Sometimes when things don’t go your way, and you can’t see what lies ahead of you… Just keep doing the right things and have a clear mind. I am learning this now.
Things work out for the best!
Disclaimer: This post was actually conceptualized and drafted before Rajdeep Sardesai’s post on IBNLive.com, which does a better coverage of what I wanted to write. However, since I did draft this one, I have decided to put it up, with a disclaimer that the contents are original.
Two of the biggest entertainment blockbusters have just released in the television set near you. The IPL and the IPL. The Indian Premier League and the Indian Political League. The resemblances that both share are uncanny, right from their heroes, to the controversies to new strategies, the money involved, to the way the nature of the game (cricket and politics) has changed / evolved / degenerated.
Of multiple captains and multiple PMs: The Kolkata Knight Riders have announced their multiple captaincy theory, which can be summarized as, their team will no longer have 1 on-field captain, but 3-4 captains based to improve efficiency. The United Progressive Alliance is currently on a similar ground with Manmohan Singh being pronounced as the Congress’s candidate, while Sharad Pawar harbouring his Prime Ministerial ambitions. That the ‘third front’ as as many PM Candidates as the number of parties that constitute it is another example of the ‘multi-captain’ theory. Whereas, the National Democratic Alliance has claimed it has only 1 PM candidate, the problem is that the alliance has shrunk from 23 parties to 6 (4 of which are a political joke).
Bottomline: Too many cooks spoil the broth. More so in politics that in sports. I would fancy Kolkata Knight Riders’ attempt becoming successul, but post elections, with everyon wanting a powerful post in the centre, loyalties are going to be sold, resold and stolen. Clearly, an unstable government awaits us in the centre, with jackasses holding important portfolios.
Thou shall entertain the masses: What does Shilpa Shetty know about cricket? For that matter, what does she know about anything at all? With an IQ of -250 and a body to die for, she definitely adds glamour to the game. So is the case with Preity Zinta. Shahrukh Khan is a marketing genius who will make profits again even if his team performs with the same level of ‘expertise’ as it did last year. Vijay Mallya’s team might not be favourites to win this year as well, but, there is ONE reaason why I would want them to perform well. Their cheerleaders redefine HOT. 🙂 The fact is, to win the masses, you must entertain them. Our politicos have understood this centuries back. That is why people like Hema Malini, Vinod Khanna, Dharmendra, Shekhar Suman, Shotgum Shatrugan have joined the bandwagon. Unlike southern actor politicians like Chiranjeevi,MGR, NTR, Jayalalitha who had brilliant political acumen, the yesteryear’s Bollywood ‘Superstars’ are there for the exact same reason like Shilpa Shetty and Preity Zinta. Look pretty and hot and make fools out of themselves!
Bottomline: For every marketing genius (Shahrukh Khan), there is an equal and opposite bimbo (Shilpa Shetty). For every populous leader (Jayalalitha), there will continue to be an equal and opposite bimbo too (Hema Malini and others).
NEWS channels prefer Bad Boys as Bad boys = More TRPs, Less News: We all love bad boys and the controversies. Last year, we had the ‘Slap-Gate’ controversy between Harbhajan Singh and Sreesanth. (That suffixing ‘Gate’ after every action word that creates a controversy shows our media’s obsession with the US is a rant I save for later). This year, the bad boy for the IPL was chosen even before the tournament began. John Buchanan for removing Dada from captaincy. Thank God the IPL is in South Africa. The communist party and Trinamool Congress would have possibly added this in their party manifesto, and reinstated as captain after elections. Needless to say, 7500 effigies for John Buchanan would have been burnt before every KKR match. Not to be outdone, the political parties needed to feed the media channels their bad boy too. Enter Varun Gandhi with his ‘Diplomacy and Secularism for dummies’. The only dummy to be slapped with an NSA, just like Harbhajan Singh after slapping Sreesanth, Varun Gandhi’s expression was priceless when he was being interviewed by the NEWS channels the day after he made the speech. Both looked like they would crap in their pants! 😀
Bottomline: Without controversies and bad boys, the NEWS Channels shall fail in their attampt to create a hysteria-type situation, and without such an environment, we shall not have the Civil War that these channels aim to create. Also, we need these bad boys to remind us, what a bunch of fools we ‘worship’. Be it in Cricket or Politics.
I am Stupid!: In the Indian Premier League, we are yet to have a contender for the ‘Duh!’ award for brilliance. Last year’s winner though was Sreesanth who thought it was funny to make fun of an angry sikh, and in the process got slapped, and cried like a baby, lost his place from the team, managed to get a stress facture without playing a single game, and now is the official male-cheerleader / break dancer of the King’s Eleven Punjab. However, in the political scenario, we already have quite a few contenders.
2. The Congress Party for their decision to field Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler, after the CBI submitted theit ‘neutral’ observations and gave them a clean chit. That a shoe had to be thrown at the Hon. Home Minister of India, to ensure that the Congress revokes Sajjan Kumar’s and Jagdish Tytler’s tickets is not something that highlights their ‘foresight’.
Bottomline: With such representations, we are hitting rock bottom pretty fast.
What game are we talking about???: The Indian Premier League and the Indian Political League have both redefined the nature of the game. Gone are the days of Hit-Consolidate-Hit in cricket. Now its Wham-Bam-Thank You Ma’am. One good over can be the difference between a winner and a loser. If its a tie, we can have a bowl out. The good old fashioned cricket is… almost extinct. As in the case of the England’s Tests against the Windies. Its city based loyalties, where Kolkata boos when Sachin bats or Mumbai boos when Sehwag blasts away to glory. Indian politics has changed too. Regional parties have grown in power. Mayawati can dream of becoming the Prime Minister. Soon, the nation will have statues of Mayawati in every apartment. Andhra politics has evolved from fancy (green shirt / pink pant wearing) filmstars based campaigning to promises of Color TVs and set top boxes. Politics is maturing, with Samajwadi Party claiming to BAN ENGLISH. We shall soon get back to bullock carts. Meanwhile the ‘National Parties’ are busy discussing issues of national relevance like who is a weaker PM. The common man doesn’t care! He really doesn’t!
Bottomline: Whether we like it or not, regional parties are here to stay and take us to the neolithic ages! Yaba Daba Dooooo!!!
The backstage guys: The Election Commission and the Indian Premier League organization committee kick ass! This election is by far the most thought out elections, with so much thought going into each phase. Starting from the Naxalite infested zones, the phases have been planned such that the deployment of troop is easy and smooth. In such uncertain times, the EC had to get together and put up a show that truly demonstates the democracy India is. And it has done more than that.
The same must be told of the Indian Premier League. IPL1 was a HUGE success. It was entertaining, exciting, and the best reality show I have ever seen. IPL 2, despite the last minute setbacks promises much more, and I have no doubt, it will be a bigger success.
Bottom Line: As always, we never give credit to the people who made it happen. What would we do without them?
Young Guns… Missing!!!: The Congress talks of itself as a ‘Young’ party. Except that the ones who are allowed to make speeches, talk to the media are Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Wadhra. The Jyotiradityas and the Milind Deoras are well, missing!!! The BJP doesn’t even have such faces, except probably people from the ABVP (their youth wind) who are known for murdering professors (Prof Sabharwal anyone???). The regional parties… Ah! Why am I even trying!
If the opening match of the IPL 2 is anything to go by, then this IPL is going to be dominated by the Seniors. A lot of them have been treated like dirt, thrown into a dustbin. Yes, IPL last year did manage to bring in a lot of youngsters, but the ones who are in the current team are pretty much the ones before IPL. Except maybe Yousuf Pathan! But to be honest, the IPL cannot be compared to the political system in this regard. IPL gives the younger cricketers a lot to look forward to. Not so, with the Political system.
Bottom Line: Talk all you want about us being a young nation, but eventually the reality is we have a choice between a 76 year old PM (Manmohan Singh) and 82 year old Advani. The next time some one talks abt the ‘Youth’ and ‘Gen Next’, I shall be throwing a chappal on them!!!
What is the point!!! A fundamental question… What is the point!!! This election is the most pointless election in Indian electoral history. Not ONE national issue. You mean to say, we as a nation are have risen above national issues!!! So, why exactly are we voting? So that the politicians can rake in moolah while we are struggling to retain our jobs in the recession! What is the point of the IPL??? To say, Rajasthan is a better team than Chennai (except Chennai team is lead by someone from Ranchi, Hyderabad by an Australian, Rajasthan by an Aussie too, Kolkatta by a Newzealander and 3 more people, Bangalore by an Englishman). The IPL is for the BCCI to rake in moolah, when we are losing jobs too! Ofcourse it is recession proof! Lalit Modi will become richer, and we will contribute to the same, while he makes statements about cricket like he is a statesman!!!
Bottom Line: Just as pointless. But we are a part of it. ‘Cos, lets be honest, both the IPL’s are entertaining as hell!!!
Most companies refer to firing people as ‘house cleaning’. But Citi group has taken it to a completely new level. This article here mentions that they are going to fire (believe it or not)… Office cleaners!!!
I am not sure about the authenticity of the article, but if it is true, then it is darned funny! 🙂 So, they have the money to pay incentives to their executives, but cannot afford to keep their office cleaners!!! If true, then I am sure there must be some logic behind this decision… Just that it is a little difficult to find one now… Will update this post when I find the logic… 🙂
L.K. Advani proved yet once again, why he is the Chanakya. As a leader, and the prime minister of this country, I have my reservations against him. But, as a politician and a strategist, yesterday he delivered what could possibly be a crucial blow to the government by calling the Prime Minister to a televised national debate. When Manmohan Singh lashed out against Advani 3 days back, I was surprised and impressed. Yesterday, it was Advani’s turn to impress me.
In an era where political leadership is seeing a global transformation across the world, the educated masses have been hoping for an American style of presidential debate in India. With the PMO refusing Advani’s challenge, the repurcussions, I believe, will be felt as the campaigning progresses, and clearly, Advani has won this round. By inviting Manmohan Singh for an open debate, he has taken responded to Manmohan’s accusations without adding any further mudslinging, character assasination and yet dwelving on his strength, oratory. I am sure that Advani threw open this challenge only because he was 100% sure the Congress would go on the back foot. By squashing his challenge, the Congress has lost out on an opportunity to confuse Advani, and to make a stand that Manmohan Singh can defend himself in an hour of need, and most importantly, convince the educated voters that not only do we have an educated prime minister, but also an assertive one.
In my opinion, the Congress could have emerged more victorious from a national debate. Agreed that in any national debate, the ruling party is always on the defensive as it is easy to highlight their failures from the previous term. Congress could not have dwelved on NDA’s failures as it is too far back into history. That said, I am sure that this was the ideal platform for Manmohan Singh to outline his successes, use numbers to substantiate them, and share his vision for the next 5 years. In a national debate, Advani could not have involved in mudslinging, as this could drive away educated voters. Also, since the debate would have been moderated, both the national parties would have to answer questions relevant to the voters.
Whether the Congress did not trust their PM candidate to stand Advani’s verbose skills or they did not carry out enough reforms to face the electorate, or they realised that their manifesto is more populist than reformatory, this was their one chance to clear the mess they are spiralling towards. And they missed it. Not that the BJP is in any lesser mess. But if at all anything, the centre will be decided by the regional parties.
The Indian Election Tamasha is like a James Hadley Chase thriller! No one knows the end… but we all know how we reach the end… In a rather ugly manner!
P.S. If there were to be a national debate in India, it reiterates my belief that post poll alliances must be banned. We must have alliances and PM candidates declared before the elections. If the third front takes itself seriously, they must have a leader capable enough to talk ‘sense’ on national TV. Not build statues of herself, create a mess in the name of law and order and extort loot money from the working class.
This post is loosely inspired by the TATA Tea ad where this politician goes to ask for votes and a voter asks him for his qualification and work experience the the important ‘job’ that he is embarking upon. The politician laughs at the voter, asking him what job is the voter referring to. The voter responds, “The job to run the country”.
Do politicians in other countries view politics as a profession? Or is politics viewed similarly across international boundaries? The best way of course to find out is go to that ever useful tool for professionals – LinkedIn.
Here are the results:
The apparently technologically challenged Senator John McCain.
I also came across many politicians, prime ministers who have LinkedIn profiles. While having a LinkedIn profile is not a certificate of a person character, one has to appreciate the intent. Reach out to masses, and more importantly, take politics as a profession. Successful leaders, political and otherwise, have a common thread that binds them – their keenness to reach out to masses of different classes.
Unfortunately, in India, this does not seem to be the case. Today, every party can be clearly defined to the class they owe their loyalties to. The SP to the Muslims, the BSP to the Dalits, the Congress and BJP to the upper class and so on. I read an article on IBNLive.com which mentioned that Mayawati lacks the Pan-India appeal. My question is, do the national parties have a pan-India outlook? Unfortunately, the answer is No. And that is why, this election will mark the lowest ebb in indian politics, and will be the highlight of the failure of democracy owing to divisive politics by parties, with a clippered outlook.
The BJP has been actively and aggressively campaigning off the TV sets while on the TV set, they have been bickering. Advani’s website looks fresh, an investment clearly aimed at targetting the younger voters, also borrowed from Obama. SMS campaigning is in full spree as well. While I strongly believe that the BJP have the wrong candidate for the PM’s role, atleast the attempt to reach out to young evident voters is evident. This probably marks a paradigm shift from the previous elections. The Congress, despite its hoard of young politicians, has very mediocre websites, and there is a clear lack of innovative thinking in their election campaigns. They came up with ads for different ministries, but what is new in that? By buying the rights to ‘Jai Ho’ song, I am not really sure, whom are they targetting. The third front is a joke, and I shall not waste my time expecting them to campaign with any issues except Congress-BJP bashing.
What made the US presidential elections special was Barrack Obama’s effective use of technology, which was reciprocated by McCain’s camp. Both parties had national issues, which had to be answered. Solutions and strategies were explained to laymen. That is professionalism. And that is precisely what is lacking in Indian Politics.
We ape the west in every possible sense. Why can’t we ape them as far as the professionalism in politics is concerned? If not a LinkedIn Profile, atleast a blog that outlines strategies. Post 2009 elections, both national parties will rework their strategy towards regional politics. But, at a time when there has been record number of new voters, a hung parliament can take us many years back.
It will be interesting to see how Indian Politics evolves from this!
I have got an admit in Queen’s School of Business. I have decided to go ahead and take up the offer.
Meanwhile, I have also started a new blog for my MBA experience. This is expected to be a more ‘professional’ blog, aimed at tracking my professional progress in the coming years. This blog will continue to be my personal blog, aimed predominantly on issues, thoughts that leave an impact on me.
Please check out my new blog – A fistful of sky.
Why have I named it ‘A fistful of sky’? Because, that is what I seek. And I hope to jump higher and higher and higher… till I get the fistful.
SASTRA’s inter-college fest KurukSASTRA is back. And has it become better or what!!
Last time, I was in college, judging a few events. I thought I would never feel the ampount of pride that I felt then for my alma mater. How wrong was I!!! This year, the theme of the cults is ‘Movies’ and the infrastructure is HUGE! The webpage is flashier, and the best part is (you won’t believe it) the LIVE STREAMING OF STAGE EVENTS!!!
Imagine watching the host performances LIVE sitting in the comfort of your bedroom. The feeling of pride just washes you away!!! Yesterday was the light music performance (where the competition was a tad disappointing) but it was amazing fun watching it live and commenting with fellow alumni. Today is the dance performance, and IF anyone sees this post before 6:30 p.m IST then please do not miss it. Click on the KS link . Click on the Live streaming option and viola! Watch and enjoy the performances. Tomorrow is the Pro-Night where a couple of famous singers from the Tamil Film Industry are going to be performing (and again we can watch it live).
Isn’t this awesome? I am proud of these kids, who seem to outclass us alums by sheer virtue of innovation. What we could not have thought possible 4 years back is looking outdated today. Technology is an ocean, and has the solution to everything. Its just about, where to find it! I am proud that my alma mater is churning out kids who are no longer purely academic, but creative in every sense of the term.
Where do I see KurukSASTRA 5 years from now? The rate at which it is embracing technology, all it needs some support from us Alums. A vision, a direction, and this can be big. Imagine how cool will it be if we alums could provide the infrastructure needed to stream every event. Imagine how cool will it be to watch the JAM finals live! How wonderful will it be if the debate finals were judged by a panel that spreads across 4 continents! And what a wonderful feeling would it be to say SASTRA Alumni present ‘KurukSASTRA 15’.
On a tangential plane, the alums need to regroup and give back to the institution what it needs. Ideas, Monetory assistance, support to faculty and students, guidance to kids. If we dont take this up… Who will?