Rare sight; Lost glory; Wield the stick; Lenient approach

• Sir - I recently saw two students in buses reading books. This has become a rare sight. Nowadays, most people are found listening to music on their mobile phones while travelling. This habit has become so common, especially among youngsters, that they do not care to unplug their earphones even while crossing the street. This leads to fatal accidents. Earlier, commuters would start reading a book as soon as they were able to secure a seat. Sadly, this is no longer the case. Reading, an enriching experience, hardly has any place in the life of today's youth. One hopes that the trend of reading books will make a comeback soon.

  • Published 7.09.18
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Rare sight

• Sir - I recently saw two students in buses reading books. This has become a rare sight. Nowadays, most people are found listening to music on their mobile phones while travelling. This habit has become so common, especially among youngsters, that they do not care to unplug their earphones even while crossing the street. This leads to fatal accidents. Earlier, commuters would start reading a book as soon as they were able to secure a seat. Sadly, this is no longer the case. Reading, an enriching experience, hardly has any place in the life of today's youth. One hopes that the trend of reading books will make a comeback soon.

Pramatha R. Bhattacharya,
Calcutta

Lost glory

• Sir - The way in which England snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in the Southampton Test against India is remarkable ("England were braver: Virat", Sept 3). In the first innings of the fourth Test, India seemed to be on the driver's seat, but with every passing day the team fell apart like a house of cards.

Sam Curran and Jos Buttler deserve credit for giving England the edge they needed to take a 3-1 lead in the five-Test series. Moeen Ali, too, played a major role in changing the direction of the match.

The time is right for the Indian team to take stock. Indian batsmen are known for their ability to play spin. Yet, the ongoing series has demonstrated that the current crop of batsmen - perhaps with the exception of Virat Kohli - are cagey when it comes to facing spin. This is worrying for what is supposed to be the number-one Test side.

Jayanta Datta,
Hooghly

• Sir - It is saddening that India lost another overseas Test series. Indian bowlers displayed skill right from the beginning of the series, but the Indian batsmen have let the team down. With the exception of Virat Kohli, most of them failed to match up to their potential.

Some batsmen have been struggling repeatedly while facing world-class bowlers. Players like Rishabh Pant, K.L. Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan and Hardik Pandya should work on honing their batting techniques so that they can contribute to their team's success, especially on foreign soil. The result of the tournament would no doubt have been different had these batsmen played to the best of their abilities. Still, instead of being disheartened, the Indian side should strive hard to restore its former glory by winning the fifth Test at Oval and making it a decent 3-2 affair.

Iftekhar Ahmed,
Calcutta

• Sir - It is a pity that India lost the Test series to England after the latter won the the fourth Test in Southampton. Cricket is not a one-man show; all players have to contribute equally to the team's success. It is shameful that only the Indian captain and the bowlers showed the zeal to win.

The performance of some Indian batsmen has revealed that those who do well in the Twenty-20 format often struggle in Test cricket. Team selection is crucial to winning a Test match. India's series defeat is a wake-up call for the selection committee.

Mohd. Zaid,
Calcutta

• Sir - The latest series defeat in England comes as another disappointment to Indian supporters. More so since India lost the Test series against South Africa earlier this year. One should note that neither South Africa nor England is their formidable former selves. Yet, India could not win. This proves that Indian players are not as good as one believes them to be. If India want to win, then they should perform like a team, instead of depending on one batsman and a few bowlers.

Mohd. R. Hanfi,
Delhi

Wield the stick

• Sir - In 2014-15, the Narendra Modi government had announced the Namami Gange project, aimed at cleaning the Ganga by 2019-20. Little has been achieved on the ground as the targeted date draws close. In a recent report, the National Green Tribunal expressed its displeasure regarding the steps taken to clean the Ganga. The tall claims of the Union minister, Nitin Gadkari, that the river will be completely clean by 2020 are thus hard to believe. The draft bill that recommends punitive measures to clean the Ganga is heartening. The only way to ensure people toe the line is to introduce penalties on the failure to do so.

Saikat Sinha,
Calcutta

Lenient approach

• Sir - Several measures have been taken by the authorities to reduce the use of plastics and the bursting of firecrackers. Unfortunately, these attempts are yet to bear fruit. It is common knowledge in India that laws are made to be broken. This is not restricted to the items mentioned above either. For instance, noise levels in the city are above permissible limits all the time. But law enforcement and civic authorities do not seem to be cracking down on offenders. The same goes for smoking in public.

There is no dearth of laws, but owing to political benevolence these are not implemented properly. Political leaders who run the government are afraid of offending voters. If the government is serious about stopping environmental damage, it should ban the production of plastic and firecrackers. The only way to deal with such menace is to tackle it at the roots. Leniency will not achieve anything.

Asit Kumar Mitra,
Calcutta

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