The FIFA Worldcup final woes

It’s rare that I watch a football match. I enjoy football; but don’t spend much time on watching. I have hardly spent time on FIFA  Worldcups.

This time, in the context of FIFA Worldcup 2018, I kept myself more or less updated on the progress of the Cup, but without spending much time; sometimes, I watch about 10-15 minutes on a match. But with underdogs Belgium and Croatia in semi-finals, I watched a good deal of loser’s semi-finals. That match between Belgium and England was a cracker! The forceful England floored by the artistic Belgians. I could not but grow in admiration for this Belgian team! Loved their every pass and every save! That was football at its best.

So, obvioulsy then, I decided to watch the entire final between France and Croatia. But except for the initial few minutes, the Croatians seemed to be completely out of depth. The final scoreline looked like a shoot-out scoreine: 4-2. Not at all an exciting match as was anticipated. Sad! Nevertheless, there were quite a few comical moments in the match; my one favourite is the Croatian scoring a goal from the goalkie’s hands!

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HECI – the New education regulator to replace University Grants Commission

The Central Govt headed by Narendra Modi is now off to destroy higher education. After interfering primary and secondary education, it has set it eyes firm on higher education, where ideas are generated. Amazing how he and his minister who heads the Human Resources Development ministry, under which the University Grants Commission or UGC comes, are determined to interfere and politicise the UGC and the entire landscape of higher education. It is to be noted the most of the ministers in the present government are neither qualified to hold such high profile portfolios nor have the calibre to; but they have been tinkering with higher education ever since they assumed office in 2014.

After announcing that the ruling BJP would do away with all the higher educational bodies like UGC, AICTE, MCI and others, and getting bombarded by the public, finally the Union Government gave up their plans to interfere with all the streams; instead they have now focused only on fomal higher  education.

Can you believe, of the 12 members in the Higher Education Councion of India’s governance structure, a maximum of two academicians are to be had? A majority of them are bureacrats, and a few whom the government wants. It means, most of them could be from the Right Wing, who think cloning and grafting and satellites and internet started thousands of years ago in India.

When the draft of the Act was announced Deccan Chronicle contacted me for my comments. Here is the feature on it:

https://deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/280618/new-education-regulator-to-replace-university-grants-commission.html

Technology and the menace of fake news

This is about WhatsApp gossips – unfounded things spread around as ‘news’ on the social media App. It is not just communal overtones, but also conspiracies against strangers. But all of it looks like well-choreographed fiendish designs with political- communal overtones. It is unfortunate that dozens of people should be lynched in Indian streets! That is the land of contradictions, of Mahatma Gandhi, the Apostle of Peace and non-violence!

https://www.news18.com/news/immersive/death-by-whatsapp.html

Of beautiful place and people – Shimla

For the first time in my life, I visited Shimla, the capital city of Himachal Pradesh, bordering Jammu & Kashmir, in India. I spent a month in Shimla over there. The month was a great time for me, though the incompetence of some incapable fellows spoiled half of my month, -in all that futility-, I managed to spend the other half in useful work that

[the mothe & child – visitors to Hatu Peak. The mother and her husband were kind to pose for a picture by me. All pictures in this blog are with the permission of the human subjects. Kindly, don’t copy or use them without my express permission]

means much to me, and will help my College in some good way.

[The Himachali women at a Mela – socio-cultural get together]

At the fag end of the month, we, the entire group of ten teaching researchers, decided to let loose our hair (not that all had long hair!). We hired a vehicle, and went first to Hatu Peak – about 70 km away from Shimla, and 3400 meters ASL. That’s quite a bit. The place is stunningly beautiful, besides the religious aura of a Hindu shrine. The shrine is frequented by hundreds of people.

[The same Mela – musical instruments]

On our way back, we visited Kufri. Another pretty place. Nature speaks! Additionally, the dynamic elements of nature add to the beauty of nature.

[The beauty of these women is immense. Sad, I missed clicking another bevy of pretty women, who requested me to click them. I did not have my laptop to shift pictures and give them; they wanted their pictures. How could I, at a picnic spot?]

This was special for another reason: after many years, I used my camera freely (though not to the extent I would have loved to). And captured those beautiful places, faces, and elements – all part of that one lovely place called Shimla. Here, I present another set of those (after the last set of monkeys!) And that is the point of this point.

[Two kids, miles apart. Different expressions]

By the way, did I share with you of my fascination for this wonderful place Shimla? It is probably the cleanest and the most beautiful city I have ever visited in India. Why! Probably one of the very few such clean and palpitatingly beautiful cities of the world! In spite of its acute water shortage (thanks to the inept government) I loved the pleasant weather – temperatures varying from 7-8 degrees Celsius in the early part of May nights and about 15-18 degrees during days, going up to scorching 25-27 degrees in late May days (which necessarily brings rains to Shimla!) All – part of this city!

[Another Himachali woman in typical tribal attire. She was very gracious to pose for the camera. After the picture, she asked, ‘I am dancing at the Mela; will you please come!?’ We visited and spent some time. Beside her are two researchers. And the last image is of Apple orchards of Shimla – from a moving Traveler]

Shimla: Land of Langoors & Monkeys

Shimla is famous for many things: pleasat weather, Shimla apples, Shimla Cherries, clean city, beautiful sites to see, and good people.  And then the Tibetan parallel government in Dharamshala.

Langur Mom & baby

It was very nice being here. But what I specially was fascinated by were its monkeys and langoors.

Langur 2

The black-faced langoors are vegetarian, to the extent I know. And are in plenty in Shimla, though elsewhere they are endangered species.

Langur 1

They represent the biodiversity of our environment.

Cheap, disgusting political crimes in Karnataka

This is the aftermath of elections to the Karnataka Assembly in May 2018. What a disgusting drama!
BJP secures 104 seats of the 224, Congress 78, JDS 38, and independents 2. The minimum required to form a government is 111 (of the 222 voted for). Unfortunately, voters in Karantaka failed to deliver a decisive mandate. Where Congress’ incumbent Chief Minister Siddaramaiah deserved to win for all the good work he had done, the electorate failed to appreciate it, and fell for hate speech of PM Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and their liar band, led by state level fox B.S. Yeddyurappa.
But how could a Governor, who is expected to be non-political, invite Yeddyurappa when he did not have the majority to form the government? But Congress-JDS alliance, which secured 118 seats, were not invited. Here, the Governor of Karnataka, who is an appointee of the BJP government, behaved like party agent, and not like a governor. That is unfortunate.
For good luck, our Supreme Court gave a historic verdict, first (on Friday) by reducing the time from 15 days given by the Governor to just a day prove Yeddyurappa’s majority, and the next day (Saturday), and then asking the Assembly Secretary to live broadcast the House Procedings.
But that did not deter the shameless BJP from horse-trading with our elected MLAs, offering as much as Rs 100 crore and plum portfolios in the new government, besides withdrawing their many court cases. Our elected representatives stooping to such cheap level! Unthinkable.  This focused the entire country’s attention on this state of Karnataka.
While I am traveling in the distant North, everybody I meet is asking me about and mocking me for the cheap, dirty, & disgusting politics of Kar-Nataka in my beloved state. Our elected representatives have brought on this humiliation on the Kannadiga pride (for their own lack of decisive mandate). Yeddurappa with his gang of Sriramulu, Somasekhara Reddy, Janardhana Reddy, and his arrogant, power-greedy bosses Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, and all these power-mongers have brought in shame on my state. How would Yeddurappa concot a majority on Saturday? BJP’s Ram Madhav had said, “We have Amit Shah”!
The shameless power-hungry Congress & JDS MLAs who have fallen for Rs. 100 crores are abettors in this crime. They don’t deserve to be elected; the people of their constituencies should teach them an unforgettable lesson.
Any MLA/ MP who either defects or betrays the party s/he is voted from -for any reason & at any time after the election- should be barred from contesting for life. That is the only way to stop making a mockery of voters and wasting hundreds of crores of rupees from the tax-payers’ money.

Photographing among monkeys

I have been following Karnataka elections closely. For all the good works and developmental schemes the Chief Minister Sri Siddharamaiah had launched, he was the sole winner. But our electorate is our electorate. You can’t expect anything reasonable from them. They easily fall for big, hollow talk; they fall for hate-speech and outright lies. One of the rarest electorates belongs to my times. Simply pathetic.

[Colourful vegetables from the roadside shops – tomatoes & brinjals]

 

In spite of BJP’s pathetic record against human rights, tolerance and free speech, against democratic values and social, moral values, the Indian electorate just refuses to see through their hypocrisy. Inspite of the hard evidence against BJP’s corruption and communal and hate politics, the voters in India refuse to teach the saffron brigade a lesson.
[The top-monkey, whom I call the vicious opponent of human beings, and his target the mangoes ]
I am happy, I am out of this morass for a few days. I indulge in some photography. Photography in Shimla is dangerous: it (photographer) is vulnerable; he is prone to attacked by school of monkeys and langoors. Well, like the corrupt and inert Congress, you can tolerate the langoors; they are not as dangerous as the monkeys, their opponents.
Sweet Balls
[Sweets in a roadside shop]
With all these hazards, I have a few pictures to share with you. Some of them had to be hurried up with due to external pressure from these opponents!

In the bosom of mother nature

A visit to Shimla has been a God-sent for me, this summer. This is one of the most beautiful and cleanest cities I have seen and lived in, be it in India or in Europe or in America. Such a lovely place. Even in scorching Indian summer, the city remains lush green. It’s a treat to the eyes.

[The monk and his mobile – at Dharamshala, the main Tibetan temple, a Buddhist monk is engrossed in his mobile. On the right is the statue of Buddha – a bit of uneven framing is regreted]

It has been a God-sent for me also because I have been able to meet a lovely bunch of academicians and researchers from the varied fields of social sciences and humanities. We struck the right chord from day one. It is a replenishing place and replenishing group. We feel so much one with one another.

[The snow-capped mountain – Himalaya, behind Dharamshala; the sight looks beautiful in this lovely weather. On the right is the shoot of a tree in the backdrop of snow]

And then, I was privileged to visit Dharmashala, the Tibetan Seat of religion and power-secretariat in India. It was my second visit, after the 2010 visit on Community Radio work.

Thanks to Nihar from Rourkela for his company. In spite of the horrible bus journey, we enjoyed our visit to Mcleodganj (Tulna Viewpoint), Dal Lake, Tea Gardens, Avalokiteshwari Temple (The Tibetans’ main deity), HPCA – the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association cricket ground, and many other things.

Should I say, eating momos is my favourite! The day of full of momos and momons – a variety of momos – veg and non-veg. And what else!

[Dal Lake in Mcleodganj – Though the original Dal Lake is in Kashmir, this is another by the same name. The small lake is not maintained well. But you can see the huge fish happily swimming in the dirty water!]

After a very long time, I got a chance to use my camera and go on a clicking binge! Since I loved the nature, the environs, the people, and the place, I ensured I could spend sometime clicking pictures, even though the driver was in a hurry to reach back! Here are a few pictures from my visit to Dharamshala. There are many more.

PUC results on April 30

For those students from Karnataka, who have sat PUC or Higher Secondary or 12th Standard exams, here is the news they have been eagerly awaiting. Their results will be announced on 30 April 2018 online, and the same will be available in their respective PU College notice boards on 1 May.

The evaluation of the answer scripts is nearly over, and the final process seems to be going on

As for Karnataka SSLC, or 10th or Secondary School level exam results will be likely declared on 7th May.

The shame of our country

Many of my country worship women as goddesses, Devi. And then, rape them.

Arifa, an 8-yr old child in Kashmir’s Kathua was kidnapped, drugged, kept in a temple, gang raped for seven days, and finally killed by some men.

These men have a religion. They betrayed it when they took procession in support of the rapists, and shouted Jai Sri Ram.

The Hindu Ekta Manch, another of the many groups of the poisonous sangh pativar, destroying our country, had taken the lead in obstructing justice for Arifa. It happens that Arifa was born as a human being and a girl, but on a Muslim home. That’s the only fault.

Since the ministers and party workers of the ruling alliance in Jammu &Kashmir, BJP, are the accused in this heinous crime, the Hindu extremist organisation came in open support of the accused. Lawyers blocked filing of FIR against the accused. Ministers made nasty remarks against the victim and defended the rapists in the Assembly. The State government, led by a woman, with the support of the communal BJP, forgot that she was a human being and a woman. She also forgot that she was elected and had pledged to protect the citizens.

In another corner of they country, the most populous state Uttar Pradesh has once again proved why that is a goonda raj, and why it elected an unfit fake religious priest as its Chief minister. Another 17 year old girl was gang raped brutally by an elected MLA Kulbhushan Sengora. The crime was hidden for nearly a year. When she lodged a complaint, the police of the lawless state refused to lodged an FIR.

finally, the victim tried committing suicide in front of the incompetent Chief minister. That’s when the crime came to light.

The police were quick to act – against the victim’s father. They arrested him after the MLA’s brother best him up black and blue, for demanding justice against the political neta. Finally, the man was killed in police custody.

BJP leaders, including its most vocal women leaders, went to town defending the crime and the criminal. Our most vocal, obsessively talkative prime minister of Gujarat notoriety, maimed maintained a strategic silence. We saw that he had not list his speech ability. But he likes not speak when his own partymen violate Human Rights against any dalit, tribal minority or woman. So this was expected of a man wedded to power and anti minority and anti dalit sentiment.

It’s nice to see the two children have united they country around human Rights.

I only hope that the fight sees its logical end.