first_imgThe seasoned wit and raconteur Robert Vadra believes that Indians do not have a sense of humour. That may or may not be true, but it is distinctly better than having no sense at all.Humour is complicated. One man’s wit is so easily another’s insult. Folklore, and general conversation, indicate,The seasoned wit and raconteur Robert Vadra believes that Indians do not have a sense of humour. That may or may not be true, but it is distinctly better than having no sense at all.Humour is complicated. One man’s wit is so easily another’s insult. Folklore, and general conversation, indicate that Indians are pretty good at both murky ethnic jokes as well as the noble habit of laughing at the powerful. How would you rate this sms that raced around after details about Vadra’s triumphant rise as the most famous real estate dealer in Indian history went public? Rahul Gandhi despairingly told his Mummy: ‘First cwg, then 2G, then Coal-G. And now it’s Jijaji.’ Not bad. That Jijaji has just the nice twang that serves so well in north Indian chai shop chat.At this moment, however, Indians are not discussing their own sense of humour but Robert Vadra’s. Politics is a tough sport, not suited to thin skins. Invective has been part of its unwritten rules ever since elections evolved into an art form in the fatherland of modern democracy, America. I just read an op-ed in an American newspaper which listed the language used in the age of electoral infancy. In 1800, Thomas Jefferson, an architect of the American Constitution and much quoted for his defence of a free press, was accused of running a “Congo harem”? at his estate. Jefferson did not turn the other cheek, like a good Christian. His supporters accused his foe, John Adams, of smuggling British prostitutes for his personal needs. Mark: British! That is equivalent to charging an Indian politician today of running a brothel of Pakistani women, or vice versa. The best riposte came in 1884 when Grover Cleveland was charged with fathering an illegitimate child, inspiring a ditty that followed him on the campaign trail: ‘Ma, Ma, where’s my Pa?’ Cleveland gave his answer after he had won: ‘Gone to the White House, ha ha ha!’advertisementBut it is one thing calling your foe names, and quite another sneering at the chaps who voted you into office and its luxurious benefits with a pun, deservedly described as the lowest form of humour. The common man will get a bit tetchy about being called a mango married to a banana republic (in Hindi ‘aam’ has two meanings, both common and mango). This sort of joke turns sour pretty quickly. Nor is it a very good idea, unless of course you have invested in sarcasm as a profession, like the bilious Ambrose Bierce who called politics a strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles, and a means of using public affairs for private advantage. Robert Vadra is not only a distinguished member of India’s most powerful political family, but also nurtures a desire for high office in his own right. The mango and banana will follow him on any election trail. They also hurt the prospects of his wife Priyanka Gandhi, who is slated to inherit the Rae Bareli constituency from her mother, Mrs Sonia Gandhi.We do not know too much about Mr Vadra’s educational qualifications. He could easily be familiar with geopolitics and the economic history of Latin America, where exploitation by multinationals through pliant family dictatorships gave the English language this eloquent construct, banana republic. Perhaps he is only aware of the colloquial interpretation, which means a country run by monkeys who sell national resources at banana prices. It is not the wisest metaphor to use when there is a debate raging in India about what multinationals might do through foreign direct investment. Someone certainly woke Vadra up to the dark side of possibilities, for he took those remarks off his Facebook page pretty quickly. He will not however be able to efface them from public memory, not least because his tormentors will not allow anyone to forget them in a hurry.Mr Vadra’s party, Congress, is struggling with uncertainty. Its spokesmen first tried to threaten Arvind Kejriwal, who turned the story into a public fact; and tried to portray Vadra as an innocent who had been wronged by evil manipulators. They soon discovered that Kejriwal was immune to fear, and soon backed his accusations with more documentation. Moreover, each reaction from a Congress worthy only managed to keep the story alive on that dreaded oblong box called television.It took a couple of days for the full implications to sink in. This is the first time since Bofors in the 1980s when the Gandhi family is being charged with corruption, and mud is turning into glue. The Commonwealth scandal involved Congress leaders, but not at the high rungs; during telecom, Congress managed to distance itself and direct blame towards an ally, DMK. Coalgate was harder but the responsibility went to the government and the Prime Minister. Robert Vadra is family.advertisementThe Vadra crisis has also damaged the Congress effort to shift the debate from corruption to economic reforms. The principal attention is back on sleaze.last_img read more

first_imgFILE – This is a Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013 file photo of Tsunekazu Takeda, President of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games bid, as he listens to a question from the media during their first international presentation of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games bid in London. France’s financial crimes office says International Olympic Committee member Takeda is being investigated for corruption related to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The National Financial Prosecutors office says Takeda, the president of the Japanese Olympic Committee, was placed under formal investigation for “active corruption” on Dec. 10.(AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)TOKYO — A month ago, Tsunekazu Takeda was warmly applauded by 1,400 Olympic dignitaries as he spoke alongside International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach in Tokyo.A month later, the powerful IOC member and head of the Japanese Olympic Committee is fighting a corruption investigation, suspected by French investigators of authorizing the payment of bribes to help land the 2020 Tokyo Olympics when IOC members voted in 2013.ADVERTISEMENT Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Despite solid imports, preparation cause of concern for Mighty Sports ahead of Dubai tilt MOST READ PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss LATEST STORIES “France Retaliates for Ghosn Case?” said a headline in the magazine Aera, which is published by Asahi.The Tokyo Shimbun ran with the strongest headline: “Tokyo Olympics in Shock and Turmoil.”“Impossible. Why now?” the newspaper headline asked, quoting unnamed 2020 Tokyo Olympic officials. The paper said “shock ran through people working on the Tokyo Olympics. With about 500 days to go before the games open, those involved are perplexed and flabbergasted.”The IOC ethics commission was to have met Friday, but the IOC did not say what action it had taken. It could suspend Takeda or ask him to step aside during the investigation. Or do nothing.Three IOC members are now suspended: Sheikh Ahmad of Kuwait, Patrick Hickey of Ireland, and Frankie Fredericks of Namibia. Honorary member Carlos Nuzman of Brazil, who headed the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, is also suspended in a similar vote-buying investigation.The preliminary charge against Takeda announced by the National Financial Prosecutors office was first reported on Friday by French newspaper Le Monde. The preliminary charge means the investigating magistrate has determined there are serious grounds for suspicion. But no decision has been made on prosecution.Le Monde said French authorities suspect the IOC vote for Tokyo in 2013 was swayed by secret deals that secured the backing of IOC members from Africa.Le Monde reported French investigators suspect Takeda of authorizing the payment of $2 million in bribes made on either side of the IOC vote in September 2013 to a Singapore company, Black Tidings.French prosecutors have linked Black Tidings to Papa Massata Diack, one of the sons of Lamine Diack, who presided over the IAAF from 1999 to 2015.Lamine Diack, who had huge influence on African voters in Olympic contests, is under investigation in France on corruption-related charges and allegations that he, his son and others were involved in blackmailing athletes and covering up failed drug tests. The 85-year-old Diack has had to turn in his passport and is not allowed to leave the country. His son is believed to be in Senegal. Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening In a Japanese Olympic Committee statement on Friday, Takeda denied any wrongdoing.A distant relative of Japan’s royal family — the great grandson of the Meiji Emperor — Takeda could join a growing list of suspended IOC members, and honorary members, who are linked to corruption probes. His case could potentially tarnish the Tokyo Olympics, which open in 18 months.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsBach has called Tokyo’s preparations “the best ever,” though there are concerns about rising costs with the price tag to prepare the games at about $20 billion. That’s three times what Tokyo bidders said it would cost when they were awarded the Olympics.“The Tokyo Olympics Face a Black Cloud,” was Saturday’s headline in the popular daily Nikkan Sports. SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Takeda was leading Tokyo’s second straight bid for the Summer Games, after losing in the 2016 Olympics race to Rio de Janeiro. French prosecutors are also investigating Rio officials and IOC members for alleged financial wrongdoing in 2009 linked to Papa Massata Diack.Takeda was an Olympic equestrian athlete in 1972 and 1976 and is the head of the IOC’s marketing commission, which has played a part in lining up billions in sponsorship money from Japanese companies for the Tokyo Olympics.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Takeda has scheduled a news conference for Tuesday in Tokyo to address an investigation that has been going on for several years.“The case is causing tremendous concern among the people who are supporting the Tokyo Games,” Takeda said. “But I will continue to cooperate in the investigation in order to clear any suspicion of me.”Two of Japan’s three major newspapers — Mainichi and Asahi — put the story on Saturday’s front page. It was the top story for Mainichi, and Asahi placed the Olympic story just under the ongoing detention of Nissan ex-chairman Carlos Ghosn.In Asahi, next to a photograph of Takeda, a headline read: “French preliminary hearing judge suspects bribery in Olympic bidding.”Ghosn is a Brazilian-born Frenchman, and several papers suggested that France could be getting even for Japan’s treatment of Ghosn.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more

first_imgKane Williamson scored his second double century as New Zealand achieved their highest innings total and continued to dominate Bangladesh at the end of the third day of the first Test in Hamilton on Saturday.The New Zealand captain finished on 200 not out as his side posted a record score of 715 for six declared in their first innings – a lead of 481 runs – midway through the afternoon session at Seddon Park.Bangladesh were 174 for 4 at the close of play, still 307 runs adrift from making New Zealand bat again and staring at a massive innings defeat.Soumya Sarkar was 39 not out with stand-in captain Mahmudullah on 15 at the close of play.New Zealand’s previous highest innings total of 690 was scored against Pakistan in Sharjah in 2014.The hosts had resumed on Saturday on 451 for 4 with Williamson on 93 and nightwatchman Neil Wagner one not out.Wagner smashed a quickfire 47 from 35 balls, falling short of his maiden Test half century, before BJ Watling was dismissed for 31 in the final over before lunch to set up a Colin de Grandhomme cameo after the break.The aggressive all-rounder hit 76 not out, which included five sixes and four boundaries, as he and Williamson added 110 runs in 91 balls.Williamson, whose highest Test score is 242 not out, brought up his second double century when he dispatched a short delivery from Abu Jayed behind square for his 19th boundary.He then had a short chat with de Grandhomme and declared the innings closed, giving his bowlers about 45 minutes to bowl at Bangladesh before the tea break.advertisementTamim Iqbal and Shadman Islam gave the visitors a rollicking start with an opening partnership of 88 before Shadman fell to Wagner’s short-pitched delivery for 37.Trent Boult then dismissed Mominul Haque (eight) and Mohammad Mithun (nought) in successive overs to leave Bangladesh at 110 for three.Tamim added to his impressive attacking 126 in the first innings with 74 in the second but was bounced out by Tim Southee and his dismissal left Bangladesh reeling on 126 for 4.Also Watch:last_img read more

first_imgCelta de Vigo Celta appoints former Monterrey boss Antonio Mohamed as new coach Jamie Smith Last updated 1 year ago 10:18 5/23/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Antonio Mohamed Monterrey Getty Images Celta de Vigo Monterrey Celta de Vigo v Roma Primera División Deportivo Alavés v Sevilla Liga MX The Argentine has been handed the job with the La Liga outfit after the club parted way with Juan Carlos Unzue Celta Vigo have announced the appointment of former Monterrey manager Antonio Mohamed as the club’s new coach, replacing Juan Carlos Unzue in the role.Unzue, a former assistant at Barcelona, spent a single season at Celta with his departure coming after the club finished 13th in La Liga. Celta moved swiftly to bring in Mohamed as Unzue’s replacement, the Argentinian signing a two-year deal with the club. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now The 48-year-old moves to Celta after three years in charge of Mexican side Monterrey, which won the Copa MX in the 2017 Apertura under his leadership.Mohamed stepped down as Monterrey boss in early May, with the club accepting his resignation after being knocked out of the playoffs Saturday in the quarterfinal stage with a 3-2 aggregate defeat to Tijuana.After coming away with a draw in the first leg against Xolos, Monterrey was unable to press the advantage at home, losing 2-1 in the second leg.The experienced manager had lifted Liga MX trophies at his previous two stops in Mexico, winning the 2012 Apertura with Tijuana and the 2014 Apertura with Club America.He also led Monterrey to first-place finishes in the regular season in the 2015 Clausura and the 2017 Apertura but fell short in the final in each tournament.OFICIAL | Antonio Mohamed, nuevo entrenador del #Celta . ¡Bienvenido! #BenvidoAntonioMohamed — RC Celta (@RCCelta) May 22, 2018 Monterrey appointed former Pachuca manager Diego Alonso as Mohamed’s replacement earlier in the month.last_img read more