Vantage point

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Teddy bears and flag codes

When Sudan tried to punish a British woman for her blasphemous act of allowing her students to name a teddy bear "Muhammad", it was a barbaric and repressive act. Another teacher, this time in India, is no less a victim.

Absolute Freedom

I have written before about how stupid and contradictory I find the line of thought - freedom comes with responsibility. Freedom is freedom. No caveats. And like Ganhiji once said, it should include the freedom to be wrong.

The most convincing counter-argument against "freedom comes with responsibility" is the abortion debate in the US. With oral contraceptives, condoms, and the age-old technique of 'strategic withdrawl', if a women who has an unwanted pregnancy is not a rape victim, then she is just stupid. Astoundingly and remarkably stupid. And irresponsible. Yet, most of us, including me, support the right to choose. The right to choose is the same as the right to be incredibly stupid. Because that is what freedom means.

P.S - I wonder if those who believe "freedom comes with responsibility" are also pro-life.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Importance of the Second Amendment

Women in the Middle East are forced to cover their bodies up. Even in India, most women dress conservatively. But in the US, women can wear sleeveless tops without the fear of reprisals. Why?

Because the 2nd amendment gives them the right to bare arms.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Nilu is Right!

It is not often that I find myself agreeing whole-heartedly with Nilu, but this cricketing fact is so obviously true that even he can't get it wrong. The BCCI constitution should be amended to mandate that at least one test in every home test series be played at Chepauk. It is the only "real" sporting pitch in India.

For some bizarre reason, people are eager to give that title to Mohali. All because of one test match 13 years ago when the pitch was a seamer's paradise. But in recent years it has been a pancake-flat track. One in a while they sprinkle grass and excite seamers on the first day. But that's about it.

What makes Chepauk so brilliant is you don't need to sprinkle kilos of grass on it. It is sporting in a uniquely Indian way.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Some Thoughts on the Indo-Pak Series

What a day to be a Ganguly fan! And I am not talking about me or the millions around India, but Ganguly himself (remember this post of mine?). I can not imagine how he is fighting the urge to gloat and strut around, yelling in the media's face - "Who's your daddy now, bitch?" He has been rewarded for his positive intent which I noted even in the first test at Delhi. Since then he has just kept going on and on. This whole test match has been about being your own biggest supporter, as all the three centurions have shown.
No matter who stays, who goes, who rules, and what changes are made, Pakistan cricket's richness as a source of hilarity continues. Take Shoaib Akhtar. When he is fit, he is often kept out of the side for reasons ranging from disciplinary action to ego issues. And when he is unfit he is doggedly included in the side, after which he proeeds to break down in his second spell. As if doing this wasn't funny enough in Kolkata, they repeated their mistake in Bangalore. And the back-up bowling is of a club-level. That Mohammad Sami continues to have a test career is more baffling than the fact that Mani Shankar Aiyyar continues to have a political career. It is funny that the Indian factory of quality spinners and the Pakistani factory of quality seamers have both shut down production.
It is only deserving that Anil Kumble will end the 27-year drought of home series victories for India against Pakistan. He is a man who has defied all expectations over the years and yet never been properly rewarded. The traditional bias against handing the captaincy to a bowler has meant both he and Indian cricket have been punished. But his being captain, apart from giving us a shrewd and aggressive brain in charge, also means no batsman is under the dual pressure that every Indian captain in recent years has experienced. Even Dravid has started playing positively like he did in his purple patch of 03-04. He was dismissed cheaply this time, but you can't help but feel that a big one from him is around the corner.