JULY 1 HONG KONG MARCH: MORE PRO-DEMOCRACY VOICES EXPECTED

Hong Kong is bracing for its largest protest in more than a decade after nearly 800,000 voted for full democracy in an unofficial referendum, a move likely to stoke anti-China sentiment in the former British colony. – Al Jazeera

The vigil night on June 4, to mark the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Protests and the Tiananmen Massacre, yet again reaffirmed the hope that in spite of China’s efforts to suppress the voices of protests demanding political reforms and more space to democracy, they refuse to die.

And just within a month of landmark protests of the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre (drawing around 2 Lakh protesters, largest since 1989 in Hong Kong), another landmark day comes, when the autonomous island of Hong Kong is scheduled to have its annual handover day march, tomorrow, on July 1, that is to begin from the iconic Victoria Park, the epicenter of the huge June 4 protests.

Reports like this Al Jazeera one say more than half-a-million are expected to march tomorrow to protest the increasing Chinese interference in the ‘autonomous’ character of Hong Kong.

China’s autocratic regime cannot act ruthlessly in Hong King, the former British colony that was handed over to China in 1997 with clear terms and conditions on its autonomy (one country, two systems), as it does in the mainland, crushing every voice of dissent.

But, the Communist Party machinery to manipulate the opinion and sabotage the ‘democratic’ character of Hong Kong is getting more and more involved and subversive for the Hong Kong residents to take it anymore.

Residents of the city island are protesting the Chinese mainland shadow on their civil liberties and are demanding the ‘full electoral’ freedom and a free election in 2017 while the mainland government is doing all to make it go it the mainland way.

Almost 10% of the Hong Kong residents have signed the ‘unofficial’ (but can anything, even remotely related to democracy, be official in China?) referendum (for full democracy) and the world is looking forward to watch some spectacular protest visuals again, after the June 4 pro-Tiananmen move, in one of the most oppressive regimes.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

NETHERLANDS VS MEXICO: ORANJE STOLE THE MATCH FROM THE GREEN BUT NOT THE SHOW

It was much, much better match today between Netherlands and Mexico.

Mexico had almost won the game till the 88 minutes – but this is what the thrilling uncertainty of the Beautiful Game – in six minutes, the Dutch were all around – scoring 2 goals to take home the victory 2-1.

And yes, the equalizer came in style, with plenty of substance when Sneijder hit a superb kick that looked made for the Mexican goalpost only, two minutes before the regular time of the match was to end – in the 88th minute.

And Marquez’s mistake gave the Oranje the opportunity that they were destined to encash – the winning hit – and Jan Huntelaar scored the winner by converting the penalty sending it past the goalkeeper – yes, the penalty is raising questions – but it is done now – but is a good food for thought that it could have given us more heart-stopping moments given the pace and the style the match had come to gain by then – post 88 minutes.

Yes, it seems it was not a day for Ochoa today, the hero goalkeeper of Mexico, who had conceded just one goal so far – the last six minutes changed that – when the Dutch had their goals giving them the winning edge.

Yes, it was an unbelievable comeback that melted the cooling breaks taken for the first time in the World Cup.

It was Yellow the day before yesterday – it was Orange yesterday (India time) – two different games – the different delivery of the outcomes – with a superior overall game on display today than yesterday.

Brilliant team performances – brilliant individual feats – brilliant cohesive maneuvers – thanks folks..

The much talked about Mexican defense held till 88 minutes – but, then, a thrilling World Cup match is all about such unexpected and stunning endeavors.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

BRAZIL VS CHILE: CHILE DESERVED THE WIN AS WELL

It was Yellow Vs Red – it was the sea of Yellow in the stadium – in the biggest sports event being held in Brazil – making ‘Yellow’ the global flavour – in India as well – Brazil were unbeaten against Chile at home so far – and they remained unbeaten – the ‘Yellow’ crowd was humming loud – as heard and visible on my TV set.

Brazil Vs Chile – the first match of the ‘Round of 16’ of the FIFA World Cup 2014 was overall a quality World Cup game of 127 minutes – (45+1+45+3+15+1+15+2) – obviously excluding the minutes of the Penalty Shootout.

Brazilian attack and Chilean defense were at par. In fact, if we see the match as the World Cup enthusiasts (that I am) and not as die-hard Football fans, it was a dramatic game where Chile bettered their game beating expectations while Brazil were not what a Brazil’s fan expects from the team.

But then the outcome of the game is also day-dependent some times and it was one of those days and we can give Brazil the benefit of doubt. And we need to see it in the context of the brilliant Chilean defense and their game, especially in the second half, that frustrated every move of Brazil, including some very close ones.

The first half was good for Brazil with first goal, though not a brilliant one, coming early in 18th minute. Though Brazil kept their game up, outshining Chile but the Chile equalizer was a brilliant goal by Alexis Sanchez in 33rd minute.

Then it was for the sluggish moments of the second half. Whether it was tactical or temperamental cannot be said, but the game slowed down painfully. Brazil’s show came down. Chile picked up, until Brazil started mounting up the pressure that begin after 70 minutes and sped up post 80 minutes.

And it can be said the sluggish moments were compensated well in the last when the 1-1 tie pushed the game to the extra time (ET) that also failed to produce any result after 33 minutes of the game (15+1+15+2).

And now it was time for the Penalty Shootout – requiring steely nerves, and luck of the day as well.

A Penalty Shootout is always a sad end to a great Football match, and especially in this case, where Chile played much better than expectations, it hurt. In spite of the elevated game, where they were equal claimants of the victory based on the show of 127 minutes, Chile were knocked out 3-2.

The Brazilian goalkeeper, Julio Cesar, emerged as the winning player for the country though he saved two goals, same as the Chilean goalkeeper. The last kick by Jara hit the post and Brazil won.

So, now, the yellow is to spread – and the humming is to get louder when Brazil play their next match – world’s favourites advance to the next round – but Chile deserved that as well.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

BRAZIL VS CHILE: HOW THE FIRST ROUND OF 16 MATCH PROVED OUT TO BE A WINNER FOR WORLD CUP FANS

June 28, 2014 – 9:30 PM India Time

15h – Brazil Vs Chile – to begin now – Brazil unbeaten against Chile in WC finals at home so far – let’s see today – crowd humming loudly, as my TV shows

15h – Brazil Vs Chile – round of 16 rounding up

15h – Brazil Vs Chile – yellow Vs red – sea of yellow in stadium – yellow is d global flavour – in India as well – Brazil miss 1st chance

15h – Brazil Vs Chile – 1st 10 minutes – Brazil looking up relatively so far – Neymar having some trouble

15h – Brazil Vs Chile – Chile get 1st close chance in 11th minute

15h – Brazil Vs Chile – a good hair-raising Neymar moment – Chile’s 1st yellow card – Brazil free kick in penalty arc area

15h – Brazil Vs Chile – Brazil get 1st #goal and lead – stadium erupts – Brazil 1 Vs Chile 0

15h – Brazil Vs Chile – 18th min gave Brazil their 1st #goal by David Luiz

14h – Brazil Vs Chile – 1st 25 minutes – Brazil clearly up – by game, by 1-0 lead

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THESE RAINDROPS ARE LIKE YOUR MEMORIES..

These raindrops are like your memories,

Sometimes,

They come to heal this burning mind,

And sometimes,

They make the heart so restless,

That the falling rain,

Leaves me with the ‘feeling of not being’..

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©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

THEY FOUND THEIR MUSIC OF THE MOMENT IN THE FALLING RAINDROPS..

They were moving from one place to other. One of them was driving and the other was looking outside.

They were not talking to each other. None of them questioned each other why they were mapping the city roads that late in the night when it was pouring incessantly.

Probably, rain was the reason that kept them hooked to the motion of their thoughts that found a continuum in the motion of their vehicle – from one street to other – from one road to other – from one landmark to other – from one pathway to other.

They understood each other and felt it was a mutually agreed thought to spend some ‘more’ time like that with no care to define that ‘more’.

They both found their points – and their music of the moment in the falling raindrops.

For the moment – they wanted to remain in those moments only.

The one who driving was in an ecstatic mood after a rewarding day and was looking to find the resonance of his elated mind in the nature’s music but in a ‘restrained, balanced and peaceful’ way – on a raining, enlightened night – something that he had come to feel during the drive so far.

His companion, the friend, was pensive after a long day that had not gone the way it should have. It didn’t matter anymore if it was expected or unexpected. He was looking out in the dark, with the flow interrupted with flashes from lightning and streetlights, to clear his mind of thoughts, to get onto the path of healing, hoping the raining night would be able to enlighten him to read the next.

The night was getting younger. And it was still raining.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

THE MAN AND THE DOG – AND THE MOTIVATION

The man and the dog were running parallel.

The man was motivated to reach his destination early.

The dog was motivated to reach there before the man.

Suddenly, something happened, and the man took a U-turn.

But the dog did not, pushed by a disciplined motivation and a carefree like.

The man, deeply pushed by the priorities of life, had to act wayward with his discipline whenever he smelled an opportunity.

The parallel between the dog and the man was about acting on motivation.

The dog smelled the motivation and acted on the opportunity thus, with discipline.

The man smelled the opportunity and twisted his motivation accordingly, with the ‘improvised’ discipline.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

SITTING SILENT, HE WOULD TRY TO LOOK INSIDE HIM TO UNDERSTAND THE MEANING OF HIS SILENCE

He used to sit there, at those steps. It was his daily routine, for years. He didn’t remember when it was the last time he violated his routine.

He had not taken any vow. He was never deeply religious.

Often, he did not look at God as he was looking at God.

Yes, he questioned God, but turned back to Him, as well.

Yes, he used to come there, to sit there. Coming there had become like a part of his daily life. He was so deeply into it that he consciously avoided going anywhere that could have taken him away from this routine.

He would come there. Sitting silent, he would try to look inside him to understand the meaning of his silence. And the silence would respond. It happened regularly.

There was an increasing understanding with silence. And the flow helped him.

Sitting with his ‘self’, he would talk to his silence.

Sitting with his silence, he would travel with music of the flow.

It was a detached attachment. He had no thought when he started this one fine day, with a random decision.

The flow had many – sitting by its ghat-steps, waiting for its caring embrace and soul soothing music, and it cared for everyone.

The flow did not expect anything in return and whatever he wished while being there, at the steps, was nothing more than detached expectations.

He needed and he tried to feel something more powerful, than a human-God relation.

And having detached attachment with detached expectations showed him the way further.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

MARATHA AND MUSLIM QUOTA IN MAHARASHTRA: NO EFFORTS TO LEARN LESSONS

Yesterday, in a desperate effort, intended to score points of the votebank appeasement politics, like its character has been/has become, the grand old party of India having its origin in late 19th Century, the Congress party, did what was expected from it.

And in doing so, not learning lessons from the recent poll drubbings, they tell us they are yet to go into some serious thinking mode on what led them to this historic low. Yes, the loss was written and widely analysed but no one could gauge it was going to be so humiliating.

The assembly polls in the state are due later this year and the Maharashtra government, led by the Congress-NCP combine, is in imminent danger of losing its hold on the state power corridors as well. In the recently held Lok Sabha polls, the ruling combine could win only 6 seats out of 48.

And instead of putting serious thoughts into ‘whys’ of this political gloom for them to address the ‘real’ issues before the polls, they are still busy in devising cosmetic measures hoping they would be able to tackle the sky-high anti-incumbency, somehow, like the Congress led UPA government in Centre had ‘envisioned’.

And proposing reservation quota for the targeted votebanks has been among the most practiced cosmetic measures of the Congress party in the recent political history of India, irrespective of the fact it has failed to deliver most of the times.

Maharashtra government today proposed 16% reservation for Maratha people and 5% for Muslims. It is nothing but a poll sop, to go to these votebanks, claiming their right on the votes ‘in lieu of’ this largesse that is going to remain on papers.

Tomorrow, some PIL will be filed and the High Court will give stay order as has been the case in many other such cases, where states breach the 50% reservation ceiling. Also, the Indian Constitution is clear that reservation cannot be given on religious basis. And no one can say how this ‘Maratha reservation card’ is going to play, in courts, and in the electoral arena.

Even the politicians proposing the reservation quota in such arbitrary ways realize it but being politicians, they don’t care. They just need some talking points to exploit the electoral sentiments.

In the recent political history, every such political attempt by the Congress party has backfired. Attempts to introduce the Muslim reservation (before assembly and Lok Sabha polls) have been blocked by the Supreme Court regularly and have not translated into electoral victories for the Congress party. Giving minority status to Jains was just a filler, a symbolic step, never important electorally, but it was yet another window into the pre-poll mentality of the Congress party. Another electoral ploy of giving reservation to Jats just before the Lok Sabha polls proved a dud. The poll results showed the Jats voted for the BJP, in Haryana, in Rajasthan and in Western Uttar Pradesh.

And yet, they don’t change. No lessons learnt yet. No efforts to learn lessons yet.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

SCALING ‘GOODNESS’ OF A COUNTRY!

Good Country Index or Goodness of Nations – the link in the Facebook news feed arrested the attention for a while, much on the line of some interesting daily charts of ‘The Economist’ that regularly appear on the wall of users – though the urge to click and read further is arbitrary – like most of the social media habits are.

I clicked it, unsure of, if I would be redirected to the article page or to the subscription page as I had crossed my limit of free articles for the duration (that I still don’t have any idea about).

Also, I do not have any idea if the norm applies to every linked ‘The Economist’ piece on Facebook as I do not visit Facebook regularly and do no click on every link from The Economist. But I thought I could have headway into looking more on it as few lines of the attached description told me it was a chart from a study done by some other agency.

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Good Country Index chart from The Economist

On Facebook, the first pull was about looking at to see how India was ranked. The Economist chart of the Good Country Index had top 10 and bottom 10 countries stacked from the Good Country Index study website. The list ranked 1 to 125 with 1 being the best and 125 being the worst on the index devised to map the countries’ responsibility to the humanity globally and how much they take from it.

The chart in The Economist link had no mention of India in the overall rank column and in any other column except in ‘Prosperity & Equality’ head where it was ranked 117.

Logically, I had not expected India, a country with over 1.2 billion people with resource crunch and social inequality to handle and manage, in top-10 in a study that focuses how a country contributes outside its environs to help enrich and nurture the humanity.

But India’s 117th place on parameters like ‘Prosperity & Equality’ demanded more understanding of the index – of its utility and of its flaws.

And I went further to read more about the Good Country Index on its website and about Simon Anholt and about India’s overall ranking (81st).

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/