Blog Posts by Amrut Thobbi

  • Why Modi haters should stop ranting

    The constant under-the-microscope scrutiny of the BJP's prime ministerial candidate has given more publicity to his election campaign.

    Narendra Modi is impotent; will chop Modi into pieces; Modi is a puppy; Modi should be treated in a mental hospital; ‘tea-seller’ Modi can’t become India’s PM; Modi is fascist; Modi is a RSS goon; Modi’s Gujarat a ‘toffee model’; Modi is a dictator. If you follow Indian politics keenly, you will easily guess that all the above remarks were made by Modi’s political opponents in recent times as the election frenzy is gripping the nation.

    These remarks highlight not only the political rivalry, but the obsession towards one man, who, according to many opinion polls may become India’s next prime minister. This breast-beating over Modi is not limited to just politicians as everyone seems to be dissecting the ‘brand Modi’. Many Bollywood celebrities reportedly have signed a petition wherein they appeal to the people of the country to vote for a ‘secular government’. According to the film industry sources, the signatories to this petition mainly consist of Modi haters.

    Everyone in the country

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  • Stone-pelting, Twitter abuse: Why Indian cricket fans react violently?

    The latest to earn the wrath of the fans is Yuvraj Singh. He was not only vilified on Twitter but also his house was pelted with stones by the so-called ‘fans’ of the Indian team.

    Fans burn Indian players posters following the team's loss against Sri Lanka in 2007 World cup. (AFP)

    Do cricketers and their fans have an unsigned agreement between each other over performances on a field? Has the cricketer, by not performing up to fans expectations, caused any physical or psychological or traumatic harm to them? If the answer is no, then it is incomprehensible to see the superstars being targeted by fans when the Indian team loses. Stone-pelting, vandalising cricketer’s home, burning effigies and mocking a bad performance on social networking sites are the ways fans express their frustration and anger.

    The latest to earn the wrath of the fans is Yuvraj Singh. He was not only vilified on Twitter but also his house was pelted with stones by the so-called ‘fans’ of the Indian team.

    Renowned sports psychologist Dr. Chaitanya Sridhar explains the three basic reasons why the Indian fans love the game of cricket which will help in understanding their behaviour.

    1. Entertainment - Cricket is perceived to be a form of leisure. It provides a 'high' and is associated with positive

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  • A day in the life of an AAP worker

    The Aam Aadmi Party, despite being a newbie, is known for its aggressive style of campaigning. The writer spends a day with one of the foot soldiers of the AAP in Bangalore to understand the method behind the madness.

    Standing near a temple, Sitaram is about to move to the next lane to distribute more of the Aam Aadmi Party pamphlets as he is approached by a young boy requesting him for one of his party topis. The boy returns to playing cricket, disappointed, as Sitaram has exhausted all the caps. The party activist is more dejected than the kid, who by now has forgotten about the cap and is happy walloping a cricket ball over the park.

    Sitaram begins his day by holding an AAP placard at major traffic signals, generally from 8 to 11 am, in different wards of Basavangudi in the south Bangalore constituency, his place of assignment. The placard carries a photo of Nina Nayak, AAP's candidate from the south Bangalore constituency, a plea to vote for her and the AAP symbol - jhaadu (a broom).

    Holding placards, distributing pamphlets are some of the campaigning activities that the AAP foot soldiers are involved in. But is distributing AAP caps also a way of promotion?

    "Yes, it is. We have given away

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  • Kejriwal provokes, Modi reacts; AAP wins small battle

    Modi's delayed, yet, direct attack shows the BJP's prime ministerial candidate has finally accepted that the AAP can create a few hurdles for the BJP in the general elections.

    As Arvind Kejriwal turned 49, he earned a moniker, 'AK49' from his supporters. The moniker was given out of reverence for his feat of thumping the invincible Sheila Dixit in the Delhi assembly elections last year and also his 'audacity' to take on the political heavyweights on the issues of corruption and price rise.

    Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, too, addressed Kejriwal as 'AK49' recently. It was not out of respect, but a jibe. Modi alleged the Aam Aadmi Party leader was an 'agent of Pakistan'. Modi's attack on Kejriwal comes after the AAP leader's consistent and direct allegations of crony capitalism, Gujarat government forcibly seizing lands from farmers, and also fake development claims in the state.
     
    Modi's delayed, yet, direct attack shows the BJP's prime ministerial candidate has finally accepted that the AAP can create a few hurdles for the BJP in the general elections. Earlier, Modi's nonchalance towards Kejriwal's no-holds-barred attack on

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  • Movie review: Shravani Subramanya

    A boy saves a girl from falling prey to the dishonorable intentions of a perverted boyfriend who wants to rape her. The boy then falls hopelessly in love with the girl, but her father is opposed to the relationship as he wants her to marry a boy of his choice. The synopsis may well classify Shravani Subramanya as run-of-the-mill cinema, but the makers have included a few twists in the plot to ensure the story doesn't devolve into banality.

    Amoolya, making a comeback after a hiatus, does justice to her role of 'Shravani', a vulnerable teenager. Having debuted as a child artiste in the early 2000s, Amoolya makes a good pair with Golden Star Ganesh. The pair had last starred in the runaway 2007 hit Cheluvina Chittara. Shravani comes across as gullible and confused, one who has to choose between her love interest and her family. This choice confronts her twice and both times she recourses to ending her life as an outlet.

    Ganesh's Subramanya saves Shravani's life and honour after she has

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  • Aam Aadmi Party set to join Alok Nath

    Alok Nath happy to bless the AAP.

    At a time when celebrities and people from all walks of life are queuing to join the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the party itself has shown eagerness to be associated in some way or the other with the saint-like popular TV soap actor Alok Nath.

    AAP, which has become talk of the town after its recent unexpected success in Delhi assembly elections, made the surprising announcement in a press conference that shocked the entire country. Addressing the press, AAP chief and the Delhi chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal said, "AAP was formed to clean the political system. But we must first clean ourselves and then think of cleaning others. Alok Nath ji is undoubtedly the most respected person in the country and an association with a revered figure like him will further boost our clean image."

    Kejriwal added that it will be AAP's 'honour' if the party becomes 'a part of Alok Nath' rather than the actor joining the party. Delhi CM said, "How can Alok Nath ji join us? Who are we? He is humility personified

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  • Rahul Gandhi's interview to a leading TV channel saw his 'popularity' charts soaring throughout the country. The Gandhi scion, for whom it was a first interview in almost ten years, has become an inspiration to school students who regularly flunk their exams.

    While statements like "We need to empower the youth" and "RTI is a major achievement of the UPA government" have become buzz words among students,  "women's empowerment" has become a raging topic for discussion across schools, where kids seem to have discovered new phrases to decorate their exam papers with.
     
    Raju, a Class VII student who didn't watch the live interview, but caught five reruns of the same later, says he honestly hadn't heard of Rahul Gandhi, but now genuinely wants him to become India's next prime minister. Someone who adds to a student's dictionary of 'useful phrases and funds', after all, cannot be taken lightly.
     
    "Rahul has given us a set of new and useful points which we can write in exams, especially at times

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  • In a major setback for the Samajwadi Party, the criminals in Uttar Pradesh have vowed to never vote for Mulayam Singh Yadav in future as his party officially bought rights to Billy Joel's hit song, 'We didn't start the fire' instead of stealing it proudly.

    Speaking to media, Bullet Babu, a popular mafia gangster lamented that this was a perfect opportunity for the party to gain international fame but blew it away meaninglessly by officially buying a song's rights, a concept for them unheard of.

    Bullet Babu feels the party is doing this just to boost its image ahead of the elections and not worried about the pride of criminals in the state. Bullet compares this move to the party giving free laptops to students - as part of a scheme launched by chief minister Akhilesh Yadav in 2012 - and termed it as yet another 'popular move'.
    Mulayam persuading criminals that he didn't mean to hurt their feelings.
    "Free laptops for students!" Bullet lost his cool as he pointed at yet another 'administrative failure' of SP. "Do they know how much effort it takes to steal

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  • The cricket officials have taken the idea of honouring the batting legend Sachin Tendulkar –playing his final Test match for India – to a bizarre new level.  A man was promptly asked to leave the Wankhede stadium for not cheering the Indian batting great on day one of the second Test match between India and West Indies.

    The security officials caught the fan on one of the cameras not cheering Tendulkar for five minutes during the day’s play. The officials said a few cameras were installed for the special occasion of Tendulkar’s 200th Test, only to catch such ‘culprits’.

    “We wanted to ensure every Indian in the stadium cheers for the batting maestro,”said one of the security officials. “If anyone is caught not expressing support to Tendulkar, then he or she will be asked to leave as we consider such people to be a threat to the overall lively atmosphere in the stadium. Their nonchalance might spread to others and eventually will kill the great occasion.”

    The man evicted from the stadium,

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  • In a move that might bewilder the critics of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) more than ever, the board has decided to scrap the second and the final Test against the West Indies and consider sending the Indian team to South Africa to ensure Sachin Tendulkar bats in both the innings of a Test match.

    The strange decision was taken by the board's working committee which was under pressure by the BCCI to arrange a series in a country where the Indian batting legend gets a guaranteed time to bat.  Hence the committee decided to consider South Africa for Tendulkar's farewell series where, traditionally, except him the rest of the batting line-up has fallen like a pack of cards.

    A source close to the board said, "Since the Indian batting is playing so well against a relatively weaker team like the West Indies at home, Tendulkar didn't get a chance to bat in the second innings as the first match ended in just three days. If it happens again, it will be quite embarrassing for the

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