Nothing glorious about it
Sir ' The advertisement for Pepsi being aired currently during the Champion's Trophy matches shows a young boy carrying bottles of the soft drink for the Indian cricket team, which is in a huddle after the fall of a wicket. Not only does this commercial show child labour as an acceptable thing, it appears to glorify it, simply by relating it to the Indian cricket team. It is shocking how far soft drink companies are willing to sink in order to sell their product. The commercial needs to be withdrawn immediately, with apologies from the manufacturer.
Deepak Sapra, Hyderabad
Of the same coin
Sir ' Swapan Dasgupta has never been known for his impartiality, but 'A cut above the rest' (Sept 10) seems particularly biased. While criticizing the left for its rigid ideology and undemocratic functioning, Dasgupta overlooks the vicious and destructive ideology of the right-wing parties which has created more differences between people than any other set of ideas. I fail to understand how the self-professed conservatives can be 'inarticulate, dowdy and disdainful of ideology'. Also, I think a historian of Irfan Habib's stature deserves better treatment. Some right-wing ideologues even have the gall to compare their versions of history to those written by professional historians like Habib.
Abhik Siddiqui, Lancaster, UK
Sir ' Swapan Dasgupta has made some valuable observations in his article, 'A cut above the rest'. When the prime minister says that he wants to distance himself from the fundamentalism of both 'left and right', there is no reason to doubt whether he means it. An educated person, in the true sense of the term, his abhorrence of all kinds of ideological extremism influencing matters of education, distinguishes him from the run of the mill politicians that we have. The education policy of a country like ours should not be allowed to be shaped according to the whims of any political party.
Rajdeep Patnaik, Cuttack
Sir ' The single most important factor responsible for hindering the nation's progress and prosperity is reservation in public sector jobs. Now this is threatening to enter the private sector too. People with vested interests have been demanding reservations in the private sector for a long time. If the reservation system comes into force in this sector, the 'general' candidates will have a hard time.
Reservation was introduced for the uplift of the socially backward and deprived. But corruption and malpractices are so deep-rooted here that only a certain section of eligible people could take advantage of the system. No prizes for guessing that the minuscule section of society benefiting from the system would welcome the introduction of reservations in the private sector. But if the government is serious about taking the country forward, it should adopt a policy of recruitment on the basis of merit and not taking into consideration some social factors and indicators.
Subhobrata Basu, Calcutta
Sir ' It is disappointing to find the government putting disinvestment of public sector enterprises on the back-burner. As a tax payer I resent the fact that my tax money is being frittered away by the government in running the PSEs, most of which are inefficient, overstaffed and chronically loss-making. They are in no position to hasten the economic development of the nation. I will be surprised if the government manages to sell even five PSEs in its five year tenure.
Abhijit Guha, Calcutta