Sunday, January 31, 2010

Gujarat BJP President Kalawad Jamnagar District News Samachar India

MLA Faldu Ranchhodbhai Chanabhai
likely to take over as Gujarat BJP president.

Three-time MLA from Kalavad Jamnagar District R C Faldu is all set to take over as BJP Gujarat unit president as he was the only one to file nomination papers here for the post.

Faldu, chief whip of the ruling BJP in the state Assembly, filed his nomination for the post to state party president in presence of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and BJP General Secretary Gopinath Munde.

Sources in the state BJP said that formal announcement of the party president would be made after the state executive committee meeting tomorrow.

The executive meeting will be attended by senior party leaders from the state. Munde is also likely to attend the meeting, they added.

Faldu, belonging to the Leuva Patel community, is likely to take over from Pushottam Rupala whose term as party president has ended.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Mahatma Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi Cricket History Jamnagar Rajkot Gujarat

Was Mahatma Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi more of a sport than we know?

Drawing room conversation among a few sports aficionados the other day became the springboard for this article. Discussion predictably veered towards the current imbroglio involving the (non) auction of Pakistan cricketers for this season's IPL, and whether timely political intervention would have helped or worsened the situation. As invariably happens on such occasions, in the absence of any clear answers, the issue acquired academic intensity and crossed back and forth over many decades in time.

"How would somebody like Mahatma Gandhi have reacted in such a situation?" asked someone. "He wouldn't have acted at all," came a rather vehement reply. "Throughout his political life, he never did anything to suggest that he cared, he was actually a spoilsport."

Grand gestures combining sport and politics are not uncommon as the following two contrasting examples spread over 60 years in the previous century would illustrate. In 1936 Hitler became an active votary of the Berlin Olympic Games because he wanted dearly to establish the superiority of the Aryan race and win legitimacy for the Nazi ideology. His chauvinism, however, was rebuffed by the brilliance of black American Jesse Owens who won four gold medals, and in a small way by the all-conquering Indian hockey team led by the wizard Dhyan Chand.

Nelson Mandela in 1995 followed an altogether opposite path from Hitler. A year after becoming president of South Africa, he agreed to attend the final of the rugby World Cup to be played between his country and New Zealand. There were influential sections within the ruling ANC who advised him against associating with a sport which had become symbolic of racism and suppression. But Mandela saw this as a golden opportunity for reconciliation, and went for the game wearing the Springbok team jersey. The gesture was not lost on the crowd, 95 per cent white, which broke into applause and sang the ANC song (which had by then become the national anthem), for Mandela. Sports had the power "to change the world ... to inspire ... to unite people," he was to say.

Gandhi was hardly shy of political grandstanding, but it must be admitted that he hardly ever furthered sports directly as a vehicle for influencing the masses. Between 1915, when he returned from South Africa, and 1936, India won the Olympic hockey gold medal thrice, but there is no mention of him having gone out of his way to meet the players.

It would be reasonable to conclude that Gandhi was not enamored of sport. Unlike Mandela, say, who was intrinsically a sportsman (he shadow- boxed, jogged, played soccer and did stomach crunches throughout his incarceration); Gandhi concentrated on diet, yoga and meditation to keep his frail body away from ill-health. But the truth value of the premise that Gandhi did not simply care for sport is suspect.

There are only scant references to sport in his life, more fascinatingly cricket, but which throw up such enigmatic posers that only a full-scale treatise could do justice to this. For instance, when he first went to England to study, one of the letters of introduction he was carrying was addressed to K S Ranjitsinhji, "a prince from Jamnagar City who had acquired fame as a cricketer" as his grandson Rajmohan Gandhi reveals in the book Mohandas - A True Story of A Man his People and And an Empire (p 25). Whether Gandhi ever met Ranji is not known, but clearly he knew something about cricket.

Indeed, as a youngster, he seemed to have been rather good at it, as Ramchandra Guha relates in his book, A Corner of A Foreign Field, quoting an article in a newspaper in 1958 by journalist Harish Booch who had met one of Gandhi's Alfred High schoolmate from Rajkot City. "Ratilal Ghelabhai Mehta remembered Gandhi as a 'dashing cricketer' ," narrates Guha "who evinced keen interest in the game as a school student." He was, it seems, good at both batting and bowling, and had an uncanny understanding of the game's uncertainties. Apparently, as Mehta was to reveal, they watched a match together as schoolboys played between Rajkot city and Rajkot cantonment when Gandhiji said a particular player would be out and hey presto, that batsman was really out."

Clearly Gandhi's cricketing career was short-lived, and when he returned to India from South Africa (where he was once photographed in 1914 with a touring team from India), he had traded whatever interest he may have had in the bat for the lathi. Subsequent references to cricket in Gandhi's life emerge more in the form of protests that were to become such a strong metaphor in his political life.

In 1921, when the Prince of Wales was touring India it is believed, he wanted the Quadrangular match featuring the European team to be played at Mumbai stopped because it would be paying obeisance to the colonial power. In any case, he was strongly against the Quadrangular and Pentagulars because they were based on communalism (see main story).

In contrast, Jinnah, riding high on the success of Muslim teams in the Pentagular in the previous decade, was to tell an assemblage of students in Bombay in 1941 that "the discipline which sports teach must be harnessed for the benefit of the Muslim community as a whole." The difference in approach between Gandhi and Jinnah does not so much reflect the extent of their passion for sport as perhaps their utterly divergent political views at that point in time.

In a sense, though, this has perhaps contributed to Gandhi being considered as something of a wet blanket where establishing a sporting culture in a people is concerned. But Guha, renowned cricket and Gandhi historian, contests that vehemently.

"It would be hugely unfair to make that charge of Gandhi," argues Guha. "Why should he or any other politician or social worker be obliged to promote sport? Would you blame Ela Bhatt for the sorry state of cricket in Gujarat? Actually, as I show in A Corner of A Foreign Field, Gandhi's politics indirectly contributed massively to cricket, through the contributions of the Dalit Palwankar brothers and through the emergence of CK Nayudu as a nationalist icon."

There are no further references to cricket in Gandhi's life after 1941. By then, of course, he had moved on to play the end game of the biggest match of his life - winning freedom for his country. Perhaps he was a kind of a sporting person after all.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Jamnagar Ahmedabad Vadodara City Swine Flu News Samachar Gujarat India

Three die of swine flu in Gujarat India, death toll reaches 216 Swine flu has claimed three lives in Gujarat, taking the toll due to the deadly virus to 216 in the state, health officials said today.

Eleven fresh cases have also been reported, they said, adding so far, 1,155 people have tested positive of the virus.

20-year-old Kokilaben Chhaganbhai died at civil hospital in Ahmedabad today while two persons -- Rudi Bharwad (30) and Gulabbhai Vidhalani (52) -- died of swine flu at SSG hospital, Vadodara(Baroda) and general hospital in Jamnagar, respectively.

Bharwad and Vidhlani died yesterday. Meanwhile, fresh cases of swine flu were reported from Ahmedabad City, Jamnagar City, Rajkot City, Anand City and Vadodara City.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Jamnagar Rajkot City Municipal Corporation Development News Gujarat India

The state government is planning to allocate Rs500 crore to Ahmedabad City in the upcoming budget of 2010-11. Surat City will get Rs400 crore while Vadodara City and Rajkot City will get Rs200 crore each in the budget.

Nitin Patel, state urban development minister, announced this on Tuesday while addressing a meeting of the state planning committee attended by the mayors, standing committee chairmen and municipal commissioners of the corporations in the state.

A total of Rs1, 300 crore will be given to the four municipal corporations. Patel said this will be allocated under the chief minister's golden jubilee urban development scheme.

He asked all the corporation authorities to concentrate on projects of sewerage and water supply among others. He asked them to plan and execute things keeping in mind the human development aspect. He said that a substantial budget will be allocated to Bhavnagar City, Junagadh City and Jamnagar City Municipal Corporation and 159 municipalities of the state.

Saurabh Patel, minister of state for planning, finance and industry also attended the meeting.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Jamnagar Rajkot City District News Samachar Gujarat India

“Rajkot City's own H1N1 testing lab within week”, said health minister.

Taking a serious note of H1N1 death toll across Saurashtra, Gujarat State heath and tourism minister Jay Narayan Vyas in his second consecutive address in the city on Wednesday said, the state government is going to set up a laboratory for H1N1 virus testing in Rajkot City Gujarat India.

"The laboratory will be operational within a week. It will help reduce the time lag of test results of suspected cases of Saurashtra,'' Vyas said. At present the region's hospitals send samples to BJ Medical College in Ahmedabad. He also said that new ventilators will be provided at all isolation wards of hospitals treating case in Saurashtra.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, one more death of a suspected swine flu patient Sulochana Ravi, 30, a pregnant woman from Rafaliya village of Wankaner taluka was reported from PDU hospital in the city. At present there are 33 patients out of which six are in critical condition, four are on ventilators.

As per government reports, 18 more cases were reported from the state on Wednesday six from Ahmedabad, five from Rajkot, one each from Vadodara City and Amreli City, two from Jamnagar, and two from Bhavnagar.

The state death toll is 162, with one death of Ghansham Patel, 28, in Ahmedabad Civil Hospital while on Tuesday, two deaths were reportedseven-year-old girl Vali Karshan in Guru Gobind Singh Hospital Jamnagar City and 47-year-old woman Rukya Fakir in Sir T General Hospital in Bhavnagar City.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Mahuva Bhavnagar Jamnagar District News Saurashtra Gujarat India

Black-necked stork sighted in Mahuva Gujarat India.

In a rare sighting, a black-necked stork was sighted for the second time in Ranigala area of Mahuva taluka. This sighting has risen.

Hope that there might be more storks in the area. Earlier, the rare bird was sighted in Velavadar of Bhavnagar district.

Forest officials said that the bird sighted twice in Bhavnagar is in fact never found in Nalsarovar and Thol, the two main bird sanctuaries of the Gujarat State. There have been reports of this bird breeding in Khijadia of Jamnagar district.

Bakul Trivedi, an avid ornithologist told TOI: "I have not come across sightings of black-necked stork in Nalsarovar and Thol. Of course there have been reports of breeding sites near Khijadia in Jamnagar District. However, the sighting in Ranigala means that there could be more birds in the area."

The black-necked stork also called 'Ephippiorhynchus Asiaticus’ is a resident breeder in southern Asia and Australia. It is around 130-150 cm tall with a 230 cm wing span. The head, neck, wing bar and tail are jet black, with the rest of the plumage white and an average weight of around 4.1 kg. Officials said the black-necked stork breeds in marshes and wetlands in tropical lowland areas. Also that they are extremely sensitive to environmental changes like water pollution, habitat destruction and human disruption around breeding sites.

It is evaluated as 'near threatened' on the 'IUCN red list of threatened and endangered species'.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Dead Dugong Jamnagar Saurashtra Gujarat India Coastal News

Dugong found dead along Jamnagar Gujarat Coastal Area.

A dead dugong that washed ashore along the Jamnagar coast on Friday evening has raised hope that there might be a small population of the rare and endangered marine mammal surviving along the coast in Saurashtra Kutch region.

Dugong or sea cow is usually found in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and Shark Bay and Torres Strait, south of New Guinea. Apart from these foreign destinations, dugong has been sighted along the Indian coast in Gulf of Mannar and Andaman Nicobar.

Divisional Forest Office (DFO) at the Jamnagar Marine National Park, Prakash Sata, said that on Friday evening body of five feet and four inches long, sea mammal aged around four years was recovered.

Sata said there was no apparent external mark of injury on the body which indicated that the mammal might have died on being trapped in the fishing nets. It might have got involved with an accident with a boat.

Sata said that the post mortem will reveal the exact cause of death. But it does not appear to be a case of poaching. He said that the last time a dugong had washed ashore was in 2004.

Sata said there have been sporadic reports of sightings of dugong in the past. The fishermen identify this mammal as "suvar machali" (pig fish) and it is also popularly known as sea cow. Sata said last sighting was reported by a navy official a week ago. However, there are no records of any regular sighting of this rare and endangered species along the state coast.

HS Singh, conservator of forests, said, "There is a history of dugong sighting along the coast from Gulf of Kutch to Pakistan. There is a large quantity of sea grass along this stretch which is suitable for the dugong presence." He said that this was the third time that the dead dugong had been found. In 2002, bodies of two dugongs were found while in 2004, a dead dugong had washed ashore.

He said that the sighting was very rare and the population could be only a couple of dozen from Gujarat to Pakistan coast. A senior officials said that dugong was found in the waters towards Pakistan but this had raised hope of their population along Gujarat coast also.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Vijarkhi Dam Jamnagar City District Tourism Saurashtra Gujarat India

The dams around Jamnagar like Vijarkhi Dam, Ranjit Sagar Dam, Sasoi Dam, Sinhan dam are also wonderful spots for Birding.

Early mornings as well as evening times are great for watching birds; this all places are also very popular picnic spots for the local people. So taking along a picnic hamper would be a great idea.

Khijadia Bird Sanctuary is a unique wetland area with sea water on one side and fresh water on one side. This area which is about 12 km from Jamnagar (Gujarat) was declared as a Sanctuary on 6th November 1982. Before independence, a check dam had been built for storing the waters of the Ruparen river just near the sea, so gradually over the years with fresh water of the rain and river on one side and salt water of the sea on the other side, a unique area came up where both varieties of vegetation came up, gradually, birds and animals also started flocking and roosting here.

The area of this Sanctuary is 605 Hectares. There are 3 Watch Tower for bird watchers, as well as inspection paths leading deep into the foliage There are also provisions for Paddle boats, in the main as well as the Jamnbuda watch tower area.

One can find both types of sea and shore birds. Watching the arrival of the Cranes during sunset for roosting is a fantastic experience.

Some of the notable birds found here are Black Ibis, Black-winged Kite, Brahminy Kite, Pheasant-tailed Jacana, Great Thick-knee, Common Greenshank, Grey Francolin, Imperial Eagle, Indian Pond Heron, Little Tern, Black-tailed Godwit, Comb Duck, Common Crane, Common Teal, Dunlin, Garganey, Marsh Harrier, Northern Pintail, Shoveler, Eurasian Wigeon, Pale Harrier, Demoiselle Crane, Sanderling and Darters.

The other wild life found here are Blue Bulls, Jackal, Wolf, Jungle Cat, Mongoose, Rabbits, Cobra.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Jamnagar City Heritage Development Care News Saurashtra Gujarat India

The last week began on an outrageous note. On Monday morning, Jamnagar police station registered an FIR stating that artifacts and paintings valuing anywhere between Rs2.5 to Rs5 crore were stolen from the sprawling royal palace. The story gets interesting. it was discovered that not only were these invaluable stolen at least a month-and-a-half back and nobody knew about it, but that the thieves had seemingly spent a lot of time in the palaces, perhaps even days there. It was later reported that Jam Ranjitsinh Jadeja’s revered bat, after which the domestic cricket Ranji trophy has been founded, was perhaps not stolen.

Even if this incident may or may not have been very grave in terms of the value of theft, what it certainly does is throws light on the callous disregard we as a society, the government and the caretakers themselves have for the valuables that these palaces house.

To begin with, most of the palaces, except the Gaekwads of Baroda, do not have a precise and exhaustive list of the paintings and other antique items in their palace. Good deals of the properties are disputed, leading to no investment by the warring parties in maintenance - as in case of Jamnagar.

Anything (painting, artifact, memorabilia etc…) more than 100-years-old cannot be sold, leaving very little incentive for the family to spend the high amount required to maintain it well. The government on the other hand is taking no interest in helping them with any kind of allowances / aid for maintenance. Worse still, a long-standing lament of the heritage hotel owners’ association (read the erstwhile royal families) is that the authorities are not even helping with basic tourist awareness of their around 30 properties in Gujarat.

Last but not the least, would you and I pay money to see our ancient paintings and artifacts like the carpets, chandeliers, perhaps even the classical original paintings of Raja Ravi Varma, depicting India? The answer is often a ‘No’.

The outcome of all of this is that this ‘heritage’, which historians, heritage conservationists, social scientists and art connoisseurs feel are a part of our identity - is decaying, very soon, beyond recognition. These artifacts are a depiction of Indian culture of the bygone era, when European beaches and Uncle Sam’s muscle power did not dominate the Indian mind space, and how India a century back absorbed other cultures without losing its own.

A brief look at what we are turning away our face from will be appalling to being with. Reliable sources confide at least four Raja Ravi Varma portraits are lying unpreserved in a property in Bhavnagar City. Several history books, map records, cutlery, furniture, jewellery, arms like swords, specially woven carpets, chandeliers, licensed trophies of wild animals… the list goes on. A rough estimate of these things has been put at over one billion US dollars. And this does not include several timeless artifacts like ace cricketer Ranjitsinh’s bats that were feared stolen. For a cricket enthusiast, it would be invaluable.

Many of these palaces in Saurashtra Region are close to the sea, leading to further degradation from the salt-laden air.

“The private collections of the former rulers of states are still there in these palaces. And these are perishable items. Some were specially commissioned works, some by imported artisans, some works by tribal artisans. These artisans are not there anymore; this work does not happen now. If it is not preserved, this part of our history will be lost forever,” says IPS officer Ajay Chaudhary, and a member of the state heritage policy committee.

Art collector Anil Relia says his heart bleeds when he hears of these things. “All artwork has to be fumigated at least once a year. Paper fish is generated naturally as moisture touches the painting. It is basically a very simple process. Sometimes these artifacts are not even properly documented. Our laws are not conducive to effective maintenance of such antique heritage,” he says.

But talk to those in the custody of these memorabilia, the response is pat - “Who will pay for it?” maharaja of Wankaner Digvijaysinh says, followed by a heavy pause. “Of course we know there is value to the memorabilia, but how does one value it? It is invaluable,” he says. Maintenance, armed security, et al, he feels depends on the owner. “I have no suggestions for this. Laws alone will not help. Laws are for the society, not individuals,” he finishes.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Mukesh Ambani CMD of Reliance Refinery Industries Jamnagar News Gujarat India

India’s Mukesh Ambani awarded Penn Engineering Dean’s Medal.

Mukesh Ambani, the CMD of Reliance Industries Ltd., received the Penn Engineering Dean’s Medal here in Mumbai, India, on Friday, 8th January 2010. In a ceremony at the Trident Hotel he was honoured with the Dean’s Medal by Eduardo Glandt, Dean of Penn Engineering. The University of Pennsylvania has conferred this award on Mukesh Ambani for his visionary leadership in the application of engineering and technology for the betterment of society and mankind. The award is a testimony to this global visionary; who runs India’s biggest corporate house, Reliance Industries Ltd.

The keynote address for the event was made by Dean Glandt who introduced Mukesh Ambani warmly, in a well attended gathering in the Regal Room of the Trident Hotel. Amidst the attendees were industrialists, celebrities and the Indian media including Kumaramangalam Birla, Anand Mahindra and Sachin Tendulkar. In his speech Mr. Ambani announced the newest project of the Reliance Foundation – a university in India, to be headed by Mrs. Nita Ambani. He also expressed with much passion the requirement for a global paradigm shift to include a focus on real engineering instead of financial engineering in light of the recent economic crisis.

Mr. Mukesh Ambani has come a long way having started his corporate journey in 1981 when he joined his father, late Mr. Dhirubhai Ambani, the founding chairman of Reliance. He initiated Reliance’s vertical integration journey from textiles into polyester fibres and further into petrochemicals, petroleum refining and eventually oil and gas exploration and production. He then led the creation of 51 new, world-class manufacturing facilities encompassing diverse technologies that increased Reliance’s manufacturing capacities manifold.

The Jamnagar Refinery in Gujarat which is now the world’s largest grassroots petroleum refinery was the brainchild of Mukesh Ambani. Dhirubhai’s dream project Reliance Infocomm, which is now one of the largest telecommunications companies in India and has emerged as Reliance Communications Limited was also set up by Mukesh Ambani. He is currently steering Reliance’s development of a pan-India retail network, a transformational initiative connecting, rural and urban India.

In a recent study by the Harvard Business Review, Mukesh Ambani has been recognized as the fifth best CEO of the world in a review, which surveyed a total of 1,999 CEOs of large public traded companies across the globe. In the course of his career he has been conferred as many as 5 awards by NDTV, a leading news channel in India. He has also featured in the survey of ‘Top 50 Most Respected Business Leaders of the World’ conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2002 as well as 2004. At the global level Mukesh Ambani has been felicitated twice by the United States India Business Council. He is also the only Indian CEO to be invited thus far to become a Council Member of World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) in July 2007.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Kite Flying Uttarayan Festival Jamnagar City Saurashtra Gujarat India

Jamnagar Municipal Corporation said that, “Kite Flying prohibited during early morning and sunset”.

The Jamnagar City is known to be bird’s paradise, especially in the winter. However, in winter also comes the festival of Uttarayan( Makar Sankranti Kite Flying), which brings along with it, the danger of razor-sharp manjas which pose a danger to these birds.

To protect bird deaths from being victims of manjas, Jamnagar Municipal Corporation (JMC) has banned kite flying in early morning and late evening. This is the time when maximum number of birds fly towards their nests, the notification declaring the ban said.

"The notification, which was released on Friday said, kite flying in the city is banned between six and eight am as well as five and seven pm in the city area," a municipal corporation official said, adding, "This suggestion has been given by the state government. Jamnagar has become the first city to implement it in Makar Sankranti 2010."

There are more than 327 species of birds found in and around Jamnagar, which includes both domestic and migratory birds. There are endangered species also which regularly visit Jamnagar. Furthermore, the city lake, situated in the middle of the city, becomes home to around 98 species of winged visitors during winter. The entire area turns into a bird watcher paradise.

Jaydeep Purohit, a bird lover who never misses to take a round of the lake, said, "We welcome this step taken by municipal authorities. But, at the same time we ourselves must also do something."

Another lover and expert on birds Jaypalsingh Jadeja said, "There are 98 species of birds one can spot at Lakhota lake Talav. Wigeons, Mallard, Pin Tail, Gargani, Common Teal, Tefted Pochard, Common Pochard, Gadwa and many other migratory ducks, shovellers which fly in from Europe."

Tartear which is common for us but a rare bird to watch, Black-Necked Stark which is endangered species list and the bird like Great Crested Greebe, which is found round the year are also seen in Khijadiya bird sanctuary on the outskirts of the city. Sometimes they can be spotted on outer areas as well, where even Flamingoes and White Pelicans can be spotted.

Ganthiyas are poison' for winged visitors'
In a parallel complaint to help save the winged visitors to Jamnagar from being fed oily foods at Lakhota lake, Jaydeep Purohit, a bird lover, and his friends are working towards a program where they can educate people not to feed ganthiya' to the birds, explaining to them the harm they can do to the birds. "We are trying to pursue and educate people against feeding ganthiya and also educating the ganthiya sellers at the lake. People usually feed the ganhtiya, thinking it to be a good deed," Purohit said.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Salim Durrani Interview about Ravindra Jadeja Jamnagar News Gujarat India

In his playing days, Salim Durrani was often called poor man’s Gary Sobers. Left-handed Durrani could turn the match on its head with his batting or spin bowling.

Of late, Durrani has bemoaned the lack of all-rounders in India, but fellow Jamnagarite Ravindra Jadeja has raised his hopes. In this interview, Durrani talks about what makes Jadeja such an exciting prospect.

Do you think the current Indian team is the best ever?
It is a debatable topic. The team is playing superb cricket and full credit to Mahendra Singh Dhoni for leading the side the way he does. But I am really impressed with Sachin Tendulkar.

He has been playing for more than two decades but still bats like an 18-year-old. The team’s success is largely due to Sachin Tendulkar form and presence.

Fielding has been a big concern...
If we hope to win the World Cup, fielding has to improve. Look at Australia and South Africa. Luckily, we have some good fielders in Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja.

Just like you, Jadeja is a left-hander and bowls spin. Does he remind you of you?

Ravindra has put Jamnagar back on cricket map. Jamnagar used to be the Mecca of Indian cricket and now with Ravindra’s arrival, the spirit is back. He has a bright future and will be a great asset for the team.

What’s your advice to him?

Ravindra the batsman needs to be patient. He needs a really big innings at the highest level under his belt. As a bowler, he should bring more variation in pace.

Do you regret not getting an opportunity to play Twenty20?

Not at all. I was an attacking batsman and always played cricket in T20 fashion. No regrets.

A word on Delhi’s pitch fiasco?

It is not only unfortunate for cricket but for spectators as well. The cricket board should come up with a new pitches committee that should include only curator and former cricketers who have played at the highest level.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji Duleepsinhji Cricketer Nawanagar Jamnagar History Gujarat India

Unlike today, in early decades of 1900s English were ruling the cricket. But it had two cricketers from India who got recognition and appreciation. They were none other than members of royal family from Nawanagar - Late Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji of Nawanagar (now Jamnagar City) and his newphew late Duleepsinhji.

Though both the gentlemen, Ranjitsinhji in particular, played in England their charisma inspired many Indians. Ranjitsinji began his cricket career with Cambridge and went on to play first class for Sussex and England. A top batsman renowned for his elegant and innovative stroke play, Ranjisinhji scored 24,692 first class runs at an average of 56.37 between 1886 and 1920.

In 15 Tests for England, between 1896 and 1902, he scored 985 runs at an average of 44.95. He hit over 3,000 runs in successive English seasons 1899-1900. Ranjisinhji played occasionally after 1907 when he was crowned as the Maharaja of Nawanagar.

After taking over as Jam Saheb he did play in 1908 and 1912 and then tried his luck again in 1920 at age of 48. But his body didn't permit him.

Ranjitsinhji's dexterity, grace and style were unrivalled. "When he batted a strange light was seen for the first time on English fields," wrote Neville Cardus. He is said to be the pioneer of the 'leg glance', a shot he made his own. As at that time people could not even contemplate playing across the line. His cutting and driving were equally majestic.

A useful change bowler and a safe hand in the slips, Ranjitsinhji was a complete cricketer. The great cricketer who rescued his teams - England and Sussex - from the jaws of defeats on many occasions was a batsman of immense concentration.

Recalling some of the moments associated Ranjitsinhji, nephew of Duleepsinhji and former captain of Saurashtra, MV Jadeja, in an exclusive interview last year said, "Despite hitting three centuries in as many innings, Ranjitsinhji was looking tense and focusing hard while sitting in pavilion. One of his close friends CB Fry asked him to relax a bit as he had three tons backing him. But Ranjitsinhji remarked, "It is past. This is new innings and I will ensure I don't get out cheaply," Jadeja had said.

Ranji Trophy began in 1935 and while the sport has seen colossal change, the tournament continues to be a nursery for Test players. The trophy was donated by Bhupendra Singh Mahinder Bahadur, Maharaja of Patiala in the memory of Ranjitsinhji.

Ranjisinhji was thorough gentleman and arguably most popular Indian across the globe during his era. According to historian John Lord, Ranjitsinhji was 'the first Indian of any kind to become universally known and popular'.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Akhil Gujarat Rajput Yuva Sangh Rajkot Jamnagar City News Gujarat India

'Give a degree to your daughter instead of dowry'

Taking a cue from Patel community model in girls' education, Rajputs across Saurashtra and Kutch have joined hands and launched a Rajput Kanya Kelvani Rath Yatra with an aim to spread awareness within their community.

"The scenario of girl’s education in our community is very poor, particularly in rural areas. Gender inequality, social customs and economic conditions are the major reasons for their not being allowed to study further. So, we thought of reaching out to the remote villages and spreading awareness,'' says PT Jadeja, who spearheads the yatra, organized by Akhil Gujarat Rajput Yuva Sangh.

Generally, girls drop out after primary education in villages as their parents let them study till there is a facility within their village, he explained. "So many aspirant girls do not get higher education despite qualification. We hope that, our yatra will change the scenario'' says Bhikhubha Vadher, another one of the organizers.

"We give the Patel community's example for girls education. Apart from girls' education, we want the community to reject old customs and adopt social reforms. We urge them that they should give a degree to their daughter' instead of dowry,' Patel adds.

The yatra, which began on December 14, 2009 in Surendranagar district, has already covered 100 villages and has plans to cover 100 more by the coming week.

Similar yatras have been conducted in 2005 and 2007 in Rajkot and Jamnagar districts. "Each year, we cover a different district and this time we chose Surendranagar," Jadeja said.

Furthermore, this yatra is also used as a medium for fund collection to build free-of-charge educational institutes in the respective district to facilitate the girl child education. "From the money we collect from the yatras and donations, we have been building special girls' hostels and educational buildings at district levels where girls from class VIII onwards can get admission and get education up to graduation or post-graduation, whichever field she prefers,'' he added.

"We have already built two such hostels in Rajkot and Jamnagar, with 250 occupancy each," he added. In fact, the organizers got an overwhelming response, so much so that they need to expand the existing capacity of the girls' hostels.

The group has also floated the idea of adoption of girls - to sponsor education of girls of poor backgrounds. In February, this yatra will go to 325 villages in Kutch district with same message.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Jam Ranjitsinhji Royal Collection Jamnagar City News Samachar Gujarat India

Ranjitsinhji’s bat, belongings safe.

Jam Saheb Shatrushailyasinhji Jadeja of the Jamnagar royal family has denied the theft of any personal belongings of his famous predecessor and cricketer, Jam Ranjitsinhji, in the recent palace burglary.

A day after his kin registered a case of theft in the Jam Bungalow Palace (once the royal residence) with the Jamnagar B-Division police station, Jadeja categorically said in a statement that neither Ranjitsinhji’s bat nor any personal belonging of the legendary cricketer have been stolen. Jadeja is in Mumbai now.

He, however, said that family members present in Jamnagar have told him that a part of his own collection of objects d’art is missing.

“The room where the theft has been reported did not house anything that belonged to Jam Ranjitsinhji,” Jadeja said.

He maintained that the exact number of objects and their value can be ascertained only after he returns to Jamnagar City after a week.

Jadeja also said that the room has suffered heavy damages.

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