Eye browse

It’s been said before, but will say it once more — because I can.

I’m getting to totally love the freedom blogs and Twitter provide. Firstly, because there is no compulsion to write a ‘column’ of a specified length to a specified deadline — majorly useful, when some days all you really have to say is, ‘same shit, different day’ [which is just perfect as a twitter post, by the way]. Second, you can write whenever you really want to, without worrying about whether it is your allotted day on some arbitrary calendar. And third, you can write a thousand words, or just throw in a link, with maybe a line or two of context, if you feel the need for it.

Today being one of those days when I don’t really feel like I have something to say, three links and an invite, for your consideration:

Aakash Chopra on why left is right in cricket.

Gideon Haigh argues that an obsessive focus on the ‘brand’ could keep BCCI from carrying out the thorough clean-up that the IPL, and by extension Indian cricket, requires. [Just in case we aren’t too clear what this ‘brand’ really means, here’s Sukanta Chaudhari in the Telegraph on the wealth the BCCI generates, and the pointlessness of it all].

And, having saved the best bit for the last, here’s Amit Varma’s latest for Y! Opinions — on “Internet Hindus”, the unwisdom of pig wrestling, and the why the Internet lends itself to the gradual hardening of arteries opinion.

Read, comment. And oh, the invitation: here you go, the link to today’s Yorker live chat, 3.30-4.30, as per usual. See you there.


17 thoughts on “Eye browse

  1. By the way, Prem, I am surprised you did not comment on:

    – How long the legal process in India takes to convict someone like Kasab when it is a utter slam dunk .. (why in the world do you need several months for this is beyond me.. we get all hung up about a sports minister occupying office for 10+ years.. where is the outcry for this inefficiency?)

    – How we still act like imbeciles in the face of Pakistan’s duplicity…

    – Hope this Shahzab matter finally wakes up the Americans (I kind of doubt it .. only way the Americans will wake up is if another 911 happens, this time from Pakistan)



    • I did not comment on the time taken to convict Kasab because I prefer to leave that kind of noise to the TV channels and their garrulous anchors. What is this, some kind of blitz chess with a clock running?

      Yeah, convicting Kasab is a slam dunk. The man was seen on CCTV killing people, and on the face of it, proving his culpability should not take more than an hour or two. But that is not the whole point. It is necessary to build the full case, particularly as it concerns his accomplices within and outside the country, it is necessary to detail for the record the extent of the conspiracy — in case it hadn’t occurred to you, the charge sheet against Kasab is also, by extension, a charge sheet against his accomplices in Pakistan. That is now the official record — not merely for us, but for the world at large. Taking time to get it right is not, as far as I am concerned, a crime. And the analogy with one person occupying a post longer than he is constitutionally mandated to do so baffles me.

      As for the larger questions about how India continues to waffle in its dealings with Pakistan, I would have commented, but I have nothing to say that commentators with far greater knowledge and inside information than I have not already said. And typically, when I have nothing to add to the public discourse, I prefer to stay silent, mate.

  2. Sorry Prem I have always respected your opinion, but I disagree that “all your columnists” are “bloggers with good standing”.. the pseudo intellectual garbage from Ashok Mullik is a good example. Defending Hussain and clueless Doninger is not only unpatriotic, it is simply going out of your way to provoke the masses, which is the primary intent of both MFH and Doninger. Guruji Shree Shree Ravishankar himself denounced MFH’s actions as insensitive and disrespectful. If he has balls, he should do it to Mohammed or Jesus, and then the outcry would be much much worse..



      • When you owe your silence within to someone very dearly, no amount of praises are enough 🙂 Samjne wale samjenge..



    • Oh wait a minute — I defended Doniger’s right what she felt, and argued that if she is wrong, then it is an opportunity for others to set the record straight, rubbish those arguments, and turn the attention of the readers to what the real truth is as they see them. And I am not willing to concede that it was an “unpatriotic” act on my part. As for Ravi Shankar — “himself”? What is “himself” about Ravi Shankar? He is one among many “godmen” in this country, period; I am a Hindu, but he does not speak for me — denouncing MFH, so? He has his opinion. I have mine, which I will air if I feel the need for it. Malik has his. To restate the obvious — these are all opinions, to be assimilated, discussed, debated, and if necessary taken on board or dismissed, as per the individual.

      You for instance say supporting MFH is unpatriotic. I do not agree with your definition of patriotism, am I therefore to suggest you are an idiot not worth reading, or debating with?

      • The reference to “himself” comes from the fact that most of us operate on the level of the mind, intellect, memory and ego, but some others operate at the level of the self. I am ok if others fail t relate to this because this can only be experienced not discussed..

        I neither have the time nor the inclination to wade through doninger’s
        work.. In ashtavakra gita, it is said that one should not be wrong against wrong, because then you imbibe the same impressions/samskaras



      • On Hussain, the following video may explain to you why creating fights between hindus and muslims is unpatriotic.. and fueling fundamentalism.. nothing short of “terrorism of pen”..

        (in english…)



  3. It looks like the writers at Yahoo opinion consider themselves as artists than journalists. In the age of twitter and blogs, does the phrase “brevity is the soul of wit” have any relevance ?

    • Actually, no. Goes to the point I made at the start of this post, actually — it is not about one form of writing [say, the column] being replaced by another [the crispness of a blog post or the brevity of Twitter]. It is increasingly about knowing what you want to say, and then picking the right medium to say it. Fairly soon, for instance, I’ll be starting a column in Yahoo, most likely on cricket. Unlike my blog posts, they will be fairly long-form, and structured as a think piece on some particular aspect of the game and its administration that catches my eye.

      If you notice, all the Yahoo columnists are bloggers in good standing, with their own following. Most of them are also on Twitter. And in each medium, they tailor their message accordingly — it would be as pointless to do a blog/twitter style post in an opinion space as it would be to do a lengthy dissertation as a blog post, or chop it up into bits and run it serial fashion on Twitter.

      The interesting bit about how the media is evolving is that readers *also* have a choice. Which we didn’t have before — you picked up the newspaper, and you read an entire 1000 word column which was really nothing more than a single thought expanded to fill space. Today, if I am looking for a quick read into the zeitgeist, I check my Twitter stream. For filtered news leavened by sharp, crisp, opinion I read several dozen blogs. And for lengthier dissertations, I go to my RSS reader and read through some 40-50 columnists I have hand-picked and added into my list.

      I’d hate to see blogs and Twitter and such disappear overnight. By the same token, I’d hate if there was no more space in print and online for the thoughtful column, or essay, if you will.

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  6. Hi Prem,

    Long time reader from Auckland, New Zealand, first time commenter. I was wondering if you could ask your good friends at Rediff such as Dr Srinivas Bhogle if it would be possible to do an article comparing the D/L and Jayadevan methods for T20 matches, in light of the difficulties with D/L at the current T20 World Cup, as some NZ cricket fans (www.twenty20.co.nz) are very keen to see how the Jayadevan method would work.

    Thanks, and also well done on your excellent blog- it’s my second-favourite cricket site behind Cricinfo!

    • My understanding is, Srinivas is writing precisely that piece, for Cricinfo possibly by this weekend. I’m not sure if SB is comparing D/L with Jayadevan, but he likely will look at how D/L can apply to T20 matches. And thanks for the kind words, mate.

      • Great, thank you very much!! Nice to see some independent thought on Indian cricket, in contrast to the way at times the Indian media seems beholden to the BCCI.

  7. Well, as a reader, i love that I don’t have to read 3 or 4 different papers to read my favorite writer’s thoughts.

    If there is an article that is good, you generally link to it, or one of my friends links to it. Saves a lot of time, and there’s always new and interesting stuff to read.

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