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Delhi Acers owner Sanjay Govil desires to have cricket in US

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Washington: Mixing business with pleasure, Sanjay Govil bought an Indian badminton team, The Delhi Acers, which ended up being crowned the champion of India’s Premier Badminton League.

Now the Indian-American entrepreneur, who hails from Delhi, would like to translate his success mantra to bring cricket to America in a big way.

“It would be really amazing to see players here in the US compared to the greats of the sport across the world,” said Govil, chairman of Infinite, a Silicon Valley computer solutions company he founded with only a $1,000 investment in 1999.

Govil, a “big fan of cricket” who has “played this game my whole life”, joined a recreational cricket league in the American capital forming a team called the Infinite Eagles.

“Cricket has an interesting history in the United States, elbowed out by baseball, but there is a rich cultural history that I’d love to see a start again,” Govil told agencies in an email interview.

“Sports is a great unifier and equalizer,” said Govil, when asked why a successful businessman like him delves into sports.

Working on a team together to accomplish the same goals transcends “race, religion, experience and gender”, he said.

“The idea to merge my passion for sports with business was definitely a mixing of business with pleasure, but I anticipated that it would be a good business decision as well,” said Govil.

He decided to purchase Delhi Acers because he “grew up in Delhi and there is always the sentiment of home team pride”. More importantly, “badminton is rapidly growing to be one of the most popular sports in the global arena.

“Even in a cricket loving nation like India, badminton has gained national interest ever since the badminton league was launched a couple of years back.”

With such growing popularity of the game, Govil “saw it as the perfect chance to put Infinite on a global platform that is outside of the sphere of business.

“This partnership with the league has allowed Infinite to be a part of an international community of sports-loving individuals and has even inspired our employees to adopt a more active and healthy lifestyle.”

As of now, Govil is “completely dedicated to building the legacy of the Delhi Acers team, who are on a roll after having finished in first place in the last season of the Indian Badminton League.

“However, if and when an opportunity like Delhi Acers presents itself, I will certainly be open to the possibility,” he said when asked about his plans for further involvement in sports in India.

“Being involved in the local scene has helped me to connect with my employees in DC in a way that I would not be able to do as quickly in a meeting room.”

Turning to business, Govil said for its Indian clients Infinitely focusses on its “smart and highly integrated” messaging suite of products and platforms that enable “communities to connect across states – at a complete level than what was possible before”.

Another USP of Infinite is its healthcare platform, he said.

“Healthcare is changing and evolving in India – as awareness around health grows our patient centred healthcare platform has remained an important part of the business for our India-based customers.”

Govil said his company was also helping clients bridge the gap between their customers with a faster and more secure background system.

“We are a collaboration tool,” he said. “By having faster go to market speeds, we are able to help our customers stay competitive in over-saturated industries.”

Credits: IANS

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Spiritual Ideas Sore At The World Hindu Congress

A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new -- when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance.

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At its best, speeches at the recently concluded World Hindu Congress echoed the soaring spiritual ideals evoked by Swami Vivekananda in Chicago 125 years ago.

Even Mohan Bhagwat, Sarsangchanalak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), focused essentially on the need for unity and patience among Hindus while fighting obstacles, of which, he said, there would be many. The burden of excavating implied accusations in Bhagwat’s speech fell to his critics.

At the plenary session, the moderator requested speakers to address issues of conflict without naming the speakers or their organisations in the interest of harmony. Other speakers sought to unite the followers of all the great religions that took birth in India — Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism.

Some of the speakers from Bhagwat to Swami Swaroopananda of the Chinmaya Mission, framed the issues before Hinduism in a moral paradigm. Ashwin Adhin, the Vice President of the Republic of Suriname, began his speech in chaste Hindi, later quoting cognitive scientist George Lakoff: “Facts matter immensely. But to be meaningful they have to be framed in terms of their moral importance.”

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Buddhism relates sins to the characteristics one adopts. Pixabay

The dissonances, between the spiritual and the mundane, were to emerge later on the fringes of the seminars which were part of the Congress. Many of the delegates appropriated to themselves the mantle of a culture besieged by proselytising faiths. There were speakers who urged Hindus to have more children to combat their ‘dwindling population’. Posters warned Hindus of the dangers from ‘love jihad’ (Muslim men ‘enticing’ Hindu women).

In one of the sessions on the media, filmmaker Amit Khanna noted that religion had always played a prominent part in Indian cinema, starting with the earliest mythologicals. “Raja Harishchandra”, the first silent film, he said, was made by Dadasaheb Phalke in 1913. He sought to reassure the audience on the future of Hinduism. “Over 80 percent of Indians are Hindus,” he said adding: “Hinduism has survived many upheavals for thousands of years. Hinduism has never been endangered.”

Other speakers, lacking spiritual and academic pedigrees, drew on an arsenal of simulated anguish and simmering indignation.

The nuances of history pass lightly over the ferociously devout and it took little effort to pander to an aggravated sense of historical aggrievement.

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Swami Vivekananda used to stress upon the universal brotherhood and self-awakening. Wikimedia Commons

At one of the debates, the mere mention of Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, elicited sniggers and boos. The speaker hinted at ‘Nehruvian socialism’ which had made the Indian economy a non-starter. He concluded with a coup de grace, to a standing ovation: “Nehru did not like anything Indian.”

The poet Rabindranath Tagore, who composed the Indian national anthem, had spoken of his vision of a country where the “clear stream of reason had not lost its way”. At some of the discussions, even the most indulgent observer would have been hard put to discern the stream of reason.

The image of a once great civilisation suppressed by a century of British rule and repeated plunder by invaders captured the imagination of many in the audience. Hanging above it all, like a disembodied spirit, was the so-called malfeasance of Nehru, the leader who had won the trust of Hindus only to betray them in the vilest manner.

These tortured souls would have been well advised to adopt a more holistic approach to Hinduism, and history, looking no further than Swami Vivekananda, who once said: “The singleness of attachment (Nishtha) to a loved object, without which no genuine love can grow, is very often also the cause of denunciation of everything else.”

Hinduism
The Hindu population in Pakistan is about 1.8% according to the 2018 census, 0.2% more than that of the 1998 and the 1951 figures.

Historians have informed us that Nehru preferred his father’s intellect over his mother’s tradition but he was never contemptuous of religion. While he undoubtedly felt that organised religion had its flaws, he opined that it supplied a deeply felt inner need of human nature while also giving a set of values to human life.

In private conversations some delegates spoke of how their America-born children had helped persuade them to drop their pathological aversion to gays and lesbians. Despite their acute wariness of perceived cultural subjugation, the irony was obviously lost on them that Article 377 of the Indian Penal Code,(which criminalises gay sex) recently overturned by the Indian Supreme Court, is a hangover from the Victorian British era-embodied in the Buggery Act of 1533.

In the face of the upcoming elections in the US, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi’s decision to speak at the conference was a political risk. With a newly energised political Left, even the perception of being linked with “fascist” or sectarian forces could be political suicide in the critical November elections. Despite vociferous appeals to disassociate himself from the Congress, Krishnamoorthi chose to attend.

“I decided I had to be here because I wanted to reaffirm the highest and only form of Hinduism that I have ever known and been taught — namely one that welcomes all people, embraces all people, and accepts all people, regardless of their faith. I reject all other forms. In short, I reaffirm the teaching of Swami Vivekananda,” Krishnamoorthi said.

Given the almost pervasive abhorrence of anything remotely Nehruvian among a section of the delegates, it was a revelation to hear the opinion of Dattatrey Hosable, the joint general secretary and second-in-command in the RSS hierarchy. Speaking on the promise of a newly-resurgent India, Hosable said in an interview to Mayank Chhaya, a local journalist-author-filmmaker: “A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new — when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance.”

Also Read: Triple Talaq Now Banned in India

The quote is from Nehru’s famous Tryst with Destiny speech delivered to the Indian Constituent Assembly on the midnight of August 14, 1947 — proof, if any is needed, that the force of Nehru’s ideas can transcend one’s disdain of him. (IANS)