Cacophony Of Tall Claims
The NDA government at the Centre has failed miserably to fulfil the promises political parties had made during the Lok Sabha elections of 2014. It has been pursuing wrong policies, and Union ministers keep on blaming the previous government for the ills the country has been plagued with. The senior Union ministers and politicians belonging to the ruling alliance partners do not spell out what actions they have taken in the last four years to put an end to the ills and problems. Let me focus on a few issues to drive my point home. What purpose does the Jan Dhan accounts serve to the general public? How many have received Rs 15 lakh in their bank accounts as had been promised during the 2014 electioneering? The silence of the muzzled media is deafening. The news organisations have become propaganda voices of the Modi government. Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has claimed that his government made more judicial appointments than the previous dispensation. He has also asserted that the government respects decisions of the SC collegium as regards the appointments of judges. But some recent developments on the matter abundantly make it clear that the government does not respect the decisions of the collegium vis-à-vis the selection of the judges.
MENINO MARIO ARAUJO, SANTA CRUZ
The Host Humbled
RUSSIA has been bowed out of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The Russians started as the lowest ranked team in the tournament but defied predictions, form and ranking to reach the last eight only to go down fighting gallantly to Croatia ranked 20, as against Russia’s 70, on penalty shootout. The unheralded Russians displayed tenacity and stamina before a packed home crowd to match Croatia man for man but lost out of luck in the shootout. Stanislav Cherchesov’s team had outwitted the formidable Spain in the pre-quarterfinals to produce a stunning result which sent the 2010 champions packing. While the fans, who danced the whole night on the streets of Moscow after Russia’s unexpected triumph over Spain, were understandably crestfallen but the unanimous opinion was that the team exited with its newfound pride after the group stage. One of the extraordinary players for Russia was definitely its captain, and goalkeeper, Igor Akinfeev. He played a stellar role in saving crucial penalties against Spain to take Russia into the last eight first time after 1970. So much so, Akinfeev, described as having the ‘feet of God’, was compared to the legendary goalkeeper Lev Yashin of the former Soviet Union. Moreover, following the encounter with Spain, Akinfeev was brutally honest to admit the team was “playing for the penalties” which not only indicated the tremendous self-confidence he had in himself but also endeared him to the fans. Against Croatia, Akinfeev did his bit, but the mishits of Fyodor Simolov and Fernandes did Russia in. Though the Russians could not emulate the 1966 semifinal feat of the erstwhile Soviet Union, which had finished fourth, but its football culture is set to change dramatically following its splendid run in the FIFA 2018.
GANAPATHI BHAT, AKOLA