Sir — In cricket, the size of the field varies from ground to ground. This anomaly needs to be corrected as it has a bearing on statistics. For instance, fours and sixes can be easily scored in places where the fields are small. But in large grounds, like the Eden Gardens in Calcutta, similar shots would, in all probability, not fetch more than two or three runs. The issue should be taken up by the technical committee of the International Cricket Council and a standard playing area must be fixed. Such a step would make the game genuinely fair.
Farmers hold a poster carrying photo of former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, who gave the slogan 'Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan', during the Kisan Mukti March, in New Delhi, on recently. Farmers from 24 states joined the protest to press for their demands, including debt relief and remunerative prices for their produce. (PTI Photo)
Sir — The farming community plays a pivotal role in developing the nation. Others can pursue their career goals, secured in the thought that the farmers will produce food for them to eat. However, for many years now the farmers themselves have been under increasing stress. Scores of farmers have committed suicide across the nation after falling into debt traps. But the governments, both in the states and at the Centre, have done precious little to ameliorate the situation.
Farmers’ organizations have been demanding the full implementation of the recommendations of the Swaminathan commission — the eight-member team submitted five reports on agricultural reforms to the Union government between 2004 and 2006 — without much success. They also want Parliament to hold a special session on the agrarian crisis. Thousands of farmers tried to march to Parliament recently, but they were stopped en route by the police (“Farmers raise voice in Delhi”, Nov 30). The government will not be able to quell the movement for long in this way, it would do well to accede to the demands.
Sir — The recent agitations by farmers are a cause of worry. In the past couple of years, several states promised to provide lucrative minimum support prices for crops, apart from loan waivers and subsidies, to the farmers, but clearly not much has been achieved on the ground.
One feels that excessive reliance on seasonal rainfall and a poor irrigation network have further compounded the problems. The government must support the farmers, especially the marginal ones. The latter should get ready access to good quality seeds and manures. There should also be adequate protection against crop failures.
Sir — It is indeed shameful for the whole nation that the farmers are being compelled to hit the streets. The Centre has not been able to reduce agrarian crisis. All that it has done is to give a few assurances. However, the Opposition parties should not look at the latest protests just as an opportunity to corner the government. They must provide useful suggestions to the authorities and also take bold steps in the states where they are in power to mitigate the crisis.
Sir — A motorcyclist, Subham Kothiwale, died after ramming into a guard rail in New Town. This is indeed unfortunate. The guard rails installed in and around Calcutta are mostly blue and white in colour and are devoid of any reflectors. The drivers find it difficult to spot them from a distance. Therefore, all guard rails should be immediately re-painted in bright colours like orange. The guard rails also need to be placed judiciously.
Ashok Kumar Ghosh,
Sir — The main purpose of installing guard rails and crash barriers is to prevent accidents. But without proper reflectors, they can cause mishaps, such as the one Calcutta witnessed recently. The guard rails in the city can be seen only from a close range. This allows motorists little time to slow down. The authorities should urgently do something about the problem.
Sir — A fitness company in London has come up with a novel way to protest against the Brexit imbroglio. It is offering gym sessions with punchbags bearing photographs of leaders like Boris Johnson and others. Similarly, pictures of Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn are pasted on the floor, and people are throwing fitness balls at their photographs. The 30-minute workout has been cheekily termed as the “Brexfit” gym session.
In India, however, we cannot even think of having such sessions. Most top leaders here lack the spirit to accept dissent. They will invariably fail to see the lighter side of the act and victimize anyone participating in the classes.