Sir — The burning of effigies and demonstrations organized by political parties to protest against the hike in petrol prices are unlikely to provide us with a lasting solution (“Mamata & Left in oil protest chorus”, Jan 21). I think it is time the people understood their responsibility towards future generations and worked for the sustainable use of this precious commodity. The political parties must support such initiatives and also pressurize the government to provide an effective solution, which is acceptable and technologically feasible.
Rahul Deora, Kharagpur
Sir — It was certainly strange on the part of the selectors to drop S. Sreesanth and choose not to go for a second wicketkeeper while picking the Indian cricket team for the world cup (“Both Piyush, Ashwin make the 15 for Cup”, Jan 18). Moreover, how could the selectors — always the ones to insist on adequate match practice and good form while selecting players — pick Piyush Chawla who last played a one-day international a couple of years ago? Not having a reserve wicketkeeper would also hurt in case of an emergency. Are Virat Kohli or Suresh Raina ideal replacements for the man behind the stumps?
The fact that India has not gone with an express bowler who could rattle any batting line-up may prove to be dear as well. All the pacers who have been picked for the side bowl at an average speed of 120-135 kmph. The South Africans and Australians will have no problems in playing them. Sreesanth would have been handy as he is someone who can bowl fast consistently. His pace, deadly swing and bounce would have helped. The inclusion of a second off-spinner in R. Ashwin is equally strange. The same can be said of Munaf Patel. Ashwin, though a promising bowler, is short on experience. Patel’s performance has been inconsistent. Instead of picking Patel and Ashwin, the selectors should have gone with Sreesanth and Parthiv Patel. Even if the selectors were adamant about a second spinner in Chawla, Sreesanth should have still made the cut at Ashwin’s expense. A back-up for the keeper’s position could have been created by dropping Patel, leaving the squad with four pacers and two spinners, which would have made India’s bowling attack more balanced. It is sad that despite his impressive form and his aggressive and accurate bowling, Sreesanth could not find himself a berth in the world cup squad.
Samrat Das, Dum Dum
Sir —The leopard is at the centre of a worsening man-animal conflict (“Straying leopard beaten to death by lynch mob on Capital City outskirts”, Jan 14). Hence, leopards are increasingly becoming a threatened species and are nearing extinction. ‘Development’ and expanding agriculture have severely degraded our forests, thereby destroying the natural habitat of the leopard whose prey base is now seriously depleted. Pressed for food and shelter, leopards are straying into villages and becoming victims of human anger. The authorities should build an effective conservation model to prevent the animals from straying into human habitat and build dedicated reserves to protect them. The brutal killing of a leopard in the outskirts of Bhubaneswar shows that public opinion is against the conservation of this threatened species. People should be made aware of the need to protect leopards. Otherwise, there is little hope of survival for this big cat.
Somdatta Banerjee, Dhenkanal, Orissa