Posts Tagged ‘ Top Post Today ’

Nitesh – The new cast(e) of Bihar

We Indians are very impressionist people. While travelling in Delhi Metro overheard some  new age intellectuals comment on the Bihar verdict. Forgetting their usual North Indian contempt and hatred for Bihari’s, these intellectuals were praising the maturity of the Bihari voters.

The Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had  propelled the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to a historic electoral triumph by bagging 84 percent of the seats and decimating the Lalu Prasad-led opposition while virtually erasing the Congress from one of India’s most populous states.

Bihar’s ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U) – Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance rode to victory on its development plank and won an incredible 206 of the 243 states. Considered kingmakers until just a few years ago, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) – Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) combine led by Lalu Prasad and Ram Vilas Paswan, became number two with 25 seats. And the Congress, which rules the country and contested all 243 seats, was left lagging at a humiliating third with a dismal 4 seats, less than even the 9 it mustered in the 2005 poll.

Emphatic, resounding, decisive…..many other adjectives did the rounds as analysts and politicians attempted to grasp the extent of the poll victory that streered the 59 year old JD-U Chief Nitish Kumar to a second term of governing the state of 83 million. Both the JD-U and BJP, who have been aligned since 1996, made substantial gains over their 2005 strength, leaders of both parties credited the win largely to the charisma of Nitish Kumar.

Nitesh, whose past is rooted in the country’s now virtually defunct socialist movement, on his part said people wanted to put the state on the path of progress and that development had won in Bihar. Political analysts pointed out that the people had shown maturity and that this election had seen more women voters than men. But who did all the women and men vote.

Below is the table published by the Association of Democratic Reforms on the victorious candidates of Bihar.

Political Party Total MLAs in Assembly MLAs with pending Criminal Cases % of MLAs with pending Criminal Cases MLAs with pending Serious Criminal Cases % of MLAs with pending Serious Criminal Cases
JD – U 114 58 51% 43 38%
BJP 90 58 64% 29 32%
RJD 22 13 59% 7 32%
INLD 6 5 83% 2 33%
INC 4 3 75% 2 50%
LJP 3 3 100% 2 67%
CPI 1 1 100% 0 0%
JMM 1 0 0% 0 0%

Analysis of New MLAs of Bihar 2010 Assembly Elections:

A. 141 newly elected MLAs (i.e. 59%) in Bihar Assembly Elections 2010 have pending criminal cases against them according to their self sworn affidavits. In 2005 Bihar Assembly, 117 (i.e.35%) MLAs had pending criminal cases.

B. 85 MLAs out of these 141 analyzed have declared pending serious IPC charges like murder and attempt to murder charges against them. In 2005, 68 MLAs had serious pending criminal cases.

C. 76 MLAs analyzed (32%) have not declared their PAN card details.

D. A total of 47 MLAs (i.e. 20%) analyzed are crorepatis in Bihar Assembly Elections 2010. In 2005, 8 MLAs were crorepatis.

By strengthening the hands of the new cast(e), the “mature” voters of Bihar have indeed disappointed all those people who would want to see breaking the mould completely. 

But to be fair to the Bihar voters what were the choices they had. The 15 year Lalu Yadav rule had actually pushed them to stone ages. The Engineer turned politician, Nitesh Kumar’s road projects had helped the Bihar economy grow at an average of 11.35% annually between 2004 and 2009, compared with an annualised 3.5% in the previous five years. It had beaten national growth by several percentage points and then, considering that, this sure was a breath of fresh air. 

Statistics : Association of Democratic Reforms a Non-Political, Non-Partisan and a Non-Governmental Organization.

Cricket Betting : Bain of the subcontinent

When the Television across the globe broadcast the footage from Britain’s News of the World in which Mazhar Majeed, a 35-year-old British property developer and sports agent, give details of when three “no-balls” would be delivered by Amir and Asif during the Test match at Lord’s that ended yesterday, there was anger and outrage in Pakistan.  The bookie claims Pakistan Test Captain Salman Butt to be the ring leader.

This is not the first time that Pakistan cricket has been embroiled in such a controversy.

It was way back in 1979-1980 when Pakistan were accused of throwing matches on their tour of India. Pakistan players were also accused of throwing their semi-final against Australia in the 1987 World Cup. Those allegations remain unsubstantiated.

But charges naming individual players surfaced in 1994 when Australian players Mark Waugh, Shane Warne and Tim May alleged that Pakistan skipper Salim Malik had approached them to bowl badly and lose the Karachi Test.

Then in 1998, Wasim Akram resigned as Pakistan skipper after bowler Ata-ur-Rahman had accused him of offering the bowler Rs. 3 lakh to bowl waywardly against New Zealand. The same year Rashid Latif accused Akram, Malik, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Ijaz Ahmed of fixing matches.

Year 2000 became the World cricket’s year of shame, when the Delhi Police charged the late South African Captain Hansie Cronje of fixing his team’s ODI series against India. As if taking a leaf out of Delhi Police’s book, the Pakistan Cricket Board, instituted a one-man judicial commission that found Salim Malik and Ata-ur-Rahman guilty of fixing matches and recommended life bans for the two. The commission also noted that Akram and Mushtaq Ahmed should not be allowed to captain Pakistan in the future. The same year, South Africa Cricket Chief Ali Bacher said he had been told by former Pakistan Cricket Board CEO Majid Khan that two matches involving Pakistan in the 1999 World Cup, against India and Bangladesh, were fixed.

Then there was a period of five years when Pakistan cricket seemed to be getting back on track, but again in 2006, Pakistan cricket was hit by a controversy during the tour of England. Angered after being accused of ball-tampering and penalised five runs by umpire Darrell Hair, Pakistan forfeited the fourth Test against England at The Oval after refusing to take the field in the evening session on day four in protest.

But early 2010, again, the clouds of match-fixing began to hover again over the Pakistan team. In January after Pakistan lost every match during their tour of Australia, the PCB and ICC Anti Corruption Unit launched investigations. The PCB enquiry saw Mohammad Yousuf, Younus Khan, Shoaib Malik and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan banned while Shahid Afridi, Umar Akmal and Kamran Akmal, were fined and placed on probation.

In the scandal which came to light now the television footage showed Amir, who was named the Pakistani Man of the Series, bowl two of the no-balls by stepping comfortably beyond the crease, prompting pundits to comment on the unusually clear nature of the infringements. But other events predicted by Majeed, such as an over in which Butt would deliberately fail to score a run, failed to materialise. The Scotland Yard team is investigating the case took statements from Salman Butt, Mohammad Aamer, Mohammad Asif and Kamran Akmal.

The former International Cricket Council President Malcolm Speed said that the game’s governing body could seriously consider suspending Pakistan. All eyes are on the new ICC President and ‘Indian’ Sharad Pawar but the response of the Indian public is one of glee.

It was indeed funny to watch Indian TV commentators spoof at the Pakistani system, questioning them of letting off errant palyers like Akram,  Shahid Afridi, Umar Akmal, Kamran Akmal etc in the past, forgetting that our own Ajay Jedeja (who is a star commendator in one of the popular TV channels), Mohammed Azarudin, Vinod Kamble were also accused of the same crime in the past. None in the media spoke about Miandad making Dawood a ‘sambandi‘ then or even now. The rotten state of the gentleman’s game was for everyone to see then, but it looks like whole world, India as a cricketing country, Board of Control for Cricket in India and our star players, are in a state of denial.

The Pakistani players, some of them in their late teens and early twenties looked like amateurs in the betting arena. Indian players probably could give a lesson or two these armatures. Thanks to Lalit Modi, IPL and the likes, our players  have perfected the art and we in India play at a very different scale of match-fixing.

Video : Copyright News of the World & YouTube

World’s Longest Traffic Jam; Great Stall of Superpower China

Recently crowned the world’s second-largest economy, China now has the dubious distinction of spawning the world’s longest traffic jam. Baffled by the bumper-to-bumper gridlock, the Chinese government has mobilised hundreds of policemen to clear the 100-km (60 miles) long stretch of the Beijing-Tibet Expressway, riddled with vehicles for 13 days, with the pile-up almost reaching the outskirts of the capital.

Experts say the mega-jam on National Expressway 110 would take atleast a month to clear. But unlike India there have been no reports of road rage, and the main complaint has been about villagers on bicycles selling food and water at 10 times the normal price.

 The pile-up of trucks brought traffic into China’s capital to a grinding halt and is directly attributable to China’s voracious appetite for energy and automobiles. And it was created by a surge in trucks carrying coal from the province of Inner Mongolia to the suburbs of Beijing, where power plants continue to suck up and incinerate millions of tons of the black rock. China still relies on coal for 70% of its energy demands and most of that coal travel on roads connecting mines in the nation’s hinterland to its eastern ports.

Last year Inner Mongolia surpassed Shanxi province to become China’s biggest coal supplier. A shortage of railway capacity connecting Inner Mongolia to port cities such as Caofeidian, Qinhuangdao and Tianjin, where coal is shipped to power plants in southern China, has forced suppliers to rely on trucks to feed the power plants around Beijing. The roads overloaded by coal trucks damaged the highway roads and pavements which necessitated maintenance work. Since Aug. 14, due to road maintenance and extreme congestion, China’s Expressway 110 has become a big parking lot.

At its current pace of consistent GDP growth for last 30 years, some analysts believe that China’s economy could overtake the US by 2020. But this incident has raised questions about whether China’s infrastructure is adequate for handling the growing number of cars and trucks added to its streets every year.

In 2009, China with its fast-expanding middle-class, overtook the United States to become the world’s biggest car market and now in 2010 China seems to be building another Great Wall. It’s just that this one is made of cars. So much for the Superpower debate going on in Indian television’s after Ragahav Bahl’s book – Superpower? The Amazing Race Between China’s Hare and India’s Tortoise.

Photo : Copyright with Telegraph