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Sight Screen

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Now now, children! Behave!

Been watching, with interest and some amusement, the flood of comments on here. Couple of points I thought needed making: Someone asked, can I stop the 'anonymous' postings. Sure I can -- Blogger lets me chose who I can permit and who not.
Thing though is, I don't want to put any checks on your voice. The best part of cricket writing for me has always been the feedback -- instantaneous, vocal, varied, most often insightful, and always passionate. Which is why I would much rather rely on you guys exercising self-discipline, and where needed some self-censorship, than play schoolmaster myself.
Argue all you want, guys -- try not to get personal, though, please?
On another note, I noticed the segue into what is nepotism -- and the remark made by someone that maybe arguing the subject constitutes 'hijacking' of this platform. Nope, it doesn't -- that's the fun of cricket, you can start discussing it as a game, and find yourself beguiled into all sorts of side arguments about regionalism, or politics, or differing cultures, whatever. Feel free to digress -- within reason, though; for instance, if you find an irresistible urge to discuss Jayalalitha Jayaram's politics or Laloo Yadav's personality, desist! :-)
By way of aside, some of the comments on here about bias reminded me of an incident from when I was doing regular cricket reporting. All I had to do was mention Sachin Tendulkar in a report, and sure enough, one of the first mails I got would be from this bloke -- a long-winded mail suggesting the only reason I was 'supporting' Tendulkar was because I was a fellow Maharashtrian.
It was, always, the same note (I suspect he had saved it as a word document, and was sending it fresh each time).
This, mind, was at a time when Sachin was almost the only batsman in the side doing anything of note -- so initially, I sent off a polite note, suggesting that when a player does well, to say so is not bias, but merely reportage.
Didn't make a difference. Next good knock, next report, and in came that mail, the contents of which by then I knew by rote. So for a while, I let them go outside off. One day, though, I sent back a teasing note, saying let's see, your premise is, I am a Maharashtrian, Tendulkar is a Maharashtrian, ergo I am biased in his favor. Problem is, my surname ends in 'ker' not 'kar'; I am a Keralite -- ergo, your premise of regionalism-based favoritism falls flat.
Next time Sachin did something good on the field, I remember thinking, geez, at least this time, the guy won't mail me. Put up report, checked mail later, and first crack out of the box, there it was again -- the same long-winded diatribe against my 'bias'.
Same mail, word for word, that I had gotten till then -- with one difference. He had put a period after 'you are biased' and erased the 'because you are a Maharashtrian', which followed.
When I saw that, I laughed out loud, honest.

23 Comments:

  • Thats precisely the problem with opinionated posters and readers. The suffer from the "mera khoon khoon.. tera khoon paani" syndrome.

    By Blogger sachin, at 17:43  

  • I agree Prem - everyone is entitled to have an opinion and so moderation of views and counterviews is not warranted for. But then everyone has to be a tiny winy bit responsible when they post any comment. Else you will have to become the next Nepal King :-)

    By Blogger @mit, at 17:48  

  • give him credit prem.. atleast he checked his document and changed the sentence..LOL.. funny stuff..

    By Anonymous LabRat, at 17:48  

  • I love posting in cricket forums and I see such things all the time. There is always one such person whose job is to just start an issue. In a cricket forum where I post there is this guy who always comes up with new threads like "Who is better India or Pakistan?" or "Shoaib Akhtar is nothing compared to Tendulkar" and so on...

    At first these threads used to be very hot and there used to heated debates and personal attacks but soon everyone in the forum realized that the person who created such threads enjoyed people bitching and fighting. He has almost quit the forums as noone replies to any of his threads but he still tries to bring up controversial threads time amd again.

    By Blogger Rahul Kulkarni, at 17:59  

  • prem,

    You are biased.
    Your name means that you love. That means that you love things, including cricket. This means you cannot give unbiased reports.

    Amar

    PS: In fact, all you journalists should be given names like "nis-paksha-paat-dristi-var " by their clairvoyant parents

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 18:00  

  • Hi Prem,
    Did you ever look consider it from the perspective that maybe he was just having fun!! May have started out seriously but might have ended up as a tradition.
    -KB
    PS : Just cause I am looking at the ball from the rougher side dont mean I am the one sending you those mails!! Though I do wish I had the motivation to do that! Kudos

    By Blogger KB, at 18:08  

  • Prem,
    Now I know why you used to support Tinu Youhanan........because he is a Keralite. :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 18:14  

  • Hi,
    Another interesting rheoteric. I played a game against Tinu about 5 years back. He was playing for Loyola, college in chennai. Pretty damn quick at that level. Didnt realise who he was till like 2 years later!!! Turns out we also had an ace up our sleve, Ramkumar. Aparently he is playing for Tamil Nadu and South Zone. Kinda boosts up my own meagre value as a cricketer, atleast in my mind!!!!
    -Balajee

    By Blogger KB, at 18:24  

  • Is that you on the far right,Prem?

    http://us.rediff.com/money/2005/jun/15nasdaq.htm

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 18:25  

  • Prem, if it's you on that NASDAQ photo, you look tired/dis-interested.....

    By Anonymous Raj, at 18:30  

  • I find your approach of tackling rubbish critcisms instead of deleting them,refreshing and bold.Keep it up

    By Blogger Badri, at 22:45  

  • But I would be happier if you slightly brought down your number of posts and clubbed lot of info into fewer posts.Prob is if i come to your blog once in 2 days,I have too much navigating to do

    By Blogger Badri, at 22:46  

  • It's funny. It seems we dont want Prem to have a right to like/dislike a player. I guess this thing has been going on since Prem started writting on Rediff.

    Keep writting Prem, We love reading your articles/opinions, Biased or otherwise.

    By Anonymous SP, at 00:06  

  • Lol.. so, does he say the same now that you wrote something positive about Saurav Ganguly? Hopefully not.. Else i'd have to change his classification from "sachin hater" to "deranged prem's articles hater?"

    By Blogger Manu, at 01:08  

  • Hey Prem!!

    Is that you in the pic? if yes then it ditto matches with the image i have in my mind of you ...
    I used to think that u must be a bald guy with some sort of beard...
    :-D
    Tell me is that u??

    By Anonymous Abhay, at 01:34  

  • what the heck, let me open a new can of worms.

    no diatribe here, just curious to know how many reports of yours have criticized sachin? or was there never any reason to write one such?

    By Blogger chatura, at 04:45  

  • Or to add an other perspective,how many have appreciated Ganguly

    By Blogger Ravi, at 04:57  

  • Prem...One amazing thing about you is that unlike yr name suggests,you don't 'panic'..do you;)

    By Blogger Ravi, at 05:02  

  • KB(Balajee)..Are u from US...any chance u are from Austin,Texas??

    By Blogger Ravi, at 05:05  

  • Prem Bhai

    You Are Very Good In Cricket Journalisam..! Keep it up!
    Your Article is always nice to read! and informative.. All the Best!

    Welcome to Visit South Florida...!
    "Sadhya Ready Annu panikeree"

    By Anonymous Joe, at 06:39  

  • Hi Prem,
    I came accross this link in "The Guardian" Newspaper. I found it very interesting...
    http://www.mikemarqusee.com/
    Mike Marqusee writes on cricket, politics, the Iraq war, etc. What is unique is that he is actually an American. For an American to write so well on cricket and on sub-continental issues is what makes him a stand-out.
    I liked these two articles very much. One on politics and USA
    http://www.mikemarqusee.com/index.php?p=128#more-128

    and the other on cricket
    http://www.mikemarqusee.com/index.php?p=122#more-122

    By Blogger Prakash ES, at 10:06  

  • Hi Ravi,
    I am in US, but not from Austin Tx.Incidently how did you know my name? Do I know you?
    -KB

    By Blogger KB, at 13:37  

  • Name mentioned in the bottom of yr note.I have a cousin by the same name and played League cricket in Chennai.Also lives in US.Just took a long shot;)

    By Blogger Ravi, at 02:35  

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