Tag Archives: Pakistan

India-Pakistan:Against and with each other, tale of two games

Calling India taking on Pakistan in the semi finals of the Cricket World cup on Wednesday an important knock out match will be termed as understatement.

Though it is the right statement, it will be understatement.

For India and Pakistan when pitted against each other are always a mouth-watering prospect.

Frenzy has been built up around this clash between arch rivals that adds on to the hysteria that surrounds the game.

The three P’s: Public, Press, Politicians want to cash on the most anticipated game in the subcontinent. While the craze among first two is understandable the addition of third one adds (in my view) an uncalled for fourth’ P Pressure to the game.

This hurried move by the Prime Minister’s office to add diplomacy to the game of cricket is a debatable issue. We the people at NDTV raked up the issue: Can cricket diplomacy be effective for India and Pakistan relations. Does symbolism have real value?

It’s not as if this is for the first time cricket has been mixed with diplomacy both the countries have in the past used the move to certain degree of success, but is this the apt time.

It’s the semi finals of the world cup and one of the premiers will walk out unhappy.

Wonder if this will add to easing the atmosphere.

However, at the moment who wants the atmosphere to ease, certainly none of the three P’s.

From Mohali cut to Miami, miles away the same to countries are in action; this time together.

India’s Rohan Bopanna and Pakistan’s Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi playing as a doubles team have reached the pre quarter finals of the Miami Masters.

Their win might have made it to couple of columns of the last page in sports section or a couple of paragraphs on news websites.

Termed as Indo-Pak express this duo silently has been trying to show the gesture of unity for some time now. After the initial media euphoria and coining of the term the fizz has settled.

One for the obvious reason that rivalry grabs headlines, peace doesn’t. Also they haven’t been hugely successful so far.

Anyways coming back to gestures was wondering could the premiers have not made a gesture by watching a game of Indo-Pak express in action.

There the tension would have been eliminated as both play together and not against each other.

A tweet on the same generated mixed response, while many retweeted the thought others said they are like ‘Federer-Nadal’ and some said not a bad idea.

But on a practical level that doesn’t ever look likely.

As Rajdeep Sardesai of CNN-IBN tweeted, “After watching most of our news channels, feel we want to make it out to be World War 3. Jingoism ‘sells’. Sad.

Perhaps that is the harsh reality, which will take long to change.

 

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West reaches out to East

Western bigwigs reach out to rising Easterners.

A day after US President Barack Obama left India, premier of UK landed in neighbouring China.

Some sort of timing.

Other than timing there were a few more similarities.

Obama landed in Mumbai, India’s financial capital ahead of the national capital. He addressed the business leaders of India Inc.  The president took home exports of USD 10 billion for majors like Boeing, General motors in addition to the 50,000 jobs.

He preached win-win formula, but in the near future its double wins US. Never mind our time shall come with the United Nations Security Council pitch.

While striking the deals the impeccable orator never uttered the P(Pakistan) word, something that majority of Indians would have loved to hear. (we) Mind (y)our business was the unsaid message.

Cut to Mr. Cameron’s visit. He kick-starts with Tescos in Beijing, ahead of the state guard of honour. Well the company wants to open up more stores in China than it has in entire UK(as per BBC report).

Attends bilateral business deals being signed and raises a toast to the growing trade as artistes and human rights activist urge him to raise his voice for the acquittal of Nobel peace prize winner Liu Xiaobo.

Cameron so far maintains that aim is to strengthen the trade ties for UK companies in order to create jobs back home and boost the economy.

“We have an important relationship with China and want the trade to grow,” he told the BBC. He did touch upon the issue of Human rights but in the customary address, no special thrust, just like Obama’s speech included Pakistan.

The picture this paints to me is that with a booming economy and over billion people each both these Asian countries promise a thriving future market for West. The deal is to come out of the economic crisis and East certainly is the agent of change.

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Answer ‘P’lease, Mr. President

The Obama’s are having a field day in India.

Days before the Air Force One landed in Mumbai, there’s been a hysterical run up to the president’s first visit to India.

Broadcasters and Newspapers have been flooding the news space with milieu and menus for the US first couple.

From Barack’s body language to his Beast (the automobile that drives the US president) nothing was left to imagination.

Everything was being dished outs seemingly like a meticulously executed PR plan. Till this happened.

At St. Xaviers College, Mumbai, where the President interacted with Generation Next who were asked by his better half to pose tough question at him, the young minds didn’t disappoint.

A bunch of students managed to ask the president what hordes of scribes couldn’t.

They raised the so far forbidden ‘J (Jihad)’ n ’P’(Pakistan) words much to the delight of scribes out there bound by president’s press agenda and protocol.

One of the best orators in the business Obama found himself in not so preferred situation as one of the student Afsheen Irania asked, “Why is Pakistan not being called a terrorist state by the US?”

After a pause Obama said, “Let me tell you I was expecting this question.” (But to me it seemed a way to get away and engage the crowd which went into silence the question was asked. Given his skills and stature he managed to ‘beat around the bush’ as Irania told NDTV later.

But it will be harsh to just tie him down on this question; he was walking the tight rope.

Questions apart after acting as the Chief Sales Officer(CSO) for the United States of America on day one of his India visit, President Barack Obama had Generation Next of Mumbaikars eating out of his hands.

If the uproar that greeted Obama at the St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai was something to go by, it showed his immense popularity among young Indians.

There were quite a few things that the Indian politicos can pick from the president. Not only the way he gets crowds engaged and cares to ask them about their ambitions, aspirations and fears (some things that most back home give a miss) but he also told them it’s my people first.

Having referred him as CSO earlier he ensured that on day one while he proposed a win-win formula, it was more of a win America situation.

Deals worth USD 10 billion and 50,000 jobs being created in the USA made headlines.

Nothing of what India gains out of this was evident or discussed. While most business honchos I get a feeling were awed by the experience of being in the room with one of the most powerful man on the planet, no questions were raised.

The big futuristic plans were applauded, but for the outspoken chairman of the Bajaj group, Rahul Bajaj, who told NDTV, “It doesn’t look like win-win. Its deals from India, money goes from us to them. What about our win? I hope in days ahead our prime minister too shows similar resolve and put our case strongly enough.”

Having watched the frenzy unfold and symbolic gestures being over hyped I haven’t seen something that makes the common man feel benefitted.

As I conclude this piece the much expected formal announcement by Indian Prime Minister and Obama on Monday is coming up.

India will be looking up to the premier to stand tall and hold the flag flying high.

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