Manmohan Singh’s adventure: FDI in retail, Surendra cartoon, The Hindu, November 29, 2011

John Arlott’s fight for justice in cricket, espncricinfo

How John Arlott, policeman, poet, and one of the finest cricket commentators of his generation, proved a great friend in need to two immensely talented but abandoned cricketers:

Who guards the guardians? Follow the Leveson Inquiry in the UK

The Leveson Inquiry, chaired by Lord Justice Leveson and established under the Inquiries Act 2005 against the backdrop of the phone-hacking scandal, is examining ‘the culture, practices and ethics of the media in the United Kingdom’. The wide-ranging public inquiry, which is running in four modules, is looking into ‘the relationship of the press with the public, police, and politicians’. Leveson is assisted by a panel of six independent assessors with expertise in key issues being considered by the Inquiry. Leveson will make recommendations on ‘the future of press regulation and governance consistent with maintaining freedom of the press and ensuring the highest ethical and professional standards’.

Inquiry website:

Alan Rusbridger’s opening statement at the Leveson Inquiry:

Report on the testimony of Michelle Stanistreet, head of the National Union of Journalists:

Press Council of Ireland & Office of the Press Ombudsman website:

BBC video coverage (wasn’t working at the time of this post):

The saga of Basil D’Oliveira (1931-2011), the Guardian & the Daily Telegraph

Denied an opportunity to play Test cricket in apartheid South Africa, this talented and gutsy all-rounder did his adopted country, and his people, proud at the highest international level. The MCC’s shameful act of excluding him from England’s 1968 tour of South Africa by the MCC triggered tremendous outrage, and his subsequent inclusion as a replacement led to the cancellation of the tour. The whole episode helped expose western colluders with the apartheid regime and deepen its international isolation:

Meets Nelson Mandela:


The List: Who is closest to Don Bradman in a 52-Test sequence? Regulars | Cricinfo Magazine | ESPN Cricinfo

A statistical look at the top performers at the crease and at some bowling feats as well:

‘Stop this spin on nuclear liability law!’ by M.K. Bhadrakumar, Indian Punchline

A retired senior diplomat and progressive strategic thinker concurs with Markandey Katju, Press Council of India chairman and recently retired judge of the Supreme Court of India, on ‘how ill-equipped…our journalists [are] intellectually and otherwise to handle complex issues’:

Issues of media freedom, performance, malfeasance & rogue practices, self-regulation vs statutory regulation

Here is an interesting discussion of media-related issues, taking a parallel course in India and the UK:

Alan Rusbridger’s Orwell Lecture, November 2011, text & video:

Papering over the cracks | The Economist

‘The strength of India’s print press is, however, in part down to the weakness of its online offerings’:

Can bat, can bowl, can start political party, cricinfo profile

Meet Clive van Ryneveld, the amateur who led South Africa against Australia half a century ago. Some all-rounder:

The Hindu : Opinion / Lead : Another excuse to cut government spending

The Hindu : Opinion / Lead : Another excuse to cut government spending.

An important piece by Brinda Karat on the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.

Rebel spirit writ large | The Japan Times Online – Interview with Satoshi Kamata

Rebel spirit writ large | The Japan Times Online.

Fascinating  interview with veteran Japanese investigative journalist, Satoshi Kamata, who was a labour union organiser before taking to writing, and whose investigations covered everything from working undercover in Toyota to study its labour practices (“Japan in the Passing Lane”, 1982) to reporting on conditions in Japan’s nuclear power plants. The interview itself takes place in the background of  Japan’s largest  rally against nuclear power, held post-Fukushima, which Satoshi Kamata helped organise.

From the interview:

One of your books is titled “Hankotsu no Janarisuto” (“Journalists of a Rebel Spirit”). Why did you choose that title?

I believe that unless journalists have a rebel spirit, they are not journalists. Under whatever political system, journalists should aim to change the society to create a better world. They must criticize what needs to be criticized.

So the title of my book is really rather pointed, because the number of such journalists is declining, but since Japan’s modern era began with the Meiji Restoration in 1868 there have always been some journalists with a rebel spirit and I wrote about them.

Hugh Roberts · Who said Gaddafi had to go? · LRB 17 November 2011

Hugh Roberts · Who said Gaddafi had to go? · LRB 17 November 2011.

The conclusion:

The NTC occupies centre stage in Libya, but since February every key decision has been made in the Western capitals in consultation with the other, especially Arab, members of the ‘contact group’ meeting in London or Paris or Doha. It is unlikely that the structure of power and the system of decision-making which have guided the ‘revolution’ since March are going to change radically. And so unless something happens to upset the calculations that have brought Nato and the NTC this far, what will probably emerge is a system of dual power in some ways analogous to that of the Jamahiriyya itself, and similarly inimical to democratic accountability. That is, a system of formal decision-making about secondary matters acting as a façade for a separate and independent, because offshore, system of decision-making about everything that really counts (oil, gas, water, finance, trade, security, geopolitics) behind the scenes. Libya’s formal government will be a junior partner of the new Libya’s Western sponsors. This will be more of a return to the old ways of the monarchy than to those of the Jamahiriyya.

Che Guevara; India, 1959

From Frontline, April 2010.

Country of contrasts

Ernesto Che Guevara’s impressions of India, recorded after a visit in 1959.

(via Vijay Prashad)

Celebrating the best of sports journalism, Mike Atherton on Mark Kram’s haunting piece on the 1975 Ali-Frazier title fight

‘If there is a finer opening to a piece of sports writing then I don’t know of it,’ says Mike Atherton, cricket correspondent of The Times. He returns to Mark Kram’s elegaic account in Sports Illustrated of the 1975 Joe Frazier-Muhammad Ali title fight at Manila. Here is Kram’s ‘fitting tribute’ (among other things) to Joe Frazier, who died on November 7, 2011:

Kashmir earthquake 1959 — Che Guevara offered help

Che was in Kolkata at the time, and he wrote to Nehru on Great Eastern Hotel letter-paper.

(via Venkatesh Athreya)