L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

India at Olympics

Apropos "No bullion for a billion" by Raj Chengappa (Ground Zero, August 19), though India has earned an all-time high of six medals in the London Olympics, it is not enough for a country aspiring to be a world power. We must learn a lesson from the way China has reached the second place despite coming to the games much later. The US has achieved the top position not only because of better human material but also better training facilities and commitment. Keeping in mind that most of our winners come from villages and small towns, it would be appropriate to encourage sportspersons from a young age at the grassroots level by providing them financial and coaching facilities.

Brig H.S. Sandhu (retd), Panchkula


The minimum sportsmanship requires is appreciation of the game — and shaking hands amicably, without ecstasy from the winner or anger from the loser. But when people without even the rudimentary knowledge of this become heads of sports bodies, the whole Olympian spirit is buried. I am referring to the petty conduct of the All-India Tennis Association in publically announcing that they are having their revenge against the Bhupathi-Bopana pair by not including them in the Asia-Oceanic Crop-I being held at Chandigarh in September.

Justice Rajindar Sachar (retd), New Delhi

Are we united?

This is in response to Kishwar Desai's "An I-Day in the life of Assam" (Fifty Fifty, August 19). Instead of just hoisting the Tricolour and engaging in rhetoric on Independence Day, we should learn to introspect a little. The country might be united geographically, but the more relevant question is whether it is united within. Can a civilised society imagine that just due to violence between Bodos and Muslims in a few pockets of Assam, elements elsewhere in India would paint all innocent persons hailing from the North-East as ‘enemies’?

Kajal Chatterjee, Kolkata

The downward march

Apropos Vijay Mohan’s ‘Not the best foot forward’ (Perspective, August 19), incidents of indiscipline in the armed forces are a matter of concern. The cradle of human development is indeed ‘at home and school where the fundamental human values are imparted’. Neo-liberalism, a commercialised education framework, and fractured families have become the driving force of social systems, in which human values have taken a beating. This is showing up in the armed forces too.

Dr Prem Singh Dahiya, Rohtak


Jawans today are not as simple as they were due to greater exposure nowadays and increased aspirations. They have to be handled differently. Officers’ training needs to be redesigned to address these aspects. They have to be conversant with the jawans’ backgrounds, family and financial problems, and be concerned about their well-being.

S.C. Vaid, Greater Noida

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Incomparable Manto

Apropos "Owned up, finally" (Profile, August 19), Saadat Hasan Manto, rated among the best short-story writers of the sub-continent, is favourably compared with the French master Guy de Maupassant. Manto, however, himself complimented Maupassant as the "God of story writing". In his epitaph that he wrote himself, Manto wondered: "Who among the two is the greater story writer: God or he [Manto]". The maverick wrote with brutal honesty against the prevailing system that caused untold miseries and suffering to the disadvantaged class.

B.M. Singh, Amritsar

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