Posts Tagged ‘France’

Les Bleus blown away


Domenech clueless

“As you sow, so shall you reap” goes an old adage. I thought that most of these adages were limited to the confines of school textbooks or philosophy lectures. Maybe confined to stories read to small children during bed-time , warning them of imminent dangers of crossing the all important yet very thin Laxman Rekha that dwells right between good and all evil. The difference that separates sanity and insanity.

Having followed the ongoing FIFA World cup at South Africa and the qualifiers before that, I am of the firm opinion that the French team must have never heard of the adage at all! After all, a team that cheated their way to the finals, is definitely an undeserving lot. I sympathize with the Irish team, who were denied a rightful shot at a trip to South Africa.

The Media dubbed Henry’s goal as the second Hand of God. To tell you the truth, it was not football’s moment of glory but a definite moment of shame. And the good saint didn’t commit the crime not once, he went on to commit the sin a second time. Punching the ball from outside playing area, kicking it to a team-mate(another sinner whom I do not recall) who shoots it for apparent glory. The Irish captain did fervently appeal for hand-ball each time the foul was committed.  It seemed, however that the referee was hand-in-glove  with the Les Bleus that unfortunate day. He was deaf to the Irish jeering, he had a job to do , ensure French victory and their clear passage to the World Cup.

And so the World Cup began in full earnest. The French being placed right in the first group against the likes of Mexico, Uruguay and the host, South Africa. The campaign was a disaster right from the onset. A draw in their opening game against Uruguay, and a 2-0 loss against Mexico did their morale no good. The team-spirit in the French camp was at an all time low.  Coach Domenech was verbally abused by star striker Anelka who was immediately sent home. Then there was players’ rebellion- the team refusing to practice on field. Coach Domenech  had nothing but silent whispers to offer to the media. The colatility reached epic proportions, and thus the government was left no choice but to rush the French Sports Minister to South South Africa to establish some sort of calm in the camp.

Then arrived the final match day. Coach Domenech did the unthinkable by tinkering with the French squad – 5 changes were made , with Patrice Evra being stripped of captaincy. The whistle blew, but the French zing that we had seen in Germany four years ago was definitely missing; or rather disappeared into thin air.  The defence was shattered many a time by the South Africans, who thumped in two goals would ensure French defeat the world cup. The final nail in the coffin had been put in place.

Coach Domenech apparently likes to remain in the spotlight. He refused to offer the customary handshake to Alberto Perreira, the South African coach after the tie was over. This summed up the scratchy performance of a team which were finalists at the last edition of the world cup. Les Bleus were simply blown away to, god knows where.

It can be rightfully said that they had cheated their way in to the championships this time. An overrated team that was highly undeserving. Their desire to the stride across the rainbow and to find the pot of gold there was fulfilled. But whoever knew about the Irish leprechaun which would be guarding the pot of gold, the French greed being denied. The Irish spirits were at definite play this world cup, denying the French of every goal and more. Vexes were cast to ensure that the French camp were in shattered. With the whole of Ireland against them, it could be fair to say that the French team were bound to be kicked out.

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The Hypocrisy Of Democracy


In what is widely being regarded as a landmark decision in India, the Supreme Court declared live-in relationships and premarital sex between consenting adults as fully within the law and legal. This comes after the actress Khushboo’s controversial statement where she said that, “No educated man would expect his [bride] to be a virgin”. “Please tell us what is the offence and under which section should she be charged? Tell me how many people have been affected by Kushboo’s statement?” asked Chief Justice K. G. Balakrishnan. In a single unresearched statement the actress has questioned the morality of women of India, thats what’s wrong Mr. Chief Justice. And this coming from the very people who have the unwritten job of upholding India’s identity.

Former Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court and BJP MP Rama Jois today said Indian scriptures bar premarital sex and Indian society still consider pre-marital sexual relationship not good. Quoting from scriptures, he said one of the nine directives of dhrama prescribed by Mahabharata was “Prajanseveshu dareshu” one should procure children only under wedlock which by necessary implication bars pre-marital sexual activity between man and woman, he said. In a predominantly religious state like India, where does the Supreme Court’s decision stand? Isn’t it just loosely based upon miming the West? Let me not even go into the health issues such practices can create. In a country where HIV has affected more people than in any other country, this new decision doesn’t help the cause. An estimated 19 million people a year in the U.S. become infected with some form of STD. Are we ready to face this in India? Will we handle it better than the US?

In a country where we harp about our cultures and traditions, this decision is a rude awakening call. With India opening to the West both technologically and culturally, it shouldn’t come as a surprise if the Supreme Court decides that we (the youth) should be mentally open to such “radical” ideas. Bravo to the judiciary system of India for trampling over what few moral values we have left in this “progressing” country of ours. Forget the need to educate the masses, to alleviate the poverty-stricken, to stand for what India truly represents; our honorable Supreme Court doesn’t mind corrupting the young minds of the nation towards the ideologies of the so called “advanced” West. Let us remember that it is the same country which had introduced the ban on bar dancers in Mumbai not long ago. Call me orthodox or conservative, but to me the need to accept the Western ideas while retaining our Indian identity is of primary importance. Now cynics may say that when we have accepted Western music, food, fashion, why do we a draw a line when it comes to this issue? The simple reason is that while our varied culture has allowed integration of a lot of Western practices, there are still some that are simply incompatible with it. Why don’t we go ahead and allow strip clubs to run here in India? It’s a western idea isn’t it? How about gay bars? The recently legalized gay community in India may soon make a demand for them under the right to freedom of assembly. Will the Supreme Court deny them that on moral grounds then? Why then do we cringe about these ideas when we’re open to all other western practices? Aren’t we being hypocritical?

“Marriage is an outdated institution with no security. A true relationship is devoid of social and personal pressures. It has less emotional breakdowns, but it comes with responsibilities,” says filmmaker Vikram Bhatt, who was in a live-in relationship with actress Ameesha Patel. A quick look at the readily available statistics reveal that 46% of all marriages in the US, the biggest proponent of live-in relationships and premarital sex, end in divorces. Where then does it leave Mr. Bhatts statement?

“Who is anybody to judge if two people want to stay together?”  asks Pooja Bedi, but goes on to add, “A live-in requires serious commitment. And now with the Supreme Court backing it, it is no longer frivolous”. By saying this does she mean that unless someone declares a practice frivolous, we are to continue doing it without restrictions?

On a different note, lets take a look at democracy in Europe. We must have all read about the French president Sarkozy’s promise to ban the veil in France. “The full veil is contrary to the dignity of women,” he says.  He has blissfully ignored the sentiments of the women, both religious and moral. Ask a woman why she wears a veil and she’ll tell you that it is to protect her dignity. The law does more harm than good. It instills the feeling of victimization among the Muslim fraternity. Mr.Sarkozy’s statement is a paradox then, isn’t it? Are we to accept France as a democracy then? A democracy which doesn’t allow its people to wear what they want freely without questioning them? How would the Indian public feel if the government banned bikinis in India? Isn’t a bikini “contrary to the dignity of women”?

Switzerland has recently banned the construction of Minarets stating that “Swiss residents should be able to block unwanted and unusual projects such as the erection of Islamic minarets”. Another puzzling decision taken in a democracy. Why shouldn’t a people be allowed to construct symbols of their faith? Does the construction of minarets harm anybody? Why then discriminate and victimize your citizens who are after all only demanding freedom of expression of their faith?

This is the hypocrisy of Democracy.

It’s about time we stop blowing the trumpet of Freedom and Democracy, because not only do we seem to be ill equipped to uphold the true spirit of Democracy, we are also engaged, knowingly or unknowingly, in advocating and encouraging an intolerant society which has tuned its back on its cultural and moral roots.