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Life is greater than sport

Life is greater than sport
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First Published: Tue, Mar 10 2009. 10 04 PM IST
Updated: Tue, Mar 10 2009. 10 04 PM IST
This refers to “If, when, how: confusion rules over T20 series” (Mint, 5 March). After the attack on the Sri Lankan team, cricket can never be the same again. This is the first time that an international cricket team has been the target. If our home minister is not convinced about security during the Indian Premier League (IPL) matches, there are good reasons for postponing the event. The International Cricket Council might have a tight schedule, and broadcasters and sponsors might incur huge losses, but nothing is more important than a cricketer’s life. That should be the priority for the IPL organizers. We cannot afford to have a repeat of Lahore at any of our IPL venues. International cricket depends on the subcontinent for its finances, but a cricketer’s life cannot be put at risk for that.
— Bal Govind
Vijay Mallya has patriotically and generously bid for and gotten Gandhiji’s memorabilia at the New York auction (“The Winning Gandhi Bid”, Quick Edit, Mint, 7 March). He has seen to it that the articles do not go to any non-Indian. Now, he has the onerous task of bringing them to India.
Gandhiji had presented these articles to one of his friends. They later passed through many hands and ultimately landed with an American collector. The articles had become legally the property of an individual. Nobody till now had the foggiest idea of the existence of these articles. Once they came under the hammer of an auction house, everybody woke up to show their patriotism.
The Delhi high court even tried to stop the auction, though how an Indian court can influence an action in the US is questionable. Whatever the outcome, the action taken by the government authorities to retrieve the memorabilia is debatable. Has the Indian government taken similar actions in the past to recover invaluable and ancient articles that have reached foreign countries and are now in private hands or public museums? Even the Kohinoor diamond, the symbol of the British empire, is still out of India’s reach.
India also has absurd laws that prevent people who genuinely want to bring back invaluable art objects. An example of this is when Mallya wanted to bring Tipu Sultan’s sword and donate it. He was asked to pay a hefty customs duty. He quietly took it back to his San Francisco home, discretion being better than valour. One should not get too emotional about getting back Gandhiji’s memorabilia. A better way to honour that great soul would be to follow his teachings and examples.
— K. Venkataraman
Jacob Koshy’s article, “Centre has been lax on green issues” (Mint, 7 March), does a good job of pointing out how badly the UPA government has fared on the environment front. In a government that had an illustrious National Advisory Council, I am surprised that no attention was paid to matters which will imperil our very survival in less than a decade.
In fact, there’s more to the UPA’s neglect. I am disappointed that while inviting attention to the neglect of the environment in political debate, Koshy makes no mention of the Tribal Forest Bill piloted by this government, which may mean an end to Indian forests within a generation.
— Anshuman Goenka
Sauvik Chakraverti’s article, “In defence of individualism” (Mint, 5 March), is beautifully written. But human life cannot just be compartmentalized between “we” and “I”. There are innumberable shades of grey that lie between black (“we”) and white (“I”). Individualism is eminently successful in our economic life but beyond that, an emphasis on community (“we”) is surely desirable. In a way the current crisis sweeping the world is because of the total reliance on “I”-minded thinking.
— Surendra Mohan
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First Published: Tue, Mar 10 2009. 10 04 PM IST