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Promote sports associated with the masses

It is indeed strange that a poor country like India decided to hold Formula One Grand Prix (The posh and the poor: F1 brings out the deep divide, October 31). India’s progress in recent years has not reached the poor. We have failed to encourage other sports in this country. Cricket is perhaps the only sport in India that generates a lot of interest. This is because India is nowhere in the picture so far as other sports are concerned.

Moreover, Formula One cannot be a sport for the masses. The rich already have many sources of entertainment. The poor find it difficult even to survive. Are we all not part of the same society? Is it enough for the rich to claim that India has progressed enough and has, therefore, the right to host Formula One? This is absurd because India may have progressed, but not for the poor. How can one forget that India has the world’s largest poor population of 46 crore and has 32 crore hungry people.

India has many challenges ahead. These challenges will continue to haunt every Indian. We must encourage other sports in this country, especially those which are associated with the masses. I am not against Formula One. But we have to encourage other sports before we think of hosting “the multi-crore sporting extravaganza”.


The RTI Act

This refers to the editorial, Need to revisit RTI: But don’t weaken the law (October 17). No doubt, the RTI Act has multiplied the workload that government departments are called upon to handle. Frivolous queries under the Act have helped aggravate the problem. Some curbs on the growing misuse of the Act are thus urgently called for.

However, any attempt to dilute the popular Act is bound to meet with stiff resistance tempting the opposition parties to exploit the situation for their selfish ends. Any step which may “fuel” public distrust must be scrupulously avoided. Putting maximum information of public interest on government website to reduce the rush of RTI queries seems a workable way to resolve the tangled issue, as the editorial rightly points out.

Anyway, the pertinent law that exposes government’s inefficiencies and shortcomings can be weakened only at our peril.

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)

Team Anna’s goal

Team Anna’s decision to formulate a Constitution for its anti-corruption movement seems to be a right one (Team Anna to frame its Constitution, October 31). After allegations of financial misconduct, Team Anna faces the challenge of retaining its credibility. Anna is right when he says, “If we flee the ground due to some allegations, it will erode the credibility of the movement and it is not good for the movement.” Whatever happens in future, members of Team Anna can always refer to the Constitution for guidance. In fact, this step should have been taken earlier. In a democratic country, nothing should be done arbitrarily.

It will be interesting to see what other steps Team Anna is going to initiate so that the momentum of the movement is not lost. Members of the Core Committee should ensure that they do not indulge in politics. It should not be forgotten that the fight is not against the government or any of its agencies. The fight is also not against the Congress or any other political party. The fight is against the disease of corruption that prevails in the country.

RAHUL BAJAJ, Faridabad

Psychological health

There is hardly any surprise that the turmoil in Kashmir has led to an increase in psychological problems among the populace (Turmoil in Kashmir takes toll on psychological health: Study, October 31).

When life becomes uncertain due to violence and there is a threat to peace, people suffer the most. In such a scenario, one has to live for days and months without hope. Our psychological health depends a lot on how much control we have over our destiny. When we find we have virtually no control, we begin to suffer from anxiety and depression.

Besides, there can be other problems also. If traditional mechanisms of care crumble and there are no recognised mental healthcare facilities, one can imagine the plight of the people who suffer from psychological problems.

In fact, this is what happens. We talk about violence and disputes, but forget to highlight other important issues. The government should find ways of solving these problems. NGOs and other organisations should also assist the government in establishing mental care units in Kashmir.


Pregnant women

I wish to draw your attention to the plight of pregnant women who are many times mistreated by their in-laws. Many times, they are deprived of regular care when they need it the most. These women suffer from anaemia and other pregnancy-related complications. The in-laws deliberately delay their treatment. Such in-laws should be punished.

The girl’s parents are mostly unaware of the miseries of their daughter. It is only the healthcare professionals, caring for the patient, who are sometimes able to suspect lack of care as the reason for the patient’s ill health. The government should enact a law so that pregnant women are not deprived of medical and other facilities.

MEGHA MISHRA, Chandigarh

An embodiment of patience 

A domesticated beast of burden, donkey, is the embodiment of patience (R C Rajamani’s middle Donkey’s Day Out on Diwali”, October 26). The poor hardy animal is ruthlessly used by its owner. Yet he serves it with forage of inferior quality. It eats the same apparently following the ascetics’ motto: Rookhi sookhi khao, Prabhu key gun gao (eat dry bread without stew and sing the praises of God).

The term donkey is often used to denote a dunce. Even celebrated poet Shaikh Saadi says: ‘Even if Jesus’ donkey is taken to Mecca, still it will remain a donkey when it comes back.’

In a hamlet, situated near my village in Pakistan, every Muslim kumhar (potter) had a donkey. For participating in a marriage party, he bathed it with washing soap, put garlands around its neck, and a decorated cloth on its back. He rode it with a crested turban on his head and a small hookah in his hand and his legs dangling over one side.

When a donkey puts its mouth on the ear of another donkey, the latter makes loud shouts of excitement. It is said that the former breaks the news that their owner, who maltreated them, has died. The donkey, which lends an ear, joyously brays, ‘hain o, hain o’ (Is it true, is it true?).




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