Starry night; Narrow miss; Poor excuse

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  • Published 8.09.18
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Starry night

• Sir - Pollution is a widely discussed topic. But light pollution, because its side-effects are not apparent in the short term, is seldom talked about. One fallout is the loss of the beauty of the night sky. It is thus heartening that some organizations are trying to designate areas as dark sky preserves to battle light pollution and give humans a chance to witness brightly shining stars and planets.

The photons that reach the earth from the stars were created before any human existed. These particles of light have travelled across billions of miles for billions of years to reach us. The moment one sees a star, he or she makes a connection with an ancient, faraway object.

Subho Bhattacharya,
Calcutta

Narrow miss

• Sir - It is disappointing that both the men's and the women's hockey teams from India failed to bag gold medals at the Asian Games in Jakarta. The teams, however, should be lauded for winning a bronze and a silver respectively. The way the two teams performed initially, winning gold had not seemed impossible.

The women's side lost 1-2 to Japan in the final match. Yet, the fact that the Indian women's hockey team reached a final of the Asian Games for the first time in 20 years is itself something to celebrate. The men's side must focus on honing their skills as far as penalty shootouts - India lost in the semi-finals after losing one of these - are concerned.

Mihir Kanungo,
Calcutta

• Sir - The Indian men's hockey team missed a glorious opportunity to strike gold at the recently-concluded Asian Games. This was a costly miss; a gold medal would have guaranteed the Indian team a place in the Tokyo Olympics. Hockey fans around the country must be upset.

Still, the scathing criticism to which the team was subjected, especially towards the end of the tournament, was unwarranted. Officials of Hockey India and the Indian Olympic Association president, Narinder Batra, labelled the members of the hockey team as 'spoiled brats' who should take a cue from athletes from other disciplines. Administrators have also indicated that the 2018 Men's Hockey World Cup, Bhubaneswar, will be the last opportunity for head coach, Harendra Singh, and his support staff to prove their mettle.

But the behaviour of the administrators, too, should be examined. Criticizing a team that is playing a tournament abroad in the media is not right. This no doubt dampened the morale of the team. This is worrying, especially before the Bhubaneswar event. The need of the hour is to support the entire team and to analyse and rectify mistakes, rather than going public with harsh critique.

Sudipta Sur,
Calcutta

• Sir - The Indian women's hockey team was inches away from clinching a gold. But luck did not favour them. However, loss is a part of every game. They have made their country proud with their performance. It was great to see women from the country overcome significant obstacles to win silver at the Asian Games.

Mohd. Umar,
Mumbai

Poor excuse

• Sir - The fugitive tycoon, Vijay Mallya, created a fuss about the condition of Indian prisons ("Many hells", Sept 3). He said that sending him back to India to face the consequences of his actions would be an abuse of human rights. The poor state of Indian prisons notwithstanding, it cannot be forgotten that Mallya is an offender. Why should he be treated any better than other offenders in the country? These are just excuses to avoid extradition.

S. Ramachandran,
Chennai

• Sir - The pathetic state of Indian prisons definitely needs improvement. But how can the fraudsters expect to be treated any differently from the petty thieves? It defies logic that public money will be spent to build a prison that suits the needs of those who have already swindled public funds. If influential criminals are allowed to enjoy five-star facilities, the discrimination may lead to a law and order problem.

S. Biswas,
Calcutta

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