Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian award given to someone for his or her exceptional service to society and the nation. The BJP, in the meantime, has made a masterstroke by awarding the said award to Lt. Karpooori Thakur, ex-CM of Bihar, a messiah of the lower caste. We all know that it was Nitish Kumar who demanded a census along the lines of the caste system. But once Modi, in a masterstroke, announced the highest award to Lt. Karpoori Thakur, Nitish Kumar was caught in the wrong foot.
We all know that in 1951, Pt. Nehru awarded himself Bharat Ratna, and so in 1971, Indira Gandhi, the then PM, decorated her with the highest civilian award, and later on in 1991, Rajiv Gandhi was posthumously awarded Bharat Ratna by the then Congress regime. But in the case of Ambedkar, the father of the Indian Constitution, Gopinath Bordoloi, and Dr. Bhupen Hazarika, it was the BJP government that honoured them with Bharat Ratna posthumously, whom Rahul and Co. failed to remember during his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, which passed through Assam. The previous Congress government had never given due recognition to the likes of Lt. Gopinath Bordoloi and Dr. Bhupen Hazarika. Who knows, by tomorrow, the very same party might demand BHARAT RATNA for Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Kharge, and others, to name a few.
Lanu Dutt Chowdhury,
In their first list of 16 Lok Sabha candidates declared by the Samajwadi Party (SP) for the forthcoming general elections, there’re three from Akhilesh Yadav’s family, including his wife. Reports indicate that Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren is ostensibly mulling to make his wife the next CM in case he is arrested in the alleged graft charges. Presently, she is not even a MLA. This can be a redux of Lallu Yadav’s family love act when he made his wife the CM when he was forced to resign due to the arrest warrant related to the fodder scam in 1997. This can also be due to a sheer lack of trust in the other party members, which in this case is a mockery of democracy in the first place! In the recent past, many ‘family first’ cases have come to the fore. Sharad Pawar opted for his daughter to replace him as NCP head, snubbing the more capable Ajit Pawar. Major parties of the INDIA bloc, like the SP, DMK, RJD, SS (UBT), and NC, are all family-oriented parties whose priority is “family first," and Congress isn’t different! Therefore, the motto of this bloc, ‘United we Stand', is primarily meant for their families and the least for their alliance, which is distinctly visible in the current shaky and conflicting state of affairs amid the ongoing and never-ending seat-sharing discussions! Their inherent characteristic of focusing on their family members’ interests above all else is one of the main reasons for the chaos and muddle.
The brazen ‘Nepotism’ is detrimental to democracy! Therefore, in this aspirational era, the ‘incompetent lineages’ and ‘Nepotism’ should be rejected.
Monoj Kumar Hazarika
Disgraceful performance by Assam in Ranji Trophy
The performance of the Assam men’s cricket team in the current year’s Ranji Trophy tournament is disgraceful and totally disappointing, to say the least. The team has meekly surrendered to each of the teams it has played against so far, either at home or outside. It is true that winning or losing is part of sports, but what’s more important is the attitude and approach and how the team plays on the pitch. Within its limitations, if a team fights and plays to its potential, very few would complain about the results, though it can be disappointing at times.
There are serious doubts about team selection and the planning and preparation of the men’s cricket team in the current season. Apparently, internal politics has played its part, and many undeserving players are on the team, leaving out many deserving candidates. A few players were hired from outside, but none have played well consistently.
The fact that there was hardly any planning or preparation by the team was vividly on display during the team’s match against Bengal at Barsapara Stadium in Guwahati recently. Perhaps a junior school cricket team would have performed better. By no means, Suraj Sindhu Jaiswal of Bengal should have claimed eight wickets in the match. He got more wickets because Assam batters were perhaps more interested in being in the dressing room than on the pitch.
We call for accountability from the selectors, the team management, and the players for such pathetic performances. The selectors should resign on their own volition or should be sacked forthwith. The management of the team, including the team coach, should be sacked. Many of the underserving players should be dropped from the teams for the next matches. Playing for the state side is a source of pride, but it comes with a lot of responsibility and accountability. Drastic action is required immediately by the Assam Cricket Association for this poor performance.
Age is just a number
Age is just a number, and your talent will never fail you. It has no expiration date. 43-year-old Rohan Bopanna has proved it right. He recently became the No. 1 player in the ATP men’s doubles rankings, won his first men's doubles Grand Slam title, and became the oldest player to do so in the Open era. He is redefining the definitions of athleticism, determination, and perseverance. In a physical sport like tennis, injuries can be debilitating and demoralizing to any great player, so it takes excellent mental strength to overcome those tough times and still shine. His achievement is truly great. Rohan Bopanna is a true inspiration for thousands of young children in the country.
Safe drinking water
People in the city, or for that matter, the entire state, rely on jars available in varying sizes in most of the shops to meet their daily drinking water needs. Except for a few reputed brands like Bisleri and Bailey, most of the 20-litre jars available on the market are supplied by various unbranded firms. Though these unknown firms claim the water to be purified and treated with processes called reverse osmosis (RO), the claims are difficult to believe for the simple reason that these firms are small enterprises lacking capital to invest in costly water treatment technologies and know-how. Another reason for scepticism about the quality of the water in the jars and cans is the mushrooming of firms in this drinking water supply space.
It is not known whether the government has ever collected samples of the water in these jars or cans to check the presence of germs, which are responsible for several water-borne diseases in humans. In view of the importance of clean drinking water for leading a healthy life, the state government should urgently subject the drinking water in unbranded jars and cans to stringent quality control tests to rule out the presence of harmful microbes. The inspection of their treatment plants by experts along with state health officials is another measure that needs to be adopted to curb contaminated drinking water that is ruining the health of the people.