Sir — The cabinet’s decision to make amendments to the Representation of the People’s Act so that any person from anywhere in the country can contest elections to the upper house does not make sense (“RS vote”, March 20). After this amendment, the provision that only a domiciled resident of a state can stand for the Rajya Sabha elections will no longer apply. On the face of it, this seems designed to preempt the Manmohan Singh-variety of stratagems. But will it also not be against the very spirit in which the Constitution created the upper house' The Rajya Sabha is designated the “council of states” by the Constitution and has proportionate representation from every state. If the amendment is passed it may result in members of a particular party flooding the Rajya Sabha, which may have a disproportionate number of members from one state while another may not get any representation at all. How then will the Rajya Sabha be any different from the Lok Sabha'
Dinabandhu Mukherjee, Calcutta
Living down the loss
Sir — India lost the finals of the World Cup 2003 to Australia and suddenly there was an outpouring of evaluations and opinions from everybody as to why it happened and how it could have been averted. Suddenly everyone from the tea vendor to the media journalist had become experts — “Sourav shouldn’t have elected to field first”, “Kumble should have been included in the team”, “the psychiatrist should be sacked for failing to provide the required boost to the players” and so on.
Television commentators like Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, K. Srikkanth and others could suggest nothing better than that the “Indians should play their natural game and face the huge target”. And that Australia was the best team in the World Cup. The only worthwhile comment came from Ajay Jadeja who said that, “Cricket has to be played on the field by the cricketers themselves and ...hence comments are of no use.” But one thing was clear — these self-styled experts were unusually cautious in their comments. Was their reticence the result of an earlier run-in with the players' If so, it is a lesson learnt well, though a little late.
Those who create hype surrounding cricket must note that no amount of “Jeeto India” or “Kar lo duniya mutthi mein” will win us games. Wouldn’t it be more worthwhile to divert some part of the crores spent by the sponsors on the cup and offered to players as incentives to help our countrymen in poverty and distress'
Manmohan Sen, Nagpur
Sir — India’s defeat in the finals of World Cup 2003 was a big disappointment, more so because it had performed consistently well in all the matches in the tournament. But Sourav Ganguly’s decision to bowl after winning the toss was inexplicable. To make matters worse, there was the dismal performance of our bowlers, who gave away 38 extras in wides and no-balls. The match was perhaps lost even before we began batting. We may have reason to be sorry, but none to feel disgraced, for our team is arguably one of the best in the world today. And Sachin Tendulkar’s the man of the series award is definitely cause for cheer.
Tapan Das Gupta, Calcutta
Sir — Before the final, many Indians had performed yajnas and pujas for India’s victory. Now that we have lost, will these people acknowledge that such rituals have no power' Also, will the fortune-tellers, who had confidently predicted that India would win the cup, now eat humble pie'
The performance of Indians in the New Zealand series preceding the cup had been hardly satisfactory and few expected them to reach the final stages. But now that they have lost in the final, people are heaping opprobrium on them. Few give them credit for making it to the final.
D.K. Bhattacharjee, Guwahati
Sir — The Indian team turned out to be paper tigers after all. The pace trio which had created a storm against minnows like Zimbabwe, Kenya, and Namibia folded up in front of Ricky Ponting and his men. How could our heroes fail so miserably when they had excelled for so long' It certainly calls for a thorough inquiry. Also will Saurav Ganguly, a la Sanath Jayasurya, have the courage to resign as captain' Sachin Tendulkar’s man of the series award also does not cut much ice. It was an individual effort and not to do with the team as a whole.
T.R. Anand, Calcutta
Sir — Australia’s landslide victory has proved that India is incapable of raising its game for big matches. We need to spot talented young bowlers and train them properly for the next world cup in the West Indies.
Jayanta Datta, Chinsurah
Sir — It is futile to blame Sourav Ganguly for choosing to field first. The decision was taken well in advance, with the concurrence of the coach. Who knows whether we would have won if Australia had decided to field first' Ricky Ponting and team were by far the best team in the tournament. Their intentions were clear from the very first, when they trampled Pakistan in Johannesburg. Going by their present form, few will be able to defeat Australia in one dayers for some time to come. But there should be no question mark over the abilities of the Indian team. After the first defeat by Australia, the team never looked back. Today we are the number two.
Jang Bahadur Singh, Jamshedpur
Sir — India lost the cricket World Cup because of Sourav Ganguly’s decision to field first. Did he think the Australian batting line would fall like the New Zealanders' Did he have less confidence in the Indian batting, the strongest in the World Cup — at least on paper, and more on his usually erratic bowlers' The Indians scored 234 runs against the formidable Australian score of 359; batting first, India would have scored more and the Australians would not have been able to bat as freely. But at least, India reached the final which is more than can be said for a number of teams better than the Indians in fitness, fielding, bowling and overall physical ability.
Kalyan Ghosh, Calcutta
Sir — The pacers should not alone be blamed for the loss to Australia. Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly did not rise to the occasion.
Bipul Sarkar, Chakdah
Sir — The Indian cricket team must now regroup and try to emulate Australia in its approach. Also whilst Indian batsmen are wonderful strokemakers, the team needs 11 men whose physical stature and strength allows them to bat hard, bowl as fast as Brett Lee and field superlatively. That will be the recipe for the Indian side’s success in Australia later this year.
Richard Saviel, Highgate, West Australia