Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

NRA is worse than Al Qaeda

Al Qaeda’s 9/11 killed around 2,950 people. Every year in USA around 12,000 people are murdered by guns. NRA is led by merchants of death who sell guns and oppose any gun control. The damage done by NRA is many times more than by Al Qaeda. NRA leaders spread lies about gun control and target people who want gun control, even if those people are members of NRA. Debra Maggart is an example. She was a member of NRA with A rating. She did not want right to own guns to clash with right to property. NRA reduced her rating to D, spread lies about her, spent money against her. She lost an election.
Barack Obama wants ban on assault rifles like the one in 1994-2004. That will be a small measure. He should try to repeal second amendment. He has nothing to lose. Democrats have nothing to lose. The defeat of Democrats in 1994 was not due to ban on assault rifles. If that had been the case William Jefferson Clinton would not have won in 1996.
NRA must be banned and crushed. It is an evil organization. It will not allow repeal of second amendment. It is like Ku Klux Klan. At one time slavery was common in USA. There was stiff opposition to end of slavery. A civil war was fought. Dianne Feinstein and others should introduce legislation for repeal of second amendment, even if it means civil war.
Al Qaeda’s hostility to USA is open. NRA’s hostility to USA is subtle. They called FBI agents jackbooted thugs. After that George H. W. Bush quit NRA. Gun control worked in UK and Australia. NRA leaders want their business to flourish even though that means more deaths.
Abraham Lincoln, James Abram Garfield, William McKinley, John Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy, John Lennon and many others died of gun shots.

Rape and punishment

The gang rape and murderous attack on a 23 years old woman in a moving bus in Delhi on 16/12/2012 has caused shock and anger all over the nation. She fights for her life in Safdarjang Hospital. The man with her was also beaten with iron rods. The issue figured in Parliament. There were protests and demonstrations in many cities. On 19/12/2012 Protestors outside Sheila Dikshit’s house faced water cannons. People gathered at India Gate in the evening. There are demands for resignations of Naresh Kumar, Sushilkumar Shinde and Sheila Dikshit. Delhi has seen many rapes. This case seems to be a tipping point. Police Commissioner Naresh Kumar’s statement that he did not want to talk about rapes because it would not be politically correct was largely ignored by TV channels.
Some have demanded death penalty for rape. Some have demanded chemical castration for rape. Both are options. Parliament should pass a law that increases punishment for rape to death, castration, or rigorous imprisonment not less than 25 years.
There are people who say they want certainty of punishment not severity. The two are not mutually exclusive. Punishment for rape should be severe and certain. Rape is a crime and should be dealt as such. There should not be talk of gender sensitization or social reform or changing mindsets. Rape must be punished. Reformative theory should not apply to crimes like rape, murder, abduction etc. Excuses like breakdown in social values or sex in media should not be accepted.
Fast track courts are a temporary solution. Regular courts must be made to decide cases quickly.

England win Test series

On 17/12/2012 at 3.20 p.m. Nagpur Test ended in draw. With that England versus India Test series came to an end. England won the series 2-1. James Anderson was man of the match. Alastair Cook was man of the series. Last time England won in India was in 1984-85 when David Gower was the captain.
It is said well begun is half done. For India that happened to be quarter done. India won Ahmedabad Test. England won Bombay and Calcutta Tests. With Nagpur Test as draw they won the series.
After Ahmedabad Test, Umesh Yadav was out of the team due to back injury. Zaheer Khan was not effective in next two Tests. In Calcutta, he would have got Alastair Cook’s wicket if Cheteshwar Pujara had held on to the catch. Cook was on 17. In Bombay Test, Harbhajan Singh missed a wicket due to a dropped catch. Lost catches cost matches. Harbhajan Singh played only one Test. He, Yuvraj Singh and Zaheer Khan were dropped after Calcutta Test. Sunil Gavaskar said Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh were made scapegoats.
Ravindra Jadeja made his debut at Nagpur. Piyush Chawla made a comeback after four years. Alastair Cook won the toss and elected to bat. The pitch was difficult to score runs. India had the upper hand when England were 139/5. They were all out for 330. England had the upper hand when India were 71/4. Then Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni put on a partnership of 198 runs. Virat Kohli was out on 103. The match was in India’s favour. Then India lost Jadeja who made 12. Then came Dhoni’s run out on 99 by a superb throw by Alastair Cook. Soon Piyush Chawla was out and India were 297/8. The match was evenly balanced. On the fourth day Indians were unable to score quick runs. Dhoni declared on 326/9, four runs short of England total. India wanted to win the Test and level the series. For England draw was enough. England’s third wicket fell at 94. No further loss on Day 4.
The fifth day of Nagpur Test began with hope for India. England were 161/3. Taking seven wickets and restricting England to 225 in the morning session was a possibility. That did not happen. The day ended with England on 352/4. The remaining part of the play was called off with the consent of both captains. Otherwise play should have ended at 4.30 p.m.
Umpiring in Nagpur Test came under criticism. Kumar Dharmasena ruling out Alastair Cook in both Innings, Cheteshwar Pujara’s dismissal, Jonathan Trott ruled not out, were some of the controversial decisions.
Rahul Dravid’s absence as slip fielder is felt. At Nagpur there was a placard asking him to leave the commentary box and come to the field. India does not have specialist slip fielders. Virender Sehwag has not been good at first slip. He does not crouch. Sometimes the ball strikes him, mostly on his legs. Once it hit his hands.
There are calls for change of captain and sacking of Sachin Tendulkar. Bishen Singh Bedi on Headlines Today to Rahul Kanwal said Dhoni is 100% luck, 0% ability. Some have called for sacking of coach Duncan Fletcher. Virender Sehwag once said when the team does well captain gets the credit and when it does badly coach gets the blame. There is talk that Fletcher’s contact will not be renewed. The new coach should not be someone who has played cricket with present players in the team. Some say Gary Kirsten was a great coach. One opinion is that Gary Kirsten left at the right time. The team had won the ODI World Cup. He left on a high. Some have suggested three captains for three formats.
Some feel the attitude of the players changed after they won the World Cup. They felt they did a favour to the country. Some blame IPL. There is more money in IPL than in Tests.
India were unprepared for the series. They took victory for granted. England had lost against Pakistan. They had not done well in Sri Lanka. England had come prepared. After the first Test loss they practised hard. They won Bombay Test on a rank turner. People who spoke spin and batting as our strength suddenly found our spinners were inexperienced, and our batsmen had to do more.
Fitness of fast bowlers has been a problem. Many come, play a few Tests or ODIs, and then are injured and gone. Ishant Sharma was out for some time. S. Sreesanth and Praveen Kumar are not seen.
There are T20 and ODI matches ahead. Australia will play a four Test series in India. Lessons are to be learnt.

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