• Overly Cautious?
    Dec 10, 2001

    Poto has been framed keeping both the Muslims (90 per cent of those caught under tada ‘happen’ to be Muslims) and the UP elections in mind (LoPOTOmised Deal, December 3). The poor blokes! Do we need a sledgehammer to open a walnut? Are we so insecure that we always need a machine-gun to protect us? I wish the framers of the law could taste it themselves and find if they like it.
    O. Prakash, Chennai

  • Raising the Pitch on a New Board Game
    Dec 10, 2001

    The recent cricket row has been allowed to get out of hand mainly due to bcci president Jagmohan Dalmiya’s behaviour. Certainly Mike Denness’ stand has been very strong and all Indians are justified in expressing their indignation. But the camera cannot lie and Sachin was seen committing an error. As for Ganguly and Harbhajan, both have an attitude problem, on the field and off it and need to be restrained. We can’t say we can do it because the Australians do it too as two wrongs do not make a right. It’s foolhardy of the bcci to lock horns with the icc as it will only result in our isolation and possibly a temporary removal, as Malcolm Gray has threatened. Sooner or later, all cricket boards will have to take serious note of the bad behaviour of their players; otherwise, cricket will disintegrate into a rowdy sport.
    S. Bheema, Missouri, US

    I fully agree and back Jagmohan Dalmiya on his actions. I think the likes of Raj Singh Dungarpur, Atul Wassan and Sanjay Manjrekar are still living in colonial India and are blatantly turning a blind eye to the nonsense being perpetrated by the icc towards India. It’s high time we stood up to them and took them on, not to challenge the icc’s authority but for preserving our self-respect as Dalmiya is doing.
    Peter Perrera, on e-mail

    Emotions, as usual in our country, have overtaken logic. Even a saint can sin so why not Sachin? The real issue is whether there is a set of rules for match referees and if Mike Denness has contravened them. Before the racial remarks and odious comparisons, one should determine if Denness has broken any rules and if there is a higher authority which could overrule his decision and remove him.
    Mario de P. Miranda, on e- mail

    Either Malcolm Gray doesn’t understand English or he’s being deliberately obtuse when asked why Sachin Tendulkar was not allowed to answer Denness’ charges ("I concede match referees have been inconsistent", December 3). He says irrelevantly that "no player is above the law" when we all know that white-skinned players, especially the Aussies, are above the law.
    T. Krishnan, Bangalore

    It is a given fact that match referees are senior players. But on what basis do you decide that seniority? Number of years in the game? Sachin has played 12 years to Denness’ six. Number of Tests? Sachin has played 86 to Denness’ 28. Greatness of the player? Need I answer that? Average of 57.35 (Sachin’s) to 39.69 (Denness’). How can such an obviously lesser player pass judgement on the world’s greatest batsman today?
    R. Subrahmanyam, Chennai

    Every time the life of a sport has been threatened, the answers have come from within the game itself. When Tony Greig challenged that he’d make the West Indians’ grovel, the spirited team responded with the bat and ball to thrash the English team. In the 1996 World Cup, when the Aussies and the Kiwis refused to come to Sri Lanka for security reasons, underdogs Sri Lanka overcame the hurt and replied in the language of cricket, only to win the World Cup. But in India we have Dalmiya using his money power to win scores. He should know that cricket is a game, not a business; his actions will only bring harm to the sport.
    Ashwini Sankar, on e-mail

    Is it not customary that Test cricket commentators be completely neutral? Navjot Sidhu has no business speaking with such utter bias especially as the other side does not have the luxury of being able to talk to millions of TV viewers. He not only makes a mockery of the English language but also overshadows the dignity with which Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri and Harsha Bhogle conduct themselves.
    Sridhar Doss, on e-mail

    The true test for what we Indians really think of Denness’ decision in the Bloemfontein Test is to put Waqar Younis or Wasim Akram in place of Sachin Tendulkar, put Pakistan in India’s place, put five Pakistani players instead of the five Indian players penalised and then ask the Indian media and the public if Denness’ decisions were right. The overwhelming verdict will be: the icc is right, it can’t be challenged and Denness is a hero.
    Suhail H. Rizwy, Mumbai

    How blind can a person get? Is natural-born aggression, within the parameters of a law that applies to all cricketers, of every creed and colour, a punishable offence, Mr Denness? Can someone please explain to us the difference between the venomous appealing of Glenn McGrath, a veteran, and the enthusiastic appealing of Virender Sehwag, playing only his second Test?
    Swaroop Dev, Bangalore

    Denness’ decision is definitely biased. The right course of action would be to take the matter to a court of law. And till it passes a verdict, India should not play any match with Denness as referee.
    Mahesh Kapasi, New Delhi

    Racism is nothing new in the country of apartheid. It has happened in hockey scores of times.
    C.K. Panja, on e-mail

    Congratulations, Mike. You’ve created cricket history by claiming six wickets (victims) without bowling a single ball. In my opinion you should be declared Man of the Match.
    Sanjoy Saha, Nagaon, Assam

  • Sifted Facts
    Dec 10, 2001

    Anita Pratap would rather not talk of the Kanchi pontiff being an active supporter of the Ramjanmabhoomi movement (Rebuilding Morals, November 26). Or of his inaugurating many vhp functions. I’m amused by her selective picking of facts. Something Chomsky would call "manufacturing consent".
    Charuvak, on e-mail

  • Countrywide Kitsch
    Dec 10, 2001

    Tanglish is a well-chosen term for Tamil English (You are Understanding?, November 26). But Tamil alone doesn’t lend itself to such ‘bhasha mixes’. Here in Assam too, we have this lingua franca, such as "Bore nokoribi pleez" (please do not bore me); "Mook aru tension nidiba sun" (do not make me more tense). This is adopted not only by urban teens but can also be heard in rural areas.
    Shudipta Baruah, Nagaon, Assam

    Awesome article. Please allow me to chip in my "two cents" too. In my opinion, Tanglish is not a fad or a popular thing with the urban few in Chennai. It’s the start of the death of a language. Like our ideas, inventions and discoveries, we have also started borrowing words from the West. Thus only a small fraction of the huge computer-literate population of Chennai knows that a computer is called a kanippori in Tamil.
    Mani Munikrishnan, on e-mail

  • Calling Kajol
    Dec 10, 2001

    Outlook in its story Second Best (November 26) forgot to include one actress in its list of past divas—Kajol. The lady has such memorable hits as Baazigar, DDLJ, KKHH, Ishq, Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya and Dushman to her credit compared to Karisma’s second lead in Dil to Pagal Hai, Raja Hindustani and Biwi No. 1. Pity she got married and lost her way thereafter.
    Samarth Srivastava, Bombay

  • Hungry and Angry
    Dec 10, 2001

    I’m a Japanese staying in Bangalore and picked up your magazine last week to find out about the best restaurants in the city (India’s Best Restaurants, November 18). But your cover story only left me angry—your choices are at least two years old. The newly-opened Leela Hotel restaurant is the current number one in Bangalore and serves the best Chinese, Indian and Italian food. And rather than Sunny’s, it’s the Italian restaurant of the Park Hotel which serves the best Italian fare. As for Taipan, it certainly does not serve the best Chinese in Bangalore. There is in fact no good Chinese food in Bangalore because of poor vegetables, lack of fresh seafood and poor chefs.
    Murase, Bangalore

  • Unfair Comparison
    Dec 10, 2001

    Apropos the article Guardian of the Letter (November 12) on cji S.P. Bharucha. The reference to law minister Arun Jaitley as "a sophisticated version of H.R. Bhardwaj" is a little unfair to the former. Probably after M.C. Chagla, Jaitley is the most astute and aware law minister in India. If there is any criticism that holds good against our judicial system, it’s that judicial appointments in higher judiciary leave much to be desired.
    Rajiv Chopra, Jammu

  • Love it or Leave it Alone
    Dec 10, 2001

    In his report from Kabul (A City at Dawn, November 26), William Reeve concludes by saying that peace can be sustained in Afghanistan provided the unfortunate country is not abandoned by the superpower yet again as it was in 1989. While this makes sense, it is also to be remembered that Afghan tribes do not welcome foreign interference in their internal affairs. In fact, one reason for the rise of Osama the terrorist was the presence of foreign—in this case, Soviet—troops in Afghanistan.
    Dipali Sarangi, Bhubaneswar

    Prem Shankar Jha is right in saying that "the Northern Alliance is perfectly capable of managing its own affairs (White Man’s Arrogance). One could also say it is up to the Afghans to decide the future of their state, to write their constitution, to find solutions to their national conflicts, etc. But this becomes mere pontificating when applied to history as selectively as Jha does. Where would the world be had the Allies applied this concept to Japan and Germany after the second world war? Would that not have created more Hitlers? We should draw upon the experience of these two countries to ensure that the culture of support and abetment of terrorists and their organisations is eliminated.
    Maj Gen (rtd) S.C.N. Jatar, Pune

  • Wily Cat
    Dec 10, 2001

    Can a leopard change his spots? Yes, if his name is Pat Symcox. The man who just a few weeks back had accused India of throwing a match is today showing himself more loyal than the king himself. How come this transformation? Is it the realisation that the rubbish he churns out in his columns won’t be accepted anywhere else? Call it toxic dumping!
    Ramesh Kumar, Bangalore

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