Friday, September 29, 2006

Che Guevara and India

By John Cheeran
Recently I had opportunities to travel through Kerala, that Marxist bastion in India.
Some of the sights I caught while travelling in bus in Cochin was the posters proclaiming Democratic Youth Federation of India's (DYFI) district meeting.
Well, it shows DYFI's organizational skill that they can conduct district meetings in style throughout the state.
My only quarrel with DYFI is this. How long you guys plan to cling on to comrade Che Guevara?
Is it not ridiculous to hold your district or state level meetings by selling a Latin American revolutionary icon in India? Don't you have a single revolutionary among you, past and present, with whom an Indian can relate to?
It's the tragedy of Marxists in India that they have failed to produce a single revolutionary who can inspire the Indian youth.
So everytime they have to approach people, they rescue Che from dust and oblivion.
Long live Che.

Can Vengsarkar play it straight?

By John Cheeran
Dilip Vengsarkar must be either a very, very brave man or a foolish bumble bee.
To actively pursue the post of National Selection Committee Chairman and eventually slide into that chair is somewhat unusual for an illustrious cricketer such as Vengsarkar.
It is a post least favoured by cricketers such as Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev and Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi. And they are no mean cricketers.
They know the difference between pontification on cricket in general and team selection in particular. They are quite different from each other.
It is a post that will consume you, and eventually make you the number one enemy of the nation.
Those who have been ignored will hate you, those who will be dropped may even hire goons to fix you up.
And the Champions Trophy selection has indicated that in selection matters even the new chairman will have to follow the broad lines of the prevailing youth philosophy.
Vengsarkar might tell eager journalists that the door is not closed on anyone, not even on Sourav Ganguly but he will have to be realistic in his assessment of individuals.
Whether Kiran More or Vengsarkar if you do not bring runs and wickets to the meeting room, you will have to stand outside the Indian team's dressing room.

The importance of what Aznar said

By John Cheeran
Jose Maria Aznar, former Spanish prime minister, has spoken what many wanted to ask the Islamic empire for a long, long time.
Aznar has boldly defended Pope Benedict XVI's comments about Islam, saying the pontiff had no need to apologise and asking why Muslims never did.
I fully endorse Aznar's views.
The fact that Aznar is no longer the Prime Minister has given him the freedom to state some unpleasant truths regarding the tolerance level of Islamists.
"Why do we always have to say sorry and they never do?" Aznar told a conferencein Washington on "global threats" on September 25. This question apparently has found resonance not just in Europe but even in India, a country where the majority Hindus are facing terrorist threat from a section of Islamists, funded by oil rich nations in the Middle East, which has no time for democracy.
Earlier on Saturday, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso was quoted as saying that more European leaders should have spoken out in support of the Pope after he made his disputed comments on Islam.
"I was disappointed there were not more European leaders who said 'naturally the Pope has the right to express his views'," Barroso was quoted as saying to the Welt am Sonntag newspaper.
"The problem is not the statements of the Pope but the reaction of the extremists," the paper quoted him as saying. Referring to the Moorish conquest of much of the Iberian Peninsula from the eighth to the 15th century,Aznar said: "It is interesting to note that while a lot of people in the world are asking the Pope to apologise for his speech, I have never heard a Muslim say sorry for having conquered Spain and occupying it for eight centuries."
Aznar,who was the Prime Minister from 1996 to 2004, took Spain into the American-ledwar in Iraq, against massive public opposition. Addressing the conference in Washington on "global threats", Aznar said: "We are living in a time of war... It's them or us. The West did not attack Islam, it was they who attacked us."
"We must face up to an Islam that is ambitious, that is radical and that influences the Muslim world, a fundamentalist Islam that we must confront because we don't have any choice.
"We are constantly under attack and we must defend ourselves," he said. "I support Ferdinand and Isabella," he proclaimed, in reference to the medieval Catholic monarchs who drove the Moors out of Spainin 1492.
Barroso said the caution on the part of European leaders was probably due to "worries about a possible confrontation" as well as a "certain form of political correctness. "We have to defend our values," he said. "We should also encourage the moderate leaders in the Muslim world - and they're the majority -to distance themselves from this extremism," Barroso was quoted as saying.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Politics of Pope

By John Cheeran
Credit should go to Pope Benedict for initiating an unpleasant but necessary debate on violence and religions.
Certain sections in society are living with a belief system that they are beyond reproach. It is they who are demanding an apology whenever others express an opinion which they consider is right.
Why it is so? A cartoon, a speech...
Let there be more such cartoons and speeches..
John Cheeran at Blogged