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Archive for January, 2008

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Here is a simple and compassionalte soldier, who was a leader and a true warrior. A man who did not hide behind bluster and cocky rhetoric, but led by example and died fighting for what he beleived in. Rare that a CO of the Army puts himself in harms way these days.  That itself speaks volumes on this man’s character.

These are sad times indeed.

A silent salute to this brave son of the soil.

A Tribute to Col Vasanth

By Tulasi Srinivas- Narasimhan

The news item by Reuters on July 31 profoundly shocked me: “Six people, including a top Indian Army officer, was killed in the gun battle between troops and militants trying to sneak into Indian Kashmir from the Pakistani side,” an Army spokesman said.
The Army spokesman narrated how Colonel Vasanth Venugopal, commanding officer of 9 Maratha Light Infantry, along with reinforcements, rushed to the site to personally supervise the operation. Under his determined and resolute leadership, troops surrounded terrorists in a difficult and thickly-wooded forested area. Heavy fighting ensued in which Col Vasanth personally flushed out militants.
Displaying cool courage and operational acumen, Col Vasanth poised himself and his party to block the escape routes of entrapped militants. He died in the hospital of his wounds.
Col Vasanth was, in life, one of a very rare breed — a true idealist and a man of peace — who was proud to be an officer of the Indian Army. The obvious paradox did not seem to trouble him.
I first met Vasanth in 1993, when I married into his family. He was then a young officer, away often on the frontline and in military training, much to the dismay and worry of his young bride Subhashini.
Vasanth was no armchair idealist, no sit back scholar. He had read widely about military history and strategy and would take great care to analyse the inscrutable choices that armies had made in history. When he was on a holiday in Bangalore, he would attempt to solve the crossword puzzle everyday, help his daughter polish her shoes for school, read newspapers, and surf the web, thirsting to learn more and more.
His love for the Army and the honour it signified, was brought home to me in many ways. In 2003, the whole family, myself included, visited him in Belgaum.
Then a Major, when he came out of his room early in the morning dressed in his army uniform, shoes polished, medals blazing, he suddenly looked like a different man; confident, assured and in charge.
We teased him and he said in all seriousness; “It is the uniform of the Indian Army. When I put it on, it is a responsibility. The boys see me and expect me to behave as an officer”.
And now he is gone — shot to death by religious insurgents, who kill for an ideology. The cost of his fall will be known only by his wife, his parents and his daughters.
I have no doubt that Col Vasanth himself would probably have asked for no more fitting fall than with his men, defending his nation, but what do we make of such an end? What can we say, tongue tied with grief?

Disclaimer: This article is reproduced in an effort to preserve such writings for future generations and self education. No copyright laws are being violated or intended by referring it in this blog.

Also read Prem Panickers article here in Rediff (http://specials.rediff.com/news/2008/jan/24resl1.htm). Prem Thank you! You have done a great service to us soldiers by writing this article.

My heartfelt condolences to Mrs Subhashini Vasant and her 2 lovely children. I salute your courage and your bravery during these hard times.

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The second Test in Sydney will be a turning point in Cricket if only the BCCI has the balls to stick up for the cricketers and fans who pay their salaries.

But let’s wait and see. This will reflect on us as Indians and our generation of people who claim to be aggressive but fair players in today’s world stage.

First let’s look at facts as they are:

a) Harbhajan Singh (HBS) denies the claim that he called Symonds a “monkey”. No one heard this. There was no altercation. It was just a friendly jibe from HBS to Symonds. No evidence either of audio, video or players who actually heard the word used. The closest people other than these two were the umpires and Sachin. No one else. So there is no proof.

b) India was the batting side and can produce only Sachin as a witness. Of course the Aussies can produce 11 witnesses. I am surprised Mike Proctor (the jackass) didn’t call the entire team to question them. To a man they would have stood by this story. Of course. Let me see one Aussie who will deny this claim?

Yet they found him guilty !!

Guilty of what?

a) Standing up to the Aussies and giving back the same vitriol.

b) Being honest and standing by his beliefs.

Let’s not get into what “monkey” means in India or Australia. I don’t get it. How does that matter anyway? Prove to us he called him a monkey and then take it from there. Also can we cut this “Allegedly called him monkey” crap. If it is allegedly, then still there is no proof. It is HBS’s word against Symonds and the only sane thing to do is to let these guys know that this will not be tolerated. There ends the matter.

So what proof did you have there Mikey ? Just 7 players saying they heard him say it ? You bet.

How about we nail Ponting next match ? When he is batting we nail him for calling HBS a something and all 11 players come and say that they heard it.

Dangerous precedent I must say.

It all looks very hokey to me and here is why.

Aussies have never been fair players. Sporting Australians is an oxymoron. More moron than oxy!

They may be a good team, but who the hell likes them. No one. Not one country. Every victory of theirs have always been praised grudgingly by others. The sledging culture was invented by these morons and has injected this into the game to such an extent that all teams now have this as their core philosophy. To be like them and start winning. YUCK!

But now that they are getting paid back, they are crying Mummy!

Remember the West Indian greats….Andy Roberts, Clive Lloyds, Mike Holding etc. Did anyone grudge these guys their victories?

Look at the number of incidents over the last 10 years and you will see incidents like Glenn McGrath ( the greatest (sic) bowler ?? ) spitting at a batsman, getting into arguments with everyone on the field. Steve Waugh, Mathew Hadden, Dennis Lillee, Clarke, Warne, Symonds ( he has had altercations with almost all Indian players and most of the Sri Lankan ones)…the list goes on and on.

How many can you name from the other countries barring England (another bunch of losers)?

Few and far between. Heck, even Pakistan looks a great team (behavior) compared to these guys.

So it all boils down to intent.

HBS has been the best bowler of the lot and has dismissed Ponting all times. They need to do something about it and they waited for this opportunity to nail him. Of course Mike Proctor the Jack Ass is an epitome of fairness! Look at all the incidents where he has banned people of color.

Here is one example as quoted in Prem Panickers article on Rediff:

“Then Pakistan captain Rashid Latif was docked for claiming a catch, when the ball had touched the ground. He was suspended for five games — effectively missing the entire one day series between the two sides”

How about banning Ponting and Clarke there Mikey. That would be just. Ponting is the captain. He could be a role model for many aspiring young Australians (If I was Australian I would ask my kid to abandon cricket and play snooker instead)

Now comes our own internal enemy. It is about time this country wakes up and starts behaving like one nation. The BCCI is a farce and the prime motive is money, not the sport. These guys need to wake up and earn their pay.

The dignity of the players needs to be kept upper most in everyone’s mind. Simply lodging protests is NOT good enough. Take ACTION! For crying out loud.

Some suggestions:

a) File a strong protest against the ban with timelines or else …..

b) Suspend all matches with the Aussies……

c) Recall the Indian team home if the ban is NOT lifted and remove those 2 umpires (vampires) from any matches going forward.

d) If for contractual obligations the team are obliged to play, the Indian team should play so badly, that viewer interest is removed and they lose revenue. All Indian Sponsors should withdraw from Australia. Score ducks and play without scoring. What the heck, you are protesting !

e) Form a conglomerate with other nations similarly grieved and submit a petition to ICC to ban Aussies from playing Test Cricket and even gully cricket for the next 2 years. You will see who they change their tunes. They will say “Howdy Mate nice of you to play us” instead of saying “Gday Mate Go F**k yourself”; going forward.

e) If the ICC refuses, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, West Indies, Sri Lanka and NZ (who cares) form their own Cricket Council and play entertaining, clean and decent cricket.

f) Declare all Aussies and English players persona non grata till they can prove and have clean records for on field behavior for at least 2 years. Then allow them to play in the IPL or ICL whatever.

Unless something drastic changes, this game will die in ignominy and it will become more of a WWF match than a cricket match. That day is not far off. So instead of producing Tendulkars we will produce Dara Singhs (no offense Dara) on the field to counter the Aussie and the English menace.

Oh BTW Mike Jack A** Proctor…did anyone from the English team get banned for the Jelly Bean incident?

I am sure you agree that was worse offense with proof that was submitted to you? What did you do with that report?

As for Bucknor and Benson, I believe there is a great Chicken fight league in Thailand that will be more appropriate for your skills. For God’s sake you call this umpiring? How do you guys sleep at night?

And the erstwhile “elected” members of the BCCI (Balless Council of Cricketing Idiots). Have you followed up on the Jelly bean incident?

No? We know why. The players made a lot of money for you guys, so you don’t care for their dignity and hard work. After all you have been paid to exploit and make sure these guys keep performing till you decide they are no longer required.

And yes, we are glad for the ICL. It will catch up very soon and you will be taught a lesson.

And Yes, this is exactly why every invader that crossed the Himalayas came and ultimately ruled this great nation of ours. Because of people like you. Who can’t standup for justice, Who can’t standup for his fellow Indian.

Bhagat Singhs will come and go, more Vikram Batras will die and more Saurav Kalias will be tortured and nothing will be done by our country, except to spew rhetoric!

India is booming, money will pour in. But if we forget our sense of dignity and strength in togetherness, we will be ruled again by a new menace …World Economy!

Time for change. The World knows we have the money power. Time for payback !

More power to the ICL.

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