Sir — It is worrying to note the sudden crackdown on television content being streamed on online platforms after the new OTT regulation rules were announced. Recently, a furore was created over a show on Amazon Prime Video. Now, a web series on Netflix has come under the scanner. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights claims it portrays children inappropriately. While the allegation must be investigated, one wonders whether similar concern was shown when the consumption of child pornography after the lockdown in India went up by 95 per cent. Are we looking at a future where outrage will be used as a pretext to muffle creativity and expression?
Sir — The ace batswoman and captain of the Indian women’s cricket team, Mithali Raj, must be congratulated for crossing the mark of 10,000 international runs (“Mithali’s run, 10000 & beyond”, March 13). This is a stupendous feat. The former England captain, Charlotte Edwards, is the only other woman to have scored 10,000 international runs in the history of cricket; she made 10,273 runs overall. This means that Raj is now only 272 runs away from equalling Edwards’s record. Given Raj’s present form on the cricket ground, it is only a matter of time before she crosses this milestone as well. Indian cricket lovers will be waiting eagerly for that moment to come.
Sir — The fact that the veteran cricketer, Mithali Raj, became the first Indian woman to make 10,000 international runs is a matter of immense pride for our country. If she continues to play for another year or so, she will certainly reach even greater heights. One wishes her and her team the best for their remaining one-day international matches in the series against South Africa.
Sir — Mithali Raj’s stunning achievements are not just about the 10,000 international runs she has scored; they are also about her having played at the international level for 22 years. This is no mean feat. Raj’s ODI batting average of over 50 after 212 matches bears testimony to her consistency. It is to be hoped that she goes on to play for a year or two more so that she can achieve many more laurels for her country. Raj and the legendary bowler, Jhulan Goswami, are two of the greatest legends of Indian cricket. Hopefully, after watching them perform, more young girls will get inspired to play cricket.
Sir — India’s education policies are getting embroiled in one controversy after another. A furore has now erupted among intellectuals over the claim made by the All India Council for Technical Education that mathematics, physics and chemistry are no longer mandatory for admission into some engineering courses. Although the AICTE clarified its stand later, the incident points towards the growing promotion of an unscientific mode of thinking encouraged by the current dispensation at the Centre. It can be argued that the AICTE’s proposal is in keeping with the vision of the National Education Policy to offer students more flexibility in choosing their subjects, especially at the secondary level. But it cannot be denied that studying engineering without a solid base in mathematics will be to the disadvantage of the learner.
Be it the Centre’s decision to train ayurveda students to perform surgical procedures, the University Grants Commission’s promotion of the ‘cow science’ exam or the numerous unscientific claims made by ministers and luminaries, they all bear grave implications for the future of our country. Unfounded statements, such as the claim that Lord Ganesha got his elephant head owing to plastic surgery, might elicit laughter in cozy drawing-room discussions, but we treat them as benign at our own peril. It is time we became aware of the serious flaws of the current government. Informed citizens who dare to question the administration and hold it accountable for its words and actions are the need of the hour.