No win, but IITians give a fight

(Courtesy: Press Trust of India) 

Chennai: The fledgling Lok Paritran, a party floated by former IITians, has surprised many by making inroads into the vote share of established party candidates like Arcot Veerasamy (DMK) and S Ve Shekar (AIADMK).

Between them, the seven Paritran candidates, who contested from five constituencies in the city, one in Tiruvallur and another in Ramanathapuram district, cumulatively polled more than 34,000 votes.

Party leader Santhanagopal Vasudev, pitted against political heavyweights Shekar and DMK's Napolean in Mylapore garnered 10,000 votes.

Political analysts feel Vasudev played a significant role in weaning away a chunk of Napolean's vote share in this constituency, which could have led to his defeat.

Rajamani, another Lok Paritran candidate fielded in Anna Nagar, polled 12,000 votes contesting against stalwarts like Veerasamy and the powerful MDMK, a party spokesman said.

Another party candidate Elanthirumaran mustered 669 votes contesting against DMK Supremo M Karunanidhi from Chepauk and finished fifth among 20 candidates in the fray.

The Lok Paritran, contesting elections for the very first time, was formed a mere two months ago.

While established parties competed with each other in promising freebies to voters, the Paritran said it stood for good governance, transparency, accessibility, freedom from corruption and proper implementation. "Short term promises are a strict no" was the party's refrain.

Some hope at the end of the tunnel? Maybe. These, by any standards are not small numbers, that too in a state dominated (like most other Indian states are) by caste politics and other stupid issues. This is a good beginning. It's well known that the populace in the age of 18-30 is significant in the country. If that segment can shed their laziness, complacency, illiteracy and other biases and vote for the party that promises to build India's future, we might well have glorious days ahead. Jai Hind.

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Happy birthday, Sachin!

Maybe since the 24th of April 1998, Sachin hasn't had a match to celebrate his birthday with, though I guess there may have been a WI test which I've forgotten. Nevertheless, I guess no one can forget the way Sachin demolished Aus then, with the other birthday-mate Damien Fleming on the receiving end.

sachin-33-bday

Excerpt of the article from rediff:

"I am basically here to thank everyone who has shown affection to me. It really surprises me — you are so consistent and I'm not," he said referring to the now almost annual ritual of reporters waiting outside his house with cake on his birthdays.

"It is something special. It is not a burden for me."

 Wasim on Sachin:

Sachin Tendulkar: An “unbowlable'' batsman of my era

On Monday, Sachin Tendulkar will be all of 33 years. Even with nine lives most cricketers still wouldn't be able go beyond the foothills of his achievements. Yet, there is a call for his head. The Gulliver of our times is being held down by the Lilliputians. Liberate him and you could still enjoy the genius of this man.
I have no time for all these tales coming out of India: Tendulkar is finished; he can't face up to short-pitched bowling; he is being "carried" in the team; he should choose between the two forms of the game; his injured frame is somehow being held together and horror of horrors, the time has come to look beyond him. From being the toast of the nation for a decade and a half, it would now appear as if he stands between the team and a golden future. Shame on all!I sometimes wonder if all this affects Tendulkar. Beyond the profile of equanimity in public, he is after-all a human and it must hurt. This kind of bigotry usually stirs champions to life. It always did to me; I would swear under the breath — and sometimes audibly — to spark myself to life. So those who are writing off Tendulkar must do so at their own peril. They shouldn't have any qualms in eating their own words.

Tendulkar has clearly been one of the three best batsmen I have ever seen on a cricket field. I would rate him along with Sir Vivian Richards and Sunil Gavaskar as the `unbowlable' batsmen of my era.I remember there was a time when I would question my ability only because Gavaskar was still not in my bag. Finally I had him in Hyderabad — caught at second slip! The memory of it is still so refreshing. With Tendulkar too we always went to the field thinking if we get him, we would be through. And so it was most times!
Better than Lara

I would even rate Tendulkar as better than Brian Lara. The world can swoon over the records and mercurial ability of the West Indian but for me Tendulkar brings infinite value to the dressing room. You judge a man by the respect he gets within his own set of men. Tendulkar is beyond reproach on this issue; Lara would only set the tongues wagging.

Too much is being made of his injuries. It is not unnatural for a long-serving sportsman to fall foul with fitness. I too was beset with scores of injuries in my career; if it was not the groin, then the hamstring; if it wasn't the shoulder, then the knees. But I kept rousing myself from the surgeon's table and doing my stuff on the field. Tendulkar would do likewise.

Tendulkar is not old. I mean he is only 33 which is not the autumn for a top class batsman and he certainly has more years of cricket left in him. He doesn't have to choose between one-day or Test cricket: if Inzamam-ul-Haq can do so at the age of 36, Tendulkar, who is fitter and more agile, can surely do no worse.

Palpable passion

Tendulkar's passion on the field is so palpable: it's not the sight of a cricketer who is on his last leg. It is also utter nonsense to suggest he is no longer up to short-pitched bowling. Piece of cake that is what it is to him.

Tendulkar is out of touch, his footwork may not be the best at the moment but it doesn't out a question mark on his ability. He is just one innings away from good form. Still, I would advise him to go out and enjoy his one-day cricket. He has put too many shackles on himself. Tendulkar appears too concerned with playing the proper shot and staying till the end rather than flow with the mood and spirit of limited overs cricket.

Daredevils

In a way, this is the time he should do it. There is no dearth of daredevils in the Indian team and the pressure is off him. He no longer needs to get weighed down by the burden of his team. Tendulkar can return to his roots that of breathless audacity. The bowlers would have nowhere to run; as should be the case with these hopeless critics!

Of all the great sights on the cricketing field, one of them is to see Tendulkar, enthusiastically running up to the batsmen with drinks, as though he's trying to impress some of the seniors for a place in the side. Show me one more man with more schoolboy-like enthusiasm for cricket! I've even heard of Sachin being 12th man and running into the field to substitute for a bowler in a tour game! For a man, nay, boy with that enthusiasm, he will certainly play for very long!

 Good luck, Sachin, and yes, happy birthday!

For heavens’ sake, vote!

I guess you all will at least remember that the elections are round the corner. We've often been guilty of not voting albeit on the pretext that there is no one worth voting for. This time, at least in the following constituencies, we have someone whom we could give a chance. Instead of voting for the mindless power-hungry politicians who are currently in the fray, and the even more jobless film artistes, I think it behoves us to vote for some people who have dared to do something which most of us can't and rest of us only speak about but consistently fail to do.

I understand this is the list of candidates contesting for LOK PARITRAN (the political party formed by the former IITians and other guys who care for the nation):
*Santhanagopalan Vasudev, Mylapore
*Elanthirumaran, Chepauk
*Mahesh, Thousand Lights
*Prashanth sharma, Egmore
*Arvind Tiruvaiyar, T Nagar
*Rajamani, Anna Nagar
*Hariharan, Saidapet
*Rabindra Ganesh, Park Town

Please cast aside arguments that there is no point in voting for these people since they would anyway not win or form the government. I think that's not what should drive one to vote. At least give them a pat on the back and possibly help them recover their deposit, if not a seat.

Please pass on this message to your parents & relatives if you are not in town/not yet old enough to vote etc. This is the bare minimum we could do to think of improving the state of affairs in the nation. If you are in a college, please urge your fellow students to at least vote, if not for Paritrana. It's irresponsible to not exercise your franchise, whatever be your excuse.

Don't be under the impression that it's not going to matter to you who forms the government. Governments have degraded enough to even cause sufficient trouble to an indifferent no-nonsense citizens. VOTE!

Finally, your mandate is your mandate. This is just a request/wake-up call. There is no reason to believe that these people are any less capable of governance than the illiterate politicians we have. Yes, they are very incompetent in dirty politicking though, which is the prime asset of the contemporary politician.

Best Regards
Karthik
p.s. Check out their website is at http://www.lokparitran.org/

Update: Election Manifesto of Lok Paritran:
The only `freebie' in the manifesto of the Lok Paritran is a corruption-free government.

The raison d'etre of Lok Paritran is to eliminate corruption and bring ethics into governance.

The leadership of the political outfit started by a bunch of IITians on Monday outlined the key aspects of their first-ever election manifesto: cleaning up the `implementation pipeline' to ensure trickledown of benefits; rewarding merit, ability and skill; introducing technology and training employees in government departments.

The party's Mylapore candidate, Santhanagopalan Vasudev, said their efforts would result in better functioning of police and crime control, quick and easy processing of official documents, including licences and ration cards, better employment opportunities, poverty reduction and improvement in the health and nutrition status of the people. Education and welfare of farmers are the other subjects the party promises to take up.

Most importantly, Vasudev says, "We will ensure that the MLA's Constituency Development Fund is used solely to improve the constituency."

The party's nominees will contest in five constituencies in Chennai (Anna Nagar, Thousand Lights, Chepauk, Mylapore and Anna Nagar) and Villivakkam and Mudukulathur in Ramanathapuram on `axe' and `drums' symbols.

"We are now a force to reckon with," says Tanmay Rajpurohit, party's national president. "This is just the first step. Even if we lose seats now, it will not affect our morale… We'll get there, sooner or later."

Cometh Holi, cometh the Ho(o)ligans!

Holi, the Indian festival of colours is quite a one-of-its-kind festival, commemorating both the destruction of Holika, as well as the burning of Manmatha, symbolising desire/lust. Read more on the mythology on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holi

However, the colour-throwing, as fun as it may be, has often been quite a nuisance, since a lot of people are quite paranoid about the synthetic colours, their adverse effects on the skin/eyes, leave alone merely getting very very dirty! A lot of hooliganistic behaviour has often been seen in various cities, Delhi I think, being particularly notorious, and Bombay too, uncharacteristically.

Even in an elite place like IISc, there is too much of hooliganism to believe or bear. The messes were messed up, as were several corridors. And after all this, this was probably the cleanest of the last three Holi’s I have seen here. The first one was a veritable disaster with colourful handprints on the brand new hostel’s walls. The next time, not even departments were spared, with colour strewn all over. This time, being a working day, the damage was contained I should guess. People walking into messes with colours strewn all over is never an endearing sight, more so if they take food — from the perspective of everyone’s health and hygiene! — dirtying chairs and the food alike.
The bottomline is that the celebration of the victory over the Asuras, of Prahlada being saved is celebrated indeed in Asura fashion. Some serious soul-searching needs to be done by these people. No one objects to peaceful enjoyment. Why drag in someone who is not interested? (Curiously, I say all this even though I’ve had to suffer nothing!) Why is there a failure to merely respect each other’s preferences?

Descent of Ganga

Got this amazing picture from http://www.krishna.se/Art/ganga_descent.html. Can’t praise the artist enough! What a beauty this pic is!

ganga_descent_high.png

The painting shows an artist’s rendition of how Ganga, when She deigned to come down to Earth from Heaven, was received by Lord Shiva. The story of Bhagiratha’s penances and the famous phrase Bhagiratha Prayatnam are wonderful to read about. Shiva is said to have locked up the arrogant Ganga in his locks, until further prayers and penance from Bhagiratha would see her through, but not before further being consumed (and then released, once again on Bhagiratha’s prayers) by the rishi Jahnu, which earned Her the appellation Jaahnavi.
Also see the wikipedia entry on Ganga.

Sachin, eikon non-pareil

Enough can never be written about Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. Nor can enough be said. But, I’ve read and heard enough. It’s just like the whole world gunning for his head, now that sufficient success has been met with Saurav Ganguly. It’s appalling to see all kinds of people speak various kinds of garbage on a man who has never had a real equal on the cricketing arena. I don’t mean to say that he was the best — even among his contemporaries — but in terms of his sheer unique genius and style, and the way he captured the imagination of billions, he was, is and will be peerless.

From Moin Khan to market gurus, everyone has an opinion. Call it the curse of free speech or whatever. Just like an unbelievable amount of analysis (analysis paralysis) has gone into the farcial test series (which I did not even consider worth adorning my blog) on bizzarre pitches, reading much too far into the lone loss (whatever the manner be) that we had, there’s an even more obnoxious discussion on, on Sachin and others.

When you do look at the footage of the games, even Saurav seems to be comfortable and belongs, leave alone Sachin. But, it has become rather fashionable to talk about young guns and related crap, (to recall Siddhu, the “fragrance and exuberance of youth“) and the axing of anyone who’s not in their early 20s.

I don’t need to argue that Sachin unleashed several fluent strokes before being dismissed in either knock at Karachi — he’s certainly expected to do much more. But my primary crib is that people have just gone over the top already.

But the media is that way, like it or not. I am hurriedly writing this blog before the next match, since if Sachin does get the 91 runs that would take him to 14,000 ODI runs, you would have cover stories and front pages, with weird headlines and accoladed for the ‘Little Master’, ‘Master Blaster’ and so on.

Sachin doesn’t need mouthpieces, and I am not one. He only needs his willow-piece. To recall, in the 2003 World Cup, Sachin lay to dust all pre-series predictions and rose to glory (doing all but winning the final for us). Mathew Hayden was the bookies’ favourite for the top scorer, and I think he struggled to one 50 during the whole competition. And yes, Sachin (and Lara too..) rarely gets umpiring assistance as does Ponting (out on both his 100s in his 100th test, on lower scores; plumb lbw to Dinesh Mongia at 69 in the WCC 2003 final). I can hardly recall a series that passed without a controversial decision against Sachin.

The game’s bigger than individuals, and that holds for Sachin too — in the sense that the game’s bigger to him than these Moins and other intellectually challenged experts [sic] whose cricketing acumen has plunged abysmally during this Indo-Pak series. He’ll make a hell of a statement in the next week. Watch on…

Paritrana, by the IITians, for the Nation, of the People

(Trana) means the act of relieving a conscious entity from the state of distress or pain. However, this relief may not be of permanent nature. (Paritrana) is the complete relief implying the end of the very cause of distress.

— from www.paritrana.org

परित्राणाय साधूनाम् विनाशाय च दुष्कृताम्।
धर्मसंस्थापनार्थाय संभवामि युगे युगे॥
— भगवद्गीता ४-७
paritrāṇāya sādhūnām vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām|
dharmasaṁsthāpanārthāya saṁbhavāmi yuge yuge||
— bhagavadgītā 4-7
“For the protection of the virtuous, for the extirpation of evil-doers,
And for establishing righteousness on a firm footing, I am born from age to age.”

After this elaborate introduction, let’s get to the real news. To quote Economic Times:

START QUOTE

Seems like Mani Rathnam’s Yuva is getting off the reels. Five IITians, all in their 20s, have decided to take up mainstream politics. The youths, based in Jodhpur, will be in the city to campaign for their national party, “ Paritrana’’ , which was launched in Jodhpur on Friday.

“Giving up handsome pay packages, comfort of family and support of friends wasn’t that easy,’’ says Tanmay Rajpurohit, the national president of the party and B Tech in aerospace from IIT Bombay followed by an MS from GeorgiaTech and double masters in arts.

“But my inner voice told me that I should invest my efforts in my country rather than making my pockets heavier,’’ said Ajit Ashwalayan Shukla, vice president of the party.

“People think we are crazy so much so that our families have also failed to understand our motto, but we won’t give up,’’ he added.

The core team of “Paritrana’ ’ comprises Rajpurohit , Shukla, Amit Beesen, also the vice president and a B Tech (Mechanical) from IIT Bombay and a LLB graduate, Chandrashekhar (national treasurer), B Tech (computer science) from IIT Kanpur, Bharat Sundaram, the PRO of the party and B Tech from IIT Kanpur and PhD in electronics from Melbourne.

“Paritrana means complete relief from the various causes of distress, and that is what we want to do for our people,’’ added Chandrashekhar. Low funds have not discouraged them in their efforts of holding door-to-door campaigns in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and parts of Maharashtra.
“We strongly feel that the politicians of today are no longer the voice of the common man but instead they voice their own personal agendas through which they can fetch maximum votes,’’ said Shukla.
“We are not here for the power game. We are here to deal with the grassroots issues of each and every small village that we come across,’’ added Shukla.

The zeal and burning desire of the five youngsters sounds sincere. “I believe that we are just five ordinary boys from the middle class family with no godfathers in politics but have dared to come forward and fight for our rights,’’ said Chandrashekhar. “And we will succeed in it,’’ he added.
After the launch of the party at the Suchana Kendra in Jodhpur, the party members, as a part of their promotional campaign will tour Jodhpur, Udaipur, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Chennai.

END QUOTE

It does seem that we’re in for something. Let’s hope we have no more Satya Dubeys though. It is critical that the youth of today’s India, which includes me and you (probably) should really do something for the nation, instead of sitting and cribbing or praying. We must seize an initiative. Being reactive never helps — we’ve got to make things happen. Jai Hind!

p.s. If you really did take my words to heart, download the application form to join Paritrana here.