Say no to hawkers
Sir — The proposed amendments to the government’s policy on hawkers will spell doom for Calcutta’s footpath (“Hawked out”, Oct 29). This calculated step by the government to garner votes must be opposed by everyone. People should stop buying goods from hawkers to thwart this sinister attempt that aims at legalizing a detrimental practice for the sake of political expediency. We have seen our parks disappear, our waterbodies encroached upon, and the air polluted by noxious emissions. Should we allow the remaining pavements to disappear too?
Dhrubo Mukerjee, Calcutta
Sir — In “Test cricket’s salvation” (Oct 21), Mukul Kesavan displays a missionary zeal to reform and preserve the traditional version of the game.Given his profound love for cricket and his zeal to retain it in its pristine form, there is no surprise in Kesavan carefully working out a formula to salvage Test cricket. To make the encounters more competitive,thrilling and to attract bigger crowds, Kesavan suggests that Test-playing nations should be divided into two groups.
It is true that the gradual waning of interest in the longer version of the game can be attributed to the spectacular rise of ‘instant cricket’. Test cricket has survived, but is now rated poorly when compared to one-day internationals or Twenty20.
Given the situation, Kesavan’s imaginative, but rational, scheme can be given a try. On the basis of current form and perfomance, Kesavan wants to put India, Australia, South Africa, England and Sri Lanka in the elite group. The second tier will consist of Pakistan, the West Indies, New Zealand, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, and they will play one another and, occasionally, with the teams in the elite group. The proposals to assess the status of teams every four years and to include concepts such as promotions and relegations are equally sensible. However, it may be difficult to keep the once-formidable West Indies and the talented Pakistanis out of the elite group.
There will always be those who will doubt the effectiveness of such an unusual project. But considering the fact that the game has undergone some strange twists since its inception, Kesavan’s plan merits a serious examination by the International Cricket Council.
If Test cricket were to flourish, this will be cherished by every genuine lover of the game. The salvation of Test cricket has a purpose, and it will certainly be possible.
Adhip Kumar Bose, Calcutta
Sir — While sympathizing with the tourists from Bengal who were stuck in Rotang Pass, I feel that it is unfair to blame the local authorities squarely for the visitors’ plight (“Tragedy stalks state tourists”, Oct 24). In the course of my travels across the length and breadth of India, including the Himalayas, as a geologist in search of minerals, I found the tourist authorities in Himachal Pradesh to be the most helpful and co-operative. The construction of roads has made some of the most dangerous, yet beautiful, Himalayan areas accessible to tourists. They rush in without considering the ground realities at the behest of tour operators, who take advantage of their gullibility. The Bengal government’s move to issue guidelines to tour operators is certainly laudable. But the authorities should also embark on a campaign in the media to educate tourists about the pros and cons of visiting such areas.
D.A. Bhusan, Calcutta