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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 21.10.01
The children of war Sir - In his desperate bid to win back some lost popularity, the United States president, George W. Bush, is raising funds for the children of Afghanistan ("Bush fund for children", Oct 13). It is a good gesture but ultimately it is of little help to the Afghan children, since the air strikes by the US planes in the night undoes all this effort. Footage from news coverage showing the misery of the Afghan children proves that the worst victims of this ongoing conflict are the children. Bush should bear it in mind that mere raising of funds from the safety of his comfortable home is not enough to make amends for the kind of physical and psychological harm this war has caused to the youngsters. Yours faithfully, Juthika Ray, Calcutta Rally out of place Sir - The editorial, "Wrong cause" (Oct 15), exposes the double standards of the Left Front government in West Bengal. With the state administration's much-hyped new stand on public rallies and demonstrations, the mahamichhil organized on a Sunday by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) was a kind of self-debunking. Would the state have allowed any other political party to do the same? The Left Front has enough of a partisan attitude to try and thwart any such demonstration undertaken by an opposition party. This massive rally by the CPI(M) also caused much inconvenience to the puja shoppers, although the police claimed that it was a "peaceful rally". Traffic was also affected by the chaos resulting from the protest march. It was a happy moment for the people of Calcutta when the state government decided to put a stop to rallies and other forms of public protest, with the welfare of the people in mind. Unfortunately the public rally of the CPI (M) shows again that the Marxist rhetoric is hollow. Yours faithfully, Shiuli Mukherjee, via email Sir - The effort of the chief minister of West Bengal, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, to ban blockades of roads and railways would have been supported by the majority of the public, had he not flagged off the mahamichhil last Sunday. This was unacceptable. In any case, the people of West Bengal should have the democratic freedom to adopt any strategy of their preference to express their anger. Merely declaring public demonstrations illegal is not justified. More so because the tradition was first introduced by the Left Front and it takes some time to give up an old habit. Doesn't the chief minister know old habits die hard? Yours faithfully, Ruma Chakravarty, South 24 Parganas Sir - The Left Front's mahamichhil to protest against the American attack on Afghanistan is a good gesture. But it caused great hardship to customers and shop owners, since the Durga Puja is just around the corner. Most shoppers had to shelve their plans in anticipation of the traffic disruption the rally would cause. This was truly unfortunate. Yours faithfully, Kaustav Paul, via email Sir - By suggesting to candidates appearing for the school service commission examination that they do not leave their venues between twelve and one because of of the mahamichhil, the CPI (M) has just ignored realities. The party comrades are obviously in no mood to follow the government's directives. Yours faithfully, Arunava B. Chowdhury, Barrackpore Off the wrong bat Sir - The humiliating defeat of the Indian cricket team at the hands of the less experienced Kenya shows what complacency has done to our players ("India lose", Oct 18). This is not to minimize the credit of the winning team, whose determined performance pulled off this victory. The dismal batting performance should be a warning to the Indian side not to take the so-called "weak" sides casually. Yours faithfully, Kankana Mitra, Calcutta Sir - The emphatic victory of the Kenyan cricket side over India in the on-going tri-series in South Africa indicates that some serious introspection by the Indian cricket authorities is needed. The batting debacle is the result of depending on specific players to deliver the goods. Yours faithfully, B. RoyChowdhury, Calcutta Letters to the editor should be sent to: The Telegraph 6 Prafulla Sarkar Street Calcutta 700 001 Email: ttedit@abpmail.com Readers in the Northeast can write to: Third Floor, Godrej Building, G.S. Road, Ulubari, Guwahati 781007