Editorial/ Price of goodwill
That other ball game
This above all / How to improve your English
People/ Tarak Saha
Letters to the editor

 
 
EDITORIAL/ PRICE OF GOODWILL 
 
 
 
 
It is unfortunate that the prime minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, did not use his recent visit to Jammu and Kashmir to launch an imaginative policy initiative towards the people of the state. Although the primary purpose of Mr Vajpayee’s trip was to survey the military preparedness on the border, he could have used the opportunity to reach out to the Kashmiri people. Admittedly, the prime minister did announce a comprehensive economic package of Rs 6,165 crore for the state, but this would have created greater impact had it been part of a larger political initiative. Indeed, even while India is continuing to demonstrate its steely resolve vis a vis Pakistan, it is critical to also reveal the moral fibre of the republic to the people of Kashmir. Although the success of any peace project in the state will depend on the ending of violence, or at least its significant reduction, in the valley and beyond, many of the principal elements should be put in place unilaterally and must be undertaken as early as is possible.

A major part of a peace plan would demand unilateral gestures of goodwill by the government and the people of the rest of India towards the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The biggest private sector companies must be encouraged to invest in the state and extraordinary incentives must be provided to ensure that this happens. Equally, large corporations should be persuaded to employ men and women from the state. But the most important part of any plan to restore peace to Kashmir must be in the form of a political initiative. Elections to the legislative assembly in Kashmir, which will be held within the next six months, offer a historic opportunity to restore the faith of the ordinary Kashmiri in Indian democracy, justice and fair play, and to demonstrate to the world New Delhi’s capacity of conflict management and problem-solving. Clearly if the elections have to count for something, they must be credible and inclusive and ensuring that this happens forms the backbone of the programme for peace. Credibility should not be difficult to achieve. The Election Commission of India, together with a group of eminent persons from the country who are requested to observe the elections, can ensure that there are no malpractices and that all charges of foul play are promptly investigated.

Ensuring popular participation, especially from those alienated by the past record, is much more difficult. But this may be possible if a unilateral promise is given that post-elections the quantum of autonomy necessary to fulfil Kashmi- ri aspirations will be negotiated with the elected representatives within a defined period and the agreement arrived at will be guaranteed for the future. Mr Vajpayee has hinted that the Central government is not averse to talks on autonomy. The problem, of course, is that such hints are far from adequate, given the cumulative disillusion of the Kashmiri people. The economic package with the promise of a larger one is related to specific projects, most of them ongoing ones. Addressing the aspirations of the people in firmer terms would be the best way to use the elections as a means to peace. It will then become the responsibility of all the Kashmiris who are desperately seeking peace to ensure that there is popular participation.

   

 
 
THAT OTHER BALL GAME 
 
 
BY RAMACHANDRA GUHA
 
 
At the time of the last World Cup, in 1998, I wrote a jokey piece in The Telegraph suggesting that the popularity of football in Bengal was a consequence of the province’s political militancy. Indians who were non-violent and socially quiescent preferred cricket, but those who were oriented towards more masculine forms of collective expression — bomb throwing, shall we say, or land-grab movements — had a natural preference for soccer. As additional proof of the thesis that to love football was to be politically progressive I adduced the lack of interest in the game of those notorious imperialists, the Americans. And, in passing, I claimed that the British shifted the capital of the raj from Calcutta to Delhi in 1912 because of Mohun Bagan’s victory in the IFA Shield the previous year. “One was the cause of the other,” I had written, for “to preempt further humiliation the British adroitly and deliberately moved the seat of power from Bengal, away from its skilful footballers and its bomb-wielding nationalists.”

This last remark, offered wholly in mischief, I now find has been taken at face value by two scholarly British historians. Paul Dimeo and James Mills are the editors of Soccer in South Asia, a book just published by Frank Cass in London. Turning my tease into a certifiable sociological thesis, they suggest that Bengali footballing prowess was indeed a key reason why the capital was moved from Calcutta to New Delhi. It is gratifying to have one’s jokes taken so seriously.

Soccer in South Asia is a serious book, and for the most part a valuable one. It begins with a rich historical over-view by a man well-known to the readers of this newspaper, Novy Kapadia. Kapadia’s account focuses on the great clubs of Indian football: the three Calcutta giants, of course, but also such celebrated teams of the Thirties as Hyderabad City Police and Bangalore Muslims. Mario Rodrigues offers a fine essay on the ups and downs of corporate sponsorship. James Mills writes suggestively of how the Goan love for football helped ease the state’s integration into the Indian Union. Other chapters deal with football in the Tibetan diaspora and with coaching. But the editors should have thought of commissioning an essay on the superb footballing stories of Moti Nandi.

Reading Soccer in South Asia made me nostalgic for my own early encounters with Indian football. I like to think that I must have been the only Tamil schoolboy outside of Calcutta to have been supporting East Bengal. This was a product not of my Bengali name, but of two childhood friendships forged in the town I grew up in, Dehra- dun. One was with Bir Bahadur, a legendary half-back with East Bengal in the late Fifties, who came back after retirement to his home town, there to work in my school and to reminisce about his days in the Calcutta Maidan, to talk to us kids about such giants as Kempiah and Peter Thangaraj. The second friendship was with a classmate named Deba Pratim Roy, a bangal by birth and, at junior level at any rate, a dogged centre-half much at home with the slush and mud of fields soaked by the monsoon.

I played little football myself, but encouraged by Bir Bahadur and D.P. Roy chose to hitch my star to East Bengal’s. This was the early Seventies, a time when the club was do- ing supremely well. It routinely won the Calcutta league as well as knockout tournaments in and out of Bengal. I read the newspapers for news of the club, and listened whenever I could to commentaries of their matches on the radio. I learnt, and learnt to love, the names of their players: names that must bring a silent cheer to many of my readers. Let’s remember once more that crack forward line: the brothers Habib and Akbar, the wingers Surajit and Swapan Sengupta, the Machiavellian playmaker, Subhas Bhowmick. Move towards the centre of the field and recall those greatly gifted half-backs, the tall and slim Pintoo Chowdhury, his stockings always down to his ankles, and the short and stalky Goutam Sarkar, he of the explosive left foot. At this distance in time I can recall only one of the full-backs: the curly-haired Sudhir Karmakar, whose superb defensive technique earned him the sobriquet, “the Sunil Gavaskar of Indian football”. But I must confess that I cannot remember the goalkeeper’s name at all: not surprising, perhaps, for, like the Brazilians, the Bengalis have long disdained that particular position.

In those years, my identification with East Bengal was as fierce as any true-blooded bangal’s. Thus, when I finished school in December 1973, I sought as a reward from my father a trip to Delhi to see the final of the Durand Cup. The contending teams were East Bengal and Rajputana Rifles, the latter led by the lean and generously mustachioed Indian forward, Magan Singh. At last, after all that priming by Bir Bahadur and Deba Pratim Roy, I got to see my heroes in the flesh. Except that the tale had an unhappy ending: my team lost, by one goal to nil.

Studying in Delhi from 1974 to 1979, I watched East Bengal each year, in the Durand and DCM tournaments. I sat with the Bengalis in the east stand and, if my team won, with them burnt torches made out of old newspapers in grateful homage. All told, I participated with a modest fervour in the affiliation with a football club that, to so many Bengali young men down the years, has constituted the key element in their adult lives. Such club loyalties have been visible in other parts of the country too: with Mumbaikars fanatically following Mafatlal or Tatas, Goans identifying with Dempo or Salgaocar, Punjabis with JCT Phagwara and Malayalis with FC Kochi or Premier Tyres, Kalamaserry.

It is clubs such as these that came together in 1996 to form the National Football League. The NFL’s promoters hoped that the advent of satellite television would encourage corporate sponsors and also help woo audiences: so that millions of people would see their favoured club play another on the box. In 1998, the NFL was even ambitious enough to start a second division.

In the Nineties, football in India looked to television to expand its reach. In a bitter irony, in the Eighties itself, television had helped undermine the support base of the Indian game. The 1982 World Cup was definitive in this regard, as the first such competition to have all its games telecast live in the subcontinent. The coming into their homes of the world’s best footballers made the followers of Mohun Bagan and East Bengal look with new eyes on their old heroes. When one had seen Bruno Conti and Zico, who had time anymore for the Choudhuris and the Banerjees? The depth of feeling for local clubs seriously diminished in the years to come.

To be sure, Indians in general and Bengalis in particular like to affirm their anti-imperialist sentiments. The teams they support in any World Cup tend to come from Latin America or Africa, rather than Europe. But, and this is a crucial point, the players they worship and whose portraits they put up on their walls are usually foreigners. In Calcutta, as in Kochi and Mumbai and Panaji, for every picture of I.M. Vijayan or Bhaichung Bhutia there must be at least a hundred of Ronaldo or Zinedine Zidane.

The editors of Soccer in South Asia insist that football in India has “a promising future”. Writing in 1959, A.S. Melo claimed that “football is, almost without question, the most popular game in India”. This remark serves as the epigraph to the book’s introduction, and James Mills and Paul Dimeo clearly hope that such will once more be the case. Sadly, their optimism is demolished by two tables in the essay by Mario Rodrigues. The first table lists the five favourite sports personalities of boys and girls in India: all five, needless to say, are cricketers. The second table lists the number of schools playing football and cricket in different cities. Everywhere, the flannelled fools at the wicket win comfortably over the muddied oafs at the goal. A hundred and twenty nine schools play cricket in Bangalore, but only 70-80 play football. In Chennai the numbers are 58 and 20-25 respectively, in Mumbai 145 and 120, in Calcutta 48 and 20-30. Even in Goa, where the British never ruled, more schools now play cricket than football.

Till the Eighties, at least, cricket took second place to football in Calcutta. But then came satellite television and, a decade later, Sourav Chandi Ganguly. The two phenomena in tandem, one technological, the other individual, have ensured that cricket has now conclusively supplanted football as the chosen game of the Bengalis. Some months ago, the chief minister of West Bengal told an interviewer that he has a television in his office to watch India play: play cricket, that is. (I doubt he has ever watched an NFL game.) And on the recent tour of the West Indies, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee spoke to the captain of the Indian team more than once on the telephone. Each time he did so, he made sure he told the press. But I doubt if Bhattacharjee speaks at all to leading Bengali footballers, indeed, that he even knows their names.

Let me thus suggest a new thesis for future historians to chew over, that Bhattacharjee’s marked preference for cricket over football is emblematic of a more portentous historical fact: namely, the embourgeoisement of Bengali communism, its throwing over of proletarian loyalties for upper-class sophistications.

[email protected]

   

 
 
THIS ABOVE ALL / HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR ENGLISH 
 
 
BY KHUSHWANT SINGH
 
 
I am frequently asked by young people to suggest a book that would help them improve their knowledge of English. I tell them candidly that there is no such book or collection of books that could help them gain a better command of the language. They must read extensively: nursery rhymes, fairy tales, poetry (classical and modern) plays, novels — everything they can lay their hands on and they will slowly be able to tell the difference between good, bad and indifferent writing. At times, I make a short list of basic English literature in which I put the Bible on the top. I tell them that you do not have to believe in god or be a religious person to enjoy good writing. Most religious scriptures have powerful lines of prose or poetry but unfortunately we can only read them in translations and translations very rarely do justice to the original.

Although the Bible has also been translated from Hebrew, its translations have been worked upon by generations of linguists over and over again that like gold and silver which have to be refined many times to attain purity, portions of the Old and New Testament have passages of pure lyricism. Let me begin with the psalms. You have to be acquainted with the background in which they were composed. Most of the earlier psalms are attributed to King David. He fell out with his father, his son, Absalom, rebelled against him and wanted to kill him, he had an adulterous affair with Bathsheba and suffered from a deep sense of guilt. David had to face many adversities and was for years hunted like a wild animal by his enemies and ran from shelter to shelter. But his faith in god remained unshaken. It was to god he turned for help and it was god he glorified when he triumphed and became king of Israel for over 30 years.

Psalm I ascribed to King Solomon talks of times of prosperity. “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, not standeth in the way of sinners, not sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is the law of the Lord; and on a law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”

Psalm III is about David’s travails: “Lord, how are they increased that trouble me. Many are they that rise against me…But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. I cried unto the Lord with my voice and he heard me out of his holy hill. I laid him down and slept; I awakened; for the Lord sustained me”. In the next psalm David exhorts: “…Commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. “

David slew the giant Goliath with a sling shot. He records the event in words of gratitude: “O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! Who has set thy glory above the heavens.”

“The lord trieth the righteous; but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth”, Pslam XI assures us.

There are words of warning for the likes of me in Psalm XIV: “The fool hath said in his heart. There is no God”. Psalm XIX tries to set the record right: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork”.

For some reason the agony of Jesus Christ on his crucifixion is the theme of Psalm XXII: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?…I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not, and in the night season, and am not silent.

The most quoted of all psalms is Psalm XXIII: Even non-believers like me know it by heart for the sheer evocative power of its words.

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.…He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters….He restoreth my soul….Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me….Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies….Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever”.

What is noteworthy in the passages I have quoted is the terseness of the language: not an extra word has been used, not a word can be deleted. If you want to improve your English start with the psalms. I will come back to the remaining later.

A state of nature

When I first went to Bastar over 50 years ago, my only acquaintance with the tribals who inhabited the area came from Verrier Elwin’s books and photographs of tribal girls by Sunil Janah. I knew they lived on wild fruits and animals of the jungle. With their bows and arrows they killed only animals they could eat, never for the fun of killing or shikar. They made their own liquor chiefly, mahua, and drunkenness was common. They had an institution called ghotul — bachelor’s dormitory — where young boys spent their nights ostensibly to guard the village. Their only diversion was dancing into the late hours: arms round each other’s waists, two steps forward, two back, round and round in circles to the beat of the drums. Sex was uninhibited, marriages tenuous, the word bastard did not exist in their lexicon. They had priests, sorcerers, and witches who practised black magic and slit the throats of cockerels to divine the future. They were happy in their nudity and backwardness and reluctant to change their pattern of living. Christian missionaries did their best; they built churches in remote areas, tried to teach boys and girls to read and write, persuaded girls to cover their shapely bosoms, observe marriage vows and behave like good children. They did not get very far.

Independent India did worse. Despite having Verrier Elwin as adviser on tribal affairs, all it did was to impose laws banning the felling of trees except when licensed to do so, leasing out forests to contractors and ordering the police to enforce its orders. Timber contractors made fortunes, seduced tribal girls, encouraged prostitution and the spread of venereal diseases. The police only knew how to rule with dandas and guns. Slowly resentment began to grow up. The People’s War Group and the Naxalites gained credibility and were able to give the authorities as good as they got.

We need to know more about our adivasi brothers and sisters. Government handouts are not good enough. Loveleen Kacker has tried to do so in her novel, Terror in the Jungle. The story is contrived and lacks conviction. But there is a lot of valuable information about the way Maria tribals live and suffer. Kacker writes with sympathy and insight gained over years of handling tribal affairs for the Madhya Pradesh government. Ambala-born Loveleen Kacker (nee Sachdeva) made it to the IAS in 1979, married a fellow probationer and is the mother of a 14-year-old called Isha. Under the prodding of her erudite father she took to writing. She has written several children’s books for Harper Collins and the Children’s Book Trust which have won her awards. She is currently resident commissioner of Madhya Pradesh in Delhi. And as her name indicates, she is lovely to behold.

   

 
 
PEOPLE/ TARAK SAHA 
 
 
 
 

World through his Wires

The little known Jahura Bazar Lane, set deep in the heartland of Kasba Rathtala, is a quintessential Calcutta suburb. Narrow alleys, three-storied buildings that still haven’t quite crept out of their one-storied days, and curious looks. (“Tarak Saha? Cable operator? Yes, yes, go straight and take a right turn.”) Any signs of flashy opulence catches the eye immediately, just like the glo-sign of Cable Darshan and its neat, plush reception. Two young para lads hang around the office which, without the obvious heaps of wires, would have looked more like a temple with its images of gods and goddesses on every wall.

The man who sits inside is the very antithesis of the cable guy a la Jim Carrey. No psychotic loner this. Tall, dark and heavily built, Tarak Saha makes it pretty clear that he is well known in various circles. His claim is vindicated by the array of plaques on his office table and the two visiting cards he hands out. One, a red-black-yellow motley on paper with shining, silver typography, bears the name of his service Cable Darshan. The other is a more sober reminder of his role as general secretary of the Forum of Cable Operators (FCO), one of the most powerful conglomerates of the industry in West Bengal. A role which he has effectively played out to bring about the cable subscription rate standardisation that will take effect from this month.

He actually fits quite easily into the common man’s image of the cablewallah — loud-mouthed, upstart, cellphone-toting and even slightly menacing — the rather childish smile notwithstanding. Saha, however, pounces on the mobile-and-motorcycle myth. “I don’t know why people look at us this way. We are not goons. As for the cellphone, my business is such that I have to be accessible to my customer all the time. In fact, I think it should be made compulsory for all operators. And for the mobike, you can’t expect us to run around on cycles,” he retorts in a thick, hoarse voice, as images of a local political speech run through the mind.

Still he accepts one thing. “An able operator has to be influential in his locality. Not only does he have to know the people around, he has to take care that there are no tappings and cable thefts. He has to have some clout,” says the 34-year-old commerce graduate while gently tweaking his gold chain.

This might explain the alleged “dada” image. But what about the idea that they are the bane of the state’s home entertainment? After all, when Kaun Banega Crorepati hit the airwaves, most of Bengal was reeling under a Star Plus blackout. Weren’t the cable operators the ones who refused to pay up? A similar impasse, finally solved only two days back, nearly ruined the World Cup for RPG subscribers. Then there’s the universal subscriber complaint: all that operators are interested in are pay hikes. “The problem is that the customer doesn’t interact with RPG or the broadcasters. We are the ones who have to do the explaining. Automatically we become the villains,” he explains. There’s some truth in this. Take the Ten Sports case for instance. The channel is asking for Rs 14 per month per subscriber. But the catch lies in that the subscription offer is for a minimum of six months. “After a month, my customers won’t want the channel. But I have to pay for six months. Is this fair?” asks Saha.

The broadcasters, however, put the blame entirely on the cable operators, saying that they indulge in under-declaration of subscribers.

Saha strikes back. He calls the whole process “scientific declaration” — the explanation seems to have everything in it except science — and alleges that it was the broadcasters who showed them the way. “When Star Movies became the first pay channel, they fixed different rates in different areas depending on its popularity. If a certain locality had a higher demand, the price was higher. Other channels followed suit,” he says. Saha reasons that since the rates indicated the number of people watching a channel, the operators stuck to the estimates made by the broadcasters. If they were paying less, meaning there were less people watching it, the numbers they provided indicated just that.

Saha has always been good with numbers, especially the human kind. From politics to para socials, he has had the ability to muster both influence and power since his teenage days. When tuitions and a paltry salary of Rs 500 at a chartered accountancy firm couldn’t make ends meet, cable TV seemed the obvious choice. It was new, had already started paying dividends in other metros and most important of all, needed a man who was in touch with the masses.

And for Saha, it was the closest he would ever get to fulfilling his dream of working with the media. But the year was 1991 and few Calcuttans had any idea about what was then also termed as “VCR channel” — two films daily on weekdays, three on Sundays and the mandatory “adult movie” on weekends. “We went door to door trying to tell people what it was all about. They thought it was some new brand of TV,” reminisces Saha.

Then the satellite channels started creeping in. And just when the profits started rolling in around the mid-nineties, came the pay channel twist, which was quickly followed by the RPG Netcom onslaught in 1997. That’s when trouble started brewing.

Like others of his creed, Saha feels threatened today. His biggest bugbear is the impending conditional access system. Once it gets implemented, it will allow the subscriber to choose and pay for the channels he wants to see and skip the ones he doesn’t want. All he will need is a set-top box which will decode the channels of his choice. This could make the local operator dispensable and it would be easier for multi-system operators (MSOs) such as RPG Netcom and Siti Cable to market themselves directly. “But we are ready,” says Saha, as the rhetoric starts to flow. “We have built this thing for 12 years. We are not going to back out. If necessary, we have the strength to become MSOs ourselves.”

The insecurity is forcing the Tarak Sahas to pull up their socks and organise what has always been a scattered sector. The uniform rate is just one of the measures. There’s also an ongoing effort to flush out unwanted elements who are giving the business a bad name. Saha has also learnt other marketing strategies that are more at home with soaps and cereals. He now offers discounts to his subscribers who cough up the cash on time. Sometimes, he gives out little gifts. “We started out as autos. We want to become Mercedes,” he gloats.

As the interview reaches the end, Saha doesn’t show any signs of stopping the histrionics. “There are about 17,000 cable operators in the whole of West Bengal. So please be a little cautious about what you write,” he advises with a bewildering smile. A threat, one wonders, or an innocent plea from the spokesperson of a burgeoning industry? The answer is blowing in the wind — or it could be running through your cable.

   

 
 
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 
 
 
 
 

Syllabus for deception

Sir — If debate meant approval, life would have been much simpler for a lot of people. Most of all, for the human resources development minister, Murli Manohar Joshi. Even after a stay order of the Supreme Court on the curriculum of the National Council for Educational Research and Training and a virulent debate, followed by a walk-out by 16 state education ministers from its recent annual meeting, Joshi would like us to believe that all is well with the NCERT and its syllabus (“Rebellion engulfs Joshi syllabus”, May 27). Does Joshi really take the people to be so naive as to deceived by his propagandist ways?
Yours faithfully,
Prasanta Gupta, Calcutta

Wheels of misfortune

Sir — The tragic bus accident on the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass which claimed 46 lives was not unexpected given the abysmal condition of roads and traffic in Calcutta (“Killer on wheels takes 46 lives”, May 28). Here is a state where bus drivers pay scant attention to the Motor Vehicles Act. Rash driving, overtaking, wretched conditions of vehicles and treacherous roads contribute to frequent road mishaps in West Bengal.

Surprisingly, the unfit vehicles get clearance certificates year after year from the motor vehicles department. A visit to the motor vehicles departments in Calcutta and the districts would act as an eyeopener about the unholy nexus between vehicle inspectors and touts. The police are helpless since the motor vehicles officers enjoy political patronage. What, then, is the use of having laws that are not going to be implemented?

Yours faithfully,
Tapan Das Gupta, Calcutta

Sir — Last week’s bus accident which left more than 40 dead was an inevitable fallout of the indifference of the West Bengal government towards road safety. Even with the rise in the incidence of such mishaps, the authorities have not adopted the necessary preventive measures. The new rule that old tyres have to be replaced with new ones is unlikely to be effective since the biggest offenders are the state-run buses, and even the police vehicles deployed to see to the enforcement of the rule.

The state police, the municipal authorities and the government have to work in tandem to make sure that the vehicular norms are followed, roads are repaired and above all, that offenders do not go unpunished

Yours faithfully,
Sumant Poddar, Calcutta

Gold rush

Sir — It is alarming news that gold jewellers across the country, barring a few, swindle customers by selling impure gold and cashing in on the difference. Indians are known to buy gold in bulk, sometimes as part of custom, or as a long-term investment.

Customers must shoulder some of the blame for this because they choose to turn a blind eye to the dishonest methods of the gold merchants. Jewellery should only be bought after they are assayed or tested from a licensed centre. Certain jewellers have karatmetres that countercheck the karatage of gold. Moreover, when old gold is exchanged for new, care must be taken that the same karatage is returned. It might sound like a whole lot of trouble, but for a huge investment like gold, there is no alternative.

Yours faithfully,
Rohan Oberoi, New Delhi

Sir — With the possibility of war looming large, it is not unnatural for investors to feel skeptical about making fresh investments (“Gold sparkles in shadow of guns”, May22). Local currencies tend to lose value rapidly in the event of war. On the other hand, gold, an asset that can be stored, retains its value and so makes for intelligent investment.

However, purchasers of gold should exercise extreme caution. Since swindling the customer appears to be the common practice among jewellers, customers must take a stand and refuse to be taken for granted.

Yours faithfully,
Sanjeev Dhige, New Delhi

Letters to the editor should be sent to:

The Telegraph
6 Prafulla Sarkar Street
Calcutta 700 001
Email: [email protected]
Readers in the Northeast can write to:
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G.S. Road, Ulubari, Guwahati 781007

All letters (including those via email) should have the full name and postal address of the sender

   
 

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