Traditionally, the bores came in threesomes, the earliest trio being Vizzy, Berry and Puri. Vizzy, the Maharajkumar of Vizianagaram, who could neither bat, bowl or field, led India in England in 1936 armed with 36 suitcases and three valets and controversially sent back star all-rounder Lala Amarnath on ‘disciplinary’ grounds. His princely clout meant he became a selector, BCCI chief and a radio commentator. A prince among bores, his mind schlepped along on free association: instead of the unfolding game, he boldly explored links between Rohan Kanhai and Lord Kanhaiya. An unfortunate generation dependent on the radio had their brains addled when Vizzy noted: “First slip standing at second slip, second slip at gully, gully at short cover”. When Sobers bowled to Nari Contractor, Vizzy attempted lyricism: “Gary to Nari, skipper to skipper, left-hander to left-hander....” His colleague, Berry Sarbadhikari, was soberer, but could not stomach India’s haplessness against England in 1952 (when Trueman and Bedser shot them out for 58 and 82 in the same day at Old Trafford), often wondering mournfully if it was a technical or a temperamental collapse. Another colleague, Devraj Puri, was all fire and brimstone—his indignant declamations about an unjust LBW decision in a game against India against Australia almost led an irate crowd to set ablaze a packed Brabourne Stadium.
Now for our ‘live’ cricket commentary on TV, where our talking heads usually forget that they need not describe things which viewers can see for themselves. Mahaguru Sunil Gavaskar takes no chances with the viewers’ knowledge or intuition, analysing every blade of grass (or crack) on the pitch, then dissecting an inswinger bowled over the wicket that took advantage of the breeze from mid-on. For Ravi Shastri, everything has gone like a ‘tracer bullet’ in an ‘electric’ atmosphere for long.
Commentators like Arun Lal are patriots par excellence—every nick or rap on the pads is used for declaring Indian batsmen not out, and opposing batsmen out! Most of them are ex-Test players, but for one exultantly garrulous intruder specialising in blithe unctuosity. When he pauses, as happens rarely, it is to flaunt a silly insolent grin from one big ear to the other. Ideally, our commentators, including those plodding away haltingly in Hindi, should be made to watch Sky Sports or Channel 9 commentators. But I am loath to guess what effect this might have on our ‘Bore Ratnas’!
Apropos V. Gangadhar’s Glorious Certainties, true, the biggest bore in Indian cricket has to be Harsha Bhogle. He represents the basic problem with the Indian mindset—the idea that some slick talker with an mba has the solution to all our problems.
V. Gangadhar’s list of boring cricket commentators brought on really boring memories (Glorious Certainties). I’d also have A.F.S. Talyarkhan, a real eccentric and first-rate bore, up there. He disliked sports administrators, calling them ‘brass-hats’. Again, he disliked stadiums—being all for the maidans, where he’d cuddle up in tents with lemonade, enjoying the scent of the turf. And if he fancied a catch, shot or wicket, he’d go on, with superlative encomiums eating up two or three overs.
Thank you to all those who have taken the trouble to read the article and share their thoughts. Out of the arguments made here, there are two that perhaps need answering. So here they go.
1. The first part of the article compares outcomes (relative percentages of population of the religions concerned) irrespective of the process that led to those outcomes - whether immigration, relatively faster population growth or conversions. This was for two reasons. One, to put the figure of 2.3 per cent in "numerical perspective", as the article itself explained. The second reason was that outcomes are ultimately what the crux of debate is about. The rest of the article in any case dealt with process - or conversions in this case, from both a contemporary and historical perspective.
2. Some commenters have tried to cast doubts on the reliability of Census 2001. Those who do this should bear in mind that Census 2001 was conducted by a BJP government. Considering the extreme importance that BJP gives to this issue, it would be reasonable to expect that IF it had perceived a problem with the methodology that was distorting the numbers, it would have fixed it. As the article mentioned, BJP or BJP-supported governments have been in power for 10 of the last 40 years, or about a quarter of the time, and the only reasonable conclusion one can arrive at is that any misreporting of numbers, real or perceived, would be marginal and hence, not of importance.
To all other arguments made, my answer is the following: Please read the article again, with particular focus on the quotations of Vivekananda and Monier Williams, and the history of the missionary efforts in Bengal and their outcome.
Laxman-Siva-Rama-Krishnan sounds like he's having multiple organs on air.
Ravi Shashtri ends each sentence with' hmmm...'.
You are being unfair to Arun Lal. He is a soft target. He is fluent in both english and the hindi language. The only 2 languages I speak. And no he is not jingoistic. I don't know where you get that from.
Gavaskar, who is not a soft target is a complete and utter chauvinist.
Manjrekar is a complete regional chauvinist & sounds like he speaks english in marathi.
Manjrekar is probably the worst because of the abovmentioned problems & a horrendous voice combined with bizarre insights and agenda pushing. Till date he has said almost nothing of substance. This would be fine since Shastri is much the same but his role is different. Shastri is the play by play commentator. Much like the late great Tony Greig.
I will not say RIP because I am not religious. But Manjrekar takes the analytical role and he fails miserably. he is not good as a tony greig,ravi shastri role and definitely poor at slotting into a Nasser Hussain or even Saurav ganguly role now.
The best would right now be Ganguly. Strange but true!
Truly,V.Gangadhar has a great sence of humour.What a relief after readig poison laden artcle by Meena Kandsamy.
The biggest Bore in Indian Cricket has to be Harsha Bhogle. It is downright hilarious how prattles on and on about player selection issues and cricketing techniques while having played nothing beyond tennis ball cricket in some gully in Hyderabad! Harsha represents the quintessential problem with the Indian mindset - that some slick talker with an MBA has the solution to every major problem on earth!
We at Outlookindia.com welcome feedback and your comments, including scathing criticism
1. Scathing, passionate, even angry critiques are welcome, but please do not indulge in abuse and invective. Our Primary concern is to keep the debate civil. We urge our users to try and express their disagreements without being disagreeable. Personal attacks are not welcome. No ad hominem please.
2. Please do not post the same message again and again in the same or different threads
3. Please keep your responses confined to the subject matter of the article you are responding to. Please note that our comments section is not a general free-for-all but for feedback to articles/blogs posted on the site
4. Our endeavour is to keep these forums unmoderated and unexpurgated. But if any of the above three conditions are violated, we reserve the right to delete any comment that we deem objectionable and also to withdraw posting privileges from the abuser. Please also note that hate-speech is punishable by law and in extreme circumstances, we may be forced to take legal action by tracing the IP addresses of the poster.
5. If someone is being abusive or personal, or generally being a troll or a flame-baiter, please do not descend to their level. The best response to such posters is to ignore them and send us a message at Mail AT outlookindia DOT com with the subject header COMPLAINT
6. Please do not copy and paste copyrighted material. If you do think that an article elsewhere has relevance to the point you wish to make, please only quote what is considered fair-use and provide a link to the article under question.
7. There is no particular outlookindia.com line on any subject. The views expressed in our opinion section are those of the author concerned and not that of all of outlookindia.com or all its authors.
8. Please also note that you are solely responsible for the comments posted by you on the site. The comments could be deleted or edited entirely at our discretion if we find them objectionable. However, the mere fact of their existence on our site does not mean that we necessarily approve of their contents. In short, the onus of responsibility for the comments remains solely with the authors thereof. Outlookindia.com or any of its group publications, may, however, retains the right to publish any of these comments, with or without editing, in any medium whatsoever. It is therefore in your own interest to be careful before posting.
9.Outlookindia.com is not responsible in any manner whatsoever for how any search engine -- such as Google, Bing etc -- caches or displays these comments. Please note that you are solely responsible for posting these comments and it is a privilege being granted to our registered users which can be withdrawn in case of abuse. To reiterate:
a. Comments once posted can only be deleted at the discretion of outlookindia.com
b. The comments reflect the views of the authors and not of outlookindia.com
c. outlookindia.com is not responsible in any manner whatsoever for the way search engines cache or display these comments
d. Please therefore take due caution before you post any comments as your words could potentially be used against you
10. We have an online thread for our comments policy:
You are welcome to post your suggestions here or in case you have a specific issue, to directly email us at Mail AT outlookindia DOT com with the subject header COMPLAINT