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Tackle terrorism firmly

Mumbai has once again woken up to the grim reality of terror attacks after Wednesday’s bomb blasts (the editorial, “Blasts again in Mumbai”, July 15). There was a lull in terror attacks in Mumbai after 2008. It looked as if Mumbai was now a safe place to stay and work. Not any longer. While we continue to write messages in our blogs saluting the people of Mumbai for their indomitable courage, it is perhaps not what they are looking for. Even Prime Minister’s remarks that the perpetrators of Mumbai attacks will be pursued relentlessly cannot do much to heal the wounds of the victims of the attack. One can ask repeatedly why is it that no single attack after 9/11 has rocked New York? It will be ridiculous to think that the terror groups no longer have the desire to hit New York or any other city of the US or for that matter any of the Western countries.

After every terror attack the blame game begins. Some say it is intelligence failure. Others feel we do not have the right policy to tackle terrorism. BJP leader L K Advani subscribes to this view. But one wants to ask, leaving aside politics, what did the BJP do during its tenure? Why could they not come up with an effective policy to tackle this menace?

It is also surprising that India has not been able to give exemplary punishment to those who support or sponsor terrorism in this country. Even terrorists like Afzal Guru and Ajmal Kasab have not been hanged till today. We need to learn from the US. They have acted firmly and succeeded in preventing terror attacks.

Therefore, India’s top priority should be to tackle terrorism firmly. If nothing is done now, cities like Mumbai will continue to suffer more terror strikes in future.


Sports stadia

This has reference to the news item, “CWG: Loss no one is counting” (June 23), followed by an editorial that appeared on June 24, 2011.The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports had constituted a committee of eminent sportspersons and sports journalists for examining the various options and giving suggestions for the legacy planning of the Sports Authority of India's stadia in Delhi so that the available facility could be utilised for the development of sports. The committee in its report submitted to the government recommended that the stadia should be primarily used for sports-related activities. The committee specifically suggested that the stadia should be thrown open for both imparting professional training to established sportspersons and also beginners under the ‘Come and Play Scheme’. Accordingly, the stadia initiated this scheme in a phased manner from May 2, 2011. The scheme has been successful, and in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium there are more than 3500 trainees enrolled under the scheme in the disciplines of football, athletics and weightlifting.

Soon after the Commonwealth Games two very prestigious hockey tournaments were held in the stadium. The All-India Jawaharlal Nehru Hockey Tournament was conducted for sub-junior, junior, senior and college levels. The tournament was held in Oct/ Nov 2010 for about 42 days. The Lal Bahadur Shastri Tournament was held in Nov/ Dec 2010. In addition to this, the play fields are regularly used for conducting national camps in hockey for both men and women. There has been good response under the Come and Play Scheme and 478 trainees have been enrolled for hockey and 2,420 trainees for cricket. As many as 824 swimmers have been enrolled at the Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Swimming Pool Complex under the Come and Play Scheme. Trials are going to be held for another 500 swimmers from July 1 for the enrollment of more swimmers. At the Indira Gandhi Stadium, 2,963 trainees have been enrolled under the Come and Play Scheme in various categories of sports like gymnastics, boxing, table tennis, badminton, wrestling, judo and basketball, etc.

Further, it may also be noted that besides imparting sports training, counselling sessions are being conducted for the parents at the I. G. Stadium regarding nutrition and motivation to children. Similar sessions will be conducted in other stadia too. Besides the regular trainees, the stadia will also be used for other sporting activities like organising tournaments, state-level competitions, etc.

Desh Deepak Verma, Director-General

Sports Authority of India

Many of the facts mentioned in the rejoinder were carried in the report. The report was based on information garnered from a range of officials from the Sports Authority of India many of whom requested that their identities be kept secret. The larger point the report made is that given the level of investment (some Rs 2,500 crore), there should have been proper planning and regular major sporting events held in these stadia. — Editor-in-Chief 

The Cola pride

The middle, “Demise of Chavanni” (July 14) by Raj Kanwar was very interesting and gently guided me to go down the memory lane to my childhood and school days when these “chavannies” held a very important and prominent place in my pocket portfolio. I can still very clearly remember and feel the joy when on Saturdays I used to get “chavanni” as my pocket money. On normal weekdays it was the 10-paisa coin (dassi), and sometimes the square-shaped five-paisa coin (panji) with which we used to enjoy the recess break.

On Saturdays this small but pretty, smooth and the most precious piece of metal would not allow us to concentrate on teacher’s lessons! The caressing of the metal in the pocket used to give us a great feeling. At that time, a bottle of Coca-Cola used to cost 25 paise (chavanni). I never missed an opportunity of having my favourite cola on Saturdays.

Now, the value of currency has certainly gone down with inflation. Sometimes I find myself asking if Coca-Cola still assumes any significance for our children.




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