What is History ?

These days we have a contentious point of view of the extremist right aggressively promoted and championed.They have decided to win their war of ideas not just with mere debates or discussions.They have chosen to use all the methods of the so-called constitutional democracy like free speech,legislature, executive, the judiciary and the police in different measures to make this a total war.For the first time the intellectuals,the reasonable,the non-violent elites feel challenged and if I dare surmise a lot wobbly and weak kneed and mostly reactive in their opposition or resistance .Cynicism and a kind of despondency seem to be a natural and sad affliction.
Against this ominous background we hear still muffled and sometimes distant sounds of sanity and courage which lends credence to the might of the pen ! The writings of Romila Thapar is one such which gives hope, clarity and direction.

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Kashmir :A Cold Retreat for the Military ?

I would only like to emphasise that the Indian Armed Forces is an implementation arm of the political masters.It is also my understanding that their strategic and tactical actions are also tuned to such political perceptions or policies.This is the legacy of that much applauded apolitical character of the role of the Armed Forces in a so called post colonial democracy and that too in an underdeveloped country. Army does not dictate a larger political philosophy.Instead it is the other way round.Many honest and nationalist generals have voiced their own concerns against a militarist approach and have suggested a political solution as the only solution.That it ends up in a messkash is an unwritten tragedy yet but erroneously put in the front door of the Armed Forces which needs, also to to be brought out before the misinformed public.Killing is not the vocation of  these men in uniform much as this might be good slogan for motivation.All, need to know they too, need to be understood as patriots with a confused job description. kash4What with nationalism and martyrdom itself misunderstood ever so often !

Indian Army’s Secular Character Under Threat: Clouds Over Chetwode’s Credo

Hamam Mein Sab Nangey Hain ! हमाम में सब नंगे हैं

I have reactions and opinions that may not hold well against cold analysis or facts. I am only privy to the many tweets, with videos, social networking site blogs which I seek to elaborate on some educated guesses having been a fan of cricket and erstwhile stars that includes Ganguly and Shastri.We are witness to recriminations and some cultured mud dabs from two of the most articulate and competent cricketers of their time.To compare their abilities would be to commit the classic folly of the orange versus apple story.

It would be fair to say that the little hullabaloo created by the Justice Mudgal’s and Justice Lodha’s investigative report has had some uncomfortable ramifications for the powers that be.In a country and a system which celebrates money and power as equivalence of Integrity the findings have been disturbing minus any other hyperbole’s.Safely however, it can be said to be another drama unfolding as an ongoing serial : Season 1 Episode ? .

That BCCI was an extension of the Mumbai monopoly to be almost a backyard owned, operated, maintained by the latter but funded by the nation and its public. An open secret, is this.. Pawar’s, Wadekars, Vengsarkars, Gavaskars and the Shastri’s were the visible law above and beyond the reach of the lesser states.The fans and tax paying public do not even exist in the strange corporate rules in vogue of a corrupt democracy.They managed at various stages to not only counter the sometimes vigorous opposition of the Delhi and Southern lobby.In fact one would stretch it to say that there was effective collaboration with the much touted Srinivasan. The fugitive Modi was its most cherished face until then.There have been palace struggles of sorts but very much in the nature of love and bitterness and subsequent falling out between thieves or lovers.Take your pick !.Many stars including Ganguly had been won over with dollops of lucrative assignments. The strategy and thinking was clear to win over possible threat areas and kick the rest.(that is those that are feeble and weak.)If you cannot beat them, Buy them !

Now the game has run its course and another chapter is set to begin with a clutch of stars and superheroes like Tendulkar, Laxman, Dravid, Ganguly and Kumble, the original Five whofab-five-300x200 had set it upon themselves to cleanse a culture of match-fixing post Azharuuddin fiasco. A set of established demagogues or demi-gods like Shastri and Gavaskar are feeling the heat of such a seasonal change.The immediate cause is the non-selection of Shastri and the mysterious one is the ghost of Chappell, too.

It appears that Shastri had been promised by BCCI while opting for the Bangladesh tour that he would be given a two year extension.Also he had emphasised the need for total freedom from the three man Council, comprising of Tendulkar, Dravid and Ganguly recently appointed by BCCI to oversee cricket development in India.He particularly did not want to have Ganguly interfering with his proposed extended stint of  coaching.This is rumored to have happened sometime in the second week of June in Chennai.Then, could Ganguly have recused himself? Should Shastri have been physically present for the interview and not hoildaying like an Aristotle Onassis or tanning  in some sunny beach overseas a la Capone? One gathers even Sachin was physically missing from the interview and was on video-conferencing mode like Shastri. Why does Shastri figure in all committees of the BCCI? can be interesting points of discussion.One thing is clear that all was not well between the two.Both aggressive and mavericks of a certain kind.Suffice it is for all of us, the gossip loving public( what with no real news coming out and being trapped within faux vanities and decencies of what is the ethics of civilised behavior) to be at least sure of a lot of hubris from either parties.But that would amount to only scratching the surface..

Shastri did not create a Virat or his new team. The untold story of Shastri’s role in the Australian tour fiasco and the unforeseen retirement of Dhoni from Tests may be another skeleton in the cupboard waiting to tumble out .Do we see also some interconnections in the Harsha Bhogle episode of being denied commentating and Sunny Gavaskar still managing to make selective hints on the fissures between him and Shastri through professional disagreements on cricketing issues ? Is Sunny the master Diplomat readjusting himself and creating adequate breathing space for the new dispensation on the anvil?If you are interested in some adrenalin rush or in the frisson of dark speculation then these questions could help : Where is Mr Jaitly putting his money? Is the BJP behind the new attempts of BCCI for a power change, if at all ? Is the Centre of power set to shift from Mumbai? How Is the Shiv Sena playing this and the Bollywood ? Will Virat and Dhoni be the face of the change or the new assault and shift of fulcrum of power ?What about the sponsors and advertisements on which the entire of game of cricket in India thrives? Are we seeing the beginnings of a new shift or the tremors of transition? Is the East and North together in this move?


Conflict of interest and its manipulation by all concerned is something the fans should be watching closely to make out the real from the untrue.And only then, venture forward to contemplating final opinions on this spat. These are but tips of the many icebergs of shady deals and events.To be able to piece together these rather unrelated sparks would be to discover the hidden powder keg of shameful collusion or compromise.

Hamam Mein sab Nangey Hein !

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