Going over the board
Sir — As if poor teaching and an unnecessarily extensive syllabus were not enough, primary school students in West Bengal will now be taking board examinations (“Class II board exams”, April 18). This latest whim of the government is a step backwards since the thrust these days is on making education interesting and fun. Instead of having fun, children will now experience examination trauma early. And the priority the average Bengali parent places on good results rather than on a meaningful education will not help matters either.
S. Pradhan, Calcutta
Sir — The recent lecture delivered by the chief minister of West Bengal at the Confederation of Indian Industry meet casts doubts about his seriousness about inviting fresh capital into the state (“Buddha, business bleed for Iraq”, April 10). The meeting was intended to woo industrialists to a state which has stopped being an exciting proposition for industry. Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, instead of focussing on the problem, chose to use the occasion to lash out at the United States of America and the United Kingdom for their involvement in Iraq. That he could not draw the line between his role as the chief minister and a party ideologue shows how synonymous Alimuddin Street has become with the Writers’ Buildings. But did he not realize that unless the head of the government starts talking sense, the credibility of the state will continue to take a beating'
The tall promises foreign governments make to the state will vanish into thin air if they suspect that the intentions of the state government are not honest, or worse, that the government remains mired in its age-old rhetoric. It is alright if party leaders choose to vent their anger before their cadre in the Maidan, but it is unbecoming of the chief minister to dishonour his guests from the foreign embassies by ranting against their government at an official function.
S. Ram, Calcutta
Sir — My question to the chief minister of West Bengal: Will you now deny American and British aid with the same vigour that you defended Iraq' Beggars cannot be choosers, Mr Bhattacharjee.
Mohun Roy, Calcutta
Sir — The chief minister is a staunch communist and his emotional outburst against US intervention in Iraq was also just. But he should have kept in mind the state’s interests first. Another thing, our comrades call rallies for the sake of Iraqis but remain silent when there is a gruesome killing in Kashmir. Why such double standards'
B.C. Dutta, Calcutta
Sir — The ranking of Calcutta as the 36th in road transport, 24th in communication and 11th in education among 36 states in the country by Bibek Debroy and Laveesh Bhandari should serve as an an eyeopener to many who continue to live in fool’s paradise (“The city map”, April 11). There can be no denying that West Bengal has missed the bus to development. Once a role model for other states, West Bengal now typifies mediocrity and sloth. Worse, we have bureaucrats, who in their loyalty towards their political masters, are ever-ready to feed them wrong information. Bandhs, rallies and America-bashing are fine, but where will all this lead us'
Suman Roy, Durgapur
Sir — Passengers on board the April 17 Indian Airlines flight to Delhi from Bhubaneswar showed what a unanimous action could achieve. The aircraft was supposed to pick up the Union minister of civil aviation and was consequently delayed because of that. But the flight had to leave without the minister on board as a result of severe protests from the passengers. Bravo! These people have showed that no one is too special. The incident should serve as a warning for other politicians who regularly delay flights without sparing a thought about the inconvenience of their co-passengers.
R. Sekar, Angul