The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Letters to Editor

That’s my song

Sir — Bappi Lahiri accusing the American producers of Addictive of plagiarism is a lot like the pot calling the kettle black (“Bappi hops with Addictive ire”, Nov 1). But has Lahiri made sure that the song he says has been “plagiarized” is his own original composition' Or is that also “inspired”, as is most of Lahiri’s music' And what will the portly Lahiri do if similar suits are filed against him by all those whose songs he has himself lifted' At least Dr Dre has ignorance of the song’s composer as an excuse. Lahiri and his ilk in Bollywood do not even have that.

Yours faithfully,
Shiny Merchant, Calcutta

Sir — One cannot but agree with Mukul Kesavan’s statement that English newspapers in India are pan-Indian and target the English-speaking educated middle-classes (“India entire”, Oct 13). Be it the demolition of the Babri Masjid or the Gujarat pogrom, the English language press has condemned them all vociferously. It has never failed to highlight casteist violence in rural India or crimes against women. Its coverage of these incidents has often helped the victims in their quest for justice and sometimes even managed to force the authorities concerned to take action.

The popularity of English newspapers has a great deal to do with the fact that they serve as the “link” language in a linguistically-diverse country like India. Even if these dailies do not cater solely to any one linguistic group, they nevertheless pay a great deal of attention to the cultural practices of the area in which they are sold. For example, The Telegraph caters to the tastes of readers in Calcutta and its suburbs, whereas The Deccan Herald targets southern readers.

Yours faithfully,
Kajal Chatterjee, Sodepur

Sir — Despite the importance given by English newspapers in India to “national” news, they cannot possibly address all major issues. There are 28 states and 18 major regional languages in the country — these national dailies cannot possibly cover every event that occurs everywhere. Naturally, some newspapers highlight certain events while others may not even refer to others. But this does not compromise their pan-Indian nature.

Yours faithfully,
Diptimoy Ghosh, Calcutta

A win at last

Sir — After lifting the six-nation LG Cup in Vietnam, the Indian football team put on a good show in the Busan Asian Games. Although the team could not make it to the quarter-finals, it’s convincing performances against Turkmenistan and Bangladesh brought a great deal of joy to football aficionados in the country. Lack of infrastructure, inadequate training facilities and the paucity of good playing fields have been responsible for the decline of the game. How can the national team be expected to perform better, given such handicaps' Indian football has also been much neglected by the Central government, which has paid more attention to cricket and tennis.

Even the All-India Football Federation has failed to come up with innovative ideas to popularize the game in schools and colleges. And finally, there is the media which has not given proper coverage to football.

This time the players did not let all this deter them from putting in their best. The captain, Bhaichung Bhutia, not only lead by example, but also inspired his teammates to perform better.

Yours faithfully,
Rajat Bakshi, Dumka

Sir — What is this “improvement” in the standards of Indian football that the media is talking about' An analysis of the performance of the Indian football team at Busan would reveal that India won only two of the three matches that it played and lost one. That the two Indian victories were registered against Turkmenistan and Bangladesh speaks volumes about its performance. India could not defeat China in the pre-quarter finals. In the Seventies and the Eighties, which were the golden era of Indian football, we would never have lost to teams like China and Korea.

One can also cite the example of the Asian club championships in which Mohun Bagan, which is considered by many to be India’s best football club, lost to Valencia, Maldives’ best club. This should be more than enough evidence of the deterioration of Indian football.

Yours faithfully,
Arnab Roy, Mumbai

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