Aids to power
Sir — Pervez Musharraf’s meeting with the American president at Camp David seemed to be a success, till his opponents in Pakistan pricked the hot-air balloon and called the $ 3 billion aid package a disgrace (“Pak rivals slam aid package”, June 26). In fact, it now transpires that the aid may be withheld if Pakistan cannot achieve the three goals — stopping cross-border terrorism, nuclear disarmament and re-installing democracy — where Pakistan has faltered time and again. Musharraf, too, stands to gain nothing from these, and may end up losing his presidency. Can Musharraf temper his love of power just this once'
Puja Bhandari, Calcutta
Sir —The analysis of Ashok Mitra in his article, “Those Lara sixes” (June 13), seems to be a gross exaggeration. He suffers from the curious Marxist syndrome of trying to drag the United States of America into every little event taking place in the world. It is unfortunate that Mitra and his ilk do not care to spew so much venom against Hindu fundamentalists, whose activities are nearly taking the country to the dogs. Why try to do the impossible by relating a cricket match between West Indies and Australia to political tension'
The euphoria which followed the victory of West Indies was primarily a result of an inferior team defeating a superior team. In the Indian context, this kind of joy was experienced when the Mohun Bagan won the IFA shield in 1911 by defeating the sahibs. There were no 9/11 or al Qaida at that time. How would Ashok Mitra explain the euphoria then'
A.C. Banerjee, Calcutta
Sir — It is true that politics and cricket are not always independent of one another, but Ashok Mitra goes overboard in ascribing the celebrations among the people of Grenada after West Indies defeated Australia to the feeling nurtured in their subconscious about the imperialist intervention and the murder of Maurice Bishop. He ends by blaming George Bush for redefining the world in racial terms. Why is Mitra trying to take away the simple joys — rejoicing after a West Indies victory over Australia, for instance — that are still available. Could Mitra and his comrades please spare the arena of sports from their useless theorizations.
Alekhya Chakrabarty, Calcutta
Sir—The editorial “Politics of bat and ball” (June 22), throws a lot of light on the situation which is created when the neighbouring countries of India and Pakistan take on each other in a cricket match. The idea of cricket as a sport gets relegated to the background. The fanaticism reaches such a fever pitch that even the loyalty of a section of the players are questioned by their fellow citizens. Reason deserts people who start regarding the result of the match as the outcome of a war between the two countries. Moreover, the security of Indian cricketers and their families are threatened in victory and in defeat. For the resumption of India-Pakistan ties, it is necessary that cricket fans revive their sporting spirit and enjoy the game as they used to before.
Kajal Chatterjee, Sodepur
Out of tune
Sir — The current plight of the shehnai maestro, Bismillah Khan, is sad (“Atal all ears for Bismillah”, June 20). The recipient of the Bharat Ratna surely deserves better than having to ask twice before being granted two lakh rupees from the National Relief Fund for his treatment. Thankfully, good sense has finally prevailed on the government of India which has come to the maestro’s aid.
Govind Das Dujari, Calcutta
Sir — I fail to understand how it is that Bismillah Khan, a Bharat Ratna besides being a revered artiste, remains so poor that he is unable to afford his medical treatment. All Hindustani classical performers charge heavily for stage performances which makes media reports about their near-destitution sound incredible.
Subhash C. Agarwal, Delhi