Cricket at a crossroads

Cricket at a crossroads

The waning popularity of one-day cricket is mainly due to the fact that the game is now at a crossroads, and three different forms are being played in and out of season, leaving the average spectator confused (“One-day cricket’s challenge," Mint, 29 September). Contrast this with the game of baseball, played in the US. The 100-year-old game has practically remained unchanged. Because of income generated by sharing revenues from a pool of Internet and TV rights, the franchises, which could never hope to compete for the World Series can attract young talent. These teams offer stiff competition to those which once held a monopoly. From 2001 onwards, no team has emerged as the World Series champion more than once, except for the Boston Red Sox.

— M.K. Subba Rao

I do agree that there is no sense in naming a pricey pen, Mont Blanc’s 24 series, on Mahatma Gandhi, as all his life he lived with utmost simplicity (“Marketing the Mahatma," Mint, 5 October). If we want to promote his philosophy, then there are far more substantial ways to follow what he preached. I do not think a pen—that too, such a costly one—would be helpful in making our lives more meaningful and less violent. We should not forget that we need to make a small difference to the lives of the needy rather than just buying materials named after Gandhi. There is a strong point in your question about why a politician can use Gandhi’s name but corporations cannot. What the government does is try to cash in on his name to the fullest extent —without ensuring his principles are followed. It is ironical, to say the least.

— Bal Govind

The view of a former director of finance of Air India, quoted in your article, that the government has let down the Air India chairman is correct (“Air India resolution puts Jadhav in a bind," Mint, 1 October). Air India would not have taken the tough steps without the informal clearance from the ministry. That the government intervened in the matter in such a theatrical fashion hurts any further cost control measures by the management, which are so vital for survival of the ailing airline.

Normally, CEOs are not shuffled during merger exercises. The CEO at the time of setting up National Aviation Co. of India Ltd was changed, and the one who succeeded him had to go last year because he had differences with the ministry. Now, his successor has been sapped of his enthusiasm and energy to make the merger a success.

This is hardly the way the government should manage the merger exercise. It’s time, therefore, for Parliament to demand ministerial accountability for the poor way the merger exercise has been handled. This is the least the public can expect. Will the opposition parties in Parliament demand this when it assembles for the winter session?

— S. Subramanyan

This article is very useful in that it highlights the fallacious ways of measuring the numbers of the poor, and the interests involved (“Who count as India’s poor?" Mint, 2 October).

Anecdotal evidence shows that there are actually “targets" as to how many below the poverty line families can be identified in a particular village—this may not have been intended by the Union Government but the local petty bureaucrats may have devised this as a measure of controlling the numbers of beneficiaries.

We suffer from a collective lack of social conscience, a lack of realization that our nation is riding upon the hugely under-paid labour of millions of socially marginalized people.

That is why the middle class-dominated government looks askance at the budgeted amounts to provide social security to such people.

— Jashodhara