Archive for May, 2009

Icc_World_Twenty20_300Many cricket experts pip India to do very well in the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 but don’t risk picking up the teams that will make it to the semifinals, may be because of the expertise at stake in case the prediction goes haywire.

However, as a cricket fan, we just enjoy the game while commenting on a rash shot or a bad ball from the comforts of our living rooms and sometimes enter into an animated debate to exhibit our cricketing knowledge, pulling out every little detail from our ticking brain to win over the competitor in the debate.

So I find this as another opportunity to test my skills with the fellow bloggers and other surfers who happen to visit my blog. Let’s find out which of the following combinations emerges the favorite after we all vote for our individual choices.

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polldaddy poll=1663365]

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NoToRacism

It has just been about 100 days since the white citizens of the world’s biggest super power chose a black man – namely Barack Obama – to head their country, who became the first non-white US Head of State to step into The White House. The world hailed American liberalism in bringing Obama into power and it was undoubtedly one of the biggest steps towards a world free of racial discrimination.

Racism generally stems from the belief that biological characteristics of one group or community are better than another. That’s basically the reason why the words black and white are associated with people. It’s a well-known disgraceful fact that the black-skinned community faces racial slur from some white-skinned bullies.

Obama’s election as the first African-American President was not without a price that was paid by the workers canvassing for him and that largely got unnoticed. They had been chased and faced derogatory remarks to the limit. In a nasty incident, on being requested to vote for Obama by a telecaller, the person on the other side remarked, “Hang that darky from a tree!”

Talking in the Asian context, it’s widely known that the Asian community is one of the most frequent victims of racial discrimination. Students studying in Europe, US and more recently in Australia have time and again reported cases of racial abuse and such episodes fail to cease. The attacks on Indians, especially in Australia, have set the alarm bells ringing to the extent that both governments have got intently involved, though just reassurances won’t bring normalcy to the situation. Figures released by official sources in the Australian police department show there were 1083 reported cases of robbery and assault against Indians in 2007-08 .

Not long ago, Sikh students in France were prohibited from wearing turbans in schools and universities that led to worldwide protests from various Indian organisations demanding the ban to be revoked.

The racial prejudice faced by Indians in particular is the one that needs urgent attention. It became evident once again a few days back when an Air France flight from Paris to Mumbai had to return after taking off due to a technical glitch. The Indian passengers on board complained of racial discrimination and being “ill-treated” by the airlines during their overnight stay at the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. While the airline denied such allegations, it later issued a statement apologising for the “ill-treatment meted out to the passengers.”

Even sports no longer carry a clean image when we talk about racism in sports. A recent incident created a stir in South Africa where the much-hyped cricket tournament Indian Premier League (IPL) took place. Ajay Jadeja – the former Indian cricketer – made a startling revelation on one of the news channels about the Kolkata Knight Riders team owned by the film actor Shahrukh Khan. Jadeja revealed about an incident of racial abuse involving an Indian player in the team and a foreign member of the coaching staff. The Indian player – after being called back from the field during a match – asked why he was called back. To this the coach replied, “You Indian, you do as you’re told.” The players in the team themselves informed him of the incident, Jadeja claimed.

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has called for a united front by all football-playing nations against racist incidents in matches in various countries that tarnish the image of football. More recently, the famous football club Juventus was punished and had to play a match behind closed doors. The club suffered on part of a section of the crowd that was involved in racist chanting during a previous match. Later, the club apologised for the incident.

These incidents bring to light the burning issue of racism and the right to equality has again been shown its place which still lies just in the Constitution books, defeating the claim of globalisation by the bureaucrats around the world. When we talk about globalisation, it can’t be achieved just by resurrecting the current economic slowdown. Rather a constellation of efforts is required based on humanitarian grounds and eradication of racism has to be addressed earnestly. After all, globalisation not only means being economically healthy but also having a globally civilised society.