Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Supreme Court on Srinivasan

Supreme Court wants N. Srinivasan to quit as BCCI President. On 25/3/2014 Justices A. K. Patnaik and F. M. I. Kalifulla said “We feel that unless the President of the BCCI steps down, no fair decision can be taken. Why is Mr. Srinivasan sticking to his chair? It is nauseating. Courts after courts have said he should step down… Srinivasan should step down else we will pass a verdict.”
BCCI lawyer C. Aryama Sundaram said there was evidence of betting in IPL and Supreme Court appointed panel comprising Mukul Mudgal, Nilay Dutta and L. N. Rao had not found evidence of match-fixing or spot-fixing. Supreme Court judges countered Sundaram saying “Don’t say that. You are saying this because you have not seen what is there in the sealed cover. We have seen it and so we are at the root of it…” They showed a portion of the report to Sundaram and said “We don’t want to damage people’s reputation but in our opinion, Srinivasan must step down. The man at the top must go there if there has to be any fair investigation… gist of the sealed cover report proves many allegations… allegations are such that BCCI cannot be trusted with this.”
I do not know what the judges meant by “Courts after courts have said he should step down.” Bombay High Court did not say Srinivasan should step down.
It is known toss-fixing, spot-fixing, session-fixing and match-fixing take place in IPL. Players, officials and umpires get involved. Many people know about fixing. They watch it as entertainment. Guilty must be punished. The arrests of three Rajasthan Royal players took place in the middle of May 2013. Other arrests followed. Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan was one of them. Asad Rauf’s name came up in IPL fixing and he returned to Pakistan. In September there was BCCI AGM and Srinivasan was re-elected as president. If Srinivasan is guilty those who voted for him are not better.
It is unfair to ask someone to step down based on the contents in a sealed envelope. The panel should have given the full report openly. If something was damaging to the reputation of players, umpires and officials, deponents should have been asked to submit affidavits. Supreme Court should make the contents of sealed envelope public. Srinivasan should be asked about what is written about him. If it is conflict of interest as CSK owner and BCCI president he can be barred from deciding matters where there is clash of interests. It is interesting that in the matter of declaration of assets of Supreme Court judges, Supreme Court filed a case in Delhi High Court. Supreme Court lost the case. Then it appealed to itself. Here is a curious case where a party to a dispute is judge.
Srinivasan claimed he is not the owner of CSK. India Cements owns CSK. He is a shareholder of CSK. Technically he is right. In reality he controls India Cements, so he owns CSK. If matches involving CSK were fixed and Meiyappan had a hand in it Supreme Court should make it public. If Srinivasan knew about fixing by Meiyappan and allowed it to continue he is guilty. In that case Supreme Court should say Srinivasan is guilty for allowing or cover-up of fixing in CSK matches and should quit.
What is a fair investigation? Police is not under Srinivasan’s control. One police officer, Sampath, is facing problems for deposing about fixing. Tamil Nadu police is under Tamil Nadu government. Action against Sampath is because home minister or chief minister of Tamil Nadu wants it.
BCCI has Arun Jaitley, Rajeev Shukla, Farooq Abdullah, Anurag Thakur, Narendra Modi, Jyotiraditya Scindia and many others as members. They have not spoken against Srinivasan.
Who are the cricketers involved in fixing? It is said six names are mentioned in the report. Mahendra Singh Dhoni has sued a channel for defamation.
In recent Ashes series many DRS decisions went against England. Without DRS results would have been different. Sometimes it seems DRS is used for match or spot-fixing.

Kejriwal versus Modi

On 25/3/2014 Arvind Kejriwal announced his candidature against Narendra Modi for Lok Sabha from Banaras/Kashi/Varanasi. Banaras is the popular name. Kashi is the religious name. Varanasi is the official name. Kejriwal had announced he would take on Modi outside Gujarat. Then there was ambiguity. AAP leaders said they will put up a strong candidate who can even be a housewife against Modi. There was speculation that Kejriwal did not want to contest against Modi but some AAP leaders wanted it. On 16/3/2014 in Bangalore Kejriwal said he would go to Varanasi on 23 March and ask the people whether they want him to contest against Modi. The date was symbolic as it was the anniversary of hanging of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev. However he could not make it on that day as there was no permission to hold a meeting supposedly due to Legislative Council election. He went there on 25/3/2014 and asked the people gathered there. Most of them said “Yes.” Many were AAP members or supporters. Some were curious onlookers.
Some talk as if Modi has already won from Varanasi and will be PM. There is many a slip between the cup and the lip. Opinion polls were conducted before elections were declared or candidates filed nominations. Exit polls also go wrong. It is not over till it is over.
The picture in Varanasi will be clear after the date of withdrawal of nominations. Many parties have not declared their candidates. Digvijaya Singh wants to be Congress candidate from Varanasi. Modi is also a candidate from Baroda. Kejriwal can claim Modi is not sure of winning from Varanasi that is why he is contesting also from Baroda or if he wins from both constituencies he will dump Varanasi. Kejriwal thinks no party or coalition will get absolute majority and there will be elections within a year.
Kejriwal said he has no money to contest the election. Just like Madan Mohan Malaviya collected one rupee each from people to build Banaras Hindu University, he will collect money from people. One rupee was a big amount during the time of Madan Mohan Malaviya. BHU was founded in 1915.
Modi’s rise has made some people in BJP uneasy. Murli Manohar Joshi had to shift to Kanpur to make way for Modi. Rajnath Singh shifted to Lucknow because it was Atal Behari Vajpayee’s constituency when he was PM. Modi’s rivals within BJP will be happy to see him lose in Varanasi.
One candidate should contest from one constituency. Law should be amended for that. When a candidate wins from two constituencies he/she has to resign from one constituency and election has to be held there. That results in unnecessary expenditure and waste of time.
AAP members are confident Kejriwal will defeat Modi just like he defeated Sheila Dikshit. His detractors say AAP had base in Delhi, it has no base in Varanasi. Kejriwal is not worried about losing. He says it is not his fight, it is common man’s fight.

Jodha Akbar and Maharana Pratap

Jodha Akbar and Maharana Pratap are two serials which are full of fiction. Jodha Akbar has a disclaimer that this serial does not claim to be historical or true. It is an attempt at dramatic presentation of contemporary events. It is not intended to hurt any community. Jodha is known by some other names. Maharana Pratap does not have a disclaimer.

I missed some episodes of Maharana Pratap. I do not know how historical they were. What I watched has not much history. Pratap is a boy. He secretly joins battle and wins. He is son of Uday Singh, ruler of Mewad. Uday Singh has three wives. Pratap is the son of first wife. Third wife pretends to like Pratap but wants to kill him. Pratap’s mother Jaywanta wants to save Pratap and asks Uday Singh not to crown him as crown prince. He is sent to a distant village. He kills a tiger. He covers his face and fights against atrocities by Surtan Singh of Bundi. He defeats Bairam Khan and has an opportunity to kill him. Pratap and Akbar go to Dwaraka to meet Meerabai. Both are in disguise. Both meet, fight, and become friends. Such are the stories.

Jodha Akbar has many imaginary events. Jodha is credited with many things. She influences Akbar who abolishes marriage of children below 14 and slavery. Jodha drinks poison and saves Akbar. He goes on a pilgrimage like a common man. He refuses to pay a tax on pilgrimage and is put in prison. Akbar’s half-brother Mirza wants to marry Jodha’s sister who is in love with an employee and elopes with him on wedding day. There is election for the head of harem. On one channel there was one line report that Ekta Kapoor had disassociated herself from the serial.

Maharana Pratap should have a disclaimer that the serial does not claim all events are historically accurate.

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