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Stop being afraid of what you'll become. You should be more afraid of not becoming that.

.The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well," Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the International Olympic Committee and the driving force behind the revival of the modern Olympic Games in 1896, had famously declared.

Perhaps the only example of this was immortalised in the film "Chariots of Fire" when Eric Liddel of Great Britain refused to run in the 100 metres heats at the 1924 Paris Olympics as his Christian convictions prevented him from running on the Sabbath. It made headlines around the world

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In 2020 alone in America, there were 226 fatal shootings of Black people by the police

Had it not rained in Southampton on the morning of July 8, 2020, washing out play in the West Indies-England cricket Test, Michael Holding, one of the finest quicks of modern times, might never have got an opportunity to pour his heart out on a subject that incises him deeply: the racism that Blacks face in the Western world.

Holding was supposed to be commenting live on television for Sky Sports "but the sky was heavy and dark and full of rain, meaning no play was possible. Without on-field action to discuss, there was only one subject to talk about: the Black Lives Matter movement spawned by the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin six weeks previously.

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The history of the Scindias is best told through their lawsuits over the property.

What exactly is the extent of the wealth amassed by the Scindias, the erstwhile ruling family of Gwalior? How was it generated and how is it to be distributed among its four claimants?

Other questions are perhaps best hidden away or kept out of sight for diplomatic reasons -- such as the Gwalior monarchs' controversial role during the events of 1857, the alleged and under-probed role of the palace in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi (enunciated by Tushar Gandhi in a magazine interview in May 2019), and Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scindia's excessive dependence on her 'Rasputin' that led to a bitter split from her son Madhavrao Scindia.

These are some of the questions raised in political analyst, columnist, author and journalist Rasheed Kidwai's biography, "The House of Scindias "A Saga of Politics, Power and Intrigue" (Roli Books), that provides a wealth of information on the family from the turn of the century and is sure to rekindle interest in a clan that has seen a member serve in parliament or a state assembly for over 60 years.

"The history of the Scindias is best told through their lawsuits over property," Kidwai writes, and poses the question: "How about a 400-billion-rupee property dispute? Or is the figure higher?"

"The answer is no if one goes by the affidavits the Scindias have filed for parliamentary and assembly elections from 1957 (when the Rajmata first entered the fray) till date. Their wealth appears to be far less than popular perceptions about what is being fought over in protracted legal battles across the country. According to some estimates -- it is impossible to arrive at a definitive figure -- these disputes are over properties worth around Rs 40,000 crore. Some of these disputes have been dragging on for over thirty years among the former royals of the erstwhile Gwalior state, Jyotiraditya Scindia and his three aunts, amid speculation that the legal battle may be settled out of court," Kidwai writes.

"Neither side has denied or confirmed anything related to their legal battles, let alone reveal any details," he adds.

The roots of the dispute lie in the fact that when Jyotiraditya's grandfather, Jiwajirao Scindia, the erstwhile Maharaja of Gwalior, died in 1961, he had not left instructions about how his immovable and movable properties were to be divided among his descendants.

"The properties were initially divided equally between his widow, Vijaya Raje and his only son, Madhavrao, after she filed a suit in the Bombay High Court, back in 1984. Mother and son both had a 50 per cent share in the large number of immovable properties spread across India.

Book Jyotiraditya challenged the verbal agreement of 1971 and the subsequent court division of 1975. Photo by Unsplash

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"Backable" pulls back the curtain on the elusive X-factor that some people just seem to have and offers concrete tools like crafting the right pitch and scaling the vision for a project.

Here's a groundbreaking book that boldly claims that the key to success in business is not talent but the ability to persuade people to take a bet on potential. Suneel Gupta, a visiting scholar at Harvard, contends in "Backable" (Hachette) that no one ever makes it alone and asks: What is it about certain people that makes us want to take a bet on them?

As it turns out, it's not what you think. Backability is not driven by having the best experience, the finest pedigree of the most innovative ideas. In fact, many highly successful people are backed long before they are qualified. We tend to view these people as lucky. But the decision to back them is neither an accident nor a mistake, and rarely the result of good luck.

Drawing from his own business experience, countless interviews with some of tech's biggest innovators and compelling case studies of classic success stories such as Howard Schultz and Elon Musk, Gupta breaks down the qualities of backable people. "Backable" pulls back the curtain on the elusive X-factor that some people just seem to have and offers concrete tools like crafting the right pitch and scaling the vision for a project. Anyone from aspiring entrepreneurs to start-up stars can master these skills and jumpstart their next big idea.

ALS READ: books and authors in 2020

Fast Company ranked it the number 1 most innovative company in healthcare and was named the 'New Face of Innovation' by the New York Stock Exchange. He then served as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Silicon Valley's top venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins before moving from San Francisco to his hometown in Michigan to run for US Congress.

His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, and Vanity Fair. Website: suneelgupta.com. Twitter: @suneel. Carlye Adler, who assisted with the book, is an award-winning journalist and four-time New York Times bestselling co-author-collaborator. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and two daughters. (IANS/JC)