Saturday, September 17, 2011

One day temple tour (Hang-se-shwari , Ananta Basudeb -Terracotta) , Imambara and Chandannagar (colonial tour ) along the River Hoooghly

Bengal’s temple architecture can be classified under three broad heads (according to Ashok Kr Bhattacharya, renowned historian of ancient Indian history and culture — deul /nagara (this type is rare - one is near Bishnupur). The other two types are chala (sloping roof - resembling thatched hut of Bengal) and ratna (tower/ pinnacle) style. Sometimes there is an amalgamation of these two styles to form a single temple. The Durga temple of Bali-Dewanganj is probably the best example of that rare architectural meeting point in Bengal. Ananta Basudeb - Terracotta temple of Bansberia is one such type.

Dodi and I left by early morning train from Howrah - 7 .53 am. It is Howrah Katawa local. There are other trains (one from Sealdah at 8 04 am) too . We got down at Bansberia.

Please check the local train timing at (Bansh Baria according to Indian railways)


"Bansberia is ideal for spending a Sunday away from home but not too far away. The main attraction in this village are two temples with intricate terracotta works that inspired Rabindranath Tagore. Moved by the art, the poet had asked Nandalal Bose to document the panels on the temple walls ."

Bansberia Station (48km) is 1.05 hours journey along the Howrah-Katawa rail line. It takes around 1.30 mins from Sealdah. We took a rickshaw (Rs 20) from the station to go to the temple complex, which houses 2 unique pieces of temple architecture of Bengal.

"The Hangseshwari temple, looks like Izmailovo Kremlin, Moscow, is the better known of the Bansberia structures, , but the adjoining Ananta Basudeb (terracotta) temple, small and elegant and crowned by an octagonal turret, is no less interesting.

The history of Bansberia dates back to the days of Shah Jahan. In 1656, the Mughal emperor appointed Raghab Dattaroy of Patuli as the zamindar of an area that includes the present-day Bansberia. Legend has it that Raghab’s son Rameshwar cleared a bamboo grove to build a fort, inspiring the name Bansberia. The panels depict gods and goddess, love and war scenes and glimpses of everyday life.

The Ananta Basudeb temple, was constructed by Rameshwar Datta in 1679. Three sides of the one-storeyed temple are decorated with richly carved terracotta panels. The turret also contains terracotta carvings.

The 21-metre high, five-storeyed Hangseshwari temple has 13 domes shaped like lotus buds. The structure has similarities with St Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, which is also known as the onion dome church. The Hangseshwari temple was constructed in 1814 by the wife of Nrisinghadeb, the grandson of Rameshwar. Nrisinghadeb was a follower of a Tantric cult and had spent his last seven years.

Next to the temple are the remains of the Dattaroy palace. Fragments of arches and broken walls are all that can be seen today."s (1792-99) in Varanasi practising its rites.The temple was constructed after his death by his wife Sankari, as a tribute to him. With its unique shape, it stands out among Bengal temples. An arched gateway leads to its sanctum sanctorum, where an idol of Hangseshwari is placed on a lotus.

After a tour of the temple compound, we went to the main ghat or bank, which is around 5 minutes walking distance. We had our breakfast at a 200 year old shop, just beside the ghat - 5 parota and 2 plates alur-dam and we paid only Rs 20! It was good. Then we took one of the shared auto rickshaws ( there is one every 2-3 minutes) to go to Hooghly Imambara by paying Rs 9 each for the 25 minutes journey.( Ranganda told us to go to Bandel from there. The Bandel church was so badly renovated that I thought it is probably a wastage of time to go there.... "Bandel, on the banks of the Hooghly, is best known for its church. Bandel Church is a testament to the engineering skills of the Portuguese. Almost a century after Vasco da Gama reached the west coast of India, the Portuguese started making inroads into Bengal. By 1599, they had settled in and around the present-day Hooghly district and built the church that after being modified several times is now known as the Bandel Church").

The Imambara is the other landmark of Bandel/Chinsurah. One can go to Imambara from either of these two places.

"Imambara literally means the residence of the Imam, but in the local context, the word stands for a house or an assembly hall built by the Shiites for observing the Muharram. The imposing structure was built in the memory of philanthropist Hazi Mohammad Mohsin over 20 years. It was completed in 1861. Designed by architect Keramtulla Khan, the two-storeyed building is surrounded by a courtyard with a fountain and a pool. Two 85 ft-high towers dominate the structure. Each tower has a flight of 152 stairs....A three-storey structure connecting the towers contains a clock on the top floor. The lower floors contain the bells and the clock machinery." There is an entry fee of Rs 5. We went to the top , although the doors are locked , but we could still had a panoramic view of the river including the Jubilee Bridge, the town and the courtyard from there.

"Unfortunately the Imambara is not being maintained well — the fountain is not working and the water in the pool has turned green. But the clock sounds a gong every quarter of an hour, reminding everyone around of the glorious days of Bandel and Chinsurah or Chu Chura." But I must say the architecture of the Imambara is quite unique and exquisite. It makes me sad that a place like this is hardly visited. You can go to the back side of the Imamabara to see the river Hooghly. In fact you can go to Bandel church by hiring a boat from there.
Then we went to the auto stand, which is 2-3 minutes walking from the Imambara. From there we took an auto ( there is one every 2-3 minutes) to go to Chinsurah or Chu chura (erstwhile Dutch colony) by paying around Rs 5 - It is 5 minutes distance by auto rickshaw. From Chu Chura you can either take a trekker or bus (No. 2) to go to Chandan Nagar, the erstwhile French colony. The bus fare is only Rs 5 and it takes around 25 minutes to reach Chandan Nagar. You have to get down near the church or Museum stand. (Though there is no such stand - you have to tell the conductor that you have to go to the Church). From the bus stand you have to walk for 3-4 minutes to reach the Church. Unfortunately the church was closed at this point of the day ( 2 pm). From the church the museum is only 1 minute walk. Today being Saturday, French Instt Museum, was closed! Timings are 11 - 5.30 pm. It is also closed on Thursday apart from Saturday. I have called them to find out this information. ( Institut de Chandernagore, Strand Road, Chandernagore, Hooghly, Pin: 712136, Phone no.: (033) 2683-9661.

It is just beside the river Hooghly and this part is quite impressive by our (West Bengal) standard and also very clean. You can have leisurely walk along the river side. You can also sit on the bench enjoy the river (seats are clean and still not stolen!).

You can also see the college and Court - built in 1868. The building is quite impressive. We had Bhelpuri in front of the Rabindra Bhavan, beside the college. It is quite good (Rs 10 only!). Then we had our lunch at Chandan Nagar little late. A person gave us a lift to the restaurant. Then we went to the station by a cycle rickshaw and paid Rs 25.

The train took us to Bali -which is its last stop (The train which goes straight to Howrah will be the next one, so we decided to go to Bali by availing this train. From Bali the frequency of trains is very high. Almost every 5 minute there is a train) .
Then I suddenly decided to go to Dakshnewar, since it is very near by. I took an auto near the railway station (from Bali Halt : basically on the bridge,near the station) to go to Dakshinewar. We paid Rs 5 for the 10 minutes journey. We went to see the exquisite temple - which is a naba ratna temple or 9 pinnacle temple. Dodi had to write his passport no. and visa no. (???) to enter the temple. While taking the pictures one "gentleman" rebuked Dodi not to take the pictures (??), since it is prohibited inside the temple , rather rudely. Of course we are used to people like this! He was quite upset by his high handedness. The naba-ratna temple is surrounded by small At-chala temples.
We had to skip the boat ride to the other side of the river to see Belur temple, since Belur, unlike Dakshnewar, closes at the sunset and on the top of that there will be no boat after the sunset. Then we took the auto to come back to the Bally station and then took the train to go to Howrah (note: there is a station at Dakshineswar, but it does not go to Howrah). It was one hell of a day to say the least!!

Major source : and writings of Ashok Bhattacharya.

For more pics see

Getting there and away
  • A Howrah-Katwa local leaves Howrah at 7.53 am. You can also opt for the Sealdah-Katwa local that leaves at 8.03am from Sealdah. The next train leaves at 10 am from Howrah and the first one leave at 5.38 am from Howrah.
  • There are evening trains back to the city. But between 12.39 hours pm and 16.23 hours there is no train.
  • Take a print out of train timing from from and to Howrah
  • Cycle-rickshaws are the only transport option in Bansberia.
  • Eateries near the Hooghly ghat , near Bansberia temple complex serve lunch/breakfast at a very reasonable  price.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The return of India & China as economic power house - Jaspal Singh Sabharwal, Economic Times

Have you ever wondered why ancient India was called Sone ki chidiya (The golden bird)? The answer lies in Angus Maddison's historical tracking of world's GDP. India was world's largest economy in 1 AD with China as number two. According to the calculations by Angus Maddison, from at least the beginning of the common era until the early 19th century, China and India accounted for around half of the global GDP. For much of this period, China and India were independent countries and technological leaders.

Until around 1450, China and India were technologically more innovative and advanced than Europe. Both the countries were very well knit with the rest of the globe but both economies went down hill between the early 18th century and the late 20th century. The decline can be attributed to a multitude of factors and events: the industrial revolution in Europe; the formation and expansion of the United States of America; China's decline during the Ming and Qing dynasties; the impact of British rule on India in the 20th century.

In the 20th century, China had to jostle with social unrest and various other social issues under Mao Zedong but China woke up in 1979 and rolled out the process of economic reforms. India experimented with Nehruvian model of socialism for more than 40 years and we finally woke up in 1991 after the financial crisis.

How do some nations attain long-term economic growth and an even higher standard of living while others don't? What determines whether people live in big mansions, slums or footpaths? In the 18th century, Adam Smith pointed to the transformative effects of the division of labour. In the 19th, David Ricardo highlighted the importance of international trade. In the 20th, Michael Porter made the case for industry zones, geographic diversity, physical capital, TRAIning and business strategy. The complex dynamics of wealthy and the under-privileged world cannot be explained by any of these theories.

We may find an answer in John Naisbitt's theory of evolution. In his book Mega Trend, he has concluded that there are seven waves of evolution, starting from the time human beings left the African Savannah as animal hunters until they stepped into the first virtual reality machine. This process started in 40,000 BC with the language breakthrough (40,000 BC). Wave 2 propelled the agricultural revolution (5000 BC-1500 AD).

Wave 3 incubated the industrial revolution (1500-1850). Wave 4 was all about the transport and telecommunication revolution (1850-1940). Wave 5 was the computational and electro-chemical revolution (1940-1975). Wave 6 set the platform for the Network Era (1975-2002). We are currently living in the seventh wave, which started in 2002, and it is all about knowledge and collaboration.

Very clearly, India and China led the world until the wave 3 but tide began to turn thereafter. The sixth wave accelerated the process of globalisation leading to convergence of income (profits driven by scale) and technology (knowledge). The emergence of China and India is more accurately described as a return to the position that they had held throughout most of recorded history. Of course, that does not mean that our return will be a smooth and a comfortable ride. Sustainability is in most cases far more a difficult task than the arrival.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pakistani Hindu Marriages- without legal enttity

This is an article by one of my friends. People like him make this world a good place to stay. This is a must read article. We must remember there are many people like
Amer Nadeem in this world.

By : Amer Nadeem - Advocate high Court

It was the year of 2001 A.D, Hindu lady Mst. Guddi Mai filed a suit for maintenance for her three minor children and herself against her husband, in the family court. She contended that her marriage was contracted about ten years back with her husband according to the rites of Hindu religion; both the husband and the wife were professing the Hindu religion.

Out of the marriage three children were born. After a period of about eight years, differences started between the husband and the wife. The husband forced Guddi Mai along with her three minors to leave her husband’s home. Since two years, as per version of the lady, her husband had not cared for the wife and children, and she and her kids were residing with her parents. Further more the lady and three minors had not paid a single penny for the last two years, to carry on their bread and butter.Being aggrieved of the situation, Guddi Mai filed a suit for maintenance against her husband in the court of family judge. After court formalities the husband was summoned by the judge to contest the case.

The husband appeared before the court and seeked time to file the reply. On the next date of hearing, the husband/defendant submitted his written statement against the suit. That was havoc for the lady and her minor kids. The husband straight away denied the husband ship of the lady and parentage of the kids. One can understand the ordeal and catastrophic state of affairs of the lady and minors.The attorney of Guddi Mai demanded proof of her marriage, as it was controversy of the case. She was in hot waters, because there was no registration/documentation of Hindu marriages in Pakistan.She was to prove her nuptial and legitimacy of her kids through circumstantial evidence. She had no documents or conclusive proof for her matrimonial relationship with her husband. One would be justified to blame the husband for denunciation of matrimonial relationship with Guddi Mai and her children. But at the same time the legal system must be under consideration.

The Pakistani Hindus are four millions plus in population, as per the last national census. The Hindu minority is spreading throughout the Pakistan, in all four provinces. Pakistan is a Muslim populated country, the major community consists of about ninety eight percent of the total population. Out of the two percent minorities Hindus are tangible. The community is as patriot as the others are. The Pakistani Hindus are inhabitants of the land since hundred years. On the inception of Pakistan, thousands of Hindus decided to migrate India, where as a visible portion of the community retained themselves in the newly born country. They got citizenship of the country and became Pakistanis.

In Pakistan almost all the religious communities have their respective marriages registration rules and certificate of marriages for married couples, except Hindu community. For Muslims, in the year of 1961-62 laws and rules were framed to register the Muslim marriages. According to these regulations a Muslim marriage is registered with an officially appointed person, which is called “Nikah-Khawan” in vernacular language. The official is duly appointed by the government, with a license to issue certificate of marriage that is “Nikah-Naama”. The certificate is a recognized deed with presumption that the marriage is consummated and performed legally, in accordance with law. The document is acceptable to all government and private departments. The courts of the land are also bound to give presumption of truth to the certificate of the marriage, meaning there by, that the persons are legally husband and wife. Same is the case with Pakistani Christians, Parsis, Sikhs and other minorities.

Why not Pakistani Hindus? The Question is substantial.The constitution of Pakistan provides ample protection and safeguards to the religious minorities without any discrimination.The article 25 of the Constitution makes it sure that all citizens are equal before law and entitled to equal protection of law. Article 20 of the Constitution guarantees that every citizen of Pakistan shall have rights and freedom to profess religion and to manage religious rites and institution without any discrimination. Furthermore, Article 30 of the Constitution safeguards the legitimate rights and interests of the minorities. Similarly a number of clauses, articles and provisions of various laws of Pakistan enshrine the principles of equality and justice for all the citizens. The Pakistani Hindu couples face lots of problems due to non availability of their certificate of marriages. The couples are without legal entity and proof of their spouse ship. Their marriages are without legal authentication. The acknowledgement of their matrimonial relationship is at the sweet will of concerned authorities or departments in Pakistan, whether the officials recognize them as husband and wife or otherwise. The scenario is due to not having of the certificate of marriage. It amounts to discrimination and injustice with a minority, which is not essence of the law.In daily life the Hindu couples, especially wives are used to face severe problems.

For example, in Pakistan for the preparation of necessary documents like National Identity Card, Domicile, Passports and other documents the marital status of the applicant is mandatory. Questions and required answers like; whether one is married or bachelor? If married, the name of spouse? Proof of marriage? Any certificate of marriage? Identity of the spouse with documents?-----are always problematic for the Hindu married applicants. At the moment the couples are helpless, at the mercy and grace of those officials. Here the couples may be refused or graced to be awarded with the document. The non availability of the marriage certificate, sometime, begets corruption syndrome.It has been observed in many cases that one of the spouses, often husband, refuses to recognize the other partner as his/her better half, as in above stated Guddi Mai case. Even in a number of cases the parentage ship of the children were denied by the father. In this situation the lady wife is in predicament to prove her wife ship or/and parentage ship of her minor children, as she has no document, at all, to prove her version. Likewise during travelling on their way, on public places, hotels & motels, especially on police checking, the Hindu couples are in miserable position to prove them to be the husband and wife. Because on a number of occasions the proof of husband and wife is mandatory requirement. At the moment, the couple is in embarrassing and awkward position.

Likewise in civil, family and criminal matters in the society, law enforcement agencies and courts, the Hindu couples faces a lot of problems on account of non-registration of their marriages and being without a valid certificate of marriages. In the way rights of the couple are vulnerable and at stake. On the issue of non registration of Hindu marriages, a campaign has been launched in Pakistan. Some individuals and non government organizations have raised the demand to the government of Pakistan to make rules for the registration of Hindu marriages. In this regard, public at large, political parties, individual activists and civil society is requested to join hands in this campaign to weed out the injustice and inequality, in the form of non registration of Hindu marriages in Pakistan.

For further detail/up dates visit “amer nadeem advovate” at facebook.

Amer Nadeem Advocate High Court
Ex-General Secretary District Bar Association

Cell: +923028676700

Thursday, September 1, 2011

TETE A TETE WITH Ronald Machado - (friend of Garrincha)

Sourabh Datta Gupta

 During the world cup 2002 I had the opportunity to watch the world cup with the ambassador of Brazil in India, Ms Vera Berrouin Machado.

She had invited me to see the matches in the embassy, after I wrote a letter to them.

There was real carnival when Brazil won the world cup, right in the embassy, pastires were brought from Oberoi hotels and we learnt Samba dance, while juggling the football .

We got some flag of Brazil, which i preserved even today in 2012.

I had the opportunity to meet her husband Ronald Machado and interview this immensely lovable and down to earth person. His father, Alcino Machado, was Director, Finance of Brazil’s one of the most famous clubs Botafogo, the club for which Garrincha used to play. As a result he was a personal friend of Didi (voted the best the best player of 1958 world cup by the press), Garrincha ,one of the greatest right out ever, Pele, Tostao, Leonardo ,Socrates, Zico, Joao Saldanha etc to name a few. He has in fact played with Didi, Garrincha . A civil engineer by profession ,he is an encyclopedia and authority on Brazilian football. He has seen almost all the matches Pele played in Maracana stadium The interview was taken in two days. On the first day he had an appointment in the Cuban embassy at 5 pm. The interview started at 4pm and ultimately (abruptly!!) ended at 7.40 pm, when somebody reminded him that it is very late for the party. He gave me some rare cassettes of Garrincha !

My picture came in Indian Express during the world cup and also the picture of Ronald Machado !

 My name also appeared in the Indian Express.

SDG: When did you play for Botafogo?
RM : Till 1960 I have played for Botafogo in the junior team. But I chose civil engineering as my profession after that.
SDG :Tell me about the footballers you have played with?
RM :Garrincha, Didi, Kaka, Vava etc.
SDG :Tell me about your experience with Didi, Garrincha, Pele?
RM :Every Sunday we used to play. Didi, Garrincha used to come there to play with us.
Didi was a very good friend of mine. Didi’s capability to score from free kick was quite exceptional. He used to hit the ball on the valve. There was a Goalkeeper, Pompeia, from America(a team in Brazil).He was very confident. He used to say I don’t need a wall to save goal. Before the match, Didi told me “look Ronald if I get the free kick in front of the goal I am going to score the goal.” As luck would have it he got a free kick in front of the goal. Didi used to hit the ball on the valve. As a result the velocity of the ball used to change .He invented this technique. He applied the same technique while shooting the ball. The ball changed velocity just in front of him, and fell like folha sica ( like dry leaf) and went inside the ball between Pompeia’s two legs.(he was very excited to explain the point. In fact he got up and shown it to me how it went inside) He was so embarrassed.

Garrincha was a very pure guy, very, very simple person. He was never a PR man like Pele He was born in a very poor family in Rio. His father worked in fabrice (factory),built by the English. Garrincha also worked in the factory when he was 15-18.But he was basically paid salary to play for the fabrice football team. The fabrice sponsored the football team . However his alcohol problem was always there, long before he left the game(which many people does not know) .He had a minor problem with his leg ( bow shaped). As a result he used to stand like a crippled person(he got up and shown it to me).So when he was 18, he first went to the Vasco Da Gama club , for the trial, coach did not allow him to play even in the trial match!!!!!!. When the coach saw him he said “you are out”.

Eventually when he was 20(57’-58’) went to Botafogo for trial. On that day, Friday, I was present in the stadium, since I was a regular visitor in the club. So I saw it in my own eyes. In the trial in the opponent team was Nilton Santos, one of the greatest ever defenders. The first ball Garrincha got dribbled Nilton Santos with a faint, as though he is a novice. Nilton Santos looked at him in disdain . The next ball he got again dribbled him in the similar fashion and made the perfect centre from which the striker scored the first goal. Then Nilton Santos immediately stopped game and told the management that make contract with him immediately. In those days there was hardly anybody who dared to disagree with Nilton Santos.
Another incident I distinctly remember about Garrincha. It was in 1963.By that time Garrincha was a household name all over the world (since 1962 world cup was called Garrincha’s world cup) .We were driving towards Petro Polis, which was 70 Km from Rio de Janeiro, for a soccer match. Suddenly we saw Garrincha driving Volkswagen, he was going towards Paulo Grande. When he saw me he said “Hi Ronald”. We requested him to go along with us and play the match. He went with us and played for 15-20 minutes. Of course everybody said it is not fair that Garrincha is in your team! He was very simple. It was not for him to “show”.
SDG :Who do you think is better player Pele or Maradona?
RM :I have seen almost all the matches Pele has played in Maracana stadium. I have seen Pele making one or two small mistakes. But I never seen him playing badly. On the basis of what I have seen I can tell you Pele was better player. Pele used to dribble in high speed. Pele played somewhat like Ronaldo. We have hardly seen any of the matches of Pele. In those days telecasting of most of the matches were not done. It is difficult to know today what he had done match after match. But Maradona’s passing was probably better.
SDG :What is your opinion about Puskas?
RM : He was a very intelligent player, methodical player. But South American skill was more refined. Our skill was more natural, more spontaneous. In Europe tactics was more important. There was a Hungarian team called Hovard. It was a very good team .Nobody wanted to play against Hovard. In fact FIFA banned the team to go out of the country, during the communist regime. Hovard played two matches against Botafogo and Flamengo.
SDG :Which Brazilian team do you think is the best?
RM : The Brazilian team of 1970 was the best. Although they appear to be bit slow in today’s standard. But they would have changed their game accordingly. In those days players played for fun. Today it is not so. In those days to put a Co name in one’s jersey tantamount to blasphemy.
SDG: Have you seen Indian football?
RM :Yes
SDG: what do you think is the reason why India is so lagging behind in football? What are the remedies?
RM :There is no sponsor for football. Moreover it is not a profession in India. In Brazil footballers practice 8 hrs a day. After the morning practice they take rest in the club, take their food. Again they start doing physical exercise, hone their skills etc. There is accommodation facility in the club. They need not commute from their home daily. A club should have a team of Doctor, Physio, Massager and properly trained coach. Each constituent of the team is important. Coach cannot play the role of all of them. The type of exercise that is required to be done by a forward is different from the one that is done by a defender. There is a social security system for all players playing for different clubs.
SDG :What is the lifestyle of ordinary footballers from lesser known clubs? Do they lead a miserable life, like footballers from small clubs India ?
RM :Brazil has got 25 states. Almost all states have their clubs and championships. So even if they can’t play for big clubs in Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro, there are opportunities in other states. Moreover big Companies also recruit good footballers .And Brazilian footballers are much in demand outside Brazil also.
SDG : Tell me something about Brazilians schools, education and attitude of parents towards their ward taking football as their profession?
RM: In Brazil public schools are very expensive, although there are many categories. But public schools are free. So poor people mostly study in public schools. But medium of education and course is same everywhere: that is Portuguese, unlike a country like India .These days education is given even to remote places through TV . English is studied for 1 yr only.
At the university level, there are Pvt universities, State universities, Federal universities.
In Brazilian education system Physical education is very important. If you do not pass physical education you can’t pass. To pass you have to pass in physical education ,just like passing ,say, Mathematics. The Brazilians parents are very open to their ward choosing sports as their career
SDG: In Brazil is there any football academy like that of Germany, where kids in the age group of 5-12 are being trained?
RM : Previously only clubs used to have academies. Now there are two types academies : run by club(free) and pvt academies, run by Zico, Junior, Socrates, Leonardo. The consent of the parents is required before joining the academy. Normally the cut off age is 9-10 years. But contract is possible only after the age of 18.After that contract one cannot go to any club without the consent of the academy.
SDG: Which part of brazil has contributed maximum no players?
RM :After Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro ,it is Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Porto Alegre (e.g. Ronaldinho),Salvador(e.g. Rivaldo)
SDG: Is it the favelas (sort of slum in Brazil) which has produced most of the big players?
RM :Not necessarily. They are in the hills surrounding the great cities. The condition of favelas is not as bad as it made out to be. They have all the facilities like electricity, fridge, TV etc. It is also true that normally bandits live in these favelas. The best banks has its presence in favelas. They do repays the loans. Unlike India the lands are registered. So they pay Municipal Taxes.
SDG: Tell me about the famous 4 th goal of Carlos Alberto in 1970 World cup final, where Pele passed the ball to Alberto without even seeing him? People used to say that Pele has an eye at the back of his head, with which he can see the whole field?
RM :Do you how he has given that pass? Pele’s Peripheral vision was exceptional. Dr Hilton Gosling, Botafogo Doctor , tested the peripheral vision of all the players. He found that peripheral of Pele is 109 degree!!!!!
SDG: Which is according to you the best team you have seen?
RM :With players like Pele, Zito, Mauro, Pepe, Coutinho Santos team, in 1960s,without any doubt.
SDG: Which is according you is the best World XII?
RM :Lev Yashin , Nilton Santos, Facheti, Baresi, Jalma Santos ,Beckenbauer, Rivelino, Pele, Maradona, Cryuff.
SDG :Who according to you is the best coach you have seen?
RM :Zagallo. He was very intelligent. He played for Botafogo. He in fact invented 4-3-3 system . Zito was in the midfield. He played in the left out, but in little withdrawal position. So he opened the space (in absence of 4 th player in the upfront in 4-2-4 system) and drew the opponent player.
SDG: Is football losing popularity to other sports in brazil?
RM :No. But in Brazil beach volleyball is very popular. Brazil has been twice Olympic champion as well as World cup champion. Apart from that motor racing and tennis is also popular.
SDG : Tell me something about Brazilians schools, education and attitude of parents towards their ward taking football as their profession?
RM: In Brazil public schools are very expensive, although there are many categories. But public schools are free. So poor people mostly study in public schools. But medium of education and course is same everywhere: that is Portuguese, unlike a country like India .These days education is given even to remote places through TV . English is studied for 1 yr only.
At the university level, there are Pvt universities, State universities, Federal universities.
In Brazilian education system Physical education is very important. If you do not pass physical education you can’t pass. To pass you have to pass in physical education ,just like passing ,say, Mathematics. The Brazilians parents are very open to their ward choosing sports as their career
SDG: Is it not paradoxical that brazil is a poor country but still it produced so many formula I,II etc champions?
RM :Statistics often give wrong figures. Brazil has a big middle class. Even many people staying in favelas have got cars. Before working one has to sign work book. Statistics are based on this work book. There are many people who are staying favelas who does not sign the work book, so the statistics never the real picture.
However interior of Brazil is different. People over there are really poor. But again a miniscule percentage of population stay in the interiors. The capital of Brazil ,Brasilia, in the interior of Brazil was built to ease the population density around the costal areas and also for even development of parts of Brazil.
SDG: Is it true that people move out of Brasilia during weekends?
RM : Previously People(govt servants) used to go to Rio and adjoining areas from Brasilia by plain during week ends due to lack of entertainment .Now it is different. Now there very many supermarkets and lot of entertainments. Now people no longer go to other places for entertainment. We were in Brazil from 1980-87,but we have hardly gone to Rio from Brasilia.
SDG: What is the perception of India among the common Brazilians?
RM :India as such is not well known in Brazil. But some people come to India for Sai Baba, Rajneesh. They are very popular among the mystic population .In fact I came to India first in 1970.We were invited by Sarabhai (in Mumbai).In fact I gave a big speech on India in Rio de Janeiro. People were spellbound during my lecture. They used to say ,Oh India!!! We have to visit India! In fact there are beers named Brahma and Krishna in Brazil!
SDG: Which part of India have you visited ? Is there any place which you have really liked?
RM :I have visited Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore , Agra, Jaipurs, Kochi, Bhubaneswar. But I really liked Mumbai. It is somewhat like Brazil. However life in Delhi is very easy.
SDG: What are the things you really disliked in India?
RM :Nothing ,as such, apart from the traffic and corruption. But I must say one thing. The way the foreign tourists are being treated in India is really unpardonable. India Govt charge $20 from Indian tourist whereas it is only Rs 20 from Indian tourist i.e. they are charging 50 times more from a foreign tourist. Once I went to Bhubaneswar with my wife(ambassador) to see a temple. It is a simple temple. It took only 10 minutes to see the temple. There were no plates /signboards explaining the history ,architecture describing the temple. They charged Rs 250/- per head from us. But from an Indian tourist they charged only Rs 1/- per head !!!! We were really disgusted. You have to understand one thing that most of the tourists are not millionaire .The other day we went to see the Humayun Tomb, Qutub Minar, there is no clean bathroom, guides are charging exorbitantly. If you want to buy a book , to know the history it is not there. If you want to buy a T shirt it is not available. There is no restaurant. You don’t know how to sell. If you go to a distance of 250 Km(e.g. Jim Corbett Park) it will take 5.5 hrs to reach there, because roads are in terrible shape.. If you go to any tourist place in West all these are available. Moreover hotel tariffs are exorbitant. Just beside our Embassy there is Taj Mahal hotel, which is 5 star hotel. A room costs $ 250.Since we are regularly putting up our guests over there we have a special deal of $150.Most of the time there is occupancy of 30%. Although India has a fascinating history you have not been able to market your country, which is shown in the occupancy rates. Few years back we went to Bangkok, Cambodia. We stayed in a beautiful hotel in the middle of a lake, near Ankor Wat, for $60 with free breakfast and dinner!!
Similarly I fail to understand the Govt policy. All the Taxis in Brazil were asked to convert into CNG ,but not by force ,unlike what happened in Delhi. Now the taxi drivers in Delhi are having sleepless nights because of the long queue in front of gas station. You enforce a law and now suddenly realize that there is not enough gas stations. In Brazil it was not made compulsory. Just because it was cheap everybody voluntarily converted it into CNG. Then car owners were asked to convert .So the process was gradual.
Of course I do not like cricket!! A game should be maximum 2 hrs. This game was brought to India by Britishers, since they did not have much work to do in India. After few hours ,you take lunch. In between there is drinks. Then you go for a short nap in the name of tea and again come back for further few hours of the game. Do you call it a game? I said this to my good friend Abbas Ali Baig. He told me to comment on the game you have to understand the game. I told him I know the rules of cricket, but I really do not understand the game .
SDG: What are the things you like?
RM : I really like Indian classical music, Indian history. Shobha Narayan and Sonal Man Singh are our personal friends.

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