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Anna’s movement should not lose focus

It is unfortunate that Team Anna seems to be deviating from its original path. As members of a civil society group they must realise that their credibility lies in being apolitical (editorial, "Anna's growing pains: The crusader's credibility is suffering", November 9). As has been said many times before, we must have the patience to allow Parliament to do its job. It is good to put pressure on the government for a strong Lokpal. But the recent flip-flops by Anna Hazare would have confused his followers. There is no need to campaign either against or in favour of any political party. In fact, public opinion should be mobilised in favour of a strong Lokpal. The people of India are not interested in any particular Bill. It can be the Jan Lokpal Bill or any other Bill. The end result is more important as it has to do with the lives of the people.

It is also important to remember that the fight is not against any particular political party. The fight of every Indian today is against corruption that prevails almost everywhere. The only way to win this battle is to avoid distractions. Team Anna cannot afford to take the support of the masses for granted. If things are not sorted out at the earliest, there is a serious threat to this movement. It is being felt that Team Anna should not lose focus after all the hard work. This worries us more than anything else.



Anna and his team members have done a commendable job by raising the common people's consciousness about the burgeoning corruption in the country (editorial, "Anna's growing pains: The crusader's credibility is suffering", November 9). They received an unprecedented response from the middle class people during the 13-day-long fast in August over the issue of introducing the Jan Lokpal Bill in Parliament. Of late, they seem to have turned political activists from being mere civil society members. Had they maintained a dignified silence for a few months after their immensely successful anti-corruption campaign, they must not have faced the present situation of acute dilemma as to how to convince the common people about their actual aims and objectives in public life.

Anna team members became politically active in the Hisar Lok Sabha byelection, to all intents and purposes, by openly appealing to the electorate to vote against the Congress. It was an obvious deviation from their original course of their committed fight against corruption. Anna and his team members needn't deluge themselves with their subjective beliefs that they have grown so much powerful that the masses are going to allow them to rewrite the political destiny of this big country. Last but not the least, Anna is really very simple and a sincere Gandhian to the core. But his team members have not been able to win the common people's confidence in the same manner.


Polio immunisation

This refers to the news item, “With one case this year, India set to be polio-free” (October 25) by Aditi Tandon. It is a fact that epidemiological evidence suggests that India is moving in the right direction as far as polio eradication is concerned. However, to say that the key to eradicating polio is to prevent children from being administered injections when they are experiencing fever is not based on facts. Actually, the key lies in further strengthening routine immunisation, administration of anti-polio vaccine to children in the age group of 0-5 years during national immunisation days, 100% coverage of children of migrants during sub-national immunisation days, surveillance, including detection of acute flaccid paralysis cases and administration of anti-polio vaccines to children in the surrounding areas immediately, if a polio case is detected. The news item referred to gives the impression that injections and pricks during fever are responsible for polio. It is absolutely wrong to say that. If a child with polio virus in his intestine develops fever and the injection is given, the chances of developing poliomyelitis are more. But if a child is not infected with polio virus, the injection cannot cause polio.

Dr AJAY BAGGA, District Immunisation Officer, Hoshiarpur

Value-based education

The article, “Building good character” (November 8), was thought-provoking. There is no doubt in the fact that character is important in life. This is precisely what has been forgotten or is perhaps not felt necessary. Education is not meant merely to make a person suitable for a job. It must also build the character of the person. In other words, education should allow the person to develop the ability to think so that he/she is able to distinguish between what is right and what is wrong.

Parents must teach their children how to behave and act when they face a difficult situation. Later, teachers have to do that job. Students should be taught ethics and values. Our education needs a holistic approach that includes teaching of moral values. In the absence of moral values, our students won’t grow up as good citizens. It is important to become a good human being first.

DEVESH JUYAL, Chandigarh

Need to popularise Test cricket

If Test cricket is losing its fans, there are several factors responsible. Perhaps the new generation has many other sources of entertainment (While Formula One attracted 95,000 fans, Kotla Test just 9,000, November 7). They no longer want to watch a Test match that takes five days to reveal the outcome. I also feel that life itself has become very difficult these days. We don’t have the luxury of watching Test matches, as we have so many other things to do. If many people gathered to watch Formula One, it could be because of the hype that was created around the sport.

But cricket administrators should remember that they have to take steps to make Test cricket popular again. One of the problems we face is during the sale of tickets. If movie tickets can be bought easily, why can we not do the same for cricket matches? People need to be encouraged to watch Test matches. A study commissioned by the ICC recently found cricket was suffering from a lack of exposure, and was showing signs of marginalisation in India. This is a serious matter and cannot be taken lightly. The administrators can think about day/night Test matches. This is likely to give a much-needed boost to Test cricket.

RN CHAUHAN, Chandigarh



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