Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Talwars are guilty

On 25/11/2013 around 3 p.m. Ghaziabad court pronounced Rajesh Talwar and Nupur Talwar guilty of murders of Aarushi Talwar and Hemraj. Media coverage of the event leaves a lot to be desired. First, there were discussions about the case for several days. On judgment day there was speculation from the morning and after the judgment there were discussions about the judgment. Some regular programmes were cancelled. Such over the top coverage needs to be curbed. What is the propriety of holding discussions when anchors and panelists have not read the judgment? How much of it is paid news is another question.
The supporters of the Talwars have got lot of coverage. Defence lawyers say their clients are not guilty. They are paid to say that. Relatives of criminals say the convicts are not guilty. Should the TV channels interview them?
Interestingly some days back on CNN-IBN Shoma Chaudhury while talking about a case where Tarun Tejpal is accused of rape, said media went after the Talwars which was not true as Talwars had their say on channels. Now that the Talwars are pronounced guilty, it should be just a matter of time before Tarun Tejpal and Shoma Chaudhury are pronounced guilty. It is said Shoma Chaudhury is pen name, her real name is Suparna Chaudhury.
Some think parents do not kill their daughters. They live in cloud cuckooland. They should know many murders, euphemistically called honour killings, are murders of daughters by parents.
Right from the beginning it was clear the Talwars were guilty. There were four people in the house. Two were murdered. Nobody came from outside. The remaining two are responsible. As said by fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, “When you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”
The Talwars had their way for most of the time. The case was with Noida police. Rajesh Talwar was the accused. The Talwars wanted the case transferred to CBI. Normally a murder case in a state does not get transferred to CBI. CBI does not take up such cases. States do not want to transfer such cases. In this case the state agreed and CBI accepted. The Talwars had the backing of someone powerful.
Ashwani Kumar was the director of CBI. A team was formed. Rajesh Talwar came out of prison. Three servants were arrested. One of them was Krishna. During a narco test the lady doctor coaxed Krishna to accept that he had committed the murder. When the video became public there was outrage. There was no chargesheet within 90 days and the three servants came out on bail. Ashwani Kumar retired. He is now governor of Nagaland.
The director changed. A. P. Singh who became director filed for closure report. The Talwars were happy that CBI had filed closure report but pretended they were outraged. They opposed the closure and wanted the trial to continue. They overplayed their hand. The court refused to accept closure report and told CBI to pursue the case. Then the Talwars came to know they were suspects. A. P. Singh had outsmarted them. The case was back to square one.
CBI continued investigation and charged the Talwars. The Talwars tried delaying tactics. They hired expensive lawyers. Their friends appeared on TV channels and defended them. Ashutosh of IBN 7 was one of the few persons who said the Talwars were guilty.
Nupur Talwar skipped court appearance on 11/4/2012. The special CBI court at Ghaziabad issued a non-bailable warrant against her. CBI went to arrest her. She could not be found at her residence. CBI sent people to different places to find her.
Nupur Talwar appealed in Supreme Court on 12/4/2012 through her lawyer. She did not get bail. She was asked to appear in court. CBI was not prevented from arresting her. She appeared in Supreme Court the next day. The bench comprising Justices B. S. Chauhan and J. S. Shekhar rejected her bail.
What followed was mind boggling. Within minutes of rejection another bench comprising A. K. Patnaik and another judge took up the case of Nupur Talwar. They restrained CBI from arresting Nupur Talwar. They said we have to protect Nupur Talwar. They said the case will go before a bench headed by CJI S. H. Kapadia. CBI said they knew the whereabouts of Nupur Talwar but they had not arrested her. If CBI knew the whereabouts of Nupur Talwar they should have arrested her. Their search on 11/4/2012 was a farce.
The case dragged on. Nupur Talwar was in jail for five months and came out. The Talwars tried every trick. They failed. The Talwars wanted CBI to investigate the case. So it was. The Talwars did not want closure of case. So it was. Now they are found guilty. They should not complain.

Bharat Ratna in demand

After the announcement that Sachin Tendulkar and C. N. R. Rao, chairman of the Prime Minister’s Scientific Advisory Council, will get Bharat Ratna there have been many demands. The announcement made C. N. R. Rao famous instantly. Fame went to his head. Instead of the usual “I am honoured and humbled” speech he lashed out at politicians. He said “Why the hell these idiots, these politicians, have given so little for us. In spite of that, we scientists have done something.” This embarrassed PMO. V. Narayanasamy, MoS in PMO, refused to comment. Manish Tewari said UPA government has given more than any previous government for science. C. N. R. Rao justified his comment saying idiotic is not a bad word.
Bharat Ratna is an award and not a title. Manmohan Singh and Rajeev Shukla should know that. Article 18(1) of the constitution states “No title, not being a military or academic distinction, shall be conferred by the State.”
Some said Dhyan Chand should get Bharat Ratna. BJP said Atal Behari Vajpayee should get Bharat Ratna. Farooq Abdullah and Nitish Kumar supported BJP. Chandrababu Naidu said NTR should get Bharat Ratna. Chandrababu Naidu was NTR’s son-in-law. He had pulled down NTR’s government, split Telugu Desam, and had become chief minister himself.
Shivanand Tiwari said Sachin Tendulkar should not have got Bharat Ratna. For playing cricket he has got crores of rupees.
In the days to come there will be more demands for Bharat Ratna for persons living or dead. Bharat Ratna should be restricted to living persons. Otherwise there will be demands for Bharat Ratna for persons who died centuries back. Javed Akhtar and Ashis Nandi agree it is absurd to give Bharat Ratna posthumously. Javed Akhtar asked: Where will you draw the line? Will you give it to Ashoka, Chanakya and Kanishka? Ashis Nandi mentioned Buddha. The discussion was on CNN-IBN, The Last Word.
When Bharat Ratna recipients speak for or against any prime ministerial candidate, there are people who say their Bharat Ratna should be withdrawn. That happened to Amartya Sen who opposed Narendra Modi and Lata Mangeshkar who supported Narendra Modi. Chandan Mitra spoke against Amartya Sen. Two Congress politicians spoke against Lata Mangeshkar.
It seems the government will not confer Bharat Ratna on sportspersons who are active. It will be conferred after they retire. If that is the case the government should be open about it. There are many sportspersons who have retired. Some have won World Cup or Championship. Some had world records for years.
Olympic medalists should get Bharat Ratna. Abhinav Bindra won a gold medal. Sushil Kumar won a silver medal and a bronze medal. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Vijay Kumar won silver medals. Leander Paes, Karnam Malleswari, Vijender Singh, Gagan Narang, Saina Nehwal and Yogeshwar Dutt won bronze medals.
In cricket, India had first series victory abroad in 1968 in New Zealand. Ajit Wadekar led India to victory in West Indies and England in 1971. His career ended badly with 0-3 loss in England in 1974. Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev held world records for some years. Kapil Dev led India to victory in 1983 World Cup. Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and V. V. S. Laxman have done well.
In hockey, living members of teams that won World Cup, Asian Games, or any medal in Olympics should be considered.
In Kabaddi, living members of teams that won Asian Games should be considered.
Athletes who have won in Asian Games or any medal in Olympics should be considered.
In tennis, players who win Davis Cup, Hopman Cup, Fed Cup or any medal in Olympics should be considered.
In badminton, players who win Thomas Cup, Uber Cup or any medal in Olympics should be considered.
Similar criteria should be followed for other games.
At present the Prime Minister decides who should get Bharat Ratna. The President signs the file. The number of recipients is restricted to three per year. Lok Sabha should decide who gets Bharat Ratna, Padma and other awards conferred by the nation. There should be criteria for deciding awards and no limit on the number of recipients. Bharat Ratna should be for Indian citizens.

Sachin Tendulkar retires

Sachin Tendulkar had announced his retirement after two Tests against West Indies. The second Test got over on the third day on 16/11/2013 and his Test career came to an end. If the Test had lasted full five days his Test career would have ended on 18/11/2013. His ODI career had ended in 2012.
Soon after the Test got over came the news that Sachin Tendulkar was to get Bharat Ratna. The last and 41st person to receive Bharat Ratna was Bhimsen Joshi in 2009. It was as if the government was waiting for Sachin Tendulkar to retire. At 40 he is the youngest to receive Bharat Ratna.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni was not popular for electing to field after winning the toss. Many had come to Wankhede Stadium to watch Sachin Tendulkar bat. After West Indies were all out for 182 they wanted two Indian wickets to fall quickly so that Sachin Tendulkar can bat. There was cheer when Murali Vijay was out. Sachin Tendulkar was out on 74 on the second day. Those who hoped for a century were disappointed. Then many wanted Mahendra Singh Dhoni to declare so that Sachin Tendulkar can bat again. That did not happen. India went on to score 495. West Indies were all out for 187 in their second Innings and India won the Test by an Innings and 126 runs. It seems West Indians are serious about IPL but not about Tests as there is plenty of money in IPL and comparatively less in Tests.
TV coverage of Sachin Tendulkar over the past weeks was over the top. People who scored centuries against West Indies were ignored. Bowlers who took wickets were ignored. It was Sachin Tendulkar all the way. One report showed someone worshipping Sachin Tendulkar. I doubt whether that was genuine or made for TV. CNN-IBN interviewed Amitabh Bachchan and Lata Mangeshkar on Sachin Tendulkar. You could not escape him on any Indian news channel, and sometimes even on BBC and CNN.
Sachin Tendulkar is the first player to play 200 Tests. He has 51 Test centuries and 15,921 Test runs. He was the first cricketer to score 12,000, 13,000, 14,000 and 15,000 Test runs. His Test career began in November 1989 and ended in November 2013. He was the youngest to play for India. Many Test cricketers started their careers after him and retired before him. When he began his career Prannoy Roy asked Sunil Gavaskar about Sachin Tendulkar, “Will he be a Gavaskar?” Sunil Gavaskar replied “He will be a Tendulkar.”
Sachin Tendulkar broke many records and created new ones. He broke Sunil Gavaskar’s record of 34 Test centuries. He broke Brian Lara’s record of highest Test runs in a career. He broke Steve Waugh’s record of highest Tests.
Sachin Tendulkar did not hit a triple century. Brian Lara hit a triple century and a quadruple century. Donald Bradman had two triple centuries. Virender Sehwag and Christopher Gayle have two triple centuries each. Christopher Gayle disappointed in the two Tests. Virender Sehwag is not in the Test team.
When Gregory Stephen Chappell was India’s Test and ODI coach he wanted five players dropped. Sachin Tendulkar was one of them. The selectors did not agree. Other four were Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan.
Time will tell how long Sachin Tendulkar’s records will stand. There is a saying “Records are made only to be broken.” In ODIs he was the first batsman to hit 200 in an Innings and that was a record for some years. Virender Sehwag broke it. Surpassing 200 Tests is difficult because it takes many years.
Some want Sachin Tendulkar to be a coach. A great player need not be a great coach. It is for him to decide what he wants to do. He is an MP by nomination. Some cricketers have become MPs by contesting elections. Mohammed Azharuddin is a Congress member. Kirti Azad is a BJP member. Chetan Chauhan was a BJP MP. Imran Khan founded a party. He had some success. He failed to become president or prime minister of Pakistan. Sachin Tendulkar had his restaurant business. Becoming commentator is an option.
On Sunday 17/11/2013 Sachin Tendulkar had a press conference. Later he appeared on many TV channels giving interviews. On Headlines Today two were interviewing him. One was Boria Mazumdar who till sometime back was with Times Now.

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