Degrees of confusion

It is shocking Smriti Irani claims to have a degree from Yale University, USA.  Perhaps she thinks as ‘chhoti behen’ of Narendra Modi, she enjoys immunity and can get away with such false claims.  She was part of a group of MPs who visited Yale University in June last year for a six-day crash course. If she claims the certificate of the crash course as a degree, then our college and university teachers could accumulate multiple degrees as they attend many crash courses during their careers.

She has been making false claims willfully. In her election affidavit 20004, she had declared as her qualification a BA degree from Delhi University, which subsequently changed to Bachelor of Commerce in the 2014 elections. It is ironical she is heading the HRD ministry.  What reforms and policy changes in higher education can we expect from such a person of moral turpitude? May be she is the right person to carry forward the agenda of the ‘Sangh Parivar’ to saffronise education.

G Ramachandram

MPs’ important qualification

With reference to the front page story on Smriti Irani, (August 11), the Constitution of India does not lay out any qualifications for the MPs except that they should be elected. This has been stated in the address of Dr Rajendra Prasad in his speech to the Constituent Assembly at the time the Constitution was adopted, after a detailed discussion, clause by clause. I am not aware of any amendments. It is to be remembered that there have been nearly 100 amendments. I have the speech of Dr Rajendra Prasad, courtesy Rashtrapati Bhavan Secretariat. This being the case, why all this fuss about the qualifications?

P R V Raghavan

The Wall is missed

If anyone had any doubts as to why Rahul Dravid used to be called The Wall, the same has been made amply clear by the Indian cricket team, with its dismal loss to England in the fourth Test. A complete failure of the middle order. On innumerous occasions in the past, Rahul Dravid had stoically stayed there with grit and built up the Indian innings. The Wall is missing and that is what is making the difference between India and England.

One more Test to go and the Indian team management still has the time to make the

Indian batsmen sit in a room and watch all those innings of Rahul Dravid, which conferred on him this apt title.

Ramesh N Hasgekar

‘Solid’ batting line-up crumbled

Outpaced, outspun, outrun and outsmarted!  Everything has gone wrong for Dhoni and his team. At least if he had chosen to field after winning the toss, we would have saved or lost the match in five days. From the toss to the third day, it was a dismal spectacle.

Committing the same mistakes and getting the same result. The so-called batting line-up did not even last 43 overs. In ODIs, they can withstand 50 overs, but a Test match is for five days. Why this unseemly hurry to get back to the pavilion? Each player was competing with the other to be back! Poor techniques, lack of patience and a strong will to put a sizable total and above all, not learning from past mistakes caused the Indian team to capitulate tamely at Old Trafford.

One wonders whether our team will stage a comeback, like its opponent did.

Lakshman Sundar 

Abject surrender

On a sporting field two things are unpardonable as they are against the spirit of the game – a win that is achieved by cheating and the second – an abject surrender. Team India’s defeat at Manchester falls under the latter. A performance that would put even a self-respecting junior team to shame.  England didn’t have the best bowling line-up and adding to their woes was the fact that Broad was out of the game injured and Anderson too was not fully fit. We still managed to lose nine wickets after tea on Day 3 in a mere 23 overs. It surely speaks volumes of our humble gesture as we didn’t want to expose the host’s shortcomings in front of their home crowd and embarrass them.

Probably the only positive from the match was, which only a gully cricketer back home can feel proud of, is the fact that we ‘fooled’ the Englishmen by batting twice and bowling just once.

Abdul Monim

OROP late in coming

The former finance minister, P Chidambaram, had announced OROP for defence pensioners in his interim budget in February 2014 and had made a Rs 500-crore provision.  The current FM, Arun Jaitley, too has provided Rs 1,000 crore in his first budget. There has been an undue delay of more than five months in the issuance of GoI notification/order to implement the government’s decision. It is rumoured in certain circles that the PM wants that GOI notifications/orders to implement OROP for defence pensioners and on a few other matters should be issued forthwith. He wants to announce in his first Independence Day speech all that he has done within a short span of two-and-a-half months. The defence pensioners are eagerly awaiting GoI orders.

R G Nakhate

Crimes against humanity

With reference to the news reports about the killing and burying alive of 500 of the Yazidi minority in Iraq by the ISIS. It is very disturbing and disgraceful to know about the alleged incident. The women  of this community have been taken away as sex slaves. As a human being, I wish to appeal to the world in general and the United Nations in particular to not only condemn such brutality, but also take active steps to stop the atrocities of this so-called ISIS. People all over the world should voice their concerns against such heinous crimes in Iraq just like they did during Israel-Hamas conflict.

Sanket Ravi Pawar

Bharat Ratna for public debate?

There was a time when people were caught unawares and pleasantly surprised by the announcement of the Bharat Ratna awardee. Nowadays, the secrecy in deciding on the highest civilian award has evaporated into thin air. Speculation on names has badly hit the sanctity of the award. That the home ministry has asked the RBI for five medallions was information which did not need to be leaked. Or is this the government’s way of letting loose names only to judge public reactions before deciding on its final picks?  The debate on who should be the country’s ‘jewel’ should not be a subject of public debate. All this leads to unnecessary heartburn among relatives and well-wishers of eminent people who have done the country proud. Also, though there is a provision for a maximum of three Bharat Ratna awardees per year, the number should be restricted to one, to maintain the decorum of the award. Prime Minister Narendra Modi should resist the temptation of dramatically naming the awardees in his Independence Day address. Instead, the name should be known on the eve of the august day.

Ganapathi Bhat

Bharat Ratna speculation

Very few know that Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose is the sole victim of the withdrawal of Bharat Ratna in Indian history. Actually, in 1992, the government’s decision to confer the award posthumously on Netaji met with controversy. Due to the debate surrounding Bose’s death, the ‘posthumous’ mention of Bose was much criticised, and his family refused to accept the award. The award was later withdrawn in response to a Supreme Court of India directive in 1997, following a Public Interest Litigation filed in the court against the posthumous nature of the award. It is the only time when the award was announced, but not conferred.

Regarding others, it seems that the NDA Government is in a hurry to confer Bharat Ratnas to its liking. If not, then why is the government said to have ordered five Bharat Ratna medallions from the RBI mint, though the maximum number of awards given in a particular year is restricted to three? Before honouring  Atal Bihari Vajpayee, (not for his controversial role during 1942 ‘Quit India movement’), should it not be better for the NDA to talk with Dr Subramanian Swamy, who has always poured venom and vitriol on Vajpayee and cast aspersions on his private life? As for Madan Mohan Malaviya, the BHU founder who had led a campaign to allow Dalits entry into temples, they  are still not allowed entry not only into many temples, but also into the homes of many upper castes.

Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee

Picture of disrespect

 The photographs released by a Mumbai-based fashion photographer showed models wearing outer garments to conceal their appearance to tell the story of the December 16, 2012 gang rape victim in Delhi. Though the purpose and intent of the photographer may be to represent the plight of women in the country, but the style flaunted here has done disrespect to the deceased victim. The photographer has tried to commercialise her story.

C Koshy John

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