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MON (maa) KEY (ki)

It is the sub period of the sixth lord in the Vimshottari dasha in my case and Manoj Pathak had reminded me in Moscow that in Dwisaptati Sama Dasha on which he has done excellent research, it the dasha of Rahu in the sixth house of my horoscope. But I am not going to discuss my horoscope. It is the story of Bhajji who has provided India’s idiot boxes lot of “news”.

One of the television channels gave a headline, BHAJJI BHAARI, BAEMANI HARI (Bhajji is heavier for the dishonest who have been defeated).

The television crews also give shots of his mother, a woman with fierce maternity it seems, as mothers are. They never show his father? Is he not newsworthy? No the TV have different definition of news in India. When it rains in Delhi they show giggling girls only. In Delhi it does not seem to rain for boys and males ever, according to these camera men.

For a month or more I have been ill, suffering from pneumonitis which I seem to
have contracted in my first visit to Rajasthan in December 2007. I neglected it and visited Rajasthan again in the same month and this time the colder nights really affected all four of us who got attack of pneumonities. My doctor friend. Dr. R.K.Caroli, advised me to rest and not take any risk. But I had to leave for Bangalore to conduct a workshop and accompanying me was Col.A.K.Gour, like me, a lover of sports.

I somehow managed to remain confined to my bed most of the time in Bangalore but had to undergo the strain of conducting an astrology workshop for nearly three hours which affected my health more. Most of the time, I was watching sports events as India’s idiot boxes do not know what good journalism is.

It was there that we heard of the charges against Harbhajan Singh of racial slur in an eye ball encounter in a Test match with Symmonds whom Manchester Guardian had called the ugliest cricketer of the world after Chandrapaul of West Indies. But the television channels got story and from Adelaide or Melbourne to Bombay and Delhi whole range was covered with nothing revealing. Delhi and north India in the meantime got record breaking spell of cold and I remained confined to my bed most of the time. I thank Bhajji who provided so much relief with a doosra which even Muthiah Muralitharan will envy him for. And of course Arjuna Ranatunga be the happiest Sri Lankan now.

Racial slur?
We in India have our casteist slurs, huge stock of them, communal abuses but I have never heard of racial slurs which cannot come to an Indian easily. Mahatma Gandhi fought against it in South Africa and we fought against it during our freedom struggle. Remember recently an Englishman, Dennis had punished as many as six Indian cricketers in South Africa. What was that---racism or justice? White men forget their own history of racism.

Australian history
A respected cricket commentator like Roebeck should first have seen the history of Australia which till 1973 pursued the “White Australia” policy. Racism is what Australia believed in and practiced and is in their blood.

1960 West Indies vs. Australia
He should go back to the most exciting series then of cricket under the great West Indian Frank Worrel and Richie Benaud of Australia---a series which revived interested in cricket. But I remember to have also read the remark of the great Australian, Keith Miller who clearly said that West India deserved to win the series but were “umpired out”. It was a pre television era event.

Graceless victories
Australians are aggressive lover of sports and want to win their matches at any cost, in most unpleasant manner, not caring for good manners or grace which does not come to them easily because of the genes in........they should remember their history ...Ian Botham once said that he wanted to play cricket before a crowd of ex-convicts. And there is that story, like USA, of white immigrants inflicting on the local population, the natives, brutalities which made our generation ask whether the white man has ever been civilized ever.

Ian Chappel is credited with an aggressive policy of sledging on cricket fields and has escaped without punishment. Steve Waugh talked of “mental disintegration”. What have these Australian cricketers contributed to the culture and graces of the game of cricket? Roebuck should ask these questions--- they are very serious questions. He did say that under Ponting, Australian cricket team had become a pack of dogs. What was it under Ian Chappel?

Yet, when white men now take to preaching and accusing an Indian of a racial
slur, it amuses us and we begin to pity Peter Roebuck for his impotent fulminations. To look reasonable and balanced Roebuck does say “Nor is it wise to ignore Australia's reputation as champion sledger.”

So from a sick bed I told Col Gour in Bangalore that from a website I had got a hint that what Harbhajan said was not monkey but a typical Punjabi abuse or for that matter, a north Indian abuse,...... which an Australian may mistake for a “monkey”. And then do we in India use monkey as a racial abuse? Mr.Key of Australia will be addressed as Don.Key in Spain and as Mon.Key in France

Booklet of abuses
If the Australians use monkey as a racial abuse, them they should inform visiting Indians. In fact, the ICC should compile a booklet on abuses commonly uttered in different cricket playing countries, prepare an audio tape also and coach visiting cricketers to explain the difference between an ordinary abuse and a racial abuse.

During my service career
During my service career, the first precaution I took was to ask a person of the
state to which I was transferred, to compile for me a short list of commonly used abuses. For instance, when you go to Assam do not use the Hindi word for “milk”. A Hindi speaking man was beaten up in Gauhati for demanding milk in Hindi. In the Tamil speaking parts of India do not use the Hindi word for “bolt “. In Bengal do not use the Hindi word for “hair”. A regional abuse of India can sound like a racial slur. Roebuck and Australians are fuming stupidly or cleverly, tactically. Did Ponting who fell a victim to Harbhajan’s spinning wiles four times, want to see him out of the Test and now ODI series?

India’s Money Power
And India using money power? Yes, that should be a correct accusation. Mahatma Gandhi, a bania, understood that the Englishmen would be unnerved if they suffered financial losses. He came out with his economic boycotts, the swadeshi movements, which were most effective. Martin Luther King junior followed Gandhian tactics in USA with great success. The white man fears that--economic boycott.

To most of the men born as shop keepers are culture and civilization needless luxuries? Sharad Power and the Indian cricket board, a cricket super power, got a chance to use an economic weapon. Australian cricket board had to go down on its knees or suffer huge financial losses if India withdrew from the triangular series.

For different reasons though, in this atmosphere, the great Australian gentleman called “Gilly” has announced his retirement from cricket now. But anyway where is the shoe pinching then? It is not a racial slur? Go to Punjab and get abused by a rustic to understand it. Read it.

(29 January 2008)

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