The unexpected loss of a leader
November 11 was a black day for Bahrain as it witnessed the loss of one of its great leaders (“Khalifa Bin Salman: Bahrain’s longest-serving reform administrator”, Gulf News, November 11). Bahrain’s Prime Minister Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa was a great visionary who played a significant role in transforming his country into a modern welfare state. He has been considered as an epitome of wisdom, statesmanship, administrative prudence, and diplomacy. A champion of modernisation, he was loved and adored by citizens and residents alike for his genuine concerns for people living in Bahrain. The Indian community in Bahrain, especially the Keralites, always had a special place in his heart. May his soul rest in peace.
From Mr P V Radhakrishna Pillai
Connecting the world through books
My family and I are regular visitors to the Sharjah International Book Fair, and my children love to visit it (“Sharjah Book Fair: A mix of online, in-person participation”, Gulf News, October 19). Two days back, we booked online and were given green entry tags at the venue. This time we managed to park at the new multi-parking facility, which was a boon. Everything was well organised, in line with the COVID-19 protocol. It was a weekday and the crowd was not much. So, we got to have a good look at our usual stalls, and find all the books, which we were looking for. Reading a book is something which electrifies our minds and enriches our thoughts. ‘The World reads from Sharjah’ was the theme this year, and it’s true. I do have writers and friends on social media, who recommend good titles, and this also helped me in selecting good books. I commend the organisers for giving us the opportunity to have this event during the pandemic and connecting the world through books.
From Mr Eappen Elias
IPL win: Well-planned play by Mumbai Indians
There is absolutely no doubt that team Mumbai Indians is the best among the eight teams that participated in this year's Indian Premier League (IPL) in the UAE (“IPL 2020 in UAE: Mumbai Indians beat Delhi Capitals by 5 wickets to take 5th title - as it happened”, Gulf News, November 11). Glad that they had planned well in advance, say in June 2020 itself, which is even before shifting the tournament to the UAE. They had done their homework well in advance to tackle every team. Hats off to the Mumbai Indians coach, Mahela Jayawardene. No doubt, they were able to topple the best teams and go on to win their record, increasing the fifth crown. Incidentally, the success percentage of Rohit Sharma during the IPL seasons and also the 100 per cent win record in One Day International as captain of a cricket team is worth consideration to make him the captain of shorter versions of cricket or at least T-20.
From Mr N V Krishnan
COVID-19: Pfizer's vaccine and responsibilities
I am glad to read the news that Pfizer’s vaccine has shown 90 per cent effectiveness (“Pfizer, BioNTech say their COVID-19 vaccine is more than 90% effective”, Gulf News, November 09). Pharmaceutical companies should augment production exponentially by manufacturing in their subsidiaries worldwide. Every country should finalise plans to inoculate its population within three months, of the vaccine being freely available. Some countries have expressed concerns about the sourcing of vials, syringes, and needles to inoculate millions of citizens. They also have concerns about establishing the cold chain, for disseminating the vaccine across thousands of towns and millions of villages. These are easily surmountable hurdles. Governments in countries with large populations like India, Indonesia, and Nigeria should gear large private companies to produce needful medical equipment. Private companies also have robust cold chains and distribution systems reaching remote villages. There are two critical ingredients to ensure that countries inoculate their populations within three months of the vaccine being available abundantly. First, a decision at the highest executive level in any country, to do so. Second, strong national leadership. Authorities should take personal responsibility to ensure this.
From Mr Rajendra Aneja