Why defend the indefensible?


Apropos L.S. Rynhang’s letter “Gross Errors in MBOSE: Text books: A Clarification (ST July3, 2019), I wish to express that I had taken pains to point out errors not because of any self interest but because of my concern for students of Class IX and X studying Physics in Meghalaya. I have taught Physics in a renowned college for nearly forty years. In 1966 we were fortunate to have a renowned professor of Physics, N Ganguly known in Calcutta University as Graphite Ganguly as recorded in the Science Journal of the 1950s. There were others too in Chemistry and Mathematics whose classes we never missed. N. Ganguly would never teach any important Physics principle without experiments and models which were all in working condition. Archimedes, Bell Jar covering the electric bell, Ampere’s swimming rule to show deflection on a magnetic needle when a long wire in Magnetic meridian would deflect left or right when current is passed through were part of his demonstrationss Then there’s Madeburg’s hemisphere, Michael Faraday’s ‘Law of electromagnetic induction’ with a brief history of rusty lodestone dropped unto a vertical coil to deflect the current reading device, torch cells of zinc, carbon and ammonium chloride as paste (electrolyte) and black charcoal as polarizer. In short we never had a blind study on anything.

The writer should understand that all explanations on trumpet, ultra-sonics, the welding of tungsten; to melt fog in the runway; to manufacture cosmetics to detect enemy vehicles, are all fabricated. The main purpose of the trumpet is to amplify the sound from the trumpet blower who has his mouth swollen with air. So to do the reverse and to insert the small end unto the ear hole is laughable. One cannot explain ultra-sound by sidelining the test probe, which only technicians of the test probe can explain. As students we had carried out experiments on Archimedes. Reading the text is not only amusing but laughable. Supersonic boom is a pack of lies. It is true that jet fighters with more than 2 mach or less can cause a false explosion to the man on the ground.

If the writer wishes to know more he could read the Ya Perelman Physics for entertainment book 2, page 306 of Mir Publication Moscow. In case he wishes to read this, I can Xerox and post it to the writer.

Any Physics principle for beginners needs sound explanation, without which the mathematical part would simply be committed to memory and vomited out during examinations. The explanation on why passengers in a bus fall backwards when the driver accelerates could be revisited by the learned writer. Students today are extremely unfortunate not to have mathematical formulae backed up by simple experiments. Lots of ammeters, galvanometers, voltmeters resistance box were received by the Government in the 1980’s. It appears that no one used them and no one knows where they have been stored. Physics teaching right from class IX needs experiments and models and there are many in everyday life to help mindful teachers to imbibe more knowledge on Physics so as to engage students. I have also gone through the Class X text which is no different from one of Class IX. For example why ‘Ambulance’ is reversely written could be discussed in the classroom.

So what is the solution? The final remedy would be to switch to CBSE. ICSE is too deep and comprehensive. No student can commit to memory all the hundreds of formulae during the exams. Finally, I sincerely request the writer to co-operate and point out mistakes committed. A rejoinder is appreciated but to defend the indefensible is to do disservice to the students. We need to let go off our physical and mental burden, especially the wrong ones, so that we can see our children enjoying their youth in playgrounds and not in private homes undergoing private tuition.

Yours etc.,

  1. Khyriem,

Shillong- 14

Shocking behaviour


Close on the heels of Pope Francis asked forgiveness on behalf of his church for all the sins committed by the clergies under his papacy, yet another shocking news of a sleazy crime committed by a Catholic priest at a boys’ home on the outskirts of Kochi has come to light. The priest allegedly sexually abused the inmates and the whole shocking news came to light when one of the victims’ parents lodged a complaint with the Palluruthy police station.

The accused Fr George alias Fr Jerry Thareparambil is the director of the boys’ home run by the Church. He belongs to the Order of Discalced Carmelites(ODC). It is learnt that he had been abusing the boys for long and the boys were in constant fear. It is pertinent to note that a few boys who escaped from the home were roaming at Kannamaly a few kilometers away from the boys’ home. Having been alerted by the public, the police reached and rounded up the children. On interrogation, the children disclosed that they had run out of the home for fear of the priest and his sexual abuse.

How shocking is this heinous act. The protector himself ravages the children. The crime committed by the perpetrator on the boys will have far-reaching consequences on the children and on the society they are living in. These traumatic children must be given the best counselling, or else they would also become pederast (homosexual) repeating the same sinful acts when they grow up.

It is high time the church overhauled its present system of order in which priests are allowed to binge drink and eat. Also, the church must look into the circumstances which helped the culprit commit this horrible act and take practical steps so that such crimes will not be repeated in future.

Yours etc.,

TK Nandanan,

Kochi -15

Spectacular performance by India


The recently concluded India Sri Lanka match witnessed a spectacular performance by Indian batsmen while chasing a target. A unbroken 150+ run partnership between Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul helped India to amass huge win against Sri Lanka. The top order batsmen have emerged successful now by setting a precedent of not losing early wickets while promising over 100+ run opening stand. Not to forget Rohit Sharma’s massive world record of 5 tons in the tournament, especially on holy English soil and who will also soon break Sachin Tendulkar’s record of most runs in a world cup match by a player.

The bowlers however failed to capitalise on early fall of wickets leading a batsman to score a century and thus opponents putting 250+ runs on the scoreboard. The fielding also witnessed missed chances of catches and run saves. With the final result of the match however favouring India’s win, the shortcomings witnessed during the fielding needs to be improved. The same will perhaps help the team to prepare well for the next crucial match against New Zealand in the semi finals.

Yours etc.,

Varun Dambal

Bangalore 72