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Posts Tagged ‘propaganda’

The Maya Machine Never Sleeps

November 17, 2012 3 comments

Along with cricket, a lot of global politics is also being played. Neo-colonialism or India’s anti-apartheid movement, it is all out there in the cricket-field.

Bishen Singh Bedi - one of the four spinners, a combination never equalled.

Bishen Singh Bedi – one of the four spinners, a combination never equalled.

Lambs to Slaughter

India Y2K generation, that started shaving after 2000 AD, many a time, are like innocent lambs to slaughter.

At the altar of propaganda – the modern day version of maya.

Make no mistake. Many from the older Bombay High generation (anyone who started shaving after 1975), are equally susceptible to this maya.

Will England Win Anything? Ever? Again?

Now that the British cricket-team is visiting India, there are a number of articles on British experiences of India. Do I need to confirm that all the encounters narrated are negative? How many times do British newspapers invite Indian writers to describe the problems of Indian players visiting Britain.

For instance, the racism at Heathrow – and at hotels, clubs, grounds. Remember how in the 70s, Indian brides joining their husbands in UK, were subjected to ‘virginity’ tests, on arrival at Heathrow.

Such Lack Of Grace

Or cut to India’s tour to England of 1974.

After losing two consecutive series (India won 1970-71, 3 test-series 1-0 in Britain; India won 5-test series of 1972-73 in India, 2-1), Britain started their 1974 campaign by ‘fixing the rules.

To avoid a third series loss in the 1974 series against India, ECB imposed an agreement to restrict leg-side fielders to a maximum of five. This meant the Indian team went into the 1974 series without being allowed to use their fielders in close catching positions. BCCI of the 1970s, agreed to these unfavorable terms.

Without access to TV rights, BCCI of the 1970s was dependent on earnings of the Indian cricket team, from tours to rich countries like Britain, Australia, New Zealand. After the rules were ‘fixed’, India had little chance in the 1974 series.

That little chance was India’s famed hunters – spinners. The hunter-pack of spinners worked in tandem with close-in fielders.

India’s superb close-in catching cordon which gave a cutting edge to its spin attack. Led by Eknath Solkar, this group of catching specialists including Ajit Wadekar, Abid Ali, wicket keeper Farokh Engineer and Venkat himself, surrounded the batsmen like a steel trap. One false move and the trap snapped shut, claiming another victim.

via Indian Cricket Fever – Hall of Fame – The Spin Quartet.

Pataudi, who had innovated the ‘hunter-pack’ strategy of spinners in tandem with close-in fielders, opted out of the 1974 tour after coming to know of this stipulation. Wadekar retired after the disastrous 1974 tour.

Consider this fact: the Indian Spin Quartet of Bishan Singh Bedi, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar, Erapalli Prasanna, and Srinivas Venkataraghvan captured 853 Test wickets in the decade and a bit that they played together, from the mid 1960s to the late 1970s. This compares with the 835 Test wickets that the West Indian Pace Quartet of Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, Joel Garner and Colin Croft took in the decade and a bit that they played together from the early 1970s to the mid 1980s. In other words the Spin Quartet was every bit as lethal, in terms of danger to batsmen’s wickets, if not to limbs, as the Pace Quartet.

via Indian Cricket Fever – Hall of Fame – The Spin Quartet.

Of course, English pitches of 1974 and later were ‘sporting’. They offered assistance to English fast bowlers. Indian pitches that assist Indian spinners are crumbling ‘dust bowls’, which are dead and deteriorating.

You must also rewmember, if English and Australians struggle in India, it is because Indians create conditions favorable to Indian teams. If Indians struggle in Australia and England, Indians are a weak side – and only tigers at home.

Coming back to the 1974 tour – After all the bizarre rules, came the psychological games.

British police and judiciary pushed a case of billing error into a case of shop-lifting on an Indian player, Sudhir Naik – for a few pairs of socks. After the Sudhir Naik persecution, the devastated Indian team had little chance.

In one innings, India managed to score 42 all out – the all time lowest by any major test team.

Bishen Bedi - and Inset Image - John Lever with his famous Vaseline strip.  |  Image source & courtesy - intoday.in

Bishen Bedi – and Inset Image – John Lever with his famous Vaseline strip. | Image source & courtesy – intoday.in

The Saga Continues

Soon after the British debacle, later in 1974, for the West Indies tour to India, Pataudi was recalled. Pataudi used the same tactics (spinners + close-in fielders) as a captain against the famed West Indies – taking the series to the decider fifth match.

Soon after, in 1976, came the Vaseline incident where Bishan Bedi spoke out on the ball-tampering by the English team. Tony Grieg was supported by the ECB as an inadvertent mistake – and let off. BCCI in no position to push ECB or ICC, had to penalize Bedi.

Mike Atherton, in his book confirmed how England defeated Australia using a common trick in county cricket – using mint-lozenges. Of course, no one was penalized or brought to book. Dravid, after a stint in the county-circuit, was caught using this trick, brazenly.

Similarly, to counter the West Indian pace-quartets, the ICC turned its attention to bouncers – to curb the West Indies.

The Bouncer Rule (1991) – Somewhere along the way – between Paul Terry’s broken arm and Mike Gatting’s pulped nose – the West Indies pace quartet of the 1980s picked up a reputation for intimidatory bowling. Other teams, when they weren’t complaining about the blows inflicted on their bodies and psyche, started to point at West Indies’ over-rate, which sometimes crawled along at just 70 a day.

Something had to give, and when it did it tilted the balance completely the other way. In 1991, the ICC introduced the “one bouncer per batsman per over” rule in an attempt to end the intimidation, and buck up the over-rates. Flat-track bullies rejoiced but fast bowlers, already condemned to bowling on shirtfronts in most parts of the world, weren’t amused, and vociferous protests saw the law amended in 1994 to incorporate two bouncers per over. One-day cricket took much longer to listen to the bowlers’ pleas, and it was only in 2001 that once bouncer per over was allowed.

MAK Pataudi

MAK Pataudi

Mind you, ICC was totally indifferent after the West Indian pace-bowlers injured five Indian bowlers at the Sabina Park, 1976 Test. India, batting first, crossed 200-1 and seemed likely to run away with the series.

And we have Indian newspapers talking of how ‘sporting’ Britishers had to ‘tolerate’ Indian conditions – in the ’cause’ of cricket.

World Cup 1987 had me watching the semi-final at the Wankhede Stadium, where Graham Gooch literally swept England to victory over India; then, in my room in the Taj Hotel, with the enchanting Gateway to India visible outside (innocent vision against the later horror of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack), I watched Australia win the other semi. Now I had to book a flight to Calcutta for the final.

The airline official looked across his desk at me and offered a 5.30 morning flight. I protested. He stared at me. “Don’t you wish to go?” I hadn’t noticed the twinkle in his eye. “Oh, all right then, I’ll try to get to the airport in time,” I replied lamely. Then he reached into a drawer. “I do have this other flight, if you prefer. It leaves at 9.30.” Much relieved, I forgave him the tease and grabbed at the offer.

There was a further problem when I tried cashing a traveller’s cheque. My bank apparently traded in South Africa, which was still the forbidden land. More panic, more sweating. Fortunately this snag was overcome with a backstreet currency trader. I was on my way.

And I wish I was on my way now to Ahmedabad to enjoy the sights, sounds and aromas of an Indian Test match. However, here in England I have a cosy armchair and a television set cued to the cricket channel . . . and I have my memories.

via Passage to India – Analysis – DNA.

Cricket apart, this jaundiced piece of journalism reveals the double-standards of the West when it came to apartheid in South Africa. It took relentless boycott, led by India, of Western trade and businesses that had to abandon South Africa, which forced the South African regime to finally allow Black-majority rule in South Africa.

People forget that today.


Crisis in Shanghai: With Birth Rate Lower Than Japan, is China Lost

June 24, 2012 6 comments

Misguided and unsuccessful, the efforts of Indian State at population control, at Western behest will go down in history as a black chapter – and remains a huge failure.

China (and many Chinese) respectfully accepts Western advice on such matters | Cartoon in January 2005 from China Daily; an over-sized plane | Click for image.

China (and many Chinese) respectfully accepts Western advice on such matters | Cartoon in January 2005 from China Daily; an over-sized plane | Click for image.

The only reason India is not sitting on a demographic time bomb, is because of our देसी मन्द बुद्धि desi-mand buddhi (rustic minds). Especially from the Indo-Gangetic plains.

This देसी rustic mindset that our ruling elites look at with contempt, did not get fooled by the massive propaganda drive by the West – using the Indian State as its agent.

Look at China.

Shanghai city seeks to revive a birth rate that has collapsed to almost half the level of rapidly aging Japan. China’s richest city, leading financial center, and largest port will see marriage registrations fall 17 percent this year, according to official estimates. “Shanghai is at the frontier of these broad social changes, and this is what is happening across urban China,” says Wang Feng, Beijing-based director for the Brookings-Tsinghua Center for Public Policy. “We will see it spread.”

The West never mentions over-consumption as a cause - but over-population is a 'crisis'  |  Cartoonist Clay Bennet represents the current over-population argument  |  Click for image.

The West never mentions over-consumption as a cause – but over-population is a ‘crisis’ | Cartoonist Clay Bennet represents the current over-population argument | Click for image.

China faces an urban shift that will shrink the pool of factory workers, who sustain economic growth, and expand the ranks of the elderly, who push up health-care and pension costs. Higher education levels, a focus on careers, and greater expectations are causing city-dwellers to marry later and have fewer children. Shanghai’s fertility rate—the number of children the average woman in the city will bear over her lifetime—was 0.79 in the year ended October 2010, about half the national level, government statistics show.

Better education opportunities have given more women the ability to choose their own partner, says Juemin Zhou, director of the Shanghai Matchmaking Trade Association, the main organizer of the event. “In the past, women were match-made by their parents,” says Zhou. “Then, it didn’t matter how old you were, or if your partner was blind in one eye, you still had to get married. Now, if you don’t find someone suitable, you just don’t settle.”

The number of single Shanghai women in their late 20s tripled in the last 15 years, to almost one in three, according to the Brookings-Tsinghua Center. Nearly 40 percent of college-educated women between 25 and 34 in the city were unmarried in 2005, the center says. That compares with 6 percent for women with only a junior-school education. (via In China’s Dating Scene, Women Get Pickier – Businessweek.

Have we got used to spoon-feeding by a hyperactive media?  |  Cartoon by Don Addis  |  Click for image.

Have we got used to spoon-feeding by a hyperactive media? | Cartoon by Don Addis | Click for image.

The modern Desert Bloc State attempts at social directions has created monster side-effects.

Like female feticide in India and China. Giving rise to gender imbalances.

Or an obesity pandemic across the West and some the countries – linked closely to increased usage of sugar substitutes and sucrose alternatives, like HF corn syrup.

Encouraged by the State.

But, does the State plead guilty?

Ever.

And who does the State blame.

You and me. Of course.

माया Maya.

घोर माया Ghor maya.


The Lost Tagore

December 6, 2011 5 comments

After nearly 60 years of Congress propaganda, are Indian writers beginning to write realistic biographies?

RABINDRANATH TAGORE — A Pictorial Biography: Nityapriya Ghosh; Niyogi Books, D-78, Okhla Industrial Area, Phase-1, New Delhi-110020. Rs.1500.  Image source and courtesy - thehindu.com  |  Click for source image

RABINDRANATH TAGORE — A Pictorial Biography: Nityapriya Ghosh; Niyogi Books, D-78, Okhla Industrial Area, Phase-1, New Delhi-110020. Rs.1500. Image source and courtesy - thehindu.com | Click for source image

Tagore, like most writers, comes across as a man who was extremely sensitive to criticism — to the extent of refusing to forgive the critic. Saratchandra Chattopadhyay, the novelist who happened to ridicule Tagore’s story Yogayog , was shown no sympathy by the poet when his book Pather Dabi was proscribed by the British in 1927. Instead of extending moral support to his fellow-writer, Tagore wrote to Saratchandra saying that he should not expect mercy at the hands of the government, if he had written a seditious novel.

Even Subhas Chandra Bose found himself at the receiving end of Tagore’s unforgiving nature on occasions more than one. In 1928, a dispute arose in the City College of Calcutta after seven Hindu students were penalised for conducting Saraswati Puja in the hostel. They were accused of defying the hostel superintendent’s fiat that idol worship was not allowed in a Brahmo institution. When Bose took up the cause of the Hindu students, Tagore, an ardent Brahmo Samajist, did not take it kindly.

Shortly thereafter, when Bose wrote to Tagore from jail requesting an introductory letter to some eminent people in Europe — where he planned to go for medical treatment — the poet obliged him with just two bland sentences: “My friend Subhas Chandra Bose is going for his treatment. I earnestly hope my friends will be kind to him and help him.” And Bose tore up the letter. (via The Hindu : FEATURES / BOOK REVIEW : A human being rather than a flawless god).

‘Secular’ Saints

In post-Independence India, Congress propaganda painted Indian leadership in glorious style. All Congress leaders at the forefront of anti-British actions were elevated to sainthood – albeit secular saints.

One such leader was Rabindranath Tagore. To most of India Tagore is propaganda shell today. Based on this review, we may start getting to know the real people.

Is the tide changing?

Without Comment – How The State Creates Propaganda

December 4, 2011 3 comments

How the State promotes our image of Our State and Their State.

Have we got used to spoon-feeding by a hyperactive media? (Cartoon by Don Addis).

Have we got used to spoon-feeding by a hyperactive media? (Cartoon by Don Addis).

in Mumbai now.

To my surprised,most Indian really think India is a democratic country and they are enjoying life and have more human rights than China’s.Most people in India also believe that Chinese live in hell and no freedoms,no human rights etc.On the other side,most people in China believe that India is a “breakfast democracy” which voters will sell their votes only for breakfasts and everbody have the freedom of starving to death.Which side is closer to truths?

via Panorama: Kissinger’s China, India’s Neighbor – India Real Time – WSJ.

Why Are Indians Not Charitable?

December 4, 2011 4 comments

Why Indians must learn everything from the West? Even charity, we must learn from Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.

Indians have learnt nothing in 5000 years of recorded history - with crores of pages in classical txts. But thanks to Warren Bffet and Bill Gates, hopefully Indians will learn something about giving. |  Cartoonist Ajit Ninan - source and courtesy - timescontent.com  |  Click for source image.

Indians have learnt nothing in 5000 years of recorded history - with crores of pages in classical txts. But thanks to Warren Bffet and Bill Gates, hopefully Indians will learn something about giving. | Cartoonist Ajit Ninan - source and courtesy - timescontent.com | Click for source image.

West is the Best

Unless Indians follow the West in matters are charity, Indians are UnCharitable – and, of course, UnChristian, UnCivilized.

A writer at Reuters observes

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates are on a week-long trip to India, primarily to encourage the rich to give away a portion of their wealth to charity.

The visit follows a similar one made by the duo to China, the country with the most number of billionaires after the United States, where they urged the wealthy to sign up for their Giving Pledge campaign.

India’s rich are not really known for sharing their wealth. Big, family-run businesses are often inherited and set up with the help of ancestral wealth, and few have shown any willingness to part with it.

The number of wealthy Indians has been rising fast over the last decade, but they’re not ready yet to let go of their cash, even for charity, according to a study last year by business consultancy Bain & Co. (via Will Buffett, Gates’ giving pledge convince rich Indians? | India Insight).

Does Viagra help those with low self-esteem

And since the West has pronounced judgement, our desi elites had to follow suite.

Recently, 40 US billionaires, prompted by Buffet and Gates, agreed to give away half their wealth to charity. In that case, what’s holding back Indian companies? Other than unwillingness to give or share, is it also because they don’t know how and who to give to?

Here companies are at par with their peers in the US, but when it comes to a structured approach to philanthropy, most of them are found wanting.

According to Dr Rajnish Karki, author of Competing With the Best, “The License Raj killed the art of giving in business. Before that, the Tatas, Birlas, Dalmias and a few big business houses were actively involved in patronage, which was more socially driven owing to the frenzy of the Independence movement. But, wealth from the corporate sector, especially software, has just started pouring in during the past seven to eight years. At a time when their main aim is to preserve growth, it would be unfair to compare their CSR activities with the West.”

Trust is another big factor why most wealthy people don’t loosen their purse strings. They are afraid that their money wouldn’t reach the right channels . A reason, probably, why big corporate houses build their own charitable foundations within the organisations . Heiresses like Roshni Nadir and Nisa Godrej who top as philanthropists head such foundations.

As CSR becomes a part of the corporate landscape, more aligned with Western sensibilities of functioning, the younger generation is reasonably aware of where to give. They are also clear that if they are giving money, they want to monitor it the way Bill and Melinda Gates do.

But as Indian society changes, so do our philanthropic activities. Today, the young scions are trying to introduce sustainable ways to donate. (via Lessons in charity: India Inc says no to Buffett, Gates – Economic Times).

India sees Organized Charity, like Organized religion as downright rude - if not unethical.  |  Cartoonist - Harley Schwadron; imag source and courtesy - cartoonstock.com  |  Click for source image.

India sees Organized Charity, like Organized religion as downright rude - if not unethical. | Cartoonist - Harley Schwadron; imag source and courtesy - cartoonstock.com | Click for source image.

These Crazy Indians

But there is a different way in which Indians do things. One thing that Indians believe in the institution of marriage.

Giving a helping hand to a young couple, at the start of their married life, is embedded in India.

Regardless of where people go to pray. But that is not charity.

Two interesting news reports on that.

News Report #1

Before he was suddenly transferred, Patna city SP Shivdeep Waman Lande received an average of 300 SMSes every day, mostly from love-struck girls, some even carrying marriage proposals. The heartburn soon translated into candlelight marches and mass protests demanding the cancellation of the IPS officer’s transfer.

Why did the people of Patna almost sink into depression when they found out that Lande was moving out? Many say it was the 2006-batch officer’s ‘Dabangg’ -like style of functioning, proactive policing and strictness in dealing with the high and mighty that made him a rockstar in the city in just 10 months of his brief tenure.

Meanwhile, the man himself, sporting trademark blade shades, is unassuming about his popularity. “I tried my best to redress their grievances. It helped build peoples’ trust in the police. They knew action would be taken if they call me,” he says. His 24×7 availability on phone and promptness also earned the Maharashtrian the sobriquet of ‘Singham’.

Lande became an overnight reallife hero after an incident of attempted molestation involving a girl (who) called him up for help (almost every college girl had his mobile number), and Lande landed at the spot within minutes. The girl was rescued while the molesters (were) captured by Lande’s team within a week.

The tough cop, who follows a strict three-hour exercise regimen, donates 60% of his pay to the Yuvak Sangathan, (which) organizes social activities like mass marriages of poor girls and free coaching classes for the less privileged. (via Why is Patna crying for this cop? – The Times of India).

News Report #2

When over 100 couples tie nuptial knots at Petlad taluka in Anand during a mass marriage ceremony on Sunday, 10 of them will have their wedding rituals etched in their memory for a long time to come.

For, they will be blessed by the family of star cricketers Irfan and Yusuf Pathan. Mehmoodkhan Pathan, father of Pathan brothers, has sponsored the wedding expenses of 10 couples, many of whom come from average financial background.

Though the Pathan brothers will not attend the event, the entire family will drive down to Petlad to bless the couples.

The senior most Pathan, who is elated over Yusuf Pathan’s inclusion in the World Cup squad, said he sponsored the weddings to help the couples. “It is just our way of saying thanks to the God. Both Irfan and Yusuf got huge money in IPL-4 auctions and Yusuf made it to the World Cup squad. We are very happy and hence thought of returning something to the society. And what better way than to help couples start a new life,” Mehmoodkhan told TOI.

Mehmoodkhan donated Rs 1.51 lakh to a Petlad-based organisation Mohaddis-e-Azam Mission that has organised the mass marriage wherein couples from all sects of Muslim community will tie the knots.

“Members of the organisation came to invite us for the mass wedding. That is when the idea of sponsoring marriage of some couples struck me. I talked with Irfan and Yusuf and they too agreed to bear wedding expenses. I liked the concept as couples from all sects of our community will benefit from this mass marriage,” added Mehmoodkhan. (via Senior Pathan sponsors wedding of 10 couples – Times Of India).

Maya is a complex idea

'Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad - A tale of how civilized West had gone barbaric, due to 'native' influences' and needed to brought back to 'civilization'.  |  Illustration by Lisl Weil

‘Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad – A tale of how civilized West had gone barbaric, due to ‘native’ influences’ and needed to brought back to ‘civilization’. | Illustration by Lisl Weil

There is one particular episode in “Heart of Darkness” where Marlow is bringing back Kurtz on a steamboat through the forest and African tribesmen gather on the shore. The Europeans in the boat aren’t really threatened by the tribesmen because they are not within reach of their spears. Marlow blows the whistle to frighten them away but that doesn’t satisfy other Europeans. “And then that imbecile crowd down on the deck started their little fun, and I could see nothing more for smoke,” writes Conrad.
It’s a beautiful and provocative scene. What is actually taking place is a massacre. What is being lost in smoke is this massacre. I find the use of language here fascinating. Marlow the narrator and Conrad the author can only say so many things. There is a story beneath the story that remains untold. (via The Moment – Tabish Khair On India’s Thugs | March 8, 2011, 5:45 PM HKT)

Stepping back

Just how and why murder mysteries became popular in English fiction – in early 20th century. And then fade away. Or why horror and monsters were popular in European, especially, Spanish literature in 16th/17th century. Represented by Calderon de la Barca (1600-1681), the Spanish writer.

Post-WWII fiction created a new genre –  filled with International intrigue, spies, plots, cabals, faceless bureaucrats. You could call it Daughter of John Le Carre marries the Ghost of Robert Ludlum.

Empty boxes of cynical ideologies, gift-wrapped in shiny paper.

Blood and bones

Critics, usually from the West, dismissed these waves of popular fiction as inexplicable shifts in taste and fashion. But, taken together for the last 500 years, popular fiction mirrors European imperial reality. Spanish literary monsters were proxies for blood-thirsty and gold-grabbing conquistadors.

This theme reappeared in English literature symbolizing the massacres in post-1857 India. Brutish English men, Draculas and Frankensteins, appeared in India, to ‘pacify’ mutinous Indians (more @ http://goo.gl/wAan1). Pacification usually meant annihilation of entire villages, communities. Emulating their masters, very soon most Englishman in India thought little, if an Indian life was taken.

Best seen in Agatha Christie novels. Closely matching American reality, was Agatha Christie’s famous book, Ten Little Niggers, that became Ten Little Indians to finally Then there were none.

Deciphering maya

Tabish Khair, a writer based in Denmark, with a Bihari origin, had his recent books nominated for some awards. He presents in the extract (linked above) a small bit of Western maya. What would be the modern equivalent of what was called maya in classical Indian texts.

The closest I could come up with was propaganda.


The building of the Churchill Myth

Winston Churchill - (courtesy - telegraph.co.uk)

Winston Churchill - (courtesy - telegraph.co.uk)

The three crucial broadcasts were made not by Churchill but by an actor hired to impersonate him. Norman Shelley, who played Winnie-the-Pooh for the BBC’s Children’s Hour, ventriloquized Churchill for history and fooled millions of listeners. Perhaps Churchill was too much incapacitated by drink to deliver the speeches himself. (via The New York Times > Books > First Chapters > First Chapter: ‘Love, Poverty, and War’).

Propagnda masters

To use an actor to deliver a speech, in the middle of WW2. To fool the British public itself, calls for a certain brazenness.

Whatever one may fault the British for, at propaganda they are the best. To drown facts under a tidal wave of falsities, shows British mastery over the ‘science’ of propaganda. I am sure that propaganda is what Indian ancients referred to as  माया maya. There are some other gems also in this post – about British propaganda, which persist even today. Worth a read!

Why am I not surprised by British acknowledgment of Goebbels as a ‘better at propaganda.’

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