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  • The Times of India
    Sunday 15 August 1999

    India Metropolis World Stocks Business Sport Editorial Entertainment

    LETTERS

    Children are game, but are we?

    In Cementing Kerala with Haryana (July 25), the writer rightly underscores the point: ``The secret of winning World Cups is not about creating a national spirit, but it lies in educational reform and building the capabilities of our children.''

    One is thrilled to see children playing cricket on every street corner and pavement in most neighbourhoods throughout India. It is a pity that we have very few open spaces in our towns and no playgrounds in our schools. We must provide our children the opportunity to go outdoors and tire themselves out. They have the ``will to win'' and the ``killer instinct'' as well - and given the opportunity and facilities to practise, they can bring laurels for the country.

    As pointed out by the writer, we need to promote sports in our schools and colleges. In fact, teachers should motivate and encourage children to participate in games. We do need to give our children a break. An education system that values results more than learning can be killing and the ordeal continues in a system in which marks alone matter. So, it can well be imagined what importance sports will have in such a scheme of things.

    I agree with the writer that we need teachers who will motivate children to play games after study hours. However, I disagree with the writer when he undermines the role of elite sport academies. I feel they do have a role in grooming and providing the finishing touches to a youngster in a particular game. Spotting talent is also a must!

    Onkar Chopra, Ludhiana

    Who gives a dam(n)?

    Do we really give a dam? (August 8) made engrossing, but disturbing reading. The words of a tribal, that Medha Patkar was there to stay with them forever should stir the conscience of the common, as well as the decision-making, Indian. If, as informed by Arundhati Roy, 33 to 40 million displaced people have not been rehabilitated over the past 50 years, one ought to question the current developmental strategy. Freedom means access to minimum human living standards for the people. The real common good, obviously, ensures the absence of penury and illiteracy. But during the past five decades, lack of political will and industriousness have caused untold miseries to the masses.

    Obviously, we got the rulers we deserved. The election system is due for an overhaul. Black money, muscle power and casteism have struck at the very roots of parliamentary democracy. A big country ought to treat all citizens equally. Let no one get drowned.

    Devendra Bharati, Nashik

    Friends and relatives

    Both friends and relatives can be trusted, depending on their individual character. (Friends or relatives: who do you trust more? July 25) But the same person may be trustworthy for A and not for B. The subject is complex. Karan Johar and Shilpa Shetty, in their arguments, are right in some way or the other as there is no universal theory to prove either of their views. In fact, I feel people may also change with time, like every thing else in this changing world. So, a trustworthy friend or relative may not remain the same in another time or place. The only exception being parents.

    Binay Kumar, Lalpania

    Though it may sound cynical, I agree with the views of both Karan Johar and Shilpa Shetty. Because there exist no hard and fast rules to judge whether friends can be trusted more or relatives. In fact, it depends on the integrity of an individual.

    It is said that a friend in need is a friend indeed. But my experience is quite different. I once had a trusted and honest friend. He proposed to become my relative at some point in time, to which I agreed because I held him in high esteem. But to my great dismay, I found that he has thoroughly deceived me and stabbed me in the back. Now, he is neither a friend nor a relative.

    R.C.Gupta, Ghaziabad

    Colours of pride

    Gurcharan Das' was one of the nicest articles, I have read in a long time about the country's progress. These days many youngsters and intellectuals criticise everything in our country. They do not realise that we have started moving in the right direction. I am sending a photocopy of this article to my nephew, my colleagues and friends who have negative views about our country. Please keep printing such articles. These may even motivate our policy makers to speed up development.

    Vasu Mansharmani

    The Economic Times

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    © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. 1997. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. To access reprinting rights, please contact Times Syndication Service.