Rewind 2010: A brilliant year for Indian sports!


Indian sports has long been dominated by cricket all the time. Though it was an important factor in considering India’s performance in sports this year, it wasn’t the only sport where we excelled. Saina Nehwal at badminton, India’s performance at the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games and also some good stuff from the hockey team ensured one of the best years for Indian sports in a long time.

Saina Nehwal is not very muscular. Neither does she have the backing of any godfather. Nor has she won tournaments by fluke. This 20 yr old sensation has made such giant strides this year in a sport which the Chinese have traditionally excelled in that even the Chinese seem shocked seeing her. With her sharp returns, excellent focus and concentration and nimble – footed movements on court, she has thrashed opponents left, right and center reaching the number 2 ranking.

Have you ever heard of Ashish Kumar, Krishna Poonia, Virdhawal Khade? These were some of the relatively unknown faces who made us proud by winning medals in sports as diverse as athletics, wrestling, boxing, swimming, gymnastics to name a few. The first reaction to this was “I didn’t know we had gymnasts, let alone take part in the Commonwealth Games!” Meanwhile our archers, shooters and wrestlers had a year to remember winning medals across the Asian and Commonwealth Games along with winning medals at other championships. The fact that we managed to come 2nd on the CWG medals tally and achieve our best performance at the Asian Games was something none of us must’ve even imagined. The most interesting part of the whole event was that half of the medallists were from Haryana – a state which has given special importance to promoting sports from the grassroots level. A Lakshmi Mittal supported Champions Trust has also been set up to support and nurture the best athletes of the country.

Somdev Varman came into his own by winning us the Davis Cup clash with Brazil and also winning medals at the CWG and Asian Games. A tennis star and that too in singles seemed to have risen from nowhere!

The Indian Hockey Team jointly won the Azlan Shah Cup as well as came 3rd in the Commonwealth Games. The fact that this was achieved when the public expectations were low after their 8th place finish in the WC held in India was a miracle in itself. Though one should give credit to them where its due. During the matches against Pakistan throughout the year as well as against England in CWG, India played some of the most fantastic hockey seen in a long time supported by a partisan crowd at the Dhyan Chand stadium in Delhi.

There were also other achievers like Mary Kom – The boxing queen of the world who won her 5th consecutive boxing championship. As in her words “She was born to do only one thing – BOXING!”

Obviously a lot more can be done to improve sports and the infrastructure at the basic level. But Haryana has shown the way to the other states. Will they follow? Do we care about the other sports even now after the Asian Games and CWG have ended? These are some of the basic questions which need to be answered!

Before you guys kill me! Obviously an important development was India’s no 1 test ranking in cricket which prompted our BCCI to schedule more test matches than what India normally plays. Dhoni equalled Azhar’s record of India’s 2nd most successful captain.

PARTING SHOT!

The “Indian Express” – Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi coming together for the Australian Open 2011! Now can there be anything better than this?


Rewind 2010: Top 10 disasters of the year in India!


Another of my Trakin posts – http://trak.in/tags/business/2010/12/27/top-10-disasters-india-2010/

2010 has had its own share of disasters. Despite the fact that we have advanced so much in preventing and predicting disasters, it is something we haven’t been able to stop happening. From political to technical to even natural disasters, there was a lot which brought a lot of misery to people.

There were also certain disasters which benefited a lot of people, like Reliance’s failed acquisition of LyondellBasell much to the delight of its competitors :)

CWG and its sham

From the entire organization, infrastructure to Lalit Bhanot’s comment “Our hygiene standards are different from the Western ones”, it was a complete disaster for the country. The CWG probably caused more damage to country’s name

The only saving grace was the fantastic performance of our athletes who gave all of us a great reason to smile and be proud of our Indian-ness.

Intense heat wave

The heat wave during the summers this year across the country killed more than 250 people and bringing misery to thousands others. It went on record to become the hottest summer in more than 50 years. Global warming anyone?

RIL’s failed acquisition bid

RIL’s failed bid to acquire LyondellBasell despite upping its bid price to US $ 14.5 billion was one of the biggest M & A disasters of the year

Leh floods

Leh which gets very minimal rainfall throughout the year and as is called a high altitude cold desert for the reason got more than its share of rainfall for a year on a single day – 6th August. More than 200 people were killed due to this

iPhone4 Antenna problems

The Apple iPhone’s antenna was a problem across the world and India was no different. With problems in signals and dropped calls, more and more people started voicing their opinion against Apple.

Nano disaster

From being labelled as the world’s cheapest car priced at Rs 1 lac to having safety issues causing fires, manufacturing defects, its shape / design and also poor financial issues – Nano’s journey had come a full circle and it ended up selling lesser units than Mercedes in November

IX – 812 Crash

Air India express flight IX – 812 coming in from Dubai crashed while landing at the Mangalore Airport on 22nd May 2010. It was one of the worst air disasters in the country since a long period of time. In the weeks after that there were more than 10-15 near misses of air crashes / disasters

Cyclone time

From Giri to Laila to Jal the only thing interesting about these cyclones was their names. Otherwise it was all eerily similar – great loss of lives and property. One step closer to 2012, is it?

Scam year

From CWG to 2G to UP Basmati Rice, it was the year of scams in the country with each and everyone wanting a share of the pie. It seemed as though no day would pass of without us hearing of at least some scam or the other. What a shame!

CAT

Last but not the least. The famous CAT test [^] for MBA aspirants which went online last year but had results coming up this year turned out to be such a technical disaster with everyone wondering as to who was running Prometric. From bugs attacking the server [^] to computers losing data, it ended up being such a SHAM!

LATE ENTRANTS

Sky rocketing onion prices make people cry

Whether it was hoarding, unseasonal rains or onion mafia, the skyrocketing Rs 80/kg onion prices brought tears across the country. But as the year was reaching its conclusion the prices dropped dramatically as the government made a desperate measure of bringing down the prices by stopping exports!

GSLV Launch failure

This one was supposed to India’s heaviest and most advanced communications satellite but instead it exploded within one minute of its launch turning out to be a disaster for India’s space research program. A 2nd continuous failure has put the ISRO on the backfoot!

Did I miss out any? Let us know…


Rewind 2010: Pakistan = Disaster



I am sure many of you must be wondering as to what’s great in equating Pakistan to disaster or for that matter how does one say that in 2010 Pakistan became synonymous with disaster as it has for years been the terrorist hot spot of the world?

Yes – Pakistan is synonymous with everything wrong happening in the world
Yes – Pakistan is the terrorist hot spot of the world
Yes – Pakistan is waging a proxy war with India

But then 2010 was different? With more than 50 suicide attacks killing and injuring thousands, this year has been the bloodiest in a decade. These attacks haven’t been limited to Waziristan or some other god forsaken regions. But instead Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi – all the main cities have been targeted with targets ranging from markets to police academies to even the World Food Distribution Program. Pakistan own creation – Lashkar – e – Toiba and Al Qaeda and thousands of other splinter terrorist groups are striking back on the country of their birth for reasons from supporting USA to inaction against India.

But then terrorist attacks haven’t been the only problem? Corruption and Greed as prominent as always has literally RAPED the economy with inflation crossing 20% many times. The FDI has dropped to pathetically low levels. Industries and foreign companies are closing down. Tourists especially to once-beautiful-now-terrorised regions like SWAT have fallen down dramatically.

Whatever was left after the terror attacks and corruption was destroyed by the floods. The biggest flooding in more than 50 years killed and rendered thousands homeless destroying the economy completely. Seeing how the aid provided by the world countries had seen its way to the terror groups, countries didn’t really donate much this time around. Sad for the people :(. But then when your own government doesn’t care a damn and people like Zardari and Kayani are more interested in gaining power, what does one do?

All in all Pakistan took infinite steps backward to disaster in 2010!


Rewind 2010 – The year of Wikileaks!


Julius Assange and his team of hacktivists were somewhat of an unknown quantity at least in most countries of the world before 2010. But the year 2010 turned them into celebrities so much so that Julius was condemned openly by leaders across the world, had threats of arrest and murder and was also finally jailed. Jailed that too for having sex without condoms with two Wikileaks employees (He has been subsequently bailed out). But even while he was jailed, the joke around was that he was arrested not for “sex without condoms“. But instead for raping country after country and leader after leader across the world!

Assange created Wikileaks to show to the world the kind of information which is hid from them by so called democratic governments and the kind of extreme torture perpetrated by dictators. Wikileaks rocked the world and especially the USA when it showed the collateral damage video where the US Marines blatantly shot many media professionals in Iraq suspecting them to be terrorists.

http://hoowstuffworks.blogspot.com/2010/07/how-wikileaks-operate.html

Since then they have released more than 3,00,000 cables covering Afghanistan’s war, Iraq war as well as other documents involving leaders from Hillary Clinton to King Abdul Aziz to even Asif Ali Zardari.

So how does Wikileaks work?

Anyone and everyone can go to the Wikileaks website and submit the documents they have found out. Now these documents could be related to anything and everything. From India planning to start a Cold Start Doctrine against Pakistan after its attack on Parliament to showing magnanimous abuse against Afghanistani people, Wikileaks has shown it all.

After the documents are sent, the hacktivists go through the documents which are authoritative or real. The real ones are then published and the authors names are kept secret and they are also given legal protection for the same.

How does Wikileaks protect itself?

Julius Assange was part of a hacker collective called the International Subversives during his teens and the time there seems to have helped him build the entire system and protect it from hackers and other problems. This is why he has its servers in multiple continents and information passes through countries like Belgium, Sweden, Iceland to name a few.

The most interesting aspect of Wikileaks was the time during which Assange was arrested. Hacktivists across the world hacked into site after site from Master Card to Paypal who tried to freeze its accounts. And they also released thousands of cables even after the arrest showing their ability to work despite his arrest.

Wikileaks’s popularity is in part due to the controversy it has generated but more so because of the presence of social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook etc. where it has become such a common conversation that Twitter has barred it from trending.

Wikileaks – A completely stateless whistleblower organization! Is this the future of media and journalism? Your guess is as good as mine!!!