Tuesday, 31 May 2016


ANCIENT IRISH MUSICAL HISTORY FOUND IN INDIABy Mihika Basu, Bangalore Mirror Bureau | May 15, 2016, 02.00 AM IST

Musical traditions of south India are a great insight into musical cultures of Europe

An archaeologist studying musical horns from iron-age Ireland has found that musical traditions, thought to be long dead, are alive and well in south India. The realisation that modern Indian horns are almost identical to many iron-age European artefacts reveals a rich cultural link between the two regions 2,000 years ago, said PhD student Billy O Foghlu, from the Australian National University (ANU).

The findings, according to the researcher, help show that Europe and India had a lively cultural exchange with musicians from the different cultures sharing independently developed technology and musical styles. The research has been published in the Journal of Indian Ocean Archaeology.

"Archaeology is usually silent. I was astonished to find what I thought to be dead soundscapes alive and living in Kerala today," said the ANU College of Asia-Pacific student.

He further said, "The musical traditions of south India, with horns such as the kompu, are a great insight into musical cultures in Europe's prehistory. And, because Indian instruments are usually recycled and not laid down as offerings, the artefacts in Europe are also an important insight into the soundscapes of India's past."

One example of the musical mixing is depicted in a carving of a celebration in Sanchi, dating from c300 BC, which shows a group of musicians taking part, playing two European carnyces, a horn with an animal's head, said a media release from the Australian National University.

According to O Foghlu, the musical style of Kerala explains some of the mysteries surrounding the horns that have been unearthed in European iron-age excavations and suggest a very different musical soundscape to current western music. "Some almost identical instruments have been unearthed together, but they are slightly out of tune with each other to western ears," he said.

O Foghlu said that this was previously assumed to be evidence of shoddy workmanship. "But in Indian music, this kind of dissonance is deliberate and beautiful. Horns are used more as a rhythm instrument, not for melody or harmony in a western sense," he added.

Robert Vadra matters to Congress, but why is BJP gentle with him?

Robert Vadra matters to Congress, but why is BJP gentle with him?
Indicative of his clout, Robert Vadra, who first came into the public eye after my exposé on 8 October, 2012 and whose financial and legal transgressions are fairly strongly documented, continues to roam free in 2016, undaunted by the “powerful”, Narendra Modi-led NDA regime, which has forced even corporate bigwigs like Vijay Mallya and Lalit Modi to flee the country in order to avoid investigation and possible incarceration.

A log of the developments leading to, and following, this key October 2012 expose indicate how all stops are pulled in order to allow this “private individual” safe passage.

The newsroom struggle

It was an unending struggle to get the Robert Vadra story published, although the documents involving his companies were handed to me as soon as I joined The Hindu in February 2012.

After detailed investigation, fact-checking, study of the balance sheets of the companies in question, and emailing detailed questions to both Vadra and his “partner” the DLF Group, regarding suspicious entries involving real estate transactions (particularly involving the purchase of a plot in Manesar, Gurgaon), the story was eventually submitted in April.

A file photo of Robert Vadra. PTI

These emails ensured that everyone in politics, bureaucracy, government investigative agencies CBI, IB and RAW, the legal community and other politically connected individuals, including senior journalists working in other media outfits, came to know that a politically explosive story, involving the son-in-law of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, was ready to serve.

Needless to say, for unspecified/unknown reasons, the story could not be published for several months. When I finally lost hope, and since a lot of work had gone into this expose, I sought permission to gift both the story and documents to advocate and civil society activist Prashant Bhushan.

After a press conference was held by India Against Corruption, making the relevant allegations, my story was eventually published on 8 October, 2012.

This article questioned how Vadra's Skylight Hospitality Ltd and another five companies, with zero business activity or employees and meagre promotor funds of just Rs 50 lakh in 2007-08, succeeded in acquiring, by 2010, as many as 29 high-value properties, with the help of interest-free loans and advances from DLF and other builders and why these firms needed to invest in Vadra in the first place.

Smacking of financial chicanery, assets were found ballooning in each subsequent balance sheet, while curiously, the business activity did not; incomes were masked as “current liabilities”; “loss making” firms continued to make investments; accumulated losses of Rs 3 crore wiped out Vadra's capital and reserves, raising questions about his ability to buy so many expensive properties with zero capital; the penury forced his firms to seek loans and advances, but strangely, no one pressed for the return of this money.

The contents of the story, which detailed several other financial gaps as well, remain unchallenged by Vadra till date, though DLF later sent some irrelevant clarifications. I say irrelevant, since the entire story was based on Vadra's own balance sheets, leaving no scope for rebuttal.

Manesar mutation cancelled, officer transferred

Soon after the publication of this expose, IAS officer Ashok Khemka, who was then Director General, Land Holdings and Land Records and Inspector General of Registration, Haryana, set aside the mutation - the process of giving effect to the sale deed in favor of DLF - of Vadra's property. Like clockwork, a Haryana government committee indicted him for acting “wrongly” in the Vadra case and summarily transferred him out of the crucial post.

The Vadra expose opened up questions about the Haryana “land boom” under its then Chief Minister BS Hooda, leading to another story being published later the same month about unwarranted and illegal favors meted out to a bevy of builders, including, like Vadra, those who had no experience in the realty business.

Following this, the Haryana government issued a token rejoinder, but didn't appear unduly perturbed.

New expose details Vadra-Hooda land illegalities

Two months later, in February 2013, I detailed the policies violated and illegalities committed by Hooda in the licensing of the Manesar plot to Vadra.

This time, all hell broke loose. An army of top Haryana government officials descended upon The Hindu office. As many as five of Hooda's key officials: SS Dhillon the then PS to CM; K K Khandelwal, the then APS to CM; TC Gupta, the then PS, Town and Country Planning (TCP); Anurag Rastogi, Director, TCP and Shiv Bhatia, media advisor to CM all came calling.

However, they had absolutely no defence or counter to the article and so this time, even the clarification these officials brandished in the course of the meeting, was not worth publishing.

Khemka submits detailed list of illegalities

In August, 2013, Khemka, countering charges of having acted “wrongly” in the Vadra-DLF matter, submitted a detailed counter listing as many as eight illegalities and irregularities involved in the allotment of the Manesar land.

CAG corroborates charges of illegality

The CAG independently corroborated my charges of illegality in the Vadra scandal in its Report of Social, General and Economic Sectors (Non-PSUs) for the year ended 31 March, 2014.

This report further highlighted that in the case of Vadra's firm Skylight Hospitality Pvt Ltd, the fraudulently obtained land was sold to its collaborator DLF Universal Ltd at 7.73 times the original cost after the in-principle approval for transfer of licence was granted in April 2012.

Although net profit beyond 15 per cent of the total cost accrues to the public exchequer, TCP, Haryana did not ensure that this money was deposited, neither at the time of granting in-principle approval nor at the time of formal approval for transfer of licences. This deprived the state exchequer of sizeable revenue.

NDA still playing tag in Parliament/media

Hooda is now under probe by the Justice SN Dhingra Commission for his role in the illegal grants of licences to hundreds of private companies, including the Robert Vadra case involving his company Skylight Hospitality and DLF.

But we are yet to learn of any independent enquiry by the Enforcement Directorate, DRI or CBI, into Vadra's corporate affairs, undisclosed incomes and assets save for an ED enquiry in some land matters in Rajasthan. One can also get to Vadra through DLF. DLF is a listed company, which means its financial dealings have to withstand public scrutiny, but strangely, SEBI appears loathe to act against it.

When the UPA was in power, then Finance Minister, P Chidamabaram, within hours of my story breaking, made a public statement saying that Vadra was a “private individual” so needn't be investigated. That was a public message to all investigating agencies and regulators to keep an arms length distance from Vadra's affairs.

Now that his mother-in-law no longer rules the country, Vadra technically, is not just a private individual but also an “ordinary” one. But the "automatic scrutiny” that kicks in almost too fast for “ordinary”, “private” individuals, for some reason, didn't in Vadra's particular case.

It is amusing that BJP leader Kirit Somaiya thought it fit to raise the Vadra issue in Parliament, considering Vadra's established status as a “private individual” or to demand an ED probe so late in the day. I repeat: for ordinary folks, like Vadra is said to be, tax and CBI officials just show up at their door - no Parliamentary preamble needed.

Vadra too, on his part, seems to enjoy adding to the overall angst by releasing periodic sound bytes to the media about his “political ambitions”. I suspect both Vadra and the NDA are, in effect, actually direct messaging the Gandhi's while pretending to play to the gallery.

There are no two ways about it. Vadra is an absolute inconvenience, placing both the Gandhi's and the BJP under an undesirable political spotlight.

Except that right now, it is the NDA which has more to lose. With two years in the saddle, and despite all the existing evidence at hand, BJP spokespersons keep constantly claiming to be in the process of “gathering” information. This is extremely worrisome.

The NDA's ludicrous Parliamentary and media “episodes”, not being able to get off its feet to initiate any inquiries of consequence, and consistently losing the game of tag, will ensure that it is the Gandhis and Vadra who will have the last laugh.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Flipkart issues

As Flipkart's valuations have been sliced by as much as 40 percent, and as the company hews to a new mantra and business model, this is a good time to look at how it ended up in this mess in the first place.
By Rajiv Rao for New Tech for Old India | May 26, 2016 -- 02:15 GMT (07:45 IST) | Topic: E-Commerce http://www.zdnet.com/article/how-flipkart-lost-its-way-and-other-lessons-from-the-great-indian-ecommerce-orgy/

The co-founders of Flipkart, Sachin (l) and Binny (r) Bansal

The bells of doom began to toll for Flipkart early this year when a few investment funds with small stakes in it began to downgrade their investments by as much as 40 percent, sending a high-voltage current through the spines of the tech community.

These haircuts didn't apply to only Flipkart of course. However, since it was the biggest ecommerce player out there -- helmed by founders perceived as arrogant who were constantly in the news trumpeting a gargantuan funding round or a big-ticket hire or some other imagined milestone instead of paying attention to bread-and-butter issues like customer satisfaction and product diversity -- its fall from grace was going to attract the most attention.

Naturally, Flipkart isn't going anywhere soon. It still has millions of customers, a sprawling infrastructure, capable senior management (even if they are all formerly misguided or deluded), money, and a commanding lead over its other domestic rivals.

The only problem is the ecommerce equivalent of a large, great white shark circling the company and its name is Amazon.

While revenue growth at Flipkart and its peers has slowed alarmingly, Amazon's has grown and its market share has accelerated enormously in recent months. Plus, its war-chest is brimming and seemingly bottomless.

Amazon is also equipped with a much sharper, savvier brain that has been honed by decades of combat in the industry. Right now, it seems like a no-contest between itself and Flipkart, especially when Flipkart's customer service reputation and brand image have taken a walloping.

Which is why this is a good time to take stock of where Flipkart went wrong and what it is doing -- primarily in reaction to the circling great white and of course the slump in its business model and valuations -- to right the listing ship.

Certainly not the only company to be guilty of this, Flipkart though was the embodiment of the madness of the ecommerce boom that swept India in the last few years. As Mint observed, Flipkart (along with its smaller rival Snapdeal) kept adding people to its rolls before they could even find them a suitable position. Even if you account for a shortage of talent in the country, this kind of excess was a sign of things to come.

Another obsession was to fill its ranks with mega-salaried Silicon Valley and ex-McKinsey hires rather than people with retail brains who would be able to translate their off-ground experience into the online world.

"There is a reason why Silicon Valley-returned managers (not techies) have a tough time settling in," said veteran investor Haresh Chawla in Founding Fuel. "They are used to dealing with homogenized audiences in the west and this is the first time they are coming in contact with the chaos that is India, the diversity that comprises its consumers and the work ethics that create its organisations," he added.

Also, these American transplants soon ran into stubborn walls of resistance embodied by existing local senior management and other stakeholders who were protective of their turf. Getting things done was a herculean task for them.

This was perhaps the Achilles' heel of Flipkart -- its reliance on Gross Merchandise Value alone as a metric that it would measure to gauge how well it did. If Flipkart sold a mobile phone for the equivalent of $100, that selling price was the GMV. In a normal world, an online retailer would make a sliver of that sale -- around $2 to $3 -- and book it as revenue. However, in Flipkart's case even this amount didn't materialise as they were selling most things for a loss and financing it via their VC injections, a popular practice known as "deep-discounting" that chased customers rather than profitability.

Much like in the last dotcom boom where even seasoned Wall Street analysts were resorting to absurd metrics to justify insane valuations, ecommerce players in India hung their entire business models on the hook of the total cost of goods regardless of how much money they were bleeding.

They constantly tried to one-up each other by pointing out that their individual GMVs were bigger than that of rivals. It was like boasting about the size of your truck engine in comparison to your neighbours' even though both engines weren't working and the trucks hadn't left their driveway in months. And when Flipkart's GMVs began to slump in the last 6 months, you know something was seriously wrong.

As Chawla points out in his now-infamous Flipkart takedown, if that wasn't bad enough, it turns out that over one half of Flipkart's GMV came from selling smartphones where the Moto series alone accounted for $500 million. The lack of product diversification leads to devastating consequences in terms of luring repeat customers and growing your overall business.

This is the next logical link to a lack of product diversity, according to Chawla. A healthy ecommerce business involves hawking a range of products and thus attracting a variety of customers to your site. This forces you to up the ante in terms of search functionalities and other user-friendly bells and whistles, giving your customer a more memorable experience. None of this was happening at Flipkart. In fact, Chawla said that the reviews and Q&As were at a whole different level on rival Amazon's site.

This is what happens when you flog phones to someone who is bargain hunting for just that one product for the entire year and will probably never come back to your site.

In an act of inspired lunacy, as I wrote about here earlier last year, Flipkart decided to abandon its mobile and desktop website and opt for an app-only strategy. Sure, Indians have by-and-large skipped the PC revolution for a mobile one, and this fact probably inspired the move. In addition, patchy internet connectivity across the country and the ability to completely own the customer experience within the portals of the app, feed him or her constant updates, and collect important customer-metrics may have been too tempting a rationale at the time.

Customer service and loyalty are the new mantras at Flipkart, replacing GMV

Either way it was bone-headed. Anyone could see that faster mobile connectivity was around the corner, that low-cost Android phones that were the pre-dominant kind used in India had tiny storage space and that you would lose a large chunk of people who simply preferred the mobile/desktop web browsing experience. Flipkart learnt the hard way and eventually abandoned this strategy, but not before it cost them.

Flipkart has now recalibrated their strategy and to the amusement and chagrin of many have arrived at a new mantra: Customer satisfaction and loyalty above all else, to be measured by a brand spanking new metric much-touted in the press. This is NPS, or Net Promoter Score. "NPS breaks down into what product selection is available, how fast it is available, whether it is available all the time, and at what price," CEO Binny Bansal told Mint newspaper.

It has also hugely reduced hiring to "a trickle" -- but even here it isn't winning any points. Itdeferred by six months the joining date for the 17 job offers it made at the premier B-School in the country, the Indian Institute of Management at Ahmedabad, which has attracted not just ire from IIM but a font of negative press as well.

However, that is nothing compared to the biggest worry plaguing Flipkart's as we speak -- namely, the great white shark known as Amazon cruising effortlessly in Indian waters, gobbling up market share as each day passes.

The Truth About Azhar Lies in His Own Confessions

Sorry Bollywood, The Truth About Azhar Lies in His Own Confessions

Posted: Updated: 

Following tainted former India captain Mohammed Azharuddin's appearance on-air during the IPL this week, the Dutch and Australian fast bowler Dirk Nannes took to Twitter to ask a very pertinent question,

"Why is a confessed match fixer welcomed on a cricket show and treated like royalty? How is that even possible?"
Now, the simple answer is of course, that Azhar was on Sony's SET Max channel to spark interest in the then yet-to-be-released film Azhar on his rise, fall, and supposed "redemption", which just happens to be produced by Sony Pictures.
[H]ow did he manage to redeem himself among large sections of the public, enough for him to be elected to Parliament as Congress MP from Moradabad...?
However, what followed was a barrage of abuse (and atrocious spelling) directed at Nannes from Azharuddin's fans on Twitter, giving us a glimpse into the more complex answer to Nannes' question:
The answer is that many people today, having been too young to remember the details of the 2000 match-fixing scandal and subsequent CBI investigation, are under the impression that Azharuddin was an innocent victim of circumstances, whose name was cleared of suspicion by an Andhra Pradesh High Court judgement (even though the judgement was on the technicalities of his ban, not his actual innocence or guilt in match-fixing).
From match-fixing to image-fixing

Despite Azhar's video-taped confessions to the CBI back in 2000, enumerating specific matches he fixed, as well as his links to Anees and Dawood Ibrahim, Tiger Memon, and Abu Salem, how did he manage to redeem himself among large sections of the public, enough for him to be elected to Parliament as Congress MP from Moradabad with little challenge from the media, cricket community or our famously cricket-obsessed public?
Despite the full text of the CBI report being available online since 2000, how did he manage to shape the public discourse on his misdeeds by challenging his lifetime ban on a mere technicality, and then hailing a 2012 Andhra Pradesh High Court judgement of the ban as being "unsustainable" as a great vindication and certificate of innocence?
[I]f [young Indians] want to hear the real story, rather than this dubious "biopic", there's no better source than revisiting Azhar's own words.
After the initial flurry of investigative journalism leading up to and following the match-fixing scandal of the early 2000s, for the last 10 years, the silence of a pliant media, BCCI and cricketing community in this country allowed Azhar to do all the talking, and shape public opinion of himself with little to no challenge. And unlike before, when the in-depth analysis on Azhar's confessions to the CBI were only available in the print media or nascent Indian internet, the "improved" version of his story that he has pushed in recent years has reached a much wider audience, thanks to increasing social media penetration and rent-a-mob Twitter and Facebook fans.
Now, before this film becomes the pinnacle of his attempt to rewrite the story and definitively imprint upon the public that the courts cleared him of all match-fixing charges, it is important for the media to ensure that the truth from 16 years ago is dusted off from newspaper and magazine archives and brought back into the public's eye. Dirk Nannes deserves credit and respect for sticking to his guns and not getting bullied by the trolls, and responding to their ignorance by presenting news articles and the even the full CBI report detailing Azhar's confessions.
Azhar broke down after the CBI showed him evidence of his extensive links with the Indian underworld [including] photographs...with Yakub and Tiger Memon.
Sadly, since our own media failed to do so for the last decade, this was a case of too little, too late, as a large section of the public has already swallowed Azhar's whitewashed version, and risen to his defence. One could not help but see the similarity with Salman Khan's brush-ins with the law and the internet army he has amassed in recent years, replete with the crude insults and unfamiliarity with grammar. Still, although Nannes's efforts were the equivalent of casting pearls before swine, the point was made - the new, internet-savvy generation of India needs to hear the truth about Azhar, and if they want to hear the real story, rather than this dubious "biopic", there's no better source than revisiting Azhar's own words.
'Haan, maine match banaaya tha'
For those of us who closely followed the investigations into the 2000 match-fixing scandal, this poetic excerpt from India Today's in-depth coverage at the time remains the defining moment of Azhar's fall from grace:
"Even for a government babu's office, it was a long, uncomfortable moment. There they sat, 10 interrogators all cramped into one room, taking notes, cross referencing their memories and shuffling through papers.
With them sat a man who was slowly, in front of their eyes, collapsing into himself. He wore a green and yellow T-shirt that screamed sunshine but chose to cover his eyes with dark glasses. His hands, the ones they called among the safest in the world, were locked into one another but his life's work, his very life, was slipping through those fingers.
Mohammed Azharuddin, former India captain and darling of millions, found himself in front of the officers of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and a mountain of evidence, and could only say, 'Haan, maine match banaaya tha(Yes, I had fixed the match).'"
Rakesh Maria [said] Azhar was the "kingpin" of match-fixing, with "a criminal bent of mind"... and considered a "Bhai" by Anees Ibrahim, Chhota Shakeel, and Sharad Shetty.
According to sources at the time, after initially denying all accusations of match-fixing, Azhar broke down after the CBI showed him evidence of his extensive links with the Indian underworld, led by Mumbai Police Commissioner M.N. Singh's damning evidence -- back in 1993, photographs of Azhar with Yakub and Tiger Memon (Dawood's lieutenant and the main accused in the 1993 Bombay serial bomb blasts case) surfaced during investigations led by the high-profile supercop and former Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria. In the photos, Azhar was in the Memons' home -- in one, Azhar in white trousers and black spotted shirt is sitting with Tiger and Yakub in their bedroom; in the other, he's posing with Tiger.

Rakesh Maria also featured on camera in the famous Tehelka match-fixing investigation, in conversation with Aniruddha Bahal, saying he knew since the mid-1990s, well before the CBI investigations, that Azhar was the "kingpin" of match-fixing in India, with "a criminal bent of mind", and was considered a "Bhai" byAnees Ibrahim, Chhota Shakeel, and Sharad Shetty

In addition, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) men conducting routine surveillance in November 1997, stumbled upon a conversation between Azhar and Anees Ibrahim, brother of Dawood, on the latter's personal mobile phone (00971 444 8585). The conversation revolved around the fixing of a Titan Cup match between India and South Africa.
[H]e admitted to his relationship with underworld don Abu Salem, his attempts at match-fixing and betting with teammates Ajay Sharma, Ajay Jadeja and Nayan Mongia, as well as bookies...
Plus, mere weeks before the match-fixing scandal was exposed, a Mumbai businessman named Ashraf Patel was gunned down outside his home, just two days after being seen with Azhar. When questioned by the CBI, Azhar claimed Patel had no "involvement with cricket", but the Mumbai Police suspected otherwise, with an officer saying, "Patel was gunned down because he knew too much about betting deals and match-fixing involving some prominent cricketers and influential persons in Mumbai. He could have been silenced to destroy evidence."

The Mumbai Police continued, with evidence that it was Ashraf Patel who first introduced Azhar to Dawood's lieutenant Sharad Shetty -- a man known to be in control of betting in horse-racing-- in Sharjah in 1997. So close were their links, claimed the police, that Azhar lived in his Dubai apartment when he was in the Emirates and accepted expensive gifts from him.
Azhar tried to redeem himself by telling CBI investigators that underworld don Abu Salem had also approached him to fix matches, but he had refused. But this only corroborated the testimony of the Indian cricket team's physiotherapist Ali Irani, who told the CBI, "Azhar had once said that since he was doing matches with Anees Ibrahim (the brother of Dawood Ibrahim), he would not do [sic] with anyone else."

As he broke down under this extensive evidence, Azhar confessed to fixing three specific matches:
• India vs. South Africa at Rajkot at the 1996 Titan Cup (Scorecard) for bookie Mukesh Gupta (the match discussed with Anees Ibrahim).
• India vs. Sri Lanka at Colombo at the 1997 Asia Cup (Scorecard) for bookie Mukesh Gupta.
• India vs. Pakistan at Jaipur in 1999 (Scorecard) for bookie Ajay Gupta (no relation to Mukesh).
I appeal to all the public to not be swayed by the misinformation Azhar is spreading about himself in the media...
Strengthened by testimony from Sachin Tendulkar, where he told the CBI of his suspicions of Azhar's links with bookies, the investigators were convinced that these three matches were merely the tip of the iceberg, reporting, "In view of the large amount of money Azhar had received from Ajay Gupta and the hospitality he has enjoyed through him it is very difficult to believe that he did only one match for them."

If this weren't enough, in April 2005, Outlook magazine made a startling discovery. In July 2000, the Income Tax Department raided a number of cricketers and celebrities across India, in collaboration with the CBI's investigation. During their raids, they found a fax between Azharuddin and his second wife Sangeeta Bijlani, consisting of multiple pages of Azhar's handwritten notes -- a record of what transpired during his CBI interrogations. In these notes, he admitted to his relationship with underworld don Abu Salem, his attempts at match-fixing and betting with teammates Ajay Sharma, Ajay Jadeja and Nayan Mongia, as well as bookies including the famous Mukesh K. Gupta, who was named by Hansie Cronje in the first of the series of events that led to the implication of Azharuddin himself.
In his notes, Azhar even details how he lied to CBI investigators when asked about his links to Abu Salem, only to be caught out in a way that would remind many a fan of the way Azhar threw his wicket away in fixed matches:
"I said no, then they said that during the Chandigarh match in 1996 you spoke to [Abu Salem], I said I don't know and have not spoken to him. They said he offered you 1.25 cr to fix a match. I said no. I kept lying to them all the time. In the end they played the tapes of him talking to me. It was very embarrassing."
The notes end on a very interesting note, of interest to us today in the light of how much he has succeeded in fixing his image:
"Why everybody is targeting me? [sic] Mainly because I am from minority community. I am being victimised and targeted ... specially some ex-cricketers raising fingers against me to settle their personal grudges and they can't stand the idea that a person from the minority community should be in the saddle of Indian Cricket specially when I have remained there for 16 years. 

I appeal to all the public not to be swayed away by the misinformation about me spread by the media, vilification campaign carried out against me in order to dislodge me and to create dispathy [sic] in the minds of the public."
Let's not be fooled

Which brings us to today, the day that the tables are turned, and with the release of his film, it is Azhar who has reached the high-point of his own attempt at doing the very same that he accused others of. So, to appropriate the words of the man himself:I appeal to all the public to not be swayed by the misinformation Azhar is spreading about himself in the media, and this rehabilitation campaign carried to restore his tainted reputation to respectability and to create sympathy in the minds of the public.