Letters | Nov 27, 1996
  • That’s Four Byes
    Nov 27, 1996

    Your cover story Star Burst (November 6) was excellent. The cover photograph was superb and truly a collector’s item. But I was surprised to find no mention of S.M.H. Kirmani’s immense contribution to the game both at the national and state levels.

    Sharath Ahuja, Bangalore

    It’s heartening to note that cricketing talent is proliferating in our country like wild fire. As a result, our country is now getting cricketers from each and every corner. Karnataka’s recent domination is nothing but a return on investment.

    The myth that there could be no Indian cricket without Mumbai has been shattered. Even the BCCI’s important meetings, including those about selection of the India squad, are conducted in Calcutta instead of Mumbai. This radical transformation in the Indian cricketing scenario is a boon for the future of Indian cricket.

    Debanjan Banerjee, Calcutta

  • Decline of Congress
    Nov 27, 1996

    The Gujarat Congress has gambled its future prospects for the sake of Amarsinh Chaudhary and the vested interests of Prabodh Rawal and will lose both (apropos Khajurias Are ‘101, Not Out’, November 6). Eminent leaders like Madhavsinh Solanki, Ahmed Patel, B.K. Gadhavi, C.D. Patel, Shantilal Patel and others apprehend that Vaghela could well become another Chiman Patel and hijack their party and the party’s votebanks, which would ultimately be at his mercy. The usual scenes of split/defection are expected in the Congress by the MJP and BJP. Vag-hela will certainly take advantage of his ruling status to horse-trade with Congress MLAs to strengthen his position; the BJP can do vice versa with rebel Congress support to try and regain power. The history of various Rajya Sabha elections held in Gujarat is replete with such examples. From Vaghela to Kanaksinh Mangrola, their victories in the Rajya Sabha elections reveal that large-scale cross-voting took place in the Congress. Ahmed Patel rightly says that Congress support to the BJP rebels in forming the government may only pay temporary dividends but will ultimately prove a blessing for the BJP.

    The party’s support is ‘always taken for granted’ by the UF constituents on the presumption of a united stand against the BJP. The Left leaves no option for the Congress but to support the Government. For the Congress, thus, seems condemned to compulsory, unconditional support from ‘outside’.

    K.J. Patel, Ahmedabad

    The Congress, by extending unconditional support to Vaghela, will become the greatest loser, for by supporting a man who’s perceived as corrupt and responsible for bringing dissidence to the BJP, the Congress will only earn the wrath of the electorate and its popularity will nosedive in Gujarat.

    Anil P., Bangalore

  • Too Little, Too Late
    Nov 27, 1996

    Your cover story ITC’s Moment of Reckoning (November 13) is a damning indictment of a blue chip company which has stooped so low as to indulge in illegal activities to cheat the Governement. That it has taken so long to expose the skeletons in the cupboard doesn’t speak well of the enforcing authorities. Surely, there are more frauds to be uncovered if only the government departments concerned work efficiently, fast and without fear or favour. What a fall for some of the ex-chief operating officers of ITC. The cases against some of these must be pursued till the end so that deterrent punishment by way of fine and imprisonment is imposed quickly. It is time the auditors, both internal and external, work independently to bring to light violations instead of working hand in glove with the company executives out to cheat the government. The business leaders must take a pledge, before assuming high offices, that they will uphold business ethics.

    Dr B.N. Murthy, Bangalore

    The magnitude of ITC’s fraud seems great because of the status of the company which has a turnover of over Rs 5,100 crore. What we call fraud is routine business practice. This is due to the review of the import-export violation laws from criminal to civil jurisdiction resulting in the flight of capital from the country at the cost of the shareholder, enriching the promoters. The penalties levied by the courts are borne by the company and its shareholders, not by the beneficiaries of the loot. In the ITC case, the Government must recall funds illegally repatriated and adjust them against the tax arrears of the company. If the Government is interested in checking these white-collar crimes, it must make all economic offences ‘non-bailable’, set up special courts/tribunals with upgraded powers of the high courts to hear such cases on a daily basis.

    V. Radhu, Mumbai

  • Shame Indeed
    Nov 27, 1996

    Apropos The Male Prerogative (November 6), it is revolting to note that in our country, when a woman is raped, it is she and her family who are ostracised by society. Instead, the rapist and his family should be treated as untouchables and thrown out of society. The law also should be made stricter. It should not allow the rapist to go scot free once his guilt has been proved (even though in most of the cases such guilt is never proved). Law and society should join forces to work against such anti-social ‘animals’.

    Heir Apparent

    Apropos the article Tata’s Brand Royalties (October 30), your correspondent says that there aren’t too many members of the Tata family to take on the reigns of the group. In fact, waiting on the sidelines is Noel Tata, Ratan’s half-brother and son of Simone, Naval Tata’s second wife. Noel is young, a qualified manager, has worked with Nestle in Europe, and is now working in Tata Exports as a senior manager. His second claim to the throne is through his father-in-law, Mr Shaporji, who is a large shareholder in Tisco, ACC and other Tata companies.

    Ronald d’Coste, Jamshedpur

    Ratan Tata’s bid to monopolise the name Tata could backfire on the shareholders of Tata companies. The name Tata can’t be monopolised by Ratan. He can monopolise the Tata logo in a stylised form and then charge a user’s fee if other companies use the logo. There’s in theory a possibility, however remote, that some other Tata can use his name as a trading style. If that happens, what do Telco shareholders get in return for paying fees/royalties to Tata Sons?

    C.B. Rakhunde, Pune

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