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March 15, 1999


The only alien we need to be careful of is the NRI with no clue about popular Indian 'culture'

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How Readers reacted to Rajeev Srinivasan's earlier columns

Date Sent: Mon, 15 Feb 1999 17:09:05 -0000
Subject: On cricket

While it is true that we are hopeless at sports, it is wrong to lay the blame at cricket's door.

The point is that Indians are in pathetic physical shape and, hence, bad at sports. You mention the examples of the communist nations, but, frankly, I would rather have a democracy than outstanding sports teams.

You could not be seriously suggesting Communist dictatorships as an answer to our problems in sports. You seem to be laying great store by our abilities in other sports. Get it right, man, Indians are lousy at physical sports.

The only game where we have any kind of a team is cricket. The team may be losing, but that's because of a general lack of determination to win. I don't see Indians winning at any other sport. Your argument rests on the fallacy that cricket is doing in other sports where we have greater potential. Like what? Archery? Football? Shooting? Even V Anand does not have what it takes to win at any cost. You haven't done enough research on this one, Mr Srinivasan.

We don't have potential in any sport. And by the way, Rana does have corporate sponsorship. Moreover, he has permission to import any gun he wants, something not permitted to ordinary Indians, but he is just not good enough, a point you don't want to recognise. He doesn't have that killer instinct either.

Just because you happen not to like cricket -- maybe because it is a game where thinking counts more than sheer brawn -- you cannot take away from the fact that it is a very popular game in India. And you don't have to watch it, you know. Stick to football and the Superbowl.

You may have got your information that all non-native things are destructive from Discovery Channel but that isn't the complete picture. Note that tea and tomatoes are alien to India. Did either do in our ecosystem? I think not.

The only alien we need to be careful of is the NRI with no clue about popular Indian "culture", especially when he can make cogent arguments about so many other issues. I like your writing, but you are wrong in this case.

Ruchira Raghav

Date Sent: Mon, 15 Feb 1999 13:12:07 CST
From: "Satish Gurumurthy" <>
Subject: Cricket considered harmful

The author of this article could well stop writing such useless stuff and start concentrating on something constructive.

Who said that if India plays Pakistan on neutral grounds, Pakistan generally wins? Do you claim Sharjah is neutral ground?

Are you an Indian? I don't think so. Otherwise, you would not have written that India will never win the World Cup. Think twice before writing any article. Don't think that by criticising cricket and cricketers you make a point.

You belong to a breed of writers who praise India when it wins and write shabbily about it when it loses. Constructive criticism is always welcome, but not this kind of ugly article.

If you are not interested in cricket, don't watch it. And stop writing such useless articles.


Date Sent: Mon, 15 Feb 1999 15:10:56 -0500
From: "Nagendra, Ravinder" <>
Subject: Cricket considered harmful

I am sure that this article really beats all the other lousy articles written by Rajeev Srinivasan.

Rajeev Srinivasan is immature when it comes to writing articles. This is obvious from the rubbish he writes.

If anything is harmful to my country, its guys like him who are alien themselves and who are allowed to write such stuff.

If cricket is alien, and so deemed harmful, then what about all the other alien stuff, like shirts, pants, modern education and host of other things. I am sure he will be writing about them too.

The fact that he compares cricket to the water hyacinth and other predatory alien stuff is a proof of his lack of common sense and good judgement.

The only good things here are that he is not into politics (imagine him implementing such great ideas in the government) and that his writing won't make it to the school textbooks.

I would place him in the same league as Laloo Prasad Yadav when it comes to writing articles. I am sure Laloo can churn out better stuff than RS.

Date Sent: Mon, 15 Feb 1999 10:41:35 -0500
From: Amit Goel <>
Subject: Cricket considered harmful


As I've written earlier, leave the cricket articles to Prem Panicker, who does a wonderful job.

I do hope we do well at the World Cup and prove this article entirely wrong.

Incidentally, some of our recent wins have been efforts of teamwork, not just individual brilliance, the defeat of Pakistan at Dhaka being one such case.

Date Sent: Mon, 15 Feb 1999 08:01:12 PST
From: "basant mahato" <>
Subject: Cricket Considered Harmful

I do agree with you. Cricket should be banned from India. I had this opinion way back when I used to see the folks glued to their radios during Test matches. It seems like everything has comes to a standstill. How can a poor country can afford this kind of luxury?

Cricket does not contribute much towards the overall improvement of health, physique of general public rather it leads to wastage to vast amount of resources. And in turn creates a bunch of lazy folks to just want to sit down and discuss cricket for hours without doing any constructive things. Instead if we promote other sports like soccer, hockey, track and field etc. that will lead to overall improvement of Indian youths.

Date Sent: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 22:53:38 +0530
From: "V.K.MOHAN" <>
Subject: Cricket Considered Harmful

I congratulate Rediff for the above article. I fully endorse his views on cricket that is overrated and is threatening to drive all the other games out of reckoning.

I wish to add some more facts that strengthen Srinivasan's position.

Indian pitches are doctored to suit our slow game. This, coupled with the crowd support obtained by corporate giants and cricket boards using media publicity, help us victories.

What beats me is the manner in which this team is recognised as representing our nation while truly it represents only the vested interests in the cricket board and the sponsoring corporate giant.

How can we develop a killer instinct in sports while our nation is never known to conquer and ubjugate any other sovereign nation in our entire history?

Undoubtedly glorification of the cricket players lead to their amassing wealth disproportionate to their skills. We all know that players get advertisement and film contracts worth millions of rupees.

Lured by the large amounts of money involved, bookies soon got into the game, with betting and fixing money. While the story on the Indian side is under wraps, the horrifying facts have been let out by our Pakistani and Australian cricketers. I am sure it is only a matter time before the murky dealings on the Indian side come into the open.

Cricket is the only game that is talked, written and commented about in a manner that's quite disproportionate to the performance of the players.

It is high time the government and sports bodies concentrated on other games, that is, gymnastics, chess, shooting, football, athletics etc involving individual performances based on their excellence.

It was indeed a well-written, thought-provoking article.

Mohan V K

Date Sent: Mon, 15 Feb 1999 17:26:53 +0530
From: Akshay <>
Subject: Cricket harmful: Rajeev Srinivasan

Yes, sure, Rajeev, India is a loser's team. We can't beat anyone. And you are another idiot who knows nothing about life, except how to be a loser.

Just the other day, a South African friends of mine said that India is probably most likely to win the World Cup or cause some pain to the winners. I guess the British described it best when discussing Indians like you: "Bloody Indian".

Date Sent: Mon, 15 Feb 1999 13:29:38 -0700
From: Samit Srivastava <>
Subject: Cricket is harmful

Pathetic is how I can term the article. I surely expected better stuff on Rediff. There is no point in this article. I am disappointed with Rediff.

I can see that, as he admitted, he is not a cricket enthusiast, which is evident from the clearly biased tone. To me, he doesn't even seem to be a sports enthusiast.

Now I am not arguing that Indian team is performing well, nor am I stating that the Indians are really playing like a "team". But it did perform a couple of months ago against the Australians, both in Indian and so-called "neutral grounds". Now wasn't the Australian team supposed to be the best one?

But the writer will not remember that, since all Indians have a short memory. Also, there are some people (like the writer) who make grand about the country as whole and also about the Indian character based on unrelated matters -- like sports.

I know writers have some kind of license permitting them to jump to some conclusions. But this is a bit too much.

Talking about individual performers, are individuals not a part of the team? And doesn't every team have star performers? In the late eighties and early nineties Pakistan more often than not snatched victory from India solely on the basis of individual performances. That was killer instinct, but what Sachin Tendulkar does is individual brilliance? What about Brain Lara, Wasim Akram and Shane Warne?

You talk about Indians hoping that Prasad will wrap up the tail-enders. What's wrong with that? What does Waqar do? If Prasad does the same thing, it's called individual performance?

Doesn't somebody have to perform? Tell me, are there not specialists in every team, like the penalty corner specialist in hockey and spikers in volleyball?

Talking of the home turf advantage, doesn't every country prepare the grounds to suit them? Why are the tracks fast in England and Australia? Is it just coincidence or is that that the soil there likes fast bowlers?

What about the climate then? I hope the writer is not hinting at changing the climate of a country for a game. Are the Indians accustomed to the climate of England, Australia? At least they do not complain about the cold or the food when they lose like the Aussies and the Brits do.

So much for team performance, I think soccer is a team sport too, but Brazil and Argentina are still doing well with their "individual style" soccer. And the Europeans keep changing change the rule of the games to suit their game.

Examples of this include the numerous changes made in table tennis to end the dominance of the Chinese, the introduction of the synthetic turf in hockey, the rule against bouncers in cricket etc.

The writer does have a point that other sports are not being encouraged and that players of other sports do suffer. But then, this is a free society; much depends on what people like to watch. I am sure even the writer will not want to watch power-lifting.

So blaming cricket for the fate of other sports is like blaming the US economy for the state of Indian economy. In a competitive world, people will do what they like, at least in sports.

I am not sure in what state of mind the writer wrote the article, but it certainly was not very intelligent one. I am disappointed that Rediff has put up such articles on the Net.

Samit Kumar

Date Sent: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 14:17:06 -0800
From: Anand Shroff <>
Subject: Death of a Missionary

Rajeev Srinivasan has crossed all boundaries with this ridiculous exercise -- looking for conspiracy theories. I haven't read so much rubbish in a long, long time.

In the name of commentary, this man is getting away with propagandist nonsense. And at the same time the man pretends to feel sorry for Graham Stains.

Shut up, Rajeev.

Anand Shroff

Date Sent: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 17:27:27 -0600
From: Ravi Yigalapati <>
Subject: Death of a Missionary

Great statistics. Mr Srinivasan uses Holmesian interpretation ("We have to consider the possible culprits and eliminate the less likely ones") to describe the brutal killing of Stains. And it's laughable.

Actually, he omitted the obvious by saying stating they can't be the criminals because they chanted Bajrang Dal slogans. If you are any good at what you talk about, you should know that in 95 per cent of the cases it is the most obvious party that has committed the crime.

Lateral thinking doesn't mean dodging the obvious. You went as far as even suspecting American missionaries. But Hindu organisations? No way.

Try to think, man! It would have been better had you suggested what the government should do if the Bajrang Dal is found guilty. Nope. You don't want to. I'll close my eyes. You do too. That seems to be your attitude.

There is nothing wrong in admitting that he was killed by Hindu extremists similar to those who damaged movie theatres, cricket pitches etc and who are against conversions.

There is no need to get defensive and point out irrelevant statistics about what happened in other countries. Why are you trying to get so defensive, anyway? If I didn't know you were in San Francisco at that time, I could have mistaken you as being at the place the crime occurred.

What's needed at this point is not accusations, but to see where we go from here. How we can stop this kind of things from repeating. We need solutions.

Let's say, for the moment, that the Bajrang Dal indeed did do it. Is the government prepared to ban it then? No. It can't cut off it's own branch. As our home minister said, he has known these organisations for a long time and they are incapable of committing this kind of crime.

I don't know why the author fails to see the sudden surge of violence caused by right-wing organisations immediately after the BJP came into power. He'd rather avoid it. What did the BJP do even after it knew that the Shiv Sena was involved in damaging movie theatres, breaking into offices, etc.

Nothing. Because they are the ones in power. But when you are trying to write an article to impress thousands of people it just isn't done to question why Sonia Gandhi had her daughter married to a Christian or what her son was named. That is her personal life and you can't question her convictions.

Why did India choose a prime minister who married a foreigner? Because we don't care about personal beliefs. What you are asking is that she give up her faith. That brings us back to where we started -- to conversions. The solution to India's problems lies in searching for ways to co-exist, not by pleasing the majorities or the minorities. And certainly not by creating cover-ups for gory murders.

So here is a suggestion to you. Why don't you quit writing on Rediff and try some local newspaper in your home state, Kerala? Or join the local chapter of Bajrang Dal and start killing Christians? You seem to be so obsessed with Kerala, you try to point some thing out from that state in everything you say. Who cares what Kerala Kaumudi says?

You went so far as to declaring Trivandrum the next IT capital of India without reasonable doubt. Did you know that despite of all the efforts put by Hyderabad and Madras, they are a long way behind Bangalore? Not that I have anything against Kerala, which I believe is truly beautiful. But there is no need for you to harp on the positive points of the state in every article you attempt.

Date Sent: Sat, 30 Jan 1999 00:42:26 -0700
From: Murli Nagasundaram <>
Subject: Death of a Missionary

Upon reading Rajeev Srinivasan's article, all I can say is, "Bravo!"


Date Sent: Sun, 31 Jan 1999 14:05:00 +1000
From: Krishan Gupta <>
Subject: Death of a Missionary

This is the most daring analysis of the white and Christian world, which has become the custodian of human rights.

What they do is for equal opportunity and justice; what Indians, specially Hindus do, is fundamentalist behaviour.

Above all, when India explodes a nuclear device, Johan Howard, the prime minister of Australia had called India a rogue nation, whereas their history is full of crimes against humanity (against the aborigines).

Well done, Srinivasan.

Krishan Gupta

Date Sent: Mon, 01 Feb 1999 09:43:12 -0600
From: MP <>
Subject: Death of a Missionary

Excellent article.

Rajeev Srinivasan is the only one that raises the real questions. He's the only one that will allow for an impartial investigation.

Wish we had more people like you. Keep it up.

M K Patel

Date Sent: Tue, 02 Feb 1999 11:31:43 -0500
From: Rajender Razdan <>
Subject: Death of a Missionary

Rajeev, thanks for giving us a balanced perspective on the gruesome murder of Graham Stains and his two sons. While this murder was indeed horrific -- the guilty must be captured and dealt with -- the sensationalisation of this incident by the English media in India is disgusting. It is amazing that our press has hardly any space to give to the victims of terrorism in Kashmir, who are murdered almost every other day by Muslim terrorists.

Around the same time that the Graham Stains story broke out, a group of 26 dalits were murdered in Jehanabad, Bihar. Among the victims was a six-month old baby. And, yet, this story hardly received any attention from our press, which seemed preoccupied with the Stains case. Does the press believe the death of a Christian missionary is more newsworthy than the death of thousands of Kashmiri Pandits or the death of 26 dalit Hindus?

As if the preoccupation of the English-media Indian press with the Stains case were not bad enough, the sensationalisation and lack of objectivity of the press was even worse. Without doing any investigation, the Indian press has been quick to crucify the Bajrang Dal and other allies of the BJP, their favourite targets.

Anyone objectively analysing the English press in India can only come to one conclusion: they are out to get the BJP and its allies.

The Stains case is by no means the first time the Indian press shed a pretence of fairness. In the last few weeks, we have also had the sensationalisation of two other cases -- the rape of four nuns in Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh (blamed on the RSS and the central BJP government) and the riots in Awah, Gujarat (blamed on the VHP and the BJP).

In the first case, the rape of the nun was determined to be mainly the work of converted Christians and no RSS involvement has been proved. However, the Indian press provided no apology or retraction. After all, why let facts get in the way of a juicy story to defame Hindu organisations, right?

Similarly, the burning of a church in Gujarat was also blown up out of all proportion. It turns out that the church in question was only a makeshift hut with a cross in it, and that there was a history that led to this attack.

The attack came following an attack by Christians on the Hanuman Temple at Borkhet, Ahwa. There have been at least 15 cases in the Dangs wherein the Christians, under the influence of their preachers, desecrated idols of Lord Hanuman, who is worshipped in this area. In one incident in Gadhvi village three years ago, they urinated on an idol of Hanuman. Later, in Jharsod village, they smashed a Hanuman idol and threw it in the river.

This information is based on an eyewitness report by Sarvodaya leader Ghelubhai Nayak in an affidavit to the National Commission for Minorities. The Indian English media choses only to report the burning of the makeshift hut, without providing any background. This type of one-sided reporting has become commonplace in the English media.

One can only conclude that while India indeed has a free press, it has a press that is biased and irresponsible, and which is willing to stoop to any level to pull down the BJP government.

Rajender Razdan

Date Sent: Wed, 3 Feb 1999 15:01:15 -0600
From: "Daryl Martyris" <>
Subject: Death of a Missionary - a reaction

"Death of a Missionary" is a well-written piece. I'd like to state at the very outset that I personally do not see the need to change one's religion, but I maintain that people should have the legal right to do so, should they so desire.

Again, while I can appreciate the hypocrisy of western governments in intervening on the side of the Christian community, one cannot ignore the reality that given the community's extreme reluctance, nay, inability, to fight back with force, there is no alternative. After all, the rule of law is on the side of their enemies.

The home minister himself has pronounced judgement on the Staines case before even waiting to hear all the facts, and every party, including the Congress, has it's own powerful Hindutva lobby.

The one point, however, that truly intrigues me is the veracity of allegations that Christians provoked the attacks. Going by Rajeev's assertions, they smashed idols and urinated in temples. Are these "assertions" based on the local vernacular papers? And why are the local vernacular papers almost uniformly anti-Christian in their reporting?

A cursory survey will reveal that they almost uniformly blame the Christian community for the state of affairs in Gujarat, just as the national English media lays the blame squarely on the Sangh Parivar. They both can't be right, can they?

Finally, why hasn't our vigorously free press pulled up at least the DSP who has refused to entertain complaints from terrorised Christian communities. The list of atrocities compiled by the Delhi-based United Christian Forum contains plenty of reported incidents, but few have FIRs to go with them. Surely this is worth looking into? Or is the nexus between Sangh politicians and the police too strong?


Date Sent: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 16:48:42 PST
From: "Anand Krishniyer" <>
Subject: Death of a Missionary - Rajiv Srinivasan

What crap are you dishing out? You can now say that Stains torched his own van with his children inside and somehow managed to shout pro-Bajrang Dal slogan all by himself so that everybody could blame the 'holier-than-thou' organisation?

Mr Srinivasan, please talk some sense.

Anand K R

Date Sent: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 10:47:26 -0800
From: Pradeep Hosabettu <>
Subject: Column by Rajeev Srinivasan

This piece was thought out well and well composed.

Way to go! I know, it is time for us Indians to develop some self-esteem. Really, we should not be giving a damn about this Aussie and, instead, be focussing on taking care of our own citizens.

God, these Communists and Nehruvians make me sick.


Rajeev Srinivasan

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