Letters

Letters to the Editor — March 6, 2020

COVID-19 in India

It is understandable that the COVID-19 outbreak has instilled fear in the minds of the general population in India, as elsewhere. In the olden days, people perished in their thousands in pestilences. But the world is now in a better position to cope with the outbreaks of infectious diseases and minimise casualties. India cannot afford to be complacent. Transparency, as against secrecy, is vital. It will take time to develop a vaccine. As of now, what we can do is to take special care to avoid being exposed to the virus. The WHO has recommended simple measures like avoiding contact with infected persons, keeping some distance from anyone coughing or sneezing and hand-washing with soap and running water. It is believed that in India, the hot weather may act as a defence and a deterrent against the virus and deny it the stage for its destructive dance, though this has not been conclusively proved.

G. David Milton,

Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu

With reports of at least 30 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in India, it is time the nation woke up to the stark truth that we are not immune to the deadly effects of new strain of virus. Though the threat has set alarm bells ringing and triggered panic across the country, it is the manner in which the administration has been going about dispelling fears in the minds of countrymen that has added to the confusion. With no known antidote or vaccine to neutralise its effects, the halo of ‘invincibility’ the virus has earned for itself has had a paranoiac effect on the masses. The fourth estate, with its alarmist coverage about the ‘progressive onslaught’ of the rampaging virus, has only made people more apprehensive.

Pachu Menon,

Margao, Goa

 

Making it to the IITs

The seamy side of the IIT success story of Andhra Pradesh makes one wonder: at what cost the parents are pushing their children towards the IIT goal (Editorial page, “Dark tales in Andhra Pradesh’s IIT success story,” Mar. 5)? The enormous mental pressure and physical strain of preparing the students from Class VI for the IIT entrance examination is a sure recipe for distorting the psychological wellbeing of the students for the rest of their lives. This is a very high price to pay, given the fact that as small as 3%-4% of the total students finally succeed. The rest are deprived of a normal healthy life during most of their teenage years. The only way to save these children from the clutches of these “corporate schools” is to change the pattern of IIT and other entrance examinations every year and make them unpredictable. A normal, intelligent and hardworking student is always prepared to face any test of knowledge, whatever be the pattern. There could be an argument that such changes would put the rural students at a disadvantage. A way to address the issue is to strengthen rural education rather than make compromises detrimental to the larger good.

Kosaraju Chandramouli,

Hyderabad

It is indeed saddening that students are put under immense pressure to join IITs. While many crack the exam, it is vital to understand rote learning never makes a person understand concepts deeply. Many go into depression if they fail to crack the exam after years of toil. After working in the U.S. for many years and watching many executives, I have come to the realisation that following one’s passion is important for one to thrive and excel. By forcing children to neatly fit into identified career paths, parents will never be able to do justice to the full potential of their wards. It is prudent then to identify the child’s passion and encourage them to go deep even if it doesn’t agree to the society’s norms.

Varad Seshadri,

Sunnyvale, California, U.S.

India’s loss in New Zealand

India’s 0-2 Test series loss to New Zealand has brought to the fore the age-old problem of our batsmen’s technical inadequacy and vulnerability in tackling quality pace and swing bowling on seaming foreign wickets. Even captain Virat Kohli, the best batsman in the world, had no clues to the craftiness of the Kiwi pace attack as he scored just 38 runs in the entire series (Editorial, “Flow and ebb”). The Men-in-Blue’s 5-0 T20 series win hardly manifests their true skills and reputation, as in demanding conditions in Tests they were found wanting. Similarly, sitting atop the points table in the World Test Championship is no justification to India’s No. 1 Test ranking, as most of its wins so far have come on home soil. Succinctly put, the wings of the Kiwis opened up impressively in white flannels and flew sky high, leaving the Indians completely grounded.

R. Sivakumar,

Chennai

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 10:09:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/letters-to-the-editor-march-6-2020/article30993867.ece

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