Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sachin for Sheriff....!!

Jai ho, Ratan Tata ki…. Jai ho!! While the rest of corporate India was suffering from collective laryngitis, post 26\11, it was only Ratan Tata who broke his customary silence and spoke out strongly against the abject failure of leadership in the state of Maharashtra. Two weeks later, he has spoken again… and this time he clearly means business. Business - in real and abstract terms. He has announced a bold initiative which involves hiring his own security force to protect his people and his properties. Which is great. The Tatas can afford it. But I fear by doing that he is actually letting the government off the hook very easily. Following Ratan’s pragmatic example, many more corporate honchos will do the same….. but sneakily….. chhupke chhupke se. In fact, several Big Boys do possess their own private armies (with crack foreign recruits) already. They just haven’t gone official with the news. The fact that our leading business leaders cannot rely on government agencies to safeguard their lives is a shameful indictment of the system. Our movie stars have followed suit and beefed up their security as well. Soon, every Mumbaikar will feel the need to acquire some kind of personal security systems – which can lead to a potentially dangerous situation, with unlicensed weapons, even country made pistols being put into use by frightened, panic- stricken citizens who are finally convinced about the shocking absence of any form of official protection in our vulnerable city. The police force is politicized, divided and corrupt. The less said about the bureaucrats, the better. Oh….our netas…. well, you already know that story.
As more and more facts of systemic failures surface, we the citizens of Mumbai reel and seethe at the official indifference shown – for example, Anita Wodeyar, a casual collector of waste material was at Machchimar Nagar, a half-kilometre from my residence, when she saw the dinghy with six terrorists in it, as it came towards the small jetty. Since she could tell it was no ordinary fisherman’s dinghy, she asked the young men who they were. They told her to mind her own business before setting out on their killing spree. But guess what? The police have not bothered to record her statements so far !! Twenty one days later, she is still to be thoroughly questioned.They are so busy with their in-fighting and back biting, that nothing else seems to matter but to hang on to their kursis…. and worse, ‘protect’ the local politicians at Nagpur, where they have congregated for the ‘winter session’. Over kandey pohey, bhajiyaas and much else, these duffers will ‘assess’ the situation. What a laugh. Meanwhile, Dilliwallas are airing their pashminas at assorted garden parties and worrying about the fog over the airport. In their heads , the Mumbai crisis is over ( if it was ever recognized as one). P. Chidambaram has swished his mundu a few times and made a couple of tough noises. But he gets my vote for voluntarily doing away with the Z –Category security provided to him. However, take a look at how absurd all this security business sounds – America could not protect its own President (invariably billed as ‘The most powerful man on earth’), from a couple of Size 10 jootas hurled at him in Baghdad - and we are asking Americans to protect us??? George Bush’s secret service outfit is resembling those caricatural Pink Panther cops, as they weakly talk about taking better positions the next time.So guys…. you KNOW there is going to be a next time?? Paradoxically, it is Bush who has emerged smelling of roses with his sense of humour intact, as he niftily ducked the joota attack and joked about it seconds later.
Back home, I am waiting for Pranab Babu’s reaction to this latest Amrikun embarrassment. The last time Pranab made India blush was when addressed Condi Rice as ‘Her Excellency’ (really now… we know you couldn’t stop pumping her hand…. but there is a limit to such chamchagiri). Pranab only compounded Manmohan Singh’s mushy gush when he’d emotionally declared India’s love for George Bush earlier in the year (speak for yourself, darling!). Bhaisaab, politics is not the place for pyaar-vyaar…. aaj ke dost kal ke dushman bhi ban saktey hai.
Which leaves Mumbai to Mumbaikars. As always. We sink or swim together, and keep our fingers crossed that Kalyjug has not chosen Mumbai as its destiny’s child to sacrifice at the altar of international terrorism. Just when despair, rage and frustration were giving way to hopelessness, along came the hero we were all waiting for – Mumbai chha Mulga Sachin Tendulkar. With that ton in Chennai, he not only clinched the match for India, but also lifted Mumbai’s flagging morale. He sagely found the right words at the right time to describe his historic century, which he appropriately dedicated to the victims of the Mumbai terror attacks – his defiant words were just the salve needed to soothe our tortured souls and send out a strong message to the world – not just the cricketing world, mind you. The RBS brand ambassador ( Sachin) proudly stating, “I play for India. Now more than ever….” in full page ads, suddenly acquired an inspiring context. The words, “ I play for India,” definitely have the power to become the anthem we have been searching for. But with RBS itself reeling from the latest Wall Street bloodbath, let’s keep our fingers crossed their ad budgets don’t get seriously down- sized after Chennai. Sachin’s own positioning is peaking at present as is evident from the press adulation he has been receiving. Of course, he richly deserves it, but puh- leeze guys – ‘Mother Teresa of Cricket’ is a bit much , even by Brit tabloid standards. It simply does not work as a simile or metaphor. But we aren’t complaining! India desperately needs a Superman\ Batman. We have more than enough jokers in the pack. If Sachin is the anointed one – why not??? Sachin for Sheriff, is what I say. Come on, Mumbaikars …. join the chorus : “ Sachin! Sachin! Sachin!”

19 comments:

Milind Kher said...

Sachin for Sheriff is a great choice. the Mumbai cha mulga is a gentleman on the field AND off the field. Now for some great work off the field!

Dhiren Shah. said...

thats funnily compiled...

SAchin for sherriff would be great... best.... but Sachin, i doubt will accept this. He wouldnt be able to give any time...

And unless Tendlya can give 100% i doubt he will take up any job.

Thats simply sachin for you...

Milind Kher said...

Sachin epitomizes professionalism and that is why he is such a great metaphor for Mumbai.

His perfection and perseverance will ensure that Mumbai can begin to think of emulating Shanghai. And if all of us Mumbaikars give the right support- he can make him surpass it!!

ugich konitari said...

Why offer Sachin such insignificant posts? All they do is go to airports to receive dignitaries, and attend functions at Raj Bhavan. You think any of Mumbai's politicians will allow him to function ? Union Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs with Independent charge is more like it.....

Vikrant said...

hii this is not an artical this is not any cooments on my fav shobhaa de's wrting,
this da first time that i am sahring my feelings with someone i never do it b4 but dis time i dont know i am strongly feeling to write or u can say SHEARing with u guys.......
I was allways been SOMETIMEs unwanted child at my home sorry to say dta but i felt so
coz of my staright4wordness or could be coz of my DIFFRENT Point of views,,
for myself , for world, for ppl wo love me wo hate me,

Balvinder Singh said...

Frankly speaking, Bombay should be detached from the state of Maharashtra and then a CEO like Ratan Tata or even Sachin or any one of that stature should run the city. See Shiela Dixit's examlpe. She is the Chief Minister of a City State. Cities like Bombay and Calcutta have become victims of state politics over the years.

Indiakar said...

I would propose Sachin for the post of Prsident of India. He is worthy of it.

Another Kiran In NYC said...

Sachin should play cricket and leave the Sheriffgiri to others. Sachin does not need to dilute his attention from his profession.

Personally I dont see the need for the position at all.

Mumbai has a Mayor and a Commisioner for Police, so what does the Sherrif have to do anyway.
I searched online and this is all I came up with. Some civil servant functionary does this anyway. So why should taxpayers money be used for this ceremonial position? Bangla, gaadi etc. Totally unnessecary.

http://mahaljd.gov.in/htmldocs/sheriff.htm

And while we are at, the Mayor needs to get off her duff and do some work as an administrator. Or else she should be RAUTED from her position. Take that Shivaji Park Bungalow away from her. That should scare her into doing something to earn her keep.

Loved your imageary of a Mundu swishing Chidambaram. I love me any bespectacled, ever so respectable Tambhram bureaucrat in Sadi Dilli. Chidambram fits that bill perfectly. I dont know how he got involved in this politics business. Still its all good, because he does bring some accountability to his appointment... we hope!

Pranabda brings Bengali exhuberance to his handpumping with world leaders. Hopefully what he says to them is not as cloyingly sweet as Sandesh. I hope he talks the tough talk when he needs to. No public evidence of that right now.

Manmohan needs to drink some very, very, very strong coffee... NOT Italian espresso though, because HIB seems to be drugging the thermos of espresso that she probably sends him every morning.

Manmohan Singh, as much as I think you are a bright, lovely man with your heart in the right pragmatic place, you are so out of touch with the emotions of the people you administer. The janta wants you to wake up and be a politician ALSO, not just an obedient and good bureaucrat. We want it all. And why not? After all you are the PM.

As for private armies. Perhaps that can be Sanju Baba's election platform and his election manifesto. Hehehehehe. That will keep his criminal cronies in business.

Anonymous said...

Sachin... sheriff? Ah.. hmmmm. aaaa oo.... ah... forget it.

Anonymous said...

Kiran bhai... all your asking our noble PM is to put up a show and become someone he genuinely is not. Least, we dont want a pretentious PM who keeps yelling out his speeches like our beloved Advani.

I can settle for Mr. Singh... what is wrong? Let him be yaaar.... so what if HIB (lol) is controlling him? She isnt the devil is she? If she is then thats a problem. I will assume that she is not.

Sathyanarayana said...

With regard to Chennai test Cricket, I don't have to say this, but it was just a underdog play from England. Just check the Interview with our Harbajan in CNN, where he claimed that England wasn't much keen on the game.I guess the fact that they pitied India's stand at the moment for their Mumbai losses and they even donated half their cricket fees to victims. The losers in real, became real hero winners back in England. Think again if sachin actually deserves that century and RBS plans to foray into Indian Market.
Coming to Chidambaran, he might sound mundo, but he is most intellectual and high qualified man for Indian Politics as compared to anyone. An honest man and puts his country before him for any kind of decision. We need people who are simple in words but sophiticated in thinking and more importantly men of words as we are in the same boat, One makes a hole we all sink together.Men who put people first come up with new reforms on Health insurance for all, Medical benefits to age hold. Really appreciate the Karnataka government's reform on CET admissions, Mid day meals to poor village schools, Transportation improvements- roads,clean trains,local clean buses. These are best utilization of Tax payers money and people do then realise the importance of tax pay.

Sathyanarayana

dks said...

The nature of the beast is to defend its privileges by any means. The elitist pool is shared by supposed opponents - lawmakers and lawbreakers! In the bargain, less fortunate 'beastly' bystanders eagerly await their turn to pile in, enviously bitter!
The so-called free media needs to be more introspective about what really constitutes human needs and rights. Any statistician can prove that there is enough wealth to go around to cater to the needs of a populace.
Some have commented on the sickening sentimental bias of reporting on rich victims of the Mumbai bombings. The 'aam manus' is angrily aware of such disparities. While those with low self esteem parasite on the powers of the wealthy and privileged, others with the natural passion of youth, seek radical remedies. One needs to acquaint oneself with leftist literature making the rounds. This 'time bomb' cannot simply be wished away, or bought off by demeaning handouts.
Who will bell the cat? Many thoughts come to mind. What goes around, comes around. Saas bhi kabhi bahu thee.
Ideally the logo of the media, while it shocks amuses and informs, should be 'the truth will set us free', and never to bear false witness.

Milind Kher said...

People may have their own private security forces, but yet you are right, Shobhaa. The government should not be let off the hook as far as its own responsibilities are concerned.

The security umbrella needs to befurther rationalized. Reducing the security of 60 VIPs is not the answer. Many of these "VIPs" are people nobody has heard of. Why do they need security??

Oye! Maharashtra said...

Last I looked, Mumbai was not situated in Nottinghamshire that it needed to have a sheriff its own; ceremonial or otherwise. As bare minimum can we perhaps use the refrain,"Sarpanch" instead of sheriff? Any which way the post of Mumbai sheriff has zero teeth in shaping public policy. We should do away with the post of sheriff period. I think it will be good riddance, actually and while we are at it do let's also shed some more flab from our local and national administration.
Sachin is a cricketing GREAT and leave him to only play good sport for the country. Surely, the expectation cannot be for him to be an excellent administrator or politician at some stage of the proceedings simply, because he is a fine sportsman and exemplary citizen.Look at the mess of porridge we have brought on ourselves putting Bollywood actors in public office.
" I may be a good economist but I cannot guarantee you which way your investments will go."

Vinay. said...

i think Shobhaa will be a better choice for the post.She is colourfuland has time and money on hand.she has the energy to attend all the functions in the city.She can speak non-stop non-sense and get away with it.My vote is for her.

sanjuayyar said...

Sachin as Sheriff is a great idea, but my gut feel is that he would fail miserably.
When he was the captain of the team, he was a restless guy full of ideas who would change the field placements every time a four was hit, and keep running to the bowler offering words of wisdom and loads of advice. And he used to do it because of his extreme involvement in the game and his hunger to even win the mini-battles in a match.
Make him a Sheriff and he would be so aghast by the way the system operates that he'd want to smash and cut a few heads to the point boundary. And when he'd realise that 'his hands are tied', he'd want to break free and come dancing down the track to hoick them over long off for towering sixes. Sachin is too sweet and charming and let his mind not get polluted and corrupted. I bet, he'd announce his retirement from the post of Sheriff in less than than 19 minutes.

*Aham* said...

I like the Present sheriff... but what a thought.. Sachin for sheriff! WAO!

par mereko nahi lagta hai, sachin would consent. He will stick to his expertise. Restaurants, Endorsements and sometimes also cricket. He is a smart cookie.(Jai ho Dr. Anjali ki)

ohh and this Mother Teresa of cricket thing was so damn funny. It wasnt like a honour or something... it was like someone was pulling a fast one on sachin with sarky humour. I actually though that there was pun intended in the headline...


and who, Anita Wodeyar, what duhh! we get more eyeballs when we speak about Antulay... this anita girl is just a commoner... Mumbaichi absolutely pedigree mulgi... why discuss her. Such a non issue.

Indians, by and large, like focusing on what people say and have said, and what people should do. You are so unindian De. Like me.

*Aham* said...

slip o keys!!!sorry!


Indians, by and large, like focusing on what people say and have said, *THAN* what people should do. You are so unindian De. Like me.

Gaurav Khambhala said...

yeah actually its a great idea ...... but sachin is not an appropriate choice.Someone, who is as dedicated and committed to his job as sachin, is required. Well in my sight likes of Mahendrasingh Dhoni and Ganguly is required - aggressive,who like to answer by actions,leader from front,faithful and reliable.