is more
         If the number of boundaries hit by both teams is equal, the team whose batsmen scored more boundaries during its innings

After it created such a furore, and after three months after a World Cup was decided by boundary count, International Cricket Council on Monday tweaked the Super Over rule for all its major events.  From now on, in case a situation arises where both teams are tied even after the Super Over in a final or semifinal, the Super Over will be repeated until there is a clear winner !
 
 “Following on from a recommendation from the ICC Cricket Committee, the Chief Executives’ Committee agreed that use of the Super Over as a way to decide results at ICC events will be retained. Both the Cricket Committee and CEC agreed it was an exciting and engaging conclusion to the game and will remain in place covering all games at both ODI and T20I World Cups,” the ICC said after its board meeting here. “In group stages, if the Super Over is tied, the match will be tied. In semifinals and finals, there is one change to the Super Over regulation in keeping with the basic principle of scoring more runs than the opponent to win, the Super Over will be repeated until one team has more runs than the other.”

The board also decided that the eight-year cycle commencing in 2023 will comprise eight men’s events, eight women’s events, four men’s U19 events and four women’s U19 events. “In examining a whole range of options, the Board felt a major men’s and women’s event each year will bring consistency to our calendar whilst complementing bilateral cricket, giving our sport a strong future foundation,” said ICC chairman Shashank Manohar.

Having been the first to recommend it, Sachin Tendulkar on Wednesday welcomed the ICC’s decision to stop boundary count as a way of deciding knockout games in its global tournaments like the World Cup. “I felt this was important as it is a fair way to obtain a result when nothing else separates the 2 teams,” Tendulkar tweeted in favour of the move. England were adjudged winners of the July 14 final owing to more number of boundaries — 22 fours and two sixes to New Zealand’s16 — after the regulation game and the ensuing Super Over ended in a tie. Two days later, Tendulkar endorsed a second Super Over to decide the winner instead of applying the boundary count rule. Many former players and fans criticised the rule after the nervewracking final, prompting the game’s governing body to rethink.

Now, if you remember the Q at the start it was a match where India defeated Pak in a bowl-out !!   ~  a bowl-out was used in limited overs cricket to decide the fate of a match that would otherwise end in a tie.  It was strange and equivalent to a penalty shootout in Football.  5 bowlers from each side would deliver bowling at an unguarded wicket [all 3 stumps].  If both hit the equal no., after 5 tries, the bowling would continue and decided by sudden death !!

In that match after a tie, Shoaib Malik won the toss and asked India to have the first go. India nominated  Virendra Sehwag, Uthappa, Sreesanth, Pathan and Harbhajan ! sounded strange – Sehwag is part-time, while Uthappa is a keeper.  For Pak it was to be Umar Gul, Tanvir, Arafat, Afridi and Asif.

It was tense !! – Sehwag bowled with Dhoni behind – disturbed stumps with a faster delivery.  Yasir Arafat bowled a full toss and missed.  Harbhajan ran in and celebrated hitting the stumps.  Umar Gul came off a short run and missed the stumps.  Robin Uthappa with a cap on, ran in knocked the stumps, took his cap off and bowed to the crowd.   An irate Shahid Afridi fired one down the leg side missing the stumps by a huge margin – and at Kingsmead, India handed yet another defeat to Pak – this time in eerie circumstances.  Recently, Mahinder Dhoni revealed that his side had practiced for the bowl outs before and after their training sessions.

Interesting !

Regards – S. Sampathkumar
17th Oct 2019.


Hamara Bajaj Chetak set to return in electric avatar !


Auto industry has been going through a slowdown, marred by a slack in consumption. This has taken a toll on auto stocks which have been in freefall lately.  Bajaj Auto NSE opened in the red following an important announcement; the  intraday fall also paused the stock's four-day winning streak.  Bajaj Auto shares were trading 0.5 per cent down at Rs 3,004 on BSE. In the last four sessions, the stock gained 4.76 per cent.

Till a couple of decades ago, most middle class depended on two-wheelers and scooters were once proud possession  ~ in fact were offered as dowries.   There was this nice advertisement  -  ‘Hamara Bajaj’ -  Bajaj scooters were selling hot – Bajaj dealers were minting money.   Bajaj had its plant at Akurdi [no longer vehicles roll out from here] ~ now it has at Aurangabad and Uttaranchal. … There was the premium Bajaj Chetak, Super, Cub, Viking and more… 100 cc and 150 cc scooters with engines mounted on the side. Chetak was launched in 1972 and ruled the market for decades.  People used to wait for years after booking, vehicles were sold at a premium, some said they got it by paying in foreign currency which was extremely scarce those days.  Those were the days of Bajaj scooters which had sort of forced Lambrettas out of the market;  Vijay, Lamby were the other names in Scooters while in motor cycles – it was  Rajdoot, Yezdi (Jawa) and Enfield Bullet.  With not many cars around, the 1980s & early 1990s were the age of two wheelers and their enthusiastic  riders.

Brand ‘Bajaj’ was an  internationally acclaimed one.  Bajaj Auto is one of the largest group founded in 1926 at the height of India's movement for independence from the British. Sri  Jamnalal Bajaj, founder of the group, was a close confidant and disciple of Mahatma Gandhi.  Later when the market expanded towards 100cc bikes, Bajaj was to partner Kawasaki and recently KTM too.  KTM Sportmotorcycle AG is an Austrian motorcycle, bicycle and moped manufacturer. The company was founded in 1934 by engineer Hans Trunkenpolz in Mattighofen. Unlike Bajaj’s utility scooters, KTM is known for its off road motorcycles though in recent years it has expanded into street motorcycle production. The term off-road refers to a driving surface that is not conventionally paved. This is a rough surface, often created naturally, such as sand, gravel, a river, mud or snow.

A couple of years ago, Bajaj Auto,  the second largest bike manufacturer in India  launched the second offering from the KTM stable, the Duke 390 for Rs 1.8 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).  The Duke 390 combined 43.5 bhk (break horse power) of  peak power, 35 Nm (newton metre) of torque and a host of features like ABS, Metzeler tyres, aluminum swing arm, aluminum alloy wheels.  

in its peak – Bajaj Chetak was a premium brand.  “ Chetak ” was  named after the legendary horse of Raja Rana Pratap Singh.   It was launched in 1972 and ruled the market for decades.  People used to wait for years after booking, vehicles were sold at a premium, some said they got it by paying in foreign currency which was extremely scarce those days.  There were stories of it being unavoidable dowry in the mid 70s and early 80s.   A very sturdy simple one – those days in Bajaj vehicles,  the engine was mounted on one side and hence those owners touted that others would find it difficult to ride.  I remember taking delivery of Bajaj Chetak after paying Rs.16200/- [all inclusive on road on Jan 1990] –  and was so elated in owning it.

Now, Bajaj has become the first mainstream Indian motorcycle brand to enter the electric space. The launch of Chetak e version,  marks the return of Chetak after almost 14 years. Most of its peers were also trading in the red, pulling Nifty Auto index down 0.1 per cent. Exide Industries was the biggest loser in the pack down 2.5 per cent, even after the company said it will start the production of lithium-ion batteries from December targeting the emerging e-vehicle market.

With its electric avatar,  Bajaj Auto, which exited scooter segment years ago, has made a comeback in the category, using the name of one of its most-popular brands. The company plans to start selling electric scooters from January, starting from Pune and then will move to Bengaluru. Any further expansion will happen after the company analyses response to the product. The company did not disclose price of the new scooter — which does not carry the looks of the previous model — but said it would not be more than 1.5 lakh. On a single charge, the scooter comes with a range of 85 km on the sports mode and 95 km on eco mode. The charging time is expected at around five hours.

The e-scooter would be rolled out from the company’s Chakan plant and would be retailed from the company’s pro-biking dealerships which sell high-end motorcycles. The company also plans to export the model to various markets in Europe from next year. The e-scooter was unveiled by transport minister Nitin Gadkari in the presence of Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant and Bajaj Auto MD Rajiv Bajaj. Interestingly, Bajaj had recently called plans for a complete switchover to electrics by 2025 as impractical and ill-timed, saying a large-scale transition will require time. Bajaj said it wanted to be the first mover in the segment as an established player in the two-wheeler industry.

Interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
17th Oct 2019.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

the new double centurion ~ welcome to Yashasvi Jaiswal


Those days, Ashok Mankad would bring in unknown players for Mafatlal / Nirlons and would win Buchibabu tournament by sheer batting performance.  Mumbai has always produced classy batsman – Vijay Manjrekar, Vijay Merchant, Chandu Borde, Ashok Mankad, Dilip Sardesai, Ajit Wadekar, Salim Durrani,  Sunil Gavaskar, Farokh Engineer, Eknath Solkar,  Dilip Vengsarkar, Sandeep Patil, Ravi Shastri, Sanjay Manjrekar, Praveen Amre, Sachin Tendulkar, Vinod Kambli,Rohit Sharma Ajinkya Rahane, Prithvi Shaw ~ Amol Majumdar, Wasim Jaffer  … and … more … and the latest sensation in that list could well be ‘ Yashasvi Bhupendra Kumar Jaiswal’.   ~ he is in news today.

Vijay Hazare Trophy, the Ranji One-Day Trophy, that was started in 2002–03 as a limited-overs cricket domestic competition involving state teams from the Ranji Trophy plates is now on. It is named after the famous Indian cricketer Vijay Hazare.  Tamil Nadu is the most successful team having won the trophy 5 times. Mumbai are the current champions(2018-19) who won their 3rd title beating Delhi in the finals. Vijay Hazare  captained India in 14 matches between 1951 and 1953. In India's 25th Test match, nearly 20 years after India achieved Test status, he led India to its first ever Test cricket win in 1951–52 against England at Madras, winning by an innings and eight runs in a match that began on the day that King George VI died.

Length balls rear dangerously to crash into batsmen's helmets, full deliveries jump to hit elbows, a length ball from an offspinner flies over the wicketkeeper's head, and short balls roll through along the ground - welcome to Vijay Hazare Trophy action in Vadodara.  It's the latest dampener in an already long and exhausting group stage that has seen multiple washouts, several rounds of rescheduling, and player statistics being revoked for incomplete matches.  Vadodara's Moti Bagh Stadium surface, on which Maharashtra were bowled out for 65 on Wednesday, has come in for special scrutiny. Even Punjab lost four wickets before they knocked off the target. At the same venue on Sunday, Odisha were shot out for 73, with deliveries scooting low or "jumping off patches from which the top surface came off", according to an Odisha batsman.  Wasim Jaffer, Vidarbha's senior batsman and Ranji Trophy's highest run-getter, who has played around India for the last 25 years, expressed disappointment at the state of affairs. "If Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav or any fast bowler over 140 clicks were available and bowled on these surfaces, many batsmen would've been injured and their seasons would've possibly ended, he added.

Away, 17 year old  Yashasvi Jaiswal became the youngest man to hit a List A double-century, finishing with finishing with 203 in 154 balls against Jharkhand in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy.

The Mumbai opener is the second to double up this season after Sanju Samson made history less than a week ago, scoring 212 not out. It was his his first List A century - for Kerala against Goa - and it was also the highest individual score in the competition, going past Karn Veer Kaushal's 202 for Uttarakhand against Sikkim last season, the first time a double was scored in the tournament. Jaiswal has now joined Samson and Kaushal in the list. "Jaiswal's 154-ball innings included 17 fours and 12 sixes. That's 140 runs in boundaries."

Of the nine double-tons in List A cricket by Indian batsmen, five have come in ODIs: three by Rohit Sharma, and one each by Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag. Those aside,  Shikhar Dhawan made 248 for India A against South Africa A in Pretoria in 2013.

Opening the batting against Jharkhand in Alur with Aditya Tare, Jaiswal outscored his more experienced partner as the two put on 200 runs for the first wicket in 34.3 overs before Tare was dismissed for a 102-ball 78 by Anukul Roy. Jaiswal continued to score quickly, as Siddhesh Lad contributed just 32 in the second-wicket stand of 105 runs, and went on to reach the double with captain Shreyas Iyer by his side. He did briefly threaten Samson's mark of 212 but fell with two balls left in the innings when he was caught by Rahul Shukla off Vivekanand Tiwari, who had earlier dismissed Lad.  Cricinfo reports that for the prodigiously talented Mumbai teenager, it was a third century in five Hazare Trophy games this season after 113 against Goa and 122 against Kerala.

Jaiswal first came in the spotlight during the Under-19 Asia Cup in Dhaka in October last year, when he scored a 113-ball 85 in the final as India beat Sri Lanka by 144 runs. That capped an excellent tournament for him, in which he topped the charts with 318 runs. More recently, at the Under-19 tri-series in England in July-August this year, where Bangladesh were the third team, he scored 294 runs in seven innings at an average of 42 and a strike rate of 74.05, finishing fourth on the run-scorers' list. He hit four half-centuries then, including a 72-ball 50 in the final, when India beat Bangladesh by six wickets.

His achievement is all the more laudable given the face of adversity ! ~ media reports suggest that back in 2012, an innocent 11-year-old boy arrived in Mumbai with a dream of playing cricket for the country. He lived in a tent with no toilet facilities, sold panipuri to sustain himself and would go to sleep without eating for days on.   It is that boy who has represented India in  U-19 and has now become famous with that double ton.  Son of a shopkeeper in Bhadohi, Uttar Pradesh, Yashasvi was only 11 when he moved to Mumbai to pursue his passion for cricket.
Best of luck to this exciting Cricketer

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
16th Oct 2019.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Google doodle on "phénakistiscope" ~ what !?


When was the last time you saw a Cinema on screen in a theatre ? ~ how much time do you spend daily seeing TV – and how many Serials do you see ? (perspective could change totally depending on gender too !)

I have not heard or read of this instrument that is described to be in the form of a spinning cardboard disc attached vertically to a handle. Arrayed radially around the disc's center is a series of pictures showing sequential phases of the animation. Small rectangular apertures are spaced evenly around the rim of the disc. The user would spin the disc and look through the moving slits at the images reflected in a mirror. The scanning of the slits across the reflected images keeps them from simply blurring together so that the user can see a rapid succession of images that appear to be a single moving picture. When there is the same number of images as slots, the images will animate in a fixed position, but will not drift across the disc. Fewer images than slots and the images will drift in the opposite direction to that of the spinning disc. Confusing !

The phénakisticope was the first widespread animation device that created a fluid illusion of motion. The phenakistiscope is regarded as one of the first forms of moving media entertainment that paved the way for the future motion picture and film industry.

Though some could call them boring, their popularity is never in Q.  Some serials usually run for one season, for 100–1000 episodes of 22 minutes. They are often centered on a family story, with love ties and relationships being in the focus, more of negative characters these days, portraying wrong relationships too. Though not in any order of popularity, some popular TV serials could be :  Vannakolangal, Metti Oli, Anandham, Rail Sneham, Marmadesam, Annamalai, Thangam, Kolangal, Thendral .. …

A soap opera is a radio or television serial dealing especially with domestic situations and frequently characterized by melodrama and sentimentality. The term soap opera originated from radio dramas being sponsored by soap manufacturers.   BBC Radio's The Archers, first broadcast in 1950, is the world's longest-running radio soap opera; the world's longest-running television soap opera is Coronation Street, first broadcast on ITV in 1960.

This is no post on soap-operas but to some extent on soap-bubble. Daily experience shows that soap bubble formation is not feasible with water or with any pure liquid. Actually, the presence of soap, which is composed at a molecular scale of surfactants, is necessary to stabilize the film. Most of the time, surfactants are amphiphilic, which means they are molecules with both a hydrophobic and a hydrophilic part. Thus, they are arranged preferentially at the air/water interface.  Soap films are thin layers of liquid (usually water-based) surrounded by air. For example, if two soap bubbles come into contact, they merge and a thin film is created in between. Thus, foams are composed of a network of films connected by Plateau borders. Films are used as model systems for minimal surfaces, which are widely used in mathematics.

Plateau's laws describe the structure of soap films. These laws were formulated in the 19th century by the Belgian physicist Joseph Plateau from his experimental observations. Many patterns in nature are based on foams obeying these laws ~ and today’s Google doodle on this Joseph Plateau considered in someways to be pioneer of movies.
                             Today’s Doodle celebrates the Belgian physicist Joseph Antoine Ferdinand Plateau, whose research on visual perception inspired him to invent a device he called the phénakistiscope, which led to the birth of cinema by creating the illusion of a moving image. Inspired by the mesmerizing animated discs, the animated Doodle art was made to reflect Plateau’s style, with different imagery and themes in them on different device platforms.

Born in Brussels on this day in 1801, Plateau was the son of an accomplished artist who specialized in painting flowers. After studying law, young Plateau became one of the best-known Belgian scientists of the nineteenth century, remembered for his study of physiological optics, particularly the effect of light and color on the human retina. Plateau’s doctoral dissertation detailed how images form on the retina, noting their exact duration, color, and intensity. Based on these conclusions, he was able to create a stroboscopic device in 1832, fitted with two discs that rotated in opposite directions. One disc was filled with small windows, evenly spaced in a circle, while the other had a series of pictures of a dancer. When both discs turned at exactly the right speed, the images seemed to merge, creating the illusion of a dancer in motion.

Plateau lost his vision later in life, he continued to have a productive career in science even after becoming blind, working as a professor of experimental physics at Ghent University with the help of colleagues that included his son Felix Plateau and his son-in-law Gustaaf Van der Mensbrugghe. Google Doodle today celebrates what would have been the 218th  birthday of Belgian physicist Joseph Antoine Ferdinand Plateau.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
14th Oct 2019.

cleansing the Nation ~ Modiji plogging at Mahabalipuram


What it takes to keep the surroundings clean ? – have you ever wondered when you walk past any area which is untidy ! – other than blaming the system and expecting people to refrain from throwing litter everywhere.. … what can we do to keep the public places clean – how can we prevent people throwing waste from their balconies and from their two-wheelers or throwing from a distance !!

A recent video and photos  of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji  cleaning Tamil Nadu’s Mamallapuram beach created waves of response.  While it was a huge positive impact on right-minded citizens, who took him as a great role model, some with negative mindset did criticise it stating that it was not PM’s job and it was a   planned photoshoot.

.. .. .. and some did wrong propaganda too.   Congress MP from Tamil Nadu’s Shivaganga constituency Karti Chidambaram tweeted three images on Saturday night. Two of them show PM Modi cleaning the beach and the third image  of an equipped camera crew in action. He wrote Jai Shree Ram as the caption of the tweet.

India Today Anti Fake News War Room (AFWA) has found Karti’s post to be misleading. The viral image showing the camera crew is not related to PM Modi’s Mamallapuram beach cleaning event. This image is around 14 years old and was taken at West Sands beach, beside St. Andrews Cathedral in Fife, Scotland, by a TV production crew.  Here is something read in India Today web.  AFWA probe: ~ the initial reason for suspicion was that the crew comprised mostly of what looked like foreigners. A few users, including Twitter handle @pillai_007, pointed out on Karti’s post that the same viral picture was taken from the webpage of Tayscreen.

Tayscreen is an organisation based in Dundee City, Scotland, UK, which works with various government councils of Scotland in media production-related activities. A much bigger picture of the viral image with a wider horizon and background can be found on the Tayscreen website. In this image, one can see old European structures with two spires and a tower in the background. A combination of reverse image and keyword search indicated that the location of the viral image is West Sands beach, Fife, Scotland.  With the help of satellite images and Google street view, they  could locate and identify the two monumental spires and towers in the background as ruins of St. Andrews Cathedral and St. Rules Tower in Fife, Scotland. These historic structures can be seen from the West Sands beach, where the camera crew can be seen shooting with equipment.

India Today posted that, therefore, we can say that one of the viral images which Karti Chidambaram posted on Twitter along with PM Narendra Modi’s pictures from Mamallapuram was unrelated, and hence the post is misleading. However, we could not verify whether any crew was present at the spot while PM Modi was cleaning the beach. But the viral image used by Karti to show the camera crew was taken around 2005 in Scotland. Even Karti later clarified in a separate tweet that he was wrong in his choice of one photo.

In this beautiful World, it is easier criticising and finding fault with action of others. WE can make a difference to the place around us – all that is required is ‘indomitable will, few leading from the front and people cooperating ’ –  In 2014, Tripllicanies saw vinyl banners dotting the Mada veethis of Thiruvallikkeni – SYMA  launched a ‘Cleaning Campaign’ – not a single day job – with vision to keep Streets of Thiruvallikkeni divyadesam clean.   

Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a great beginning with his pet initiative -  Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.  The Corporation of Chennai also launched a public campaign through various forums, including social networking sites, for a `Clean Chennai' and to promote source segregation of waste. The Civic body’s aim was  to make it ‘clean Chennai’  urging the residents to take a green pledge and do their part in keeping  their home, street, work space and city clean and free from litter.

                       7th December 2014 [Sunday] catalysed Triplicane residents into action. With brooms in their hands, pledge on their lips imbued with enthusiasm to make the Divyadesam, a model place – a clean, hygiene place – volunteers of SYMA and passionate residents went around Mada  Streets launching cleanliness campaign making the Streets around the Temple – ‘Litter-free Zone’, a clean area, where bakthas can walk with bare-foot around the Temple.  SYMA was at the forefront in making the residents of Triplicane realise that a clean litter-free environment is possible, if only, we all dedicate ourselves in that.

For four  months, SYMA undertook to maintain the mada veethis spending, creating additional infrastructure, involving locals in a  “Pilot Project”.  We went on door to door campaign seeking support and urging the citizens to keep the streets clean.   

b u t  ~ the result was not a huge success.  We realised painfully that it is not as easy as it was thought out to be.  Though we were at the forefront spending some money for a noble public cause and seemingly Triplicane was with us, the project’s success could not be continued .. however we see it as a worthy beginning.  Triplicane has some Street organsiations continuing this well and there is a joint action group too.

Moral : do not waste time in criticising act of others and trying to find fault with others.  Support every action done with good intention and in the interests of the Society.  Appreciate the efforts of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji.

SYMA in service to Society
Yours Truly – S. Sampathkumar, Secretary, SYMA
14th Oct 2019.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

How Chinese President Xi Jinping travelled to Mahabalipuram !


We were seeing Fiat, Standard 10 and Ambassador cars on the streets when in 1985, Ravi Shastri was the Champion of Champions in World Championship in Australia and was  awarded an Audi 100 sedan.  Our feeling was Krish Srikkanth deserved the award more .. .. and by a special order of the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Indian customs waived the heavy import duty the car entailed. At that time, the cricketer said he did not have a driving licence.

Have not heard much about this luxury car – ‘Hongqi H7’ manufactured by the Chinese manufacturer FAW under the Hongqi marque. FAW Group Corporation ("First Automobile Works") is a Chinese state-owned automotive manufacturing company headquartered in Changchun, Jilin, China.  Its principal products are automobiles; buses; light, medium, and heavy-duty trucks and auto parts. FAW is one of the "Big Four" Chinese automakers alongside Changan Automobile, Dongfeng Motor Corporation, and SAIC Motor.

The earlier version,  big beauty,  Hongqi L5, was touted the most expensive Chinese car, costing  five million yuan or $760,000; approx Rs.5.40 crores. Hongqi  company is famous for its enormous state limousines and parade cars. The frame is made of metal and the flag is made of glass.  Hongqi L5 is a giant car; 5.55 meters long, just over two meters wide, 1.5 meters high, and with a wheelbase of 3.4 meters. To put that into perspective: the current Mercedes-Maybach S600 is 5.2 meters long. The L5 is also very heavy, even in this non-armored civilian form. It weighs an incredible 3150 kilo, compared with "just" 2390 kilo for the Mercedes. The engine that has to move all those kilos is a 6.0 liter V12.  Fuel consumption is a mystery as well but bet it drinks a lot; that way  has a capacity of 105 litre.

When Govt heads visit other countries, lot of preparatory work and lot of intelligence work takes place.  Nothing is left to chance ~ most Head of the States travel in their own vehicle and their limousines travel by air preceding them.  In US, the  Presidential state car is the official state car used by the President of the United States. A variety of vehicles have both officially and unofficially been acknowledged as the presidential vehicle.  The most recent vehicle to be customized as the presidential car is a Chevrolet Kodiak-based, Cadillac-badged limousine often referred to as Cadillac One  as also ‘The Beast’.

A few years ago, US President Barack Obama was on a historical trip to Israel ~ the whole World was closely observing the development.  During the meticulously planned trip, can you imagine, the US President's $1.5m 'Beast' broke down and had to be  towed away in a recovery vehicle …… and can you imagine the reason !!! ~ media reports suggested that  the  armored limo broke down on the way to the airport.  The custom General Motors Cadillac limo was relegated to a pick up truck  because  the driver had accidentally put gas in the tank instead of diesel. The 18-foot car has an tank that holds 6.5 liters of diesel, and does not work when given gas.  Following that silly mistake, the President was forced to use the second vehicle that they brought over from the U.S.

Our Ex-President Pratibha Patil was provided a Mercedes Benz S600L Pullman, an armoured car whose special protection features provides cover from military-standard small-arms projectiles and fragments from hand grenades and other explosives. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh used a two B5-level armoured BMW 7 Series car.  The cost of the car of the President was  estimated to be around Rs 6 crore. During Shri Narendra Modiji's time as the Gujarat Chief Minister as well as during the promotional campaign in his run-up to becoming the Prime Minister,  Mahindra Scorpio remained an integral part of the politician's career. The SUV, armoured nevertheless, was synonymous with  Modiji
and was the vehicle he was driven-in to the Rashtrapati Bhawan for his swearing in ceremony.

Now for the meet at Mahabalipuram, PM Narendra Modi landed in Chennai and flew to Mamallapuram by helicopter, but President Xi covered the 57 km journey by road travelling. Chinese President Xi Jinping opted to travel to tourist town Mamallapuram by road instead of a helicopter as Chinese leaders, as matter of policy, shun travel by choppers.  Xi covered the 57 km journey to Mamallapuram from Chennai, where he is staying in a hotel, by road travelling in a specially flown in "Hongqi" limousine. The "Hongqi" is a luxury Chinese car used by leaders of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) from the time of its founder Mao Zedong. In Chinese, "hongqi" means the red flag.

Chinese leaders, almost as a rule, don't use helicopters, the foreign ministry officials in Beijing said. "Chinese leaders travel by planes and cars and don't use helicopters," they said, when asked why the president chose a long car journey over a chopper ride during his India visit. Even when attending multilateral meetings, like the G20, Xi shunned the use of helicopters, the officials said. Xi, who is now the most powerful leader in China after Mao, heading the CPC, the military and the presidency with a prospect of staying in power for life after last year's constitutional amendment removing the two term rule for presidency, had introduced the practice of using the "Hongqi", similar to the US president travelling in a specialised Cadillac vehicle named "The Beast".

The first time Xi ferried Chinese-made vehicles was during his state visit to New Zealand in 2014, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported earlier. At the tme, Xi had opted for two Hongqi L5 cars. Xi rode on bulletproof Hongqi limousines during his three-nation tour of the Southeast Asia and the Pacific in April this year. The move was seen as an attempt to promote the Chinese brand on the international stage, in line with Xi's own 2012 directive to Communist Party cadre that they must eschew foreign wheels in favour of Chinese vehicles. It was seen as a defiant response to the actions and criticism that have been thrown at China by America's outspoken, Cadillac-riding president Donald Trump in his current trade war with China, it said.

"The Americans don't trust local security so they always bring their own [cars]," one spokesperson  said and added - "but I don't think the use of Hongqi is for the same reason." Mao used it during US President Richard Nixon's historic visit to China in the 1970s. But starting in the 1990s, the brand fell out of favour as Chinese leaders switched to using imported vehicles. Xi, in a 2012 speech to Communist Party cadre, said that China's leaders should only use Chinese cars. After Xi's speech, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi began using a Hongqi H7 as his official vehicle in 2013 and started providing Hongqi cars for the motorcades of visiting foreign leaders, according to the Morning Post's report.

Xi Jinping’s car can travel at a top speed of 400km/h and accelerate from 0 to 100kmph in just 1.9seconds, but the Chinese President decided to slow it down to savour the drive down scenic East Coast Road. Instead of zooming past, witnesses said the speed of the luxury vehicle was reduced to 30km/hr-40km/hr along the route to Mamallapuram. On Saturday, Xi’s convoy, which includes ambulances, a quick reaction team, a commando force apart from jammer vehicles, took 50 minutes to reach Chennai airport at 1.30pm from Mamallapuram. Usually, VVIP conyoys take only 30 minutes to cover the 50km distance.

In his car, the President travelled with his driver and a Chinese escort officer during the two-day visit to Chennai and Mamallapuram. Usually, when a head of state visits India, the ministry of home affairs deputes an IPS rank officer to accompany them and they also work as liaison officers. But Xi declined the offer of an Indian as a liaison officer. “As this was an informal meeting between the two leaders, we humbly accepted the request,” said a senior police officer.

Interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
13th Oct 2019.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

#WelcomeModiji ~ meet at Mamallapuram making global waves


The meet is making waves globally !  ~ #WelcomeModi @ Mamallapuram.

China’s President Xi Jinping arrived to a lavish welcome in the southern Indian city of Chennai for his second informal summit with Indian Prime Minister on 11.10.2019.  Xi was treated to a performance showcasing the local Tamil traditional dance forms on the runway.  Visiting Chennai for his second informal summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, Chinese President Xi Jinping opted to travel to tourist town Mamallapuram by road instead of a helicopter as Chinese leaders, as matter of policy, shun travel by choppers.

While PM Modi, who landed in Chennai earlier, flew to Mamallapuram by helicopter, Xi covered the 57 km journey to Mamallapuram from Chennai, where he is staying in a hotel, by road travelling in a specially flown in "Hongqi" limousine. The "Hongqi" is a luxury Chinese car used by leaders of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) from the time of its founder Mao Zedong. In Chinese, "hongqi" means the red flag.

Chinese newspapers are full of appreciative coverage for this significant event. CHENNAI, India, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed here Friday to promote exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations to achieve joint development and prosperity. Xi and Modi held their second informal meeting in the southern Indian city of Chennai following their first in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in April last year, screamed SCMP.

During Xi's trip from hotel to Mahabalipuram in the state of Tamil Nadu, people from all walks of life, including young students, lined the streets waving Chinese and Indian national flags, with young men and women in Indian traditional costumes singing and dancing, to welcome the Chinese president for his visit. Receiving Xi at the entrance, Modi also extended warm welcome to the Chinese president. Xi recalled his successful meeting with Modi in Wuhan last year, which brought China-India relations into a new stage, and said that he is delighted to come to Tamil Nadu in southern India to further learn about the country.

Modi gave Xi a guided tour of the Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, which were built during 7th and 8th century and includes Arjuna's Penance, Panch Rathas, Shore Temple and other monuments. The two leaders held an extensive talk during the tour on dialogue and mutual learning among civilizations. Tamil Nadu, a maritime transit hub for cargoes in the ancient Silk Road, has a long history of exchanges with China and close connections with China on maritime trade since ancient times, Xi said. Both as ancient civilizations with several thousand years of history, China and India have carried on their exchanges and mutual learning till this day, he said.

The two countries' ancestors have overcome various obstacles to carry out extensive exchanges and promote the development of literature, art, philosophy and religion, which have greatly benefited both sides, Xi said. Noting that China-India cultural and people-to-people exchanges bear great potential, the Chinese president urged both countries to take the 70th anniversary of China-India diplomatic relations next year as an opportunity to conduct broader and deeper cultural and people-to-people exchanges. He also called on the two countries to jointly advocate and push forward dialogue and exchanges among different civilizations, so as to inject more lasting driving force into the development of bilateral ties and continue to produce new glory for Asian civilizations.

Modi told Xi that the Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram is an outstanding example of India's cultural heritage and architecture, and witnessed India and China's civilization exchanges and historical connections for more than a dozen centuries. After their development for several thousand years, India and China have both become important emerging economies, Modi said, stressing that enhancing exchanges and cooperation bears great significance to the two countries and will promote global progress and prosperity. The wisdom from the two countries' ancient and profound civilizations can provide inspiration for solving various challenges facing the world today, said the Indian prime minister.

Accompanied by Modi, Xi watched Bharatanatyam and other Indian classical dances, which represent ancient Indian civilization. In the Shore Temple on the coast of the Indian Ocean, Xi and Modi talked about the domestic development of China and India and exchanged experience in state governance. The two leaders agreed that China and India should respect and learn from each other so as to jointly achieve common development and prosperity, as well as the great rejuvenation of the two civilizations.

Political watchers on both sides say the meeting – which takes place in Mamallapuram, a coastal town about 50km south of Chennai – is aimed at thawing a chill in relations that has been fuelled by China supporting Pakistan’s opposition to India’s move to strip the Kashmir region of its autonomy. Like the first informal summit held last year in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, officials from both sides said there will not be a fixed agenda. The choice of Mamallapuram, a southern coastal town popular among tourists, was a  natural one, said sources on the Indian side. The former trading centre used to be ruled by Pallavas, a powerful fourth-century dynasty that first established trading relations with China. “Such historic ties between India and China make the summit’s location in Mamallapuram apt,” Tamil Nadu chief minister EK Palaniswami said on Friday. Apart from the ancient links, the town also saw a more recent Chinese connection. Zhou Enlai, the first premier of China, came to the town as part of his India trip in 1956, at a time when bilateral ties were on the upswing. After visiting the state-owned Integral Coach Factory, which made railway coaches, Zhou praised the establishment. “This is a modern coach factory. It is worthwhile for the Chinese to come and learn. This factory is well-built and well-organised. The technology and training given are very good,” he wrote in its guest register.

Hashtags are among the several tools offered in the website that allows online users to locate and become part of discussions that they?re interested in.  Twitter allows users to provide tweets or posts with a maximum of 140 characters only. You can also locate other users and companies on the social media platform and follow those whom you find interesting. Other users on Twitter can also follow your account.  Twitter hashtags help make disparate posts and conversations centered around the same topic easier to find and search.  Hashtags are formed by using the pound sign (#) in front of a word with no punctuation or spaces.    Trending topics can involve a variety of topics covering politics, the entertainment industry, other current and world issues and even everyday mundane things. The hashtag #election, for instance, got 43,400 tweets at its peak during the Nov 6, 2012 US presidential election.

A probe by intelligence agencies has shown the #GoBack Modi trend on Twitter, noticed when Prime Minister Narendra Modi landed in Tamil Nadu, was energetically promoted by handles linked to Pakistanis who have a history of acting in tandem on social media with extremist groups. This time the agencies tracked the handles and profiles and detected a common thread of anti-India propaganda. Indian agencies had been observing a #GoBack Modi campaign on Twitter when Modi was in Tamil Nadu . While there is a possibility of Modi facing opposition in the state where DMK remains an opposition, investigators were intrigued by the intensity of the campaig, said sources. An investigation carried out by agencies revealed the role of pro-Pakistan handles with a long history of acting in tandem with military establishment in that country.
For instance, @MuzammilAslam3 congratulated @ImranKhanPTI and @Official DGISPR — verified handles of the Pakistani PM and Pakistan Army spokesperson respectively — on Friday afternoon over #GoBackModi trending on Facebook. Sad that some locals are trying to trend the hashtag without ever realizing the Nation’s need and significance.
Shri Modiji in traditional veshti is a real National honour and he has taken our Nation to great heights.  We heartily welcome respected Prime Minister Modiji #WelcomeModiji

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
12th Oct 2019.