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Archive for July 2008

Manmohan and Karat

The Left parties, key allies to the Congress-led UPA government, have withdrawn support to the government expressing their disappointment with the former’s decision to go ahead with the nuke deal. Mr. Pranab Mukherjee had earlier stated that the govt. talks with IAEA would take place only after the government won the vote of confidence in the Parliament. But the Prime Minister, on his trip to the G8 Summit, stated that the Indo-US nuclear deal discussions with IAEA would take place. This came as a surprise to the Left parties and they went ahead with their decision to withdraw support. On Wednesday, Prakash Karat, CPM general secretary, and a couple of senior party leaders, submitted the Letter of disapproval to the President. Prakash Karat said ”We cannot be a party to a government which is callous to the sufferings of the people and whose priority is to fulfill its commitment to US President George Bush and not to the people of India.” The government though looks confident that this will not affect its stability.

The tussle between the Congress party and the Left parties about the Indo-US civil nuclear deal went on for months. The government has been longing to get the clearance for the deal even as the Left parties maintained their stand against the same. The Left criticised the government for not maintaining transparancy about the nuke deal and had even warned the government of withdrawing support if it continued its efforts to sign the deal. The government though obviated this, giving a damn to the Left’s admonition. The drama was finally unfolded when the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh’s stated that the discussions with IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), w.r.t. the deal would take place.

While it is curtains down for the nuke deal Imbroglio, I was puzzled after reading a politician’s comment about this issue. How I wish a few politicians should be taught / made to understand the essence of using common sense (if they have any)? The comment was made by one of the senior most politicians Mr. Veerappa Moily criticising the Left’s decision and the timing. Mr. Moily, Chairman of Media Dept. for the AICC, was quoted as saying “When the entire nation is mourning those killed in the Kabul blast, the Left has chosen to make the announcement. It is most unfortunate. They think their prestige is more important than the nation’s prestige.” Now what has the Left’s decision to withdraw support got to do with the Indians killed in Kabul? Could someone please enlighten me?

Image Courtesy: NDTV


Federer and Nadal

Rafael Nadal (Nadal) was finally successful in ending Roger Federer’s winning streak at the Wimbledon. The occasion and timing could not have been better for Nadal. Nadal beat Federer in a five set thriller in a match considered the longest single’s men’s final in the history of Wimbledon. An ardent fan of Federer, I wanted to see him retain the crown for the sixth consecutive year more so because it came after the French Open where Nadal tamed him en route his victory. And on Sunday, in a nerve-wracking contest, Nadal had almost taken the match away from the defending champion winning the first two sets comfortably. Federer, however, came back strongly to win the third and fourth sets (both being tie breakers). Just when it appeared Nadal was leading the way in fourth set’s tie breaker, Federer, the champion of champions, turned it around with his favourite strong backhand return to take the match further. The final set was only going to be amazing and equally challenging. And any tennis lover would be overwhelmed watching the quality of play displayed by these two great contenders. Nadal was at his exceptional best in the final set and almost broke Federer’s serve in a couple of games. Federer, on the other hand, made a few unforced errors only to help Nadal break his serve in the 15th game. Even as Federer was trying to save the next game Nadal finished off the match in style.

The moments of this contest between Federer and Nadal will be cherished for years. This grand finale should go into the tennis books as the greatest final ever played. Nadal’s grit and determination were impeccable. His was a relentless pursuit to dethrone Federer. Federer was not at his best, I believe, but made it tough for Nadal who played the match of his life. Federer’s sight was as sharp as an eagle. His strong backhand returns and the ease with which he produced aces at the right time once again showed why he is revered as one of the greatest players of the game. If Pete Sampras had showed how to win consistently, Federer took that standard of consistency to a higher level. Winning a grandslam five times in a row is no small feat. No doubt Nadal is an aggressive player and he deserved to win the trophy but it remains to be seen if he can display his clay court supremacy on the grass consistently. But for now, Nadal is the champion.

Congratulations Nadal. You’ve won a great contest against the master of class and quality.

Image Courtesy: New York Times

The idea to pen down my thoughts about these came while reading this Businessweek article “India’s Economy Hits the Wall”. Today, there are several news to ponder over than to feel happy about—depreciation in rupee, stock market crash and more importantly inflation. Every one of us have been hearing / discussing a lot about the current economic slowdown and inflation. The stock market swing seems to continue while the inflation is rising resulting in a lot of hue and cry about the country’s economy and its future. While the uncertainty about the high inflationary rates continues, and industry and individuals wonder about the ever rising oil prices, some experts term inflation threat to be exaggerated and temporary thus indicating that things would improve towards the third quarter this year. The article cited above criticises the congress-led UPA govt. for the crisis.

Blame it on anyone but the most affected is the common man. Inflation and rising oil prices have only gifted the common man with a possible imbalance in his monthly balance sheet. Oil prices on a high and RBI has announced a hike in interest rates. While the petrol and diesel prices have become dearer by 10 per cent, the oil companies opting to sell only branded and high power petrol and diesel has drawn lot of criticism. Moreover the public and transport system in several small towns are hit by the shortage of petrol and diesel. Added to this chaos is the indefinite nationwide strike by the All India Motor Transport Congress that will only make things worse. This will only lead to the consumer paying much more than what he is paying for vegetables and groceries.

Let us hope the inflation rate comes down very soon and, in more ways than one, helps the common man get both relief and respite.

July 2008
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