Sunday, December 25, 2005

The Ganguly saga

One of the things that distinguishes a country of great culture is the manner in which it treats its stars. When the stars are 'starring', they are not given unnecessary privileges. When they no longer shine, they aren't discarded. The recent BCCI behaviour w.r.t Saurav Ganguly fails on both counts.

First, they dump a player who has done yoeman service to Indian cricket in the most unceremonious fashion. Don't get me wrong - I am no fan of Ganguly's batting. And with recent failures his captaincy too had come under a cloud. Still, here was a man who with John Wright and other senior players, fashioned a fighting unit out of the Indian team. Here was a man who had the audacity and guts to return Andy Flintoff's shirtless compliment in the mother of cricket grounds. A man who blooded Harbhajan Singh, Kaif, Yuvraj, and countless others, sticking with them through their worst days. And how do the selectors treat him? They select him for a test series, which clearly was patronising, and then dump him after a single test, that too in a press conference!!!

What else could have been done? Well, a more respectable alternative would have been to talk to Ganguly, tell him that his services were no longer required, and that he should announce his retirement. Do this before the test series. And if you have to select him, make sure that he has a memorable retirement match - like the one the Australians gave Steve Waugh.

Having ignored to do that, we now have the ignominy of one of India's premier cricketers having to go through a media spectacle, with supporters blocking traffic, with parliament discussing his performance, and with Sharad Pawar 'consoling' him publicly. Further, he is patronized - by selecting him for a series he is surely not going to play in, that too at the expense of young talent like Kaif. As a result, everyone walks out damned. Ganguly, because it now is public that he is in the team for reasons other than performance, The BCCI, because of its crude handling of the entire affair, and the Calcutta public, for the shameful behaviour.

Unfortunately, this is a very Indian trait - callous behaviour, insensitivity to a person's feelings, and utter shamelessness and unaccountability.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Intel and Oregon

Chidanand Rajghatta of the ToI group reports about Intel's investments in Oregon. He says
"According to one estimate, Intel has ploughed in $11 billion over the past two decades, and has now announced that it will step it up to $25 billion over the next 15 years. A company that was powered by a Hungarian immigrant (Andy Grove) and is headquartered in Santa Clara, California, is now counted as Oregon’s own.Meanwhile, back home, Karnataka’s corrosive politicians turn their backs on Bangalore’s own. "

How sad. Read it to see how politicians in other countries actually work to improving the lives of their constituents, as opposed to those in India.