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What is common between Neymar and Modi? Both are Drama Queens

The similarity between Neymar and Modi doesn’t end here. They may have chosen to be the drama queens for obvious reasons but in the end dram doesn’t pay.



Narendra Modi

Neymar da Silva Santos Junior, commonly known as Neymar is a Brazilian superstar striker who is considered one of the best players in the world. He is a professional footballer who plays as a forward for French club Paris Saint-Germain and the Brazil national team.

He often becomes target of criticism and laughter because of his deliberate acts of playing a victim card by feigning injuries. He has shown enough examples of his act in the ongoing Football World Cup 2018 in Russia. The Swiss broadcaster RTS Sport has done a detailed research on the Brazilian superstar and counted how much time Neymar has spent during the five World Cup matches of the Brazilian team on the ground.

The spectators were left unimpressed with Neymar’s injury antics during the crucial World Cup match between Brazil and Mexico. Neymar is quite famous for his unique ball skill, but is equally as famous for faking injuries during big games.

In a video which has become viral, he can be seen rolling around, clutching his ankle, and biting his finger supposedly in agony. The game was interrupted and Neymar needed a few minutes of treatment and soon out of nowhere sprang back into action.

In the very first game against Switzerland, Neymar remained on the ground for three minutes and 40 seconds, in the next game against Costa Rica, he was on ground for another two minutes and 44 seconds and in the last preliminary round match against Serbia a minute and 56 seconds.

In the pre-quarterfinal match against Mexico in Samara alone, it was five minutes and 29 seconds, two minutes after Mexican defender Miguel Layun kicked him. Overall, Neymar spent almost 14 minutes on the ground, in five World Cup matches. But all these histrionics were not good enough to prolong the stay of five times world champion in the tournament and were simply outclassed by Belgium in a quarter final match.

The striker is usually ridiculed for acting out in by several former players and coaches. “It’s a shame for the game, a negative example for the world, for children and an adverse publicity for the game of football. There should be limit on such acting, because it had a big impact on us. I think we lost the thread because of referee’s decisions in the second half ” said Mexican coach Juan Carlos Osorio after the World Cup knockout round, which his team lost by 2-0.

If we look for parallel for this gifted player from Brazil, we need not to go very far. We have our own drama queen in India and he is none other than our Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi. No one can beat him if it comes about playing to the gallery and creating dramas.

On Feb 21, 2014 while addressing a youth rally at Ahmedabad, he launched a blistering attack at Congress by saying that Congress always looked for chances to kill him or beat him. He further added that Congress didn’t like the fact that a tea seller was challenging such a big political empire.

Mr Modi said that Congress leaders may throw muck and let loose the CBI and Income Tax to harass him but still they would not be able to stop him from serving the country. He also made an emotional pitch saying he had not left his house for any post or for fame.

Mr Modi also made a huge drama about army’s surgical strike in September, 2016 in order to gain some TRPs. In 2014 during election campaign, he boasted that if elected he will bring 10 Pakistani soldier’s head in lieu of one dead Indian soldier. After coming to power, he forgot his promise and Indian soldiers kept losing their lives.

We are not questioning whether the supposed surgical strike took place or not. It wasn’t as if surgical strike happened for the first time. It is normal practice for our army to conduct such strikes whenever the situation is ripe for such actions but it was for the first time that such routine army exercises were used for political benefit.

In April this year, PM Modi went on a daylong fast to protest against the logjam in the Parliament. The main opposition party Congress termed the fast undertaken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP leaders as nothing but a photo-opportunity. Now this act of Prime Minister was anything but drama considering it was his own government which wasted 250 hours of Parliament.

Last month, there was news regarding unearthing of a conspiracy to assassinate PM Modi in “Rajiv Gandhi style”. Maharashtra Police made an explosive revelation in June this year after recovering a letter from an alleged naxal operative in Pune. The police claimed to have exposed a plot to kill Prime Minister Narendra Modi which was hatched by Maoists.

At first, the Pune police arrested five activists in connection with Bheema Koregaon violence, alleging their links with the Maoists who funded the Elgar Yatra, which was organised to celebrate 200 years of Bhima-Koregaon battle. Two days later, the police said all these accused were involved in a conspiracy to kill PM and came out with two e mails describing the plan to assassinate Modi.

The interesting part of the entire investigation was that before the e mails could reach the court, they were accessed by a pro BJP TV channel and a BJP spokesperson. After the e mails went public, the Police Chief Satish Mathur came with a ridiculous explanation that the letters were leaked by Maoists. This threat to PM was clearly a publicity stunt for getting public sympathy.

Interestingly, since 2009 such conspiracies to kill PM Modi have surfaced many times. Gujarat police have exposed four such ploys but never bothered to reveal the details of such investigations which raise questions regarding the authenticity of such claims. Even the former police officers who have dealt with Naxals and Maoists questioned the veracity of the e mails. In fact, one didn’t need to be an expert to realise that the letters were fictitious. One has to be really naive to believe Maoists could write such detailed plans to execute the PM in an e mail. Surprisingly, when the five activists were presented before the court, the police did not even mention the plot to kill PM. On contrary, in the next hearing on June 14, police twisted the original plot to kill PM and claimed that the accused were planning to organise a lecture in the memory of alleged naxalite Navin Babu at JNU.

The similarity between Neymar and Modi doesn’t end here. They may have chosen to be the drama queens for obvious reasons but in the end dram doesn’t pay. Neymar deliberately indulged in drama on the football field to get a much needed free kick or a penalty in order to bring a victory for his team which eluded him in the end. Similarly, Mr Modi plays the role of a drama queen to impress his voters but he forgets that people may be fooled by his antics on few times but in the end, it is his performance as a Prime Minister which is going to matter and not these tricks.


Kashmir insurgency: Need to win hearts and minds

From Syria to Afghanistan/Pakistan to Kashmir, the jehadi mindset is primed among the youth by the mythical Islamic Caliphate’s war against the kafirs (infidels).



kashmir situation

One of the most disturbing aspects of the February 14 terror attack in Pulwama was that the suicide bomber was a local, Adil Ahmad Dar, who lived in a village near the Jammu-Srinagar highway where the attack took place.

Although indoctrinated as a fidayeen by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad, Dar’s act as a jehadi underlines the vulnerability of impressionable Kashmiri youths to insidious anti-India propaganda by Pakistani terror groups nurtured by the Deep State comprising the country’s army and an espionage agency.

In this particular instance, Dar was apparently “inspired” to kill himself by the Taliban’s “victory” signified by American withdrawal from Afghanistan. If anything, the tragedy emphasises the inter-linked international dimensions of Islamic terrorism.

From Syria to Afghanistan/Pakistan to Kashmir, the jehadi mindset is primed among the youth by the mythical Islamic Caliphate’s war against the kafirs (infidels).

Unlike West Asia and even in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, Indian democracy provides a safeguard against a Messianic struggle, which is why an overwhelming majority of Indian Muslims, including those in Kashmir, remain committed to the democratic system.

As much is evident from the recent panchayat and municipal elections in the state even if the polling percentages in the Valley were low.

However, it is undeniable that a section of Muslims in the valley continue to remain alienated notwithstanding the government’s attempts to reach out to them via the negotiations carried out by the Centre’s representative, Dineshwar Sharma.

But if his efforts have failed to defuse the situation, the reason perhaps is the government’s reluctance to implement some of the recommendations to improve the conditions made by the Dileep Padgaonkar Committee.

These included reducing the army’s visibility, addressing human rights violations, reviewing the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and lifting the Disturbed Areas Act.

In essence, what these initiatives were expected to do was to reach out to the hearts and minds of the ordinary people whose commitment to the Indian state cannot be doubted as the continuing relevance of the mainstream parties like the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party show.

What is required to defang the terrorists and wean away the misguided youth from their self-destructive path is a gesture which will have a major impact.

One of them is to consider freezing the AFSPA (former Congress minister P. Chidambaram wanted it to be scrapped altogether) and to give a cast-iron guarantee that neither Article 370 nor Article 35A will be touched. The former confers a special status on Kashmir and the latter relates to citizenship rights.

It is only such “big ticket” reforms which can end the sense of alienation among the youths who are cynically exploited by Pakistan’s Deep State.

An outreach of this nature will confirm that the government does not regard Kashmir merely as a law and order problem, where all that is needed is a harsh crackdown on the malcontents.

Arguably, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) may not find it easy to change its longstanding stance favouring dispensing with Article 370. But it has to be remembered that Atal Behari Vajpayee did put Article 370 in cold storage in 1996 along with his party’s demand for building a Ram temple and introducing a uniform civil code when he was looking for allies to form a government.

Vajpayee had also called for looking at the Kashmir issue within the parameters of insaniyat (humanity) rather than of the Constitution.

Such broadmindedness is the need of the hour to dissuade deluded young men like Dar from the path of nihilism. Otherwise, more and more of such brainwashed youths will leave their kith and kin to court untimely death.

Equally, scores of security personnel will be in danger of losing their lives because official policies have failed to assure the discontented people of a state with a distinct cultural ambience that they are the nation’s cherished citizens.

It is only when the Kashmiris are visibly mollified that Pakistan’s “isolation”, which the Centre is currently seeking, will be complete, for a fully integrated Kashmir will negate Pakistan’s hope of avenging its Bangladesh defeat and recovering the “K” in the country’s name.

India has dealt with rebellious outbreaks in different parts of the country from the Northeast to the Maoist belts in central and western areas with a fair amount of success. There is no reason why it cannot achieve the same in Kashmir with a patient understanding of the grievances affecting the state, especially when it has national-level leaders like Farooq and Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti with their political and administrative experience.

True, the jehadi factor makes it difficult for a government to adopt a sane attitude because of the irrational pseudo-religious fervour of the militants. But an overt demonstration of being sensitive can enable the government to enlist the overall support of Kashmiri society and enable the elders to rein in the rebels.

(Amulya Ganguli is a political analyst. The views expressed are personal. He can be reached at [email protected])

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Deep State-II: The European angle to Rafale



Rafale deal scam

New Delhi, Feb 15 (IANS) It is no surprise that Europe becomes a fiery battleground every time a big aerospace deal is floated — as happened when the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) competition was announced by the Indian Air Force in 2007. The French company Dassault Aviation is to deliver 36 fully-loaded Rafale fighters to India. However, Airbus Industrie, which manufactures the Eurofighter, has pitched itself in the game and wants to have a share of the pie through the ‘Make in India’ programme.

Meanwhile, Sweden’s Saab, which manufactures the Gripen and had been an initial favourite before being edged out by the French companies, believes it can still stay in the hunt if it finds an entry through the ‘Make in India’ programme. And then there are the Russians. It is a high-stakes game that is also complicated.

For some, there is also an interest in keeping things complicated. Mahmut Turker, a Turkish-origin former German politician and a member of Germany’s Freedom Democratic Party, has met Congress President Rahul Gandhi and other critics of the Narendra Modi government in New Delhi to make out a case for Airbus — he is now its sales director, Combat Aircraft Campaigns.

Turker provided the raw material to prepare Rahul Gandhi for the charge against the Modi government. He first met the Congress President in Hamburg in September last year. Then, in tandem with controversial arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari, he helped to prepare the strategy for the attack on the government for the Rafale purchases. Congress leaders evidently believe they are onto something, which is why they have gone beyond characteristic political bluster to directly target the Prime Minister.

Later, when Turker met Arun Shourie, Yashwant Sinha, lawyer Prashant Bhushan — who are behind the PIL in the Rafale case — and Congressman Ranjeet Surjewala, he brought his savvy political skills along to drive holes into the Rafale deal and suggest that it be scrapped. He is believed to have supplied them with dossiers on Rafale to burnish his argument.

There is a back story to this. During the MMRCA negotiations, Airbus/BAE which makes the Eurofighter had lost out to Rafale. The government has said that the earlier deal with Rafale during UPA rule was based on L1 or lowest bidder criterion and the new one for 36 fully-loaded fighters has different specs and there can be no equivalence between them. However, it considers itself to be still in the race for a fighter jet contract, which is why, apart from trying to getting Turker to use the more circuitous route to scupper the deal by providing cue notes to well-placed dissidents, Airbus/BAE sent proposals to the government highlighting why the Rafale deal is bad.

Meanwhile, Turker decided to cast the net wider. He met retired Indian Air Force officials, people with credibility in the system who could help his company, or failing that at least beat down Dassault’s case. He is also believed to have met IAS officer Rajeev Verma, who wrote a dissenting note on the Rafale deal as a member of the contract negotiation committee. There is no evidence that the note helped Airbus/BAE but it certainly did not help Verma. His career took a tumble thereafter.

Could the Congress party be pinning its entire strategy on the basis of inputs from a recently-met aerospace company official and a controversial arms dealer? The game gets bigger, more complicated, as it progresses. Indeed, it mirrors Indian politics where there are no permanent enemies. Enter, the son-in-law of a Modi acolyte who is with BAE.

Using old connections with the Gandhis, this man with deep links in the government has reportedly been able to provide a gist of what the naysayers in officialdom have to say of the Rafale purchase. That has added to the Congress party’s ammo against the government.

Then, the head of a private bank, who is also a key figure in BAE, is working in tandem with a prominent Congress politician in Mumbai. This too is about providing documents and information on the fighter jet deal. For the record, the Congress politician who is known to accompany the Congress President on foreign trips, had earlier been a key figure in an all-party young MPs forum that would meet regularly to identify issues on which they could work together beyond partisan divisions.

The Congress is playing the perception game and believes that the pushback on corruption is happening and the wheels of fortune have altered since 2014.

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Just 2 companies control 50% of India’s smartphone market




New Delhi, Feb 15 (IANS) The year 2018 ended with just two companies together controlling around 50 per cent share of the India smartphone market – Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi and South Korean giant Samsung, according to latest data released by International Data Corporation (IDC).

Xiaomi surpassed Samsung to become the market leader in 2018 with 28.9 per cent share in the Indian smartphone market which shipped 142.3 million units last year, according to IDC’s Asia/Pacific Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report. Samsung came second with 22.4 per cent share.

In 2017, Xiaomi had 20.9 per cent market share, compared to 24.7 per cent share of Samsung.

In 2018, Vivo (14.2 per cent), OPPO (10.2 per cent) and Transsion (6.4 per cent) were the other three brands that found a place in the list of top five smartphone brands in the country.

Except Samsung, four of the five smartphone brands are based in China.

“Amongst the big highlights of 2018 were the online-focused brands that drove the share of the online channel to an all-time high of 38.4 per cent in 2018,” Upasana Joshi, Associate Research Manager, Client Devices, IDC India, said in a statement.

Responding to the report, Xiaomi India Managing Director Manu Kumar Jain on Tuesday credited the stunning show by the company to “100 per cent team work” and love from “Mi Fans”.

“Mi Fans! Thank you for your love and support,” Jain tweeted, adding that in the fourth quarter of 2018, the company emrged as 54 per cent bigger than the second brand.

The results show that Apple, which experienced lower than expected sales of iPhones in some emerging markets in recent times, especially in China, has not been able to make much of an impact in the Indian smartphone market as well.

The premium smartphone segment (above Rs 35,000) constitutes a meagre three per cent share of the overall India smartphone market, despite outgrowing all other price segments in 2018 with 43.9 per cent year-over-year (YoY) growth, according to IDC.

“OnePlus emerged as the leader in $500-$700 segment on the back of the OnePlus 6 and the newly-launched OnePlus 6T. However, in the super premium segment of $700+, Samsung surpassed Apple for the top position with its Galaxy S9 series,” Joshi added.

With the government initiative to push local manufacturing in India, 2018 witnessed further duty hikes on mobile phone components, IDC said, adding that weakened rupee further added to the challenges of the long tail of brands outside the top five.

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