Little wars on the small screen
Sir — Sony Set Max must sorely want to ask Ruby Bhatia to shut up, for once (“Get a woman, but a cricketer”, March 10). Bhatia’s pique is understandable — Max is persisting with Mandira Bedi though the latter has attracted almost as much criticism as Bhatia did. But for Max, the timing of Bhatia’s revelations of what cricket-lovers had to say about her temerity to talk cricket must be especially galling because it seems desperate to prove what a success Bedi’s little ingénue act has been on Extraaa Innings. Obviously, Bhatia does not set much store by that cardinal principle of all sport — you win some and you lose some.
Moloy Hazra, Calcutta
Sir — Hindustan Lever Limited should have pulled out its fairness cream advertisements long ago, but it is good that the company has finally respected the sentiments of the people (“Ads cleansed in all fairness”, March 8). The government’s list of proscribed ads includes fairness creams, among other more obvious ones as alcohol. The government should now initiate action to stop other fairness cream manufacturers from airing their ads. Such ads may reflect the realities of modern society, but they send confusing signals to the young and impressionable. Besides, many of them make no sense.
S. Balakrishnan, Jamshedpur
Sir — HLL’s decision to pull out its fairness cream television commercials was a nice Women’s Day gift for the not-so-fair women. But these ads, with their message of how being fair-skinned helps one get ahead in life, have already done enough damage.
How do women forget that Halle Berry, Naomi Campbell, Nayanika Chatterjee and Reshmi Ghosh are anything but fair, but have carved out a niche for themselves in the glamour business which would, on the face of it, appear not to favour the dark complexioned.
Aritra Roy, Shyamnagar,
State of traffic
Sir — The state government’s decision to issue fresh permits to 2,000 auto-rickshaws is not a very wise one. It will only aggravate the city’s transport problems. Auto-rickshaw drivers are the principal violators of traffic rules, and cause traffic congestions by their tendency to rush into whatever space is available between two moving vehicles — even in narrow lanes.
But the ruling Left Front in the state is perhaps more interested in the funds auto-rickshaw unions contribute to their coffers. Thus, the more the rickshaws, the greater the collections.
M. Hossain Chintu, Banganagar,
Sir — I have a few suggestions that will help bring down the number of road accidents in the city.
Roads on which commercial vehicles are allowed to ply should have dividers. If these heavy vehicles change lanes or overtake other vehicles indiscriminately they should be immediately fined. If the road width so permits, separate driving lanes should be indicated. No vehicle should be allowed to change lanes within 50 metres of a junction. More traffic police need to be deployed and fines charged more strictly. These proposals could be tried out on Eastern Metropolitan Bypass and its connecting roads first where many major accidents have been taking place lately.
P.M. Mukherji, Calcutta
Sir — The state government’s drive to prevent road accidents is laudable, but advertisements and camps on road safety alone will not help minimize road accidents. Errant drivers must be severely punished. First, drivers of private as well as state transport corporation buses must be stopped from engaging in deadly races on public thoroughfares. Next, many owners manage to obtain licences for their no-longer-roadworthy vehicles by bribing the motor vehicles department. Sometimes applicants do not even have to clear a driving test. And it is these vehicles and drivers who turn killers on the roads.
A.F.K. Ahmed, Calcutta