Letters to the editor

Readers’ comments: Rahul Dravid shows that nice guys don’t finish last

A selection of readers’ opinions.

Unsung hero

At the outset, I thank you for publishing this article (“The growing legacy of Rahul Sharad Dravid”). It is indeed nice of you to share information about India’s most ignored (at least till his retirement, like it was mentioned) superstar. I have been a Dravid fan (can we call ourselves Dravidians even if we don’t live south of the Vindhyas?) since he first raised his bat for a hundred in Johannesburg in 1997.

While it has been said numerous times, it is true that Rahulbhai never got the stardom or popularity befitting his class and was always overshadowed by either a greater performance or a greater fall. Whether it was Sachin in Hyderabad (1999), Saurav in Taunton (World Cup 1999) or Laxman at Eden (2001), Dravid was the partner and never the star. But then maybe, that is how he wanted it.

At a time when discipline, dedication, and decorum are mere words in cricket, the ideals and ideas of Rahul “The Wall” Dravid should be shared with every boy or girl who picks up the bat or ball. His words of wisdom and deeds of valour may be printed on the walls of every dressing room to inspire the next generation to at least know that there exists a promised land beyond the riches of T20 leagues and the stardom of the business that is cricket. The promised land of playing for your country, giving everything to your team and winning for your people. – Dhimant Chovatia

***

I am a die-hard fan of Rahul Dravid and this article make me so happy. Reading it brought back all the memories of those good old days. – Jinu K John

***

I thank you for posting such a wonderful article on my god, Dravid. He was the only player to save the team from a great many losses. – Santhosh Saddanapu

***

Rahul Dravid is, to sum it all up, “the jewel of Indian cricket”. Unfortunately, he did not get the place he deserved as he was too honest. Wonderfully written...Loved each and every word of it. – Vijeth Rao

•••

It was such a delight to read this excellent write-up “The Growing Legacy of Rahul Sharad Dravid”. Just after the recent Under-19 World Cup victory, a TV channel interviewed the father of a member of the winning team. When asked what his son thinks of coach Rahul Dravid, the father answered, “My son kept telling us over the phone that ‘Rahul Dravid jaisay coach milna samjo jaisay bhagwan mil gaya ho’.” (Finding a coach like Rahul Dravid is like finding god). How true! A dedicated and selfless team man to the core with a disciplined and dedicated approach, he has set very high standards with his work ethic, which augurs well for Indian cricket. These lines from the poem Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard by Thomas Gray succinctly sums up this gem of a man:

“Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
The dark unfathom’d caves of ocean bear…”

Thankfully for the Indian team and for Indian cricket, we have a coach to be proud of, and one who is a rare “gem of purest ray serene”. Thank you Dravid. – Sharath Ahuja

***

Dravid is dignity personified and a role model for the next generation. Look at what he has given back post-retirement to Indian cricket. He makes every Indian proud. Wishing him well. – Vivek Srinivasamurthy

***

In an era of cutthroat competition and one-upmanship, we have a sportsman who epitomises integrity, class and an honest and dignified culture. If only we had more like him in sports and politics, this world would be heaven. Sincere respect for this larger than life personality. – Anita Kamath

***

Thank you for writing such a wonderful article…There is so much I want to write but I am unable to express my feelings about Rahul Dravid. – Pradeep Mahishi

***

This is one of the best article I have read on a sportsperson in recent time. It does not offend any of his peers. The simplicity of Rahul Dravid is portrayed through your engrossing words. Truly, this legend deserves more than he has received. – Jiswanath Dewangan

***

I would like to point out an error in the third last paragraph. “Most of the traits he displays…honestly, tenacity, integrity…are precious and valued, because they come in an era where they are exceedingly rare.” Honestly should be honesty, I believe.

Also, Dravid was and always will be popular among us, the minority of Indian cricket lovers. I agree that he has become more of a hot property now – it is just the time for him. I remember a quote from Harsha Bhogle, “Nice guys don’t finish last”. Sums up Dravid for us. – Abhishek Bhardwaj

***

Thank you for your article. One rarely sees a man like Dravid these days. He will always be remembered for his rare qualities. I am sure he is god’s favourite too. May all the success in the world come his way. People may forget other stars but who will forget such a selfless man? – vnsapre

The Modi cartoons

I am not surprised why these cartoonists only target Narendra Modi (“With Narendra Modi’s latest speech, cartoonists have had the last laugh”). Maybe they believe the Modi government has not done anything. Our reputation in the world has improved drastically in just the past three years and yes, this is because of the Congress (is what the cartoonists believe). All the unemployment happened in the last three years and everyone had jobs earlier.

One more thing, these cartoonists have been making use of their talent in the past three years because the Congress did not earlier allow them to express their emotions as freely. You can at least give our respected prime minister credit for this. – Rahul Gupta

***

With the kind of election wins Modi is notching up, the only way the anti-Modi media and cartoonists can console themselves is with articles and cartoons like these. Why should anyone deny you even this consolation? Enjoy! – Ganesan S

***

First confront the reality of why things are so bad. Then and only then can you fix them. Modi is not making anything up when he identifies why India is where it is. – Rajesh Sennik

***

I read your post on Modi and cartoon. Please do not misguide the country. Maybe people had very high expectations of Modi. But he is working hard for us. The earlier government looted India. And it is not easy to change a big country like India overnight. We must be patient and give him some time. – Shantanu Panda

***

When Modi was doing so many good things for the development of the country, these cartoonists were busy making jokes about Rahul Gandhi. They never tried to highlight Modi’s work. Now that Modi has spoken of the Congress, they are ready to write about him. – Nanda Katti

***

All these cartoons reflect the rapidly changing events of the current political turmoil. Very insightful and clever. – krishnanellibgm

Railway action

This is a very welcome step by the railways (“Indian Railways to sack 13,000 employees on ‘unauthorised leave’: Reports”). However, a word of caution. The department needs to plug all union-supported loopholes that can be used to thwart these attempts. Care must also be taken to prevent harassment and victimisation. Standard policies must be listed and communicated by the railway board to the railway zones and every case needs to be dealt with on its merit. Excesses, if any, must be plugged immediately.

Once the railway ministry succeeds in this campaign, all other ministries must implement the same policies to bring about a change in the administrative machinery of government offices. – N Chandradhekar

***

The decision to tackle 13,000 unauthorised absentees in the railways is a welcome move towards good governance. Let us see the implementation under unionised threat circumstances. We will support the move. – Basanta Kumar Pradhan

***

I wholeheartedly welcome the action taken against railway employees who are on unauthorised leave. They should be sacked immediately. – S Muralidaran

***

Much needed action. Many other ministries, departments also need such a weeding drive. Periodic action is a must to stop government resources from being wasted. – Jeewan Savaro

***

This is a good move by the authorities to curb an unproductive workforce that enjoys the benefits of being employed in a government undertaking. – Balamurali Krishnan

***

It is a very good decision, but there are many fake employees who receive their salaries on the first of every month simply by signing the attendance register. If the railways is eradicating such a practice, other government departments should follow suit. – GS Chowdhry

Indian intellectuals

I agree with Saba Naqvi (“Counterview: Why did the list of India’s top public intellectuals consist only of upper-caste men?”). Perhaps the criteria of choosing top public intellectuals on the basis of responses to a Facebook post where friends are often like-minded and with similar interests seems frivolous and shallow. The list should have been drawn up on a proper framework of definitions instead. This framework could include ideas that help us reflect on the state of our selves in today’s times with regard to the values we stand for. Within this framework, those who manage to do what they do on the basis of their impact on collective thought would be most likely to make it to the list. A whimsical list of a few friends who look at their own interests and likes is hardly representative of how those intellectuals contribute towards where we, as a society, would like to be in the near and distant future.

The author’s choices seem to fit into the above mentioned broad understanding of what makes a public intellectual. All are worthy of deep respect for making our society look at our ugly side. In that sense, Dhruva Jaishankar’s list is “safe” and based on the media discourse today, which is hardly unbiased as we all know.

Scroll.in needs to be more selective in choosing articles to ensure that all sections of society are included in its discourse. – Rajratna Jadhav

***

Please pass on my gratitude and congratulations to Saba Naqvi for her excellent counterview to the biased personal opinion of Dhruva Jaishankar on public intellectuals. It required only basic intelligence to include Arundhati Roy, Arun Shourie and P Sainath in the list, not to mention the many other excellent choices listed by Naqvi. I am so glad she wrote what she did. Mrinal Pande, Githa Hariharan, S Anand, Nivedita Menon, Shohini Ghosh and Kavita Krishnan are other names to send to Dhruva Jaishankar. – Rukun Advani

***

Any list on the lines of “best books”, “best novels” or “best films” is always going to be flawed. So Dhruva Jaishankar’s list is also flawed. But such an article does not require such a diatribe by Saba Naqvi. She is free to submit another list and need not justify it. Her list may also be flawed because she seems to prefer Left-oriented or anti-establishment intellectuals. This is clear in her choice of Arun Shourie and not Swapan Dasgupta. Leftists have a prejudice against Rightists and vice-versa. Such articles do not educate much except to reveal the writer’s prejudices and preferences. – R Venkat

***

There is nothing wrong in expressing your views and choices. You want to push yourself and your choices on the so-called mainstream media. You also endorse my idea when your place a Rightist thinker in today’s intellectual world. But I suggest you write without sarcasm. And also suggest some lesser known Muslim names that the mainstream media may not know of. – Prasant Sharma

Aadhaar complications

This is a hypocritical statement (“People cannot be denied essential services if they do not have Aadhaar, says UIDAI”). Banks continue to threaten customers by saying their accounts will be frozen if not linked to Aadhaar. Is banking not considered an essential service? Is it not immoral of a government to lock up people’s assets for not linking with Aadhaar? When the Unique Identification Authority of India says people cannot be denied essential services for not having, or linking with, Aadhaar, it should clarify that such essential services include banking.

When the government initiated Aadhaar, it was clearly stipulated that it was not compulsory. If a different government now wants to compel people to enrol for Aadhaar, it cannot threaten citizens and put a gun to their head. – Kumar Subramanian

***

Despite having found various flaws in Aadhaar and its implementation, the government is bent on expanding its applicability instead of removing its deficiencies. It does not seem to have realised the extent of problems faced by people. The government should consider the matter from both points of view. If people are facing difficulties using Aadhaar in some areas or are being deprived of facilities because of it, it should take care of this at the earliest. – Rajiv Mehta

Vadivelu and Tamil cinema

Whoever is responsible for Vadivelu’s downfall has done a great disservice to Tamil cinema (“Why every day in Tamil Nadu is a Vadivelu day”). He gave a new dimension to comedy…with a tinge of innocence. Even he could not replicate his original fervour in his later endeavours when he sought to revive his career. – apunathan

***

I read your well-conceived article on Vaigai Puyal Vadivelu, the Tamil comedian who created a niche for himself in Tamil cinema. A couple of additional facts about Vadivelu would make his biographic sketch more interesting, I presume. Vadivelu is a good singer and one cannot miss him humming or singing a couple of lines from yesteryear super-hit Tamil classics while performing his roles. He would even sermonise on much-needed moral and ethical standards for modern society. I think he loved to sing a line here and a couplet there. In my observation, he was next only to Kalaivanar NSK as a comedian who could sing as well. His dance and body language are also worth mentioning. And he could shoulder a character role completely bereft of comic relief as in Em Magan, where he was emotionally charged and less humorous. Typically, like Nagesh and Thengai Srinivasan, he had the ability to switch between comedy and drama with ease.

“Comedy is about timing; the audience needs to laugh for the right reason. A wrong move and you could be a laughing stock,” Jerry “Nagesh” Lewis would say. As you have rightly pointed out, improvisation was Vadivelu’s forte and he always delivered the right humour at the right time – as in the film Nagaram where he performed CPR on a pet dog. Vadivelu the comic hero ruled! – Prasad Gopal

***

It is good to remember the contributions of Vadivelu, an evergreen image of Tamil cinema. This is the right way to mark the event. A good recollection of milestones in his career. It was also apt to give a brief history of comedians in Tamil cinema. However, in this context, KA Tangavelu and Vivek cannot be forgotten. They are deservingly inevitable components of the evolution process. – Meyyappan Muthuppalaniappan

Exam absentees

One needs to take such strong steps in Uttar Pradesh (“Over 1.8 lakh students absent on the first day of the Uttar Pradesh board examinations”). The unchecked freedom to students, parents, political party workers, politicians and the administration has led to both Uttar Pradesh and Bihar producing mediocre students. If the Uttar Pradesh government is taking such measures, then hats off to it. But it should continue with the measures and not abandon them for the sake of votes. I hope Bihar will do the same. – Prakash Bhatia

Excessive Budget coverage

I fully agree with the article by the readers’ editor (“The Readers’ Editor writes: We would be better off without excessive media coverage of the Budget”). The media hype (particularly in the electronic media) is unnecessary. The majority of people do not care much for the Budget speech, Budget figures or comments by politicians and business people. We can predict what the comments of the government or the Opposition are going to be without even reading the Budget speech. They are monotonously the same every year. As the Budget is presented in the morning, most people are at work and do not have time to watch it on television. A short summary of the proposals can be broadcast that evening or the next day; there is no need for all that fuss. Television stations do this not to educate people but to get advertisements. Let us stop this tamasha. – R Venkat

A father’s plea

People like him make India a liveable place and give us hope that all is not lost (“India owes Ankit Saxena’s father a debt of gratitude for refusing to communalise his son’s murder”). – Somasekharan Pm

Congress on BJP PM candidate

The Congress should stop worrying about the ruling party’s prime ministerial candidate for the next elections and instead put its own house in order (“Congress believes Modi won’t stay on as prime minister even if BJP retains power in 2019. Here’s why”). It should realise that its own candidate for prime minister does not match the age, experience and abilities of various senior leaders of various parties and therefore, it should select an experienced leader either from its own ranks or from among its allies. A Congress candidate can get the post only if the party forms the government on its own – but this is next to impossible in the present scenario as he may be rejected by voters. The Congress’s objective of defeating the BJP can only work if it starts holding discussions with other parties and seeks their opinion on strategy and on who will lead an alliance of parties. There are many competent leaders in other parties who would not want to be led by a young, inexperienced leader if the opportunity arose that they could be part of government formation. – Rajiv Mehta

‘Fish market’ remark

People nowadays have a tendency to be sentimental over petty issues (“National Fisherfolk Forum wants SC Judge DY Chandrachud to withdraw ‘fish market’ remark”). The term fish market has always been used for crowded or noisy places. I do not think it was meant to defame any particular group. The community concerned should not take offence. – Yagyaj Kakan

The TM Krishna column

TM Krishna is a good thinker on the subject of how Indian classical art forms have evolved (“The TM Krishna column: Not Rajini or Kamal Haasan, what Tamil Nadu needs is its own Jignesh Mevani”). He is also one of the great musicians of our times. But his theory that Tamil Nadu needs a leader like Jignesh Mevani is far-fetched. Politicians of Tamil Nadu use Dalit sentiments, but we all know where those leaders are headed. Tamil Nadu needs a leader who is straight forward, non-casteist and non-divisive, and is a non-compromising visionary. Not any Tom, Dick or Harry! – Shanmuga Sundara Bharathi

Jashodaben’s accident

Why is this news (“Rajasthan: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s estranged wife Jashodaben injured in accident”)? – Gordie Hundle

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