Category Archives: short article on tv debates

THE LOOK-ALIKE VIDEO OF GURMEHER KAUR—exposes the dark side of Indian mindset


By Kamlesh Tripathi


     The look-alike video of Gurmeher Kaur has been making the rounds of social media for quite a few days now. I too, got a few copies from some of my whatsapp friends. Correspondingly, I too, sent out a few here and there. But, before sending it out, I keenly sat through it a couple of times. Where, I could happily reflect on my jaunty college days, nothing more and nothing less.

    But, as expected within minutes, some of my friends. On receiving the video reacted by saying—the girl I’m trying to troll. Is not the one who is in the video. The social media is only trying to malign Gurmeher Kaur by sending out this video. Which, I definitely don’t deny. But I have another point of view to highlight—towards, all the fracas or whatsaap jostle, as I would like to call it. That some of my friends tried to create about the whole issue.

    While, most of them, reacted to the video in a more conformist and derogatory manner, with of course, sympathies for Gurmeher. Where, they all tried to tell me. The video is indecent and should not be circulated. But, I had a more of a promethean point of view towards the whole issue. Because, I felt in certain ways. It only exposed the primitive mindset of my friends and that too in a glaring manner. As, I, would like to ask them? What was so obscene and vulgar about the video. That I shouldn’t have circulated? And, about which, you made such a brouhaha. If having a couple of drinks in the plush confines of a car with your close friends is an obscenity, so be it? Don’t women drink in India? Isn’t that a reality of our country? So where is the vulgarity in it? Come on, just let India grow up. Had a boy been drinking under the similar circumstances, would you have reacted in the same manner and called the video obscene and vulgar?

    That she was in shorts. So what? Aren’t women entitled to wear shorts in India? Then, she was with some of her male friends. Perhaps, they were her college friends. So, is that a big deal? That she was tipsy and entwining in the car listening to a love song. So what? Is that a crime? Most certainly not and above all, aren’t women supposed to enjoy as men do is the moot question. And by calling the video vulgar, aren’t we even exhibiting a sexual bias towards them?

    The short point that I’m trying to make is. There wasn’t anything vulgar or even obscene in the video. But, because, of our deep-seated dig and reactions. We made it look like it. For, any college child can enjoy in this manner in the company of his or her friends. Whether boy or a girl. We all have behaved like that in our college days. And, for a moment, even if the video was of Gurmeher. I wouldn’t have rated it in anyway vulgar and obscene. To, run her down. But yes, preferably, any man or a girl would have preferred to keep it as a private property.

    Last but not the least the video turned viral only because of the protagonist, who happened to be a girl. So to my friends—you told me not to circulate the video because it was vulgar. But I found no vulgarity in it and that only speaks of your polluted mindset.

    Sadly, I kept waiting for at least one person to tell me. You can circulate the video as there is nothing indecent about it. But I’m still waiting. Perhaps the wait will be much longer than what I had thought. India still has to grow up.





By Kamlesh Tripathi


    Donald Trump was being willfully scandalous. When he recently said that the U.S. should shut its doors on all Muslims, as his verbal assault. To the equally outrageous gunning down of civilians in California by a couple, owning allegiance to ISIS. Was it a campaign stunt to pacify the public mood, or just a stray ambient outburst one can’t say. But any which way Trump shot himself in the foot with this off the cuff remark. A person of Trump’s stature who happens to be a billionaire and an aspirant for the Republican nomination surely overlooked the demographic sketch of his own country. Whether by sheer ignorance or design he alone knows but by doing so he labeled Muslims in general as the derogatory stereotype.

    On the other hand ‘Uncle Sam’ poses itself as the big daddy of the world. Showing deep concern for everyone in the planet. Simultaneously, it even keeps track of the maze of weaponry better than anyone else in the world. It also preaches terrorism to be a curse, yet remains one of the largest suppliers of arms in the world.  With these analogies one can safely say. Donald Trump exactly knew what he wanted to say. It it was not just an, off the cuff remark. So, it may not be out of context to contend. He orated what the Republicans had in mind?

    If we for a moment run through the world’s demography. We will find, out of a total world population of 7.26 billion people; 2.40 billion (33.06%) are Christians; 1.70 billion (23.41%) are Muslims; 1.13 billion (15.56%) belong to the unaffiliated religions (The religiously unaffiliated include atheists, agnostics and people who do not identify with any particular religion); 1.08 billion (14.87%) are Hindus; 0.49 billion (6.75%) are Buddhists; 0.40 billion (5.50%) practice the Folk Religion (The precise definition of folk religion varies among scholars. Sometimes also termed popular belief, it consists of ethnic or regional religious customs under the umbrella of a religion, but outside of official doctrine and practices); 0.06 billion (0.83%) belong to the other religions and 0.01 billion (0.01%) are Jews.

    Islam therefore, is the second largest faith on earth with around 1.7 billion adherents, and not just a docile race that Trump’s U.S can think of doing without. But currently it is quite definitely under duress, going through some trying times because of Islamic fundamentalism, that is at its worst. As it perpetrates holocausts in the form of terrorism. Because of which, average Muslims are losing their sheen and are not apparently welcomed in some of the most developed and powerful countries and continents of the world such as the U.S., Europe, South America, Australia, New Zealand to name a few, for no fault of theirs. But by ranting about Muslims Donald Trump has not only added salt to their wounds but has also hoodwinked the American public in general. For, you can shut your doors on Muslims only when its flooding, but not when its merely seeping.

    If we analyze most religions vis-à-vis countries and colonies. We will find there are: 161 countries where Christianity is in a majority; 49 where Muslims are in a majority; 7 countries where unaffiliated religions rule the roost; 3 countries where Hindus are in a majority; 7 where Buddhists are in a majority; 3 countries where folk religion is in a majority and 1 where the Jews are in a majority.

    The data above only tells us that the World Muslim Population by percentage (Pew Research Center, 2014), constitutes the world’s second largest religious group. And if we dig in a little more on the Muslim population across the world we will find.

Concentration of Muslim population

    66% of the world’s Muslims reside in Asia and the Middle East. They are 27% of the total population of Asia and Middle East with around 1.12 billion adherents, and thus the heart of Muslim civilization on earth. And it is notable they share space with over a billion Hindus in the same region. Balance 34% of the Muslim population is spread across other continents and countries such as Africa, Europe, North America, South America, Australia & New Zealand, Melanesia, Caribbean, Micronesia, Mexico & Central America and Polynesia.

    Africa is home to 26% of the world’s Muslim population and 43% of Africa’s population is Muslim. So not surprisingly, Asia, Middle East and Africa together notch up 92% of the world’s Muslim population. And only a paltry 8% is left for the powerful and affluent countries and continents to share. Out of that let us glance at Europe and America.

    Europe has a total of 2.56 % of the world’s Muslim population and 5.85% of Europe’s population is Muslim. If we take Australia and New Zealand, 0.03% of the world’s Muslim population lives there which is 2.2% of their population. South America is home to just around 6.7 lac Muslims which is around 0.04% of the world Muslim population and 0.17% of their own population.

But coming back specifically to Donald Trump; North America is home to only around 35.08 lac Muslims which is only 0.2% of the world’s Muslim population and only 1.02% of their total population. Coming to the U.S. in particular, it is home to only 0.16% of world’s Muslim population, which is only 0.9% of their own population. So the point is, whether Trump says it or not. The Muslim population unlike Asia, Middle East and Africa has traditionally been extremely low in the U.S. and whether it was restricted by design or was never a favourite habitat of the Muslims in particular is a different question altogether.

   A Breibart News review of the State Department and Homeland Security data reveals. United States, admits more than a quarter of a million Muslim migrants each year. To this President Obama intends to add another 10,000 Syrian migrants. In 2013 alone 1,17,423 migrants from Muslim majority countries were permanently  resettled, within the United States. Additionally in 2013 the US voluntarily admitted an extra 1,22,921 temporary migrants from Muslim countries, as foreign students and foreign workers as well as 39,932 refugees from other Muslim countries.

    Even though every year the U.S. admits a number of Muslim migrants. Larger in size than the entire population of Des Moines, Oowa, Lincoln, Nebraska or Dayton or Ohio. Yet it still remains a miniscule and therefore it is not flooding but seeping, where closing of doors doesn’t help.

    The lethal point therefore is that US cannot do without the best of brains whether they come from Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Unaffiliated, Buddhist, Folk Religion, Jews or any other religion; And Trump’s US will have to realize, that you can’t continue to be the big daddy of the world by closing doors on faiths just because of a few rotten apples.



#PRIME #TIME #TV #DEBATES-Keep hearing the #speaker but watch the eye-movements, facial expressions of others in the #panel to get a better sense


Kamlesh Tripathi


Of late participants in prime time TV debates have increased. All put together they go right up to eight on the screen, and some more join for special effects either at the studio, or any other location. Anticipating the hot intensity of the ensuing debate. I often find participants with parched throats. Some sipping water, which I wouldn’t dare to call it Vodka. In many ways Prime Time TV debates have replaced entertainment channels. As every individual is now eager to understand what is going on in the country. Also, news for many has become entertainment. Where, these debates are better understood both by literates and even the illiterates, unlike newspapers and magazines.

In the recent, prime time TV debates have become more cut throat, because many political parties are competing in the same political space, and have therefore become a multiparty affair. In any debate we now find time 3-4 party spokespersons. Most prime time debates start around 9 pm when office goers return from office after a hectic day’s of work, is when they want to analyse and know what all has gone right and what all has gone wrong in the country.

And, how cleverly or daringly their elected representatives from Karnataka and Telangana are hoodwinking the voters by going on a foreign junket. To how shrewdly BJP government is keeping the TRAI discussion paper alive, because Modi has to return election favours to Corporates. Or how Congress’s Anand Sharma in his own arrogant manner is spiking Prime Minister Narendra Modi, because he said something awkward in Canada about the country, but preferred to remain quiet when the scams were being committed by Congress under his own UPA regime. As if that didn’t spoil the country’s reputation. Or how PDP is kowtowing with separatists and how deeply is Mamta Banerjee involved in Sarada Chit scam and how J Jayalalita’s case on disproportionate asset is progressing. Or how Srinivasan is fighting his BCCI battle. The list goes on and on and on.

But the debate becomes daggers drawn when one spokesperson of a party criticizes the party supremo of another party, such as Narendra Modi, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Mulayam Singh, Akhilesh Yadav, Mamta Banerjee or for that matter any party’s top boss. The defending spokesperson as if goes into a tizzy and loses his cool as if they are about to lose their jobs and are being monitored by party bosses, debate to debate and channel to channel.

So, in all of this. There is but another way of viewing these TV debates, which I find is more gauging, engaging, absorbing, interesting and even revealing on a lighter note. And, that is when the anchor or a panel participant, like a party spokesperson or a journalist or even a lawyer or anyone else is making a point, don’t concentrate on that person visually. Just keep hearing him and look in the eye of the person he or she is attacking, and also take a quick glance at others in the panel, and you’ll find the debate to be much more interesting and revealing. For example, let’s take one prime TV channel ‘Timesnow.’

Where, when, Arnab Goswami anchor of ‘Timesnow’ taunts on, Azam Khan’s buffaloes getting lost and police personnel being suspended. One should notice the taut and staring expression of Gaurav Bhatia, spokesperson of Samajwadi Party. As if wanting to say, ‘if stares could kill Arnab you would have been dead by now.’ And in the adjacent box Sanjay Jha of Congress with a smug on his face and in extreme silence and patience as if is willfully intending to say, ‘That’s a good one Arnab.’ And Sambit Patra in a fizz and gulping down, ’Arrey maza aa gaya.’

Yesterday, when Narsimha Rao, the BJP spokesperson was being cornered by Arnab for likely six fold increase in mobile NET tariff by corporates. I was watching AAP spokesperson Somnath Bharti whose expression, as if said, ‘Dear Arnab you have made AAPs job easier.’

And, in several land bill debates. The expression and eye movements of many Congress spokespersons only said, ‘Thank you Modi ji, you have once again made us relevant and greater thanks to Arnab for getting us to limelight.’

But, there is a converse also. With Nepal tragedy, did AAP get off the hook on the tragic death of Gajendra Singh. Perhaps, Arnab will have to invite Kejriwal or Ashutosh or Raghav of AAP along with spokespersons of other parties and some journalists and lawyers for the viewers to gauge and find it out.






A majority of party spokes persons, still don’t believe in this age old but popular Hindi song– “Yeh jo public hai, woh sab janti hai.”

    Most party spokes persons who appear in prime time TV debates of various reputed channels need to realise that the Indian viewer has matured far beyond their imagination. And heart to heart they hate this growing wisdom of the Indian public. As it makes their job even more difficult. Which is quite apparent if you attentively watch these programmes.

    Today’s mature TV viewer can clearly make out when the party spokesperson is lying or trying to defend the indefensible, by blindly following the party whip. And that, he or she has walked in, with the solemn pledge to defend the party at all costs. Where, one can glaringly make out from the screen. Whenever, they try to abide by those intermittent instructions that keep trickling into their mobiles in staccato rhythms. Basis, the intensity of the debate resulting in who is losing and who is winning through these frequent text messages or Whats-App. When, each time their eyes dip below, to read those crisp instructions.


    The debates on TV have become more issue based than mere political pragmatism. Generally, trying to open each other’s ‘dhoti’ to score a brownie point. Just to stay ahead. This is what competition teaches you. Where, politics is no different, even when it has strange bedfellows. One can possibly consider the stale political rhetoric emanating out of TV screens coming all the way from the studios as mere gap fillers something like a comma or even a full stop. Often the panel comprises of spokes persons from BJP, Congress, AAP, SP, BSP, Akali- Dal, Janata Dal, Janata Dal United, TMC, NC, PDP, NCP, CPI, CPM, AIDMK and the DMK, to name a few. They all jostle to capture sound bites. The competition is mostly between political parties on one end, and journalists, lawyers, individuals- in-question or any other luminary from any other field, on the other end. All, trying to score a point over the other.

    Most spokes persons are, boastfully well-to-do. Apparently affluent, refreshingly articulate, and from the front ranks of political India. Who, while performing in these vibrant debates, quite often amalgamate a concoction of lies just to defend their party, come what may. But they cannot hide the disconnect between their pumping hearts, agitating minds, guilty eyes and tethering tongues and at times even their wavering hands and fingers, while confronting the camera. For, in a heated and not ready to give-in debate when the tongue tells a lie your eyes naturally look down, is when the heart sags, the throat chokes, the mind beeps and the hands and fingers balance between the heart and the mind. In all of this I guess the conscience is left behind, quite intentionally at a place where you can’t readily find. This irritates the viewers which the party should realise. In fact the party would gain more by accepting its mistakes if any. Than by stupidly arguing about it, as it is only human to err. One must not forget you have a new generation viewership now, that likes transparency.

    So, then why is it that no spokesperson can ever accept his party’s mistake openly on a TV debate? Perhaps, because, you require guts to do that. But then one must realise, by accepting mistakes you raise the bar of integrity. Recently, a new phenomenon has come alive. That is, to block co-panelists in debates from talking, by talking over them. I have seen this happening quite often in recent times. The latest was, what I saw the other day in Timesnow. When Arnab Goswami was debating the AAP debacle. The official party spokesperson of AAP, Preeti Menon was not allowing her own party M.P. to speak. Preeti Menon must have thought. She is doing a great job for her party, by not letting her own colleague to speak, just because he was critical about the establishment. But in such a case. The viewpoint of the viewers is quite different, where, she looked and sounded quite shallow and frivolous. As truth crosses all human boundaries. For make no mistake you can’t scuttle the truth by merely talking over it or by blocking it on a TV debate. Because, truth is  much closer to the viewer’s heart than one can even imagine.


Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi



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By Kamlesh Tripathi

In the Cricket world cup 2015 only fourteen teams are playing. Which are divided into two pools that will play 49 matches in two countries, to decide the world cup title. International Cricket Council (ICC) recognizes more than 125 countries that play cricket. But many are not up to the mark to be included in the international circuit, such as the World Cup. ICC has 10 full members, 38 Associate Members and 59 Affiliate Members and that adds up to 107 countries. The West Indies cricket team does not represent a single country.

The world today has 196 countries and with that logic, cricket looks like an isolated game with only 14 countries, vying for the world cup which is far from a world phenomenon. Even when the cheer and clapping is getting louder each day as the tournament progresses in those 14 countries. And so, this magnificent pageant that is hosted every 4 years is only witnessed by a small section of the world. As the game is not as popular as soccer which is played in almost all the countries.

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In the same fashion we also have the shorter version of the game called the T-20 cricket world cup, every four years. And, in addition we keep having individual test matches, ODIs and T-20 series between countries which are generally followed by the supporters of their respective countries only. Recently, BCCI has also launched IPL series to promote, both domestic and international cricket. But, even with all of this, cricket is not getting sold exponentially beyond the 14 countries that participate in the world cup. So, there is a greater need to popularize cricket in less and non-cricket playing countries, by shedding traditional, autocratic and bureaucratic ways of thinking and dealing with cricket.

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The 14 countries that currently play in the international world cup circuit are- India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangla Desh, Australia, New Zealand, Afghanistan, UAE, South Africa, Zimbabwe, West Indies, England, Ireland & Scotland.

This more or less promotes cricket in their respective countries only, and to a certain extent in their neighbouring countries. But if cricket needs to spread to other countries by leaps and bounds. Something out-of-the-box needs to be thought through. A better way of popularizing cricket would be to have another world class tournament. Where, we could bunch teams of 3-4 countries, continent wise, and have a world cup tournament amongst them, such as;

Team 1: India, Sri Lanka & Bangladesh

Team 2: Australia, New Zealand

Team 3: Pakistan, Afghanistan and UAE

Team 4: South Africa, Zimbabwe

Team 5: West Indies, England, Ireland and Scotland


Cricket was never played in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, since Adam was a lad. It only came along with the Britishers and became an endearing and formidable game, close to a religion. Which goes to show, if publicized, facilitated and marketed well. It has the potential to become a game as popular as soccer.

Individual countries, and more pointedly India, may have done well to promote cricket in their own country. But Cricket as such has not seen a deluge of popularity, breaking barriers of borders and continents. Rather, it cocooned in its ego and bureaucracy and never butterflied across the world as soccer or lawn tennis. To sight and example, for so many years Bangladesh had to wait to get Test status and same goes for countries like Ireland and Scotland, that are still waiting.


Just citing an example. Increase the team members in the squad of Team 1, as referred above (India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh) by 3-5 and include new talent from China, Nepal, Myanmar, Maldives or any other country close by and give them a chance in warm up matches, or even just let them be with the team or include them in practice sessions or as twelfth man to be viewed by spectators back home. As this also will popularize the game back in their countries in a big way. For, didn’t it suddenly make a world of difference when some of our athletes were seen on world stage, in various disciplines at the Olympics?

And, hold this world cup tournament among continents every two years. As this will help in good publicity and brand building because public memory is too short, and keep the venue in some non-playing country or countries that play, but are not world class like China, Nepal, Myanmar, Maldives, Kabul, Spain, or the US to name a few. Request their dignitaries or popular figures to inaugurate and play the game at these inaugural matches. ICC is rich and could allocate a budget for this. Also, give special incentives including discounted tickets to tourists who want to watch the game of cricket from non-cricket playing countries. And just before the tournament, legendary and star cricketers depending upon their popularity like Sachin Tendulkar, Imran Khan, Viv Richards, Ricky Ponting, Sanat Jaisurya, to name a few, could give cricketing lessons to youngsters who want to play cricket.

Give this world cup tournament a well thought through, heavy weight title, making it look like a competition among titans, continents, giants, bravo juggernauts or even ET. For, this will have a domino effect in popularizing the game by leaps and bounds. Especially, in non playing continents or even non-playing countries or countries where the game is not played to its full potential. For where is the continued rejoice if the game continues to hover and be competed around in the same surroundings. Perhaps, the present day cricket may give you a feeling. As if it has been discarded and rejected by rest of the world and only adopted by few countries, with world potential still to be realized; and all in the interest of cricket.




Sureshbhai Patel lying paralysed in hospital
Sureshbhai Patel lying paralysed in hospital
3rd degree torture by Eric Parker
3rd degree torture by Eric Parker


Madisan, Alabama policeman Eric parker is charged with 3rd degree assault and is being fired, after authorities say he threw down a handcuffed 57 year old man from India who was walking around town, while visiting some relatives. Though the FBI is investigating this incident in which Sureshbhai Patel has been paralyzed, yet this brings us to a horrific and nagging question. That is about the IQ levels of some of these American cops who shoot from the hip to prove no point, and in the process they only reveal their racial bias. A media report now suggests Sureshbhai Patel was used as a guinea-pig by Eric Parker to teach his colleague how to pin down criminals. But even that is cruel, animal like and atrocious by any standards. And in the process he has paralyzed Sureshbhai; and his racial sound bite about ‘a black and skinny man roaming the area’ has only embarrassed the black skinny but otherwise healthy President of the US- Barack Obama.

Policeman Eric Parker
Policeman Eric Parker

Even in some earlier instances American cops have gone overboard, by not being able to distinguish between the turban of an Indian Sardar and a Muslim terrorist of the likes of Osama and have subjected them to humiliation. They have also demeaned Indian dignitaries at airports. So the moot question is. Are American cops insulated from rest of the world, that they can’t even decipher sartorial niches and accomplishments of other countries. And so, shouldn’t they be given a complete run down on various kinds of attires worn across the world since America is the world’s greatest economy and people from all over the world flock here some way or the other. Also, a rerun of visuals at regular intervals about world’s whose who, will help.

NJ cop shooting a black man when both his hands are out of the car
NJ cop shooting a black man when both his hands are out of the car

And, in this episode also Eric Parker from all corners looks and behaves like a duffer. Not being able to decipher between a hardcore criminal and a 57 year old non English speaking gentleman, and behaves as if all non English speaking individuals are criminals. The video released only enrages the world. As a cop he should have been more aware than a normal American citizen to decipher between a criminal and a gentleman. So what creates such duffers in the US Police Department is again the moot point when they boast of such a high standard of police training with a sensitive and thinking mindset.

In 2000, the US Department of Justice (USDOJ) Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Offices and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) collaborated to pilot an innovative post-police academy training strategy with Reno, Nevada Police Department. This problem based learning strategy, titled the Police Training Officers (PTO) Program. Institutionalized adult learning theory and problem solving tools into a process that encouraged new officers to think using proactive mindset, enabling the identification of and solution to problems within their communities

The APOSTC or the Alabama Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission requires law enforcement officers to go through and pass the academy and be certified as police officers of the law. Before going through the academy, they must be employed full time as a cop, meaning they have to work an average of 40 hours per week and within 6 months of being employed they need to complete the academy training in order to be certified. Failing to do so will nullify their employment and they will have to wait two years before submitting another application.

While the training has various physical and legal requirements. It also talks of some important physical, legal and behavioural aspects that the candidates should possess such as:

  • Age should be at least 19 years.
  • Have a high school or a GED
  • Have a valid driver’s license
  • American citizenship
  • Good moral character with no felony or misdemeanor or convictions, and isn’t a registered sex offender
  • Complete medical examination by a licensed doctor or a physician and be certified for good physical health and fit for physical demands of the Police Academy.
  • Complete psychological examination and in case they fail this test, a 2nd comprehensive test will be administered by an agency that is commissioned by the commission and in case a candidate fails, both the test, he or she must wait for a year to become eligible again.

All academy trainees must complete 480 hours of basic academy training.

  • The overall score of all the written exams, first aid exams, legal issues exams should not be less than 70%.
  • Successfully complete and pass the physical agility test.
  • Pass all 43 hours of firearms training. Must qualify in two out of three attempts in the firearms course.

So while the training of Police in the US is all comprehensive there is need to screen officers who nurse racial biases. With the wherewithal of the US, it should not be difficult to identify such policemen and indoctrinate them with better virtues and humanness. For one can perform police duties even without paralyzing dark and skinny ‘Sureshbhais’ for if South Africa could give up apartheid why can’t a minority of police officers in the US. But then to arrive there. The US must first accept the scourge of racialism in its Police force and not just sham away from reality.