Beware, artist at work
Sir — When Mamata Banerjee was killing time painting kash phul in Singur, did she think of the cashfuls she was shooing away from Bengal? Next we might see her blocking traffic on a busy road and depicting on canvas the pathos writ large on the faces of those stranded. Her painting session in Singur has been compared with Nero’s fiddling while Rome burnt. But there is a more chilling parallel. History tells us that Hitler was a painter too. While Banerjee’s works of art may not be as good as Fuehrer’s, she might want to be better than him at other things.
Anjan Sen, Calcutta
A star is dropped
Sir — The omission of Sourav Ganguly from the Rest of India team for the Irani Cup was only to be expected (“Sourav quit spectre after omission omen”, Sept 9). The Board of Control for Cricket in India has been trying to shake him off since November 2005, when the Greg Chappell-Kiran More combine was calling the shots. In fact it was Dilip Vengsarkar, the current chairman of selectors, who picked him for the Test series against South Africa, where Ganguly’s performance helped India record their first ever Test win in South African soil. His comeback was glorious and left his detractors groping for excuses. His performance against Pakistan in the home series in 2007 is still fresh in the memory. A cricketer of his calibre does not require to prove his mettle time and again.
Debasish Chatterjee, Calcutta
Sir — At last Indian cricket is free from the negative influence of Sourav Ganguly. His elevation to captaincy had a lot to do with Jagmohan Dalmia’s presidency of the BCCI at the time. A captain in a team game is only as good as the team and India’s success rate under Ganguly is only marginally better than that under Mohammed Azharuddin. While Azhar was hamstrung by the compulsions to include some ageing stars, Ganguly had a talented young team. It is only natural that Ganguly’s team performed better than Azhar’s.
Ganguly understands the nature of the game quite well. That is why it is baffling that he did not retire as soon as he realized that he could no longer meet the physical demands of modern cricket. He has felt quite happy to have politicians, and not cricketers, batting for him when this should been taken as a hint that it was time to pack up. Ganguly’s exclusion from the Irani Cup team is a far subtler way of telling him to call it a day instead of booting him out directly.
Dipak Datta Roy, Bagdogra
Sir — By dropping Sourav Ganguly from the Rest of India squad for the forthcoming Irani Cup against Ranji champions, Delhi, the national cricket selectors have given a clear indication that they are in no mood to keep the Bengali left-hander in contention for the home series against Australia. The dismal performance of Ganguly in the last Test series against Sri Lanka probably went against him. It will be a herculean task for the most successful Test captain of India to make yet another comeback. But he has some experience in the task, so maybe he will be successful.
Sir — If failure in just one Test series merits exclusion, then by what logic is Sachin Tendulkar (95 runs in the Test series against Sri Lanka) in the team and Sourav Ganguly (96 runs in the same series) out of it? And if performance in the last 10 Tests are taken into consideration. then there is hardly any difference between Ganguly (542 runs) and Rahul Dravid (563 runs). But Ganguly gets axed and Dravid gets the nod. What do you call this? Unfairness? Injustice?
Kajal Chatterjee, Sodepur