Saturday, November 17, 2007

Well Done – Sreekumar Nair

Sreekumar Nair became the first Kerala batsman to score triple century in first class cricket. He scored an unbeaten 306 against Services in the ongoing Ranji Trophy match in Palakkad. He batted 10 hours and 34 minutes and faced 462 balls to reach this mile stone. With his batting Sreekumar has shown his mental and physical strength to play long innings. Kerala Cricket Association honored him with Rs 1 lakh for his record breaking performance.

I don’t think lot of people in Kerala knows who this Sreekumar Nair is. It is expected in a country where national players are worshipped as heroes and great state players who were unlucky to miss the national selection are looked upon as big zeros. I have always followed Sreekumar’s career with keen interest from the time he was selected to the Indian Under 19 World Cup Team in 1998. He played a match against England in that World Cup and scored 25 runs and took a wicket. He was selected to the India A team to play against the England in 2003 and he played for the India Green in the Challenger Trophy in 2005.

Kerala cricket team use to practice in the Vellayani Agricultural College ground that was adjacent to my house. I use to see young Sreekumar practicing for hours in that ground at the time he was selected to the Kerala cricket team. I still remember watching his first 5 wicket haul for Kerala. That came against Tamil Nadu and his wickets include S Ramesh, Sriram, Sharath, Hemant Badani and Robin Singh, all except Sharath played for India at some point of time.

I firmly believe that with little luck, Sreekumar could have already played for India. He is a genuine all-rounder in all sense. He came to the Kerala team as a bowler who can bat but now he has transformed himself into an all-rounder. Other than his Ranji Trophy matches for Kerala he rarely gets any chances to show his cricketing skills. I have seen him selected to South Zone team few times but always former Indian spinner Sunil Joshi gets selected ahead of Sreekumar in the playing eleven. It is sad to see that such a talent like Sreekumar gets wasted.

Congratulations Sreekumar!!!


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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Nandigram – True Face of the Indian Communist Party Exposed

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The news from Nandigram, West Bengal, India is truly disturbing. The ruling communist party cadres led a massacre against the local people fighting to preserve their own land. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPI (M) that prides itself as the party of the poor and working class – here they are massacring the same people whom they are supposed to protect.
Am I surprised by this event? Is any one who really knows how communist party grows their party and influence is surprised? I don’t think so. Having born and brought up in Kerala, a state ruled by communist for half of the state’s existence I am not surprised. In fact I am happy that outside world could know the various undemocratic tactics employed by communist party members to terrorize the people to grow the party.
Throughout my stay in Kerala, I had the chance to see how communist party and its sister organizations use the muscle power to achieve its end with blatant disregard to the law of the land. Having studied in a private school till 10th grade, I never had a chance to experience the venom called Student Federation of India (SFI) - the student wing of communist party. For my predegree (Plus Two) I joined the Govt. Arts College – the so called fortress of SFI. SFI never allowed any other party to function in that college and any student who joined the college was considered as a supporter of SFI. The students are supposed to obey the orders of the SFI leaders in the college and should participate in all the events conducted by SFI. If you don’t obey them they will beat you and because of that fear most students obey them. Every year the SFI candidates win the election unopposed. It is not because every one in the college loves them. In fact majority hates them. They win just because if some other candidate files nomination then not only him but also his family members become target of the gunda’s of the communist party.
I clearly remember one incident – one of the SFI leaders of the college burned a public bus in protest against some action of the Government (that time Kerala had a Congress Government). Next day SFI called for a boycott of the college and made all the students march to Police Commissioners office. Majority of the students were of the view that police did the correct thing by arresting the student leader who burned a bus. But if you express your view in public they will be considered as traitors and dealt with properly by the party. They made the entire college to march in front of commissioners’ office and it turned out to be a massive protest against police in front of the media. In reality it was a show of terror by SFI against the students of that college.
Now in the engineering college (NSS College of Engineering) things were worse. SFI there in the engineering college was another version of the SFI in my plus two College. Their mantra – any one who didn’t join SFI should be considered an enemy. They would stoop to any level to harm their class mates/batch mates just because they don’t believe in SFI. Once a big fight broke between SFI and those who were opposing SFI. Both were equally responsible for the fight but the police came and arrested (by that time Communist Government has assumed power in Kerala) the students shown by SFI leaders. The police not only arrested those students but charged them under 307 (attempt to murder) – a non-bailable offense. The SFI leaders who lead the fight were walking around the campus as champions. No one dare to talk against them as they had the government machinery to shut you down.
Expanding the influence by terrorizing people, by the communist party is prevalent in all walks of life in Kerala. My brother got a government job in Kerala about 4 years back and before he joined for work a communist party leader of the employers union came to my house. He had employer’s union membership forms fully filled up and made my brother sign up. Before my brother could realize he was doing he was forced to join the employers union affiliated to communist party. The leader didn’t even enquire if he wanted to join the union, so far so good. The first day my brother joined work – the same union leader came with another form. This time the form was to deduct Rs. 250 from his monthly salary to party fund. My brother told that Rs. 250 is too much for him and cannot afford to give him that money. The leader threatened him with dare consequences and he was forced to sign that paper also. So now every month from his salary Rs. 250 goes to party fund. Now you know how communist party is one of the richest parties in India.
After few months the leader came again to my brother and “ordered” him to subscribe to “Deeshabhimani” party’s newspaper. It is one of the crappy newspapers around but my brother had no other go but to subscribe to it. The party bosses sitting in party head quarters will boast – the subscription of the party newspaper increased manifold. Outside world won’t know the tactics employed to achieve that.
People who have not lived in Kerala may be thinking that I am exaggerating. Go and talk to a non-communist who has lived in Kerala and he will have hundreds of stories like this to tell. The communist party uses terror tactics to hold on their power base. This is exactly what happened in Nandigram. They tried to terrorize the entire village and when the villagers understood that communist people are taking them for a ride, they opposed them. Communist cadres started using force to silence the villagers. The whole world should know and condemn the undemocratic, unethical and militant ways adopted by communist party to have grip over their own people.
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