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Too close to reality

Sir — Many members of the minority community were killed in the Gujarat riots and their property destroyed, but when captured on film for posterity, such things are not “fit for public viewing” (“Riot film too hot for censors”, March 21). Such delicacy on the part of the saffronites would put even the pea princess to shame. But what are the advocates of Hindutva so afraid of' That the minorities will be inflamed by the gruesome testimonies in Aakrosh, or that they will become wise to the tactics of the sangh parivar, making it difficult for the latter to repeat its Gujarat “experiment” elsewhere'

Yours faithfully,
Sona Dasgupta, Calcutta


Sudden strike

Sir — With the Bengal Provincial Bank Employees Association around, India does not need the Inter-Services Intelligence to destabilize its economy.

In the present globalized economy, what we need is 24 hours banking — seven days a week, 365 days a year. Instead, banks are closed for three days in a row (March 16-18), courtesy a wildcat strike by a union. Sadly, no one seems to protest against all this, least of all the apex monitoring body of the country’s banking system — the Reserve Bank of India. Even the government does nothing although it is the economy of the state which suffers as a result of militant trade unionism in a core service sector like banking.

Bank employees, by and large, get fat pay cheques and can afford such frequent strikes. In contrast, state government employees, who barely manage to make ends meet, cannot afford strikes even when persistently denied dearness allowance. That is the skewed economics of strikes.

Yours faithfully,
Tapan Pal, Batanagar.


Sir — The sudden strike called by bank unions on March 17 in Calcutta caused much hardship to the public. The strike was completely illegal. Worse, union leaders picketed bank branches to prevent the entry of employees who did not support the strike. The state police remained silent spectators while the government neither intervened to resolve the issue nor helped the banks maintain services.

The bank management should initiate disciplinary action against the employees who gave the strike call or supported it. Depositors’ forums should also file a public interest suit against the union office-bearers.

Yours faithfully,
Pramila Basu, Calcutta


Bedi’s spin

Sir — Time was when the only “glamour” in cricket telecasts consisted of the cameras occasionally panning the galleries for glimpses of scantily-clad women enjoying the game and basking in the sun. Or a “streaker” running across the field. Then there was Henry Blofeld and his fascination for ear-rings worn by women sitting in the stands in Sharjah.

But now, there is Mandira Bedi to provide in-house glamour on Sony Max (“Meat for Sony is poison for ESPN”, March 18). Viewers, I suppose, are to pay as much attention to Bedi’s “pallu” as they are to the field placings. And dropped pallus have infinitely more significance than dropped catches.

Sneha Rajani, the Sony pointperson in Cape Town, might argue that Bedi’s choice of attire has meant dropped ratings for ESPN-Star. But does the viewer have a choice' A captive audience has to endure Extraaa Innings, Bedi or no Bedi, because only Sony Max has the telecast rights to the world cup. Bedi is purely incidental.

Yours faithfully,
Sunil Garodia, Calcutta


Sir — Sony has got an edge in the war of television channels with its clever wooing of female viewers through its anchor, Mandira Bedi. Although Bedi has put off many conservative cricket-lovers with the way she has presumed to comment on cricket, it’s always up to the viewer to choose between the cleavage and the cricketing arena, as Charu Sharma correctly argues.

But will other sports channels now try to replicate the Sony experiment' Are we to see a Bedi-clone during the football world cup' Perhaps a Julia Roberts or a Nicole Kidman'

Yours faithfully,
Bijoy Ranjan Dey, Tinsukia


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