Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Category: India

Downfall Down Under

India has lost four ODIs consecutively against Australia. The margin of defeat in any match is not great but losing four ODIs consecutively is a fall.
On 12/1/2016 Perth ODI was lost with four balls to spare. India 309/3. Rohit Sharma scored 171*. Australia 310 in 49.2 overs.
On 15/1/2016 Brisbane ODI was lost with one over to spare. Rohit Sharma scored 124. India 308/8. Australia 309/3 of which 11 were wides conceded by India. Indian fielders dropped five catches.
It appeared when Rohit Sharma scores a century India lose the match. Someone wrote to go from 90 to 100 he took 16 balls in first ODI and 18 balls in second ODI.
On 17/1/2016 India lost Melbourne ODI and consequently the series. Rohit Sharma 6. Virat Kohli 117. India 295. Australia 296/7. Melbourne was lost with an over and a ball to spare. It was the third ODI of five ODI series.
Our batsmen did well. Our bowlers and fielders failed. Dropped catches cost matches.
On 20/1/2016 India lost Canberra ODI. Australia batted first and scored 348/8. Ajinkya Rahane got injured while fielding and could not hold a catch. Ishant Sharma bowled the last over and conceded 18 runs and got the wicket of Glenn Maxwell. His figures were 4/77. He became the bowler to concede highest number of runs in an ODI. India were 277/1 in 37.2 overs at one time and were all out for 323 runs in 49.2 overs. Shikhar Dhawan was out on 126. It was 277/2. Wickets started falling. Mahendra Singh Dhoni was out on 0. It was 277/3. John Hastings bowled that over. Virat Kohli was out on 106. It was 278/4. India did not recover after that. Kane Richardson took 5/68. Our batsmen did not do well to score 349 to win the match. India lost the match by 25 runs.
After Canberra ODI, Dhoni blamed himself for the loss. Previously he had blamed batsmen, bowlers and fielders.
Indian fielding was brilliant during Test series against South Africa. What went wrong in Australia?
Barinder Sran began well in Perth. He took 3/56. In the second and third ODIs he did not get any wicket. In the third ODI Gurkeerat dropped a catch off his bowling.
Gurkeerat Singh Mann and Rishi Dhawan made their debut in third ODI. Both did not do well in third and fourth ODIs.
Ravichandran Ashwin was dropped after two matches. In the first ODI he took 2/68. In the second ODI he did not get any wicket. Some say it was wrong to keep him out. Melbourne and Canberra pitches suited spin. We do not what would have happened.
Someone said good spinners like Amit Mishra and Pragyan Ojha are kept out. It is not performance that counts. It is something else that counts.
It was so near yet so far for India.
This is third straight ODI series loss for India. India lost to Bangladesh and to South Africa in India.
Australia has a new record of winning 19 ODIs consecutively.
India has seen many fast bowlers come and go. They begin well. Do well in a few matches. Then they lose speed and are out.
Some say DRS could have made a difference and India could have won two ODIs. George Bailey in Perth and Glenn Maxwell in Melbourne would have been given out. They are wrong. There are many cases of wrong decisions in DRS. Most famous or notorious recent case is of Nathan Lyon, in first Day and Night Test at Adelaide. On 28/11/2015 Australia were 116/8 in reply to New Zealand’s first Innings total of 202. Nathan Lyon had not scored. He was caught at slip off Santner. He was walking. New Zealand appealed. Field umpire decided not out. New Zealand appealed for DRS. Third umpire Nigel Llong watched the video repeatedly and then said there was no snickometer evidence and Hot Spot mark on Lyon’s bat could have come from anywhere. It should have been 116/9. Instead Nathan Lyon survived and scored 34 runs and had 74 run partnership for ninth wicket with Peter Nevill. Starr joined Nevill for the tenth wicket. There was lbw decision against Starr which he appealed and DRS was in his favour. He scored 24. Australia were 224 all out and had 22 run first Innings lead. Australia won the Test.
DRS could have gone in favour of George Bailey and Glenn Maxwell. India’s margin of defeat could have been more in each ODI. Australian batsmen who were out could have been ruled not out and Indian batsmen who were not out could have been ruled out. Different channels get different results of DRS. Sometimes it seems DRS is there for match-fixing or spot-fixing. India had bad experience of DRS in Sri Lanka. Boards and players of other countries also know DRS is not reliable but are afraid to speak. Sometimes some journalists speak as if they are spokespersons of companies providing DRS.
India had consolation in Test rankings. England defeated South Africa in two Tests and won the series. India attained No. 1 ranking.

Animal Rights

Love for animals is inversely proportional to love for humans.
There are people who talk of animal rights. Some of them oppose cruelty to animals but are not opposed to slaughter of animals for food. Some are in favour of scientific experiments on animals. Some are vegetarians and oppose killing of animals in all cases.
Some say animals have as many rights as men. All living creatures have equal rights. This goes beyond cruelty or killing. It means no man should own any animal or plant. Man includes woman and child. Animal includes bird, fish, reptile etc. Plants and trees are living creatures. If this is carried to logical conclusion all animals will be free. They will multiply and there will be no space to move around. All eggs will be hatched and chicken will be all over roads and other places. There will not be pruning of any plant. Goats will multiply and not much vegetation will be left.
Sniffer dogs cannot be used by police to solve crimes or to find living persons in debris due to earthquake or other reasons.
Once Australia banned killing of kangaroos. Kangaroos multiplied and played havoc. Australia lifted the ban.
Use of animals in circus was banned. If it is wrong to use animals in circus, it is wrong to keep animals in zoo.
Big fish eats small fish. Lions and tigers eat deer. Snakes eat frogs.
Ban on killing endangered species is justified.
There is controversy about Jallikattu. It is popular in parts of Tamil Nadu. Supreme Court had upheld the ban in May 2014. Its judgment said “Bulls are beaten, poked, prodded, harassed and jumped on by numerous people. They have their tails bitten and twisted and their eyes and noses filled with irritating chemicals.” On 7/1/2016 Government of India permitted Jallikattu under certain conditions. On 12/1/2016 Supreme Court stayed the Executive Order permitting Jallikattu. Jayalalitha wanted central government to issue an ordinance permitting Jallikattu. That did not happen. Many Tamilians were sad. Some shaved their heads. Some did not celebrate Pongal.
Bull fight is prevalent in Spain and some other countries. There are proponents and opponents of bull fight.
Cock fight is banned. Some in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh want ban to be lifted.
Bulbul fight was practised in Assam. It is banned.
Bullock cart race is banned but there is no ban on horse race where betting is involved. People have gone to court for ban on horse-drawn carriages known as victorias but not for ban on horse race.
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) was founded in England in 1824. It has branches in India and other countries.
Animal Welfare Board of India was set up on 19 March 1962 as per Section 4 of Prevention of Cruelty Animals Act 1960. It wanted ban on Jallikattu. Occasionally it create problems for films using animals.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) was founded in 1980. It has used violent and illegal methods. It has killed around 85% of animals in its shelters and has called the killings euthanasia.
Ivory trade is banned in most countries. Elephant poaching and illegal trade continues.
Some people oppose killing of animals for religious reasons. Many Hindus, Buddhists and Jains are vegetarians. For Jews and Muslims some animals are unclean. For Christians no animal is unclean. Man has dominion over living. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” (KJV Gen 1/27-28).
People who say all living creatures have equal rights should not own or hire animals and plants. They should not have dogs or cats. They should not ride horses.
Once there was a film to show how a man exploited a monkey. The film was made by exploiting the monkey.

New Parliament Building

India needs a New Parliament Building and that does mean demolishing the present Parliament House. New Parliament Building can be next to the present Parliament House or somewhere in Delhi or outside Delhi.
Lok Sabha should have at least one representative for a million people. As per census of 2011 India’s population was 121 crore. India should have at least 1210 members in Lok Sabha. The present building is not adequate to house them.
The present Parliament House was built by the British. It was designed by Herbert Baker in 1912. Construction began in 1921. Foundation stone was laid on 12 February 1921. It was known as Central Legislative Assembly. Edward Frederick Lindley Wood, Viceroy and Governor General of India, better known as Lord Irwin, inaugurated the building on 18 January 1927. It had separate halls for Chamber of Princes, State Council, and Central Legislative Assembly. It was built for Colonial India and not Independent India. State Council (Council of States) was created by the Government of India Act 1919. It had 26 nominated members and 34 elected members. The number was increased to 260 in 1937. 156 were from provinces and 104 from princely states. Chamber of Princes was established in 1920. It lasted till 1947. Central Legislative Assembly was created by the Government of India Act 1919. It had 144 members, 103 elected, 41 nominated. The Government of India Act 1935 increased the number of seats but elections to them did not take place. Constituent Assembly dissolved Central Legislative Assembly on 14 August 1947.
When Meira Kumar was the Speaker she had set up a committee to suggest alternatives to the current building. Some MPs opposed change of building.
Now Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has suggested construction of new building saying the present structure shows signs of distress and not able to meet demand for space needed for MPs and staff. Once again there is opposition mainly because Constituent Assembly met in the Central Hall from 9 December 1946 to 26 November 1949 and Independent India’s first cabinet took oath of office in the Central Hall. Sumitra Mahajan should say the present structure will remain as it is and a new structure will be built for Parliament. That will satisfy most MPs. Present structure can be a museum and people can visit and see different halls.
At present there are 543 elected members in Lok Sabha and two nominated members. As per original Constitution constituencies or sears were to be revised after every census. In 1951-52 there were 489 seats. In 1957 and 1962 there were 494 seats. In 1967 and 1971 there were 520 seats. In 1977 there were 543 seats. In 1976 the Constitution was amended to freeze the number of constituencies till 2000 and in 2001 it was amended to freeze the number of constituencies till 2026. In 1971 India’s population was 54.7 crore. It was 68 crore in 1981, 85 crore in 1991, 102 crore in 2001 and 121 crore in 2011. Population has more than doubles. Number of constituencies also should have more than doubled. Parliament House not having enough space is the wrong reason for restricting number of constituencies. People are deprived of adequate representation.
It is time for MPs to get real and not be sentimental. The new Parliament building should provide for at least 1600 Lok Sabha members so that population growth in subsequent years is taken care of.

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