Monday, October 3, 2011

Shekhar Gupta - Doctoring & Nursing The Congress

The title might seem a bit harsh on Shekhar Gupta. Well, there are many sporting events and matches which are inspiring. There are individual and team performances that simply stun and overawe us as a miracle. Above all, there is nothing more enjoyable than an underdog turning the tables on a favourite. That is how Shekhar Gupta analyses UPA-2 in his article ‘Decide on the Doctor in IE, October 1. It sounds like Gupta wants to nurse the UPA back to health. Hmmm, playing nurse, eh?

Okay, so he starts with an analogy and theory of Test Cricket with a team following-on and facing defeat. Miraculously the team following-on wins, and that’s the probability that Gupta applies to UPA2 to put it back together. So here’s his honest theory (Quotes in blue):

A recovery is not impossible. Some of the most stirring fightbacks in cricket history have come after follow-ons. But team managements and captains have to do something bravely different to make that happen. Like, for example, changing the batting order. Or threatening some irresponsible batsmen with the sack. Is the UPA (or rather Congress) management capable of doing that?

I completely agree with Gupta there. But first, let me bring him up on some facts about Cricket. As of date, there have been over 2000 test matches played. A team following on has won only on 3 occasions. Alright, so if you think that is not a fair look into the facts then here’s more: there are over 290 matches where follow-on has been enforced and the number of victories by the team following-on still remains 3. So while the possibility cannot be denied, Gupta doesn’t  really examine the theory of probability or past experience in any way.

Two of the greatest victories after follow-on were in 1981 and 2001. In the first, Eng V Aus, an out of form Ian Botham had been removed from captaincy in an on-going series and in the first innings had scored a fluent 50 while his team crumbled. After follow on, even when his team was slipping he scored an amazing 149. In the second match at Eden Gardens, India V Aus, V.V.S. Laxman scored a fluent 50 and then went on to score 281 in the second after following on.  That is as much for statistics. Now let’s really examine how his theories pan out.

One of the most brilliant minds of our times has to be the scientist, Richard Feynman and here’s what he had to say:  “In general we look for a new law by the following process. First we guess it. Then we compute the consequences of the guess to see what would be implied if this law that we guessed is right. Then we compare the result of the computation to nature, with experiment or experience, compare it directly with observation, to see if it works. If it disagrees with experiment it is wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It does not make any difference how beautiful your guess is. It does not make any difference how smart you are, who made the guess, or what his name is - if it disagrees with experiment it is wrong. That is all there is to it.” That was said in quite a different context but can fairly be applied to any major theory like the one of Gupta. It is not ‘decide on the doctor’.. In fact Gupta IS playing the “doctor” himself.

First of all, the Congress has to decide whether it wants to continue with Manmohan Singh as its prime minister.” Aha! So who exactly does Gupta mean by Congress? The party? The CWC? The Congress parliamentary party? Shekhar Gupta feigns ignorance of the basic qualification required to be a Congress PM, and WHO decides it! The unwillingness or inability to identify the exact person/captain who must make the decision is the first flaw in his theory. Of course, that is easier in Cricket, isn’t it?

Next, tell Chidambaram, who has been keen to get back to Finance, to wait just a bit, that he will move sideways into his preferred half in North Block as Pranab moves into Rashtrapati Bhavan. That will settle the issue with — and between — these big two.”  So Dr.Gupta’s advice is to gently get rid of Pranab and get the unartful Chidambaram back into finance. Well, this clearly reflects the concern not of a journalist opining but that of a politician playing games. Hmmm! It is exceptionally dishonest not to admit that PC not only needs to be kicked out but also faces serious trouble with the SC sword hanging over him on 2G and a court case on election fraud. Even discounting those issues PC has simply failed as a performer both as a Finance minister and as a Home minister. It has to take an extraordinarily bad captain to retain him unless the merit is ‘loyalty and protecting family jewels’! Ambitious as he may be Pranab is still the one who has fought many battles for the Congress successfully on many fronts. Even L.K. Advani is on record stating in the parliament that he wouldn’t know how Congress would face all its troubles without Pranabda. No mean compliment that! No matter how thorny he might be, only a bad captain would throw him to the Rashtrapati Bhavan just yet. But Dr. Gupta would.

Who will then replace Chidambaram in Home? Start now, by bringing Sheila Dikshit into the cabinet. S.M. Krishna, one of the nicest, most gracious people you’d meet in politics, has to be most respectfully offered a Raj Bhavan. Sheila Dikshit’s induction will achieve several things. One, you will bring an experienced, true-blue Uttar Pradesh politician, with experience and thick skin, in the cabinet. See how skilfully she handled the CAG report on CWG compared to how many other Congressmen blundered. She would be the first woman in the Cabinet Committee on Security since the passing away of Indira Gandhi, and she would also be the first member from the Hindi heartland in this most powerful body in UPA 2. By next year, she can be a deserving replacement for Chidambaram in Home. Of course, the second benefit would be the end of blood-letting between her and Ajay Maken, provided he is appointed Delhi chief minister. The challenge of winning Delhi for the fourth time in 2013 will keep him busy and quiet."

Okay, I was already under the impression that Krishna was brought into the cabinet from a Raj Bhavan and Gupta wants to send him back to one. Reason? Unclear! So I have to assume that of all in the cabinet he has been singled out as a non-performer and should be rewarded with the Raj Bhavan. Pretty much Congress style isn’t it? And cleverly, Sheila Dikshit must be promoted because she has handled the taints of CAG and CWG smartly. And that itself is supposed to have cleared her of all the taint. Bravo, Dr. Gupta! And no matter what, Chidambaram must return to the ‘old boys club’ as Finance Minister. He has failed as Home Minister and wanting PC as Finance Minister is like asking a bad wicket-keeper to open the bowling.

The rest of Gupta’s article is dedicated to how these shuffles and foot work might help win the general elections in 2014 or 2012, whenever they happen. This is where Dr.Gupta’s analogy with the cricket follow-on fails miserably. He forgets, the follow-on happens in a ‘current’ match and winning it and not about winning or losing the next match. A strong political leader recently said in a rousing speech that most political parties on coming to power get busy with how to win the next election instead of focussing on good governance. I wonder if Gupta heard that speech. I suppose not, but he falls into the same category of politicians who is very concerned about the next election and not the current match on hand. The current match is about returning to good governance, punishing the corrupt and getting rid of the tainted and accused. The one thing Gupta doesn’t dare to question or answer is – should Manmohan Singh remain or not. He leaves that to the ‘party’.  He has recommendations for all others. That’s the perfect doctor prescribing shoulder surgeries for brain tumours.

If you carefully go through his whole article the names of Sonia and Rahul are mentioned only once. That is in reference to the CWC as their being LS members. This is servantile journalism at its best. Dr.Gupta does not dare to even estimate what should be the new role for Sonia or what decisions she must take. He does not dare to question or decide whether Rahul Gandhi should be in the team or the water-boy. Frankly, any discussion on changes, shuffles and foot work in Congress is at best disingenuous if it does not include a discussion on Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. Rahul has, by his own stupidity, proved beyond doubt that he is no PM material. Dr. Gupta won’t recognise that or even deal with the question who should be the PM if not MMS. As for Sonia Gandhi, she is untouchable and out of bounds for him. So for all that his ‘doctoring’ is worth his article only yearns to see Congress remain in power. Politics maybe a game, Dr. Gupta, good governance and country are not.


  1. Shekhar and IE have sold off to Cong/UPA long back, so this isn't a surprise. Also explains his close association with NDTV.

    It is sad a number of his articles are focused on what Cong needs to do to win elections and not what they need to do for the nation. Going by his articles, it appears been saying that all UPA prblms are due to miscommunication and infighting & there's no corruption or misgovernance!


  2. Ravinar,one of your best posts! Enjoyed reading this!

    It gives great pleasure to watch someone expose the hollow analysis and shameless loyalty of Shekhar Gupta to the crooked Gandhi family.

    This man has single handedly drowned the prestige of the once great Indian Express (which I am going to unsubscribe, this week) .

  3. Hey Ravinar,

    The sad truth about Indian servantile journalism is that even if they see a murder in a broad daylight, they cannot call it a murder because the murderer also happens to be a good paymaster.

  4. MSM and Print Media are now as good as a postman, they now deliver the messages of the ruling party's interests and that is the end of this postman's responsibilities. Perhaps the media's unannounced untouchability of Gandhi family explains the iron fisted vindictive policies of the Sonia and her psychophants. It is also very sad and depressing to learn that IE, which was once so brave has now fallen into the Congi line. Very sad indeed..

  5. INDIAN EXPRESS used to be one of the best newspaper.During the days of V.K Narshiman,S.Mulgaonkar and Arun Shourie when Internet was not there it was the only "flame of hope" and "journalism of courage".Of late it has become like "National Herald".Shekhar Gupta has spared no efforts to bring down its credibility.I feel very sad I grew up with this paper and now it has become mouthpiece of congress party.Papers like these have contributed to popularity of Internet.

  6. Given that most Muslims in South Asia are converts from Hinduism, it is interesting to note that there are hardly any references in their names pointing to their immediate religious past. Most have somehow leapfrogged to remote geographies to serve as their ideological and spiritual geocodes.

    Swamy gets support. an article in Dawn

  7. Meet Mr ‘Am-born-to-serve-Gandhis’ Shekar Gupta; if he was not a journalist and if being a doctor, he would have advised Rahul to go for a marriage and a gift of birth for one more Gandhi to this country, if ever a policeman, he would have been guarding the Priyanka’s daughter and see in her offspring, another congresswoman leader of great substance like of her mother, grand-mother, dad, chacha and great grand father, etc.. if had he been a loyal leather-front, would have been ideal shoe for these elites…. I personally have been an ardent admirer of Sekhar Gupta for his perseverance and utmost dedication to this family of Gandhis (poor Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, let’s leave this honourable man out of contention!!!!!!!!), Sekhar Gupta’s life is one of a great sacrifice for no one in his right mind would ever imagine to gift his intelligence and knowledge for such a poor cause…. Keep it up Sekhar, you deserve more laurels…. And journalism, who cares, it’s just another means of eulogizing the famous Gandhis…..Go and prostrate before those pizzas with sauce and chilly….

  8. another support for Swamy

    The reason I mention this period of history is to try and understand the bitterness that must exist in many Hindu minds over the Muslim conquest of their country. In his Story of Civilisation, Will Durant writes: “The Mohammedan conquest of India is probably the bloodiest in history”. While historical events should be judged in the context of their times, it cannot be denied that even in that bloody period of history, no mercy was shown to the Hindus unfortunate enouh to be in the path of either the Arab conquerors of Sindh and south Punjab, or the Central Asians who swept in from Afghanistan.

    The Muslim heroes who figure larger than life in our history books committed some dreadful crimes. Mahmud of Ghazni, Qutb-ud-Din Aibak, Balban, Mohammed bin Qasim, and Sultan Mohammad Tughlak, all have blood-stained hands that the passage of years has not cleansed. Indeed, the presence of Muslim historians on their various campaigns has ensured that the memory of their deeds will live long after they were buried.

  9. Dude, surprising that your blog has a poster advertisement for Islam!

  10. AFter Police Academy 1, 2, 3...7, the next best thing happened to this world is UPA 1, 2, ....who knows ? Directed, edited and produced by Sonia, the best actor remains PC, next is Kapil Sibal, the best villain is Pranabda and the best comedian is Manmohan Singh. Ravinar, why don't yous send them for votes ? Isn't a good idea to tell the truth to people where they stands; In this context, Police Academy series was poorly drafted in comparison with UPA series...

  11. Shekhar Gupta's been on the self-destructive path for quite a while now. On the path to becoming a nobody quite soon when his funders land up in prison.

  12. Has anyone asked WHY was IE probing the personal accounts of Kiran Bedi? What were their motives? I'm sure they have been doing the same for Anna, Bhushans and Kejriwal.

    What are they trying to achieve by trying to prove that the anti-corruption is corrupt expect in trying to destroy the anti-corruption movement. This will favor whom? Ans:- The Corrupt.

    I don't see IE's "investigative journalism" trying to probe the Gandhis, MMS, Chidambaram similarly when they are people in whose hands crores of crores of Public money are.

  13. We are seeing saddest lowest of Journalism for the sake of money. Though the money they will ready to lick. There are cacaus of this kind of journalists. NDTV,Tehelka...
    Earlier they pocketed Mullahs, now Journalists.

  14. Sekhar Gupta is at best a poor imitation of John Simpson (wasn't it he who would interview celebs while walking? I distinctly remember seeing on BBC, was it?) in our Desi simpleton Sekhar (Gauche)Gupta with his rolled up sleeves, who we can thank God was only walking, not dancing.

  15. Shekhar Gupta is not worth mentioning anymore. He is now a Congress Agent under the garb of a journalist.

  16. Shekar Gupta's soul long left him. It had to, there was no space left by his ever growing ego (and arrogance).
    He's a JOKE. I've long since stopped even glancing at Indian Express...though he catches me off guard by popping up in headlines and on some TV channnels.

  17. Will have to pay ten times over for all doings out of Ego, Greed, Lust, Anger and Desire - in the well of fire. The five Ambassadors (Panch Bhhoots) conspired this invitation, too luring to deny, to self destruction.


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