Death by doctor
Sir — Euthanasia has been widely written on and debated extensively. One even started feeling a iota of support for it before one was suddenly confronted one morning with the inhuman and frightening face of it in “A doctor and his death machine” (Jan 8), which talks about Australia’s renowned euthanasia “specialist”, Philip Nitschke, now globe-trotting with his “death machine”. Is Nitschke any different from any serial-killer who goes on devising novel methods to take on each of his new victims' At least there is no doubt that Nitschke must be deriving the same kind of sadistic pleasure from inventing his killer computer programme or his plastic bag that one needed to tighten around one’s head. All that the world euthanasia movement has given to men like him is the public acceptance and legitimacy to go on with their experiments of “doing people in”. Nitschke should be accorded no more respect than one gives a criminal. And there should be international legislation to stop killings by mass-produced death machines.
N. Chatterjee, Calcutta
To settle a score
Sir — Sourav Ganguly must accept a fair share of the blame for India’s recent poor showing in New Zealand. It was expected that he would lead his demoralized troops against a professional army of batsmen in a better fashion. But Ganguly, V.V.S. Laxman and Virendra Sehwag seemed rooted to the crease, unwilling to move forward and negotiate either pace or swing. Ganguly cannot be said to be in bad form, he simply does not bother to tackle the deliveries with the right technique. Moreover, the team shows no inclination to correct its shortcomings. How does it expect to face Australia later this year in this form' Perhaps it would be better if the Board of Control for Cricket in India whipped up a controversy and pulled out of the tour.
Dilip Mahanty, Lane Cove,
Sir — After losing both the test and one-day series against the Kiwis owing to bad footwork and worse batting, the Indian team has some serious thinking to do (“When will heaven smile'”, Jan 2). Sourav Ganguly’s form and Sachin Tendulkar’s injury are already of considerable concern to our cricket fans. The pitches in South Africa may not be as “bad” as in New Zealand, but there can be no denying that the Indian team has to work really hard to make a mark in the World Cup ahead.
Pratyay Banerjee, Calcutta
Sir — There was pin-drop silence inside the Sydney Cricket Ground when Alan Dawson bowled the last ball of the day to Steve Waugh, who was just two runs short of the biggest milestone of his career. Waugh, usually in complete control of himself, jumped in delight as the ball raced towards the boundary. There was not one man in the audience who did not applaud Waugh for being the third cricketer to score more than 10,000 runs. Yet Waugh was not included in the list of 30 probables for the World Cup. The selectors seem to have illogically omitted a world class player like Waugh, who is continuing to pile up runs in every game. The same illogic seems to govern the decision to continue with Sourav Ganguly in the Indian team, despite his poor form.
S.W.M. Rizvi, Renukoot
Sir — The Indian team has been playing all over the world, around the year. There can thus be no questions about lack of practice. Experts have said that India’s captain is a shrewd and aggressive leader, its batting line-up is among the world’s best, and the team has an excellent coach. Add to this the lucrative perquisites that come from the sponsors of the team. What then is stopping the team from performing'
Diptimoy De, Calcutta
Sir — Almost every Indian batsman, save Rahul Dravid, failed the team in the second test match against the Kiwis. While a bowler like Jacob Oram could see his team through to victory, our so-called world class batsmen were dismissed in the second innings, for a dismal score. It is time players started to get paid according to their performance. Indian cricketers have continued to make money despite their abysmal performance. The team seems to be unable to deliver on fast and bouncy pitches as in New Zealand and will probably do a repeat in South Africa during the World Cup.
K.K. Roy Choudhury, Calcutta
Sir — Whenever the Indian team loses a series, either the umpiring, the pitch or the crowd is blamed. If India fails to make any headway in the World Cup matches, the causes will be found to be similar. Shouldn’t the players start pointing a finger at themselves for a change'
Arta Mishra, Cuttack
Sir — The dates of the medical entrance test of the West Bengal joint entrance examination and that conducted by the Armed Forces Medical College coincide — May 4, 2003. Consequently, several thousand candidates will have to opt for either of the two examinations. There is an easy solution to the problem. The WBJEE authorities are supposed to conduct the mathematics examination on May 3. Since there is still time, the medial entrance test can be rescheduled for that day and the maths test held on May 4, which would enable all willing candidates to take the AFMC test.
Aniruddha Banerjea, Calcutta