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May 02, 2011
The Mohalla, The World The Pitch Was Perfect

I am no Outlook fan but I still spent Rs 25 and bought the World Cup Special (The Mohalla, The World, Apr 18). Sachin’s interview and his mentioning Gandhiji gave me immense joy. Thank you both, Sir Mehta and Sir Tendulkar.

Kiran M. Joshi, Vallabh Vidyanagar, Gujarat

A kind word about Pakistan or Sri Lanka, after victories over them, would not have been remiss. I was disappointed that no such public commiserations were expressed by the Indian camp, including the little master.

Shadyiyengar, Baroda

We’ll stay on top for a year or two but it’s downhill thereafter. Our bowling’s patchy, Zaheer is ageing and Harbhajan takes fewer wickets each day. Sachin too won’t last forever. We need a second line in place.

A.A. Bhimaiah, Arsikere, Karnataka

Great, we won a World Cup after 28 years, but does the BCCI have a long-term plan or is it going to be another interminable 28-year wait?

Srikanth, Toronto

There’s little that can be added to Sachin’s resume now. A triple century in Tests perhaps, or a Bharat Ratna.

Angarag, Guwahati

This talk of the BCCI inspiring rural players through cricket telecasts is hogwash. They did everything for money and the new popularity of this game was a byproduct. If they had put money back into the game, you think we’d still be without a genuine pacer? Even small nations like Sri Lanka have been able to produce them.

Nasar Ahmed, Karikkudi

Sachin is such a humble person and people still say he plays for records, not for the team or the nation. This country needs better people.

Hammad, Lucknow

It was magic and madness in Mumbai on April 2, 2011. And to top it all, it was my birthday too. Couldn’t have asked for a better birthday gift.

Rohit Bhandiye, Panaji

Long live cricket, the national pastime of India.

George Olivera, Mysore

Dhoni plays his cricket by the sas motto: he who dares wins.

Ashok Lal, Mumbai

Patience pays in the end. Calm and unruffled when required, tough and firm when the situation demands it, Dhoni is the complete package.

Shashi Yadav, Shahjahanpur does this guy still manage to stay humble?

Kiran, Grenoble, France

Mahi way! That’s the way!

Aakanksha J., on e-mail

How gracious you were in defeat, Sangakkara! Hats off to you and your team.

G. Niranjan Rao, Hyderabad

May 02, 2011
Can God Pay Taxes? The Pitch Was Perfect
At the heart of it, cricket as a sport appeals to the Indian psyche primarily because of the humongous numbers involved (Can God Pay Taxes?). Given to gluttony and a rapacious fondness for bigger and larger ‘figures’, we celebrate when a handful make it to the Forbes list whilst a hopeless majority barely makes it to the crease day in and day out. In the midst of such frenzied ponziness, who would find sports like hockey or volleyball interesting? All the scores that matter are at best in the two-digit domain in them. And less said the better about our dil-maange-more type pitches which were tailored—in some cases exhumed—to enable batsmen to rip bowlers to shreds in our Colosseum-like stadia.

Anoop Hosmath, Mysore

Our cricket players are the richest in the world. This garish procession of rewards—the huge cash prizes, house allotments, tax waivers et al— was tasteless and unwarranted. The whole exercise became a game of one-upmanship among states. A better way to commemorate this grand victory would have been a promise to provide superior facilities to youngsters to turn them into Sachins, Dhonis and Zaheers.

Dr M. Hashim Kidwai, Delhi

May 02, 2011

Sanjay Manjrekar’s views (A Sum of Variables...) on fielding stump me—one of the big factors which contributed to India’s victory was our becoming a sharp fielding unit from the knock-out stages onwards.

Nikhil, Lucknow

Other than exposing our precious players to terror attacks, Indo-Pak cricket is not going to help. One does not understand this burning desire on the part of our short-sighted rulers to ‘improve relations’. Understand this, they don’t want it, now or ever.

Rajendra Tandon, Mumbai

May 02, 2011
Wielding The Broom Some Elbow Grease

What one can make out about India in the light of Anna Hazare’s agitation (Wielding the Broom, Apr 18) is that India never really became independent, that democracy is a sham, that the British have gone but been replaced by an Indian ruling class that wields power and privilege much the same way as our colonial masters.

Alastair Murray, on e-mail

The entire nation rejoiced when the government surrendered to the demands of the “citizens of India” over the Jan Lokpal Bill. But a look at some of the passages in the bill makes me wonder how people could agree to set up a body that is beyond the power of the legislature, the executive and even the Supreme Court.

Debotosh Chatterjee, Durgapur

Anna is like a breath of fresh air in the polluted establishment of India. If Indira’s much-touted ‘Garibi Hatao’ programme did not work, it’s because the Congress would then be out of work. The government today calls itself a people’s government, but it is itself peopled with arrogant leaders.

P.C. Jain, Allahabad

Our PM started with a clean image but his face is now smeared with all the scams that happened under his nose. The worst thing was Sharad Pawar’s appointment on the group of ministers on the anti-corruption act. Manmohan Singh had earlier said he was unaware of cvc P.J. Thomas’s background; now he’ll say the same about Pawar.

B.V. Rao, Bangalore

Hats off to Anna’s dedication in creating a movement against corruption.

Julian Segrrey, Ahmedabad

“I am Hazare.” This is what every patriotic Indian is thinking. The middle class has finally woken up from its timidity and self-centredness. Cleaning up India is a burden the middle class alone can shoulder. And it’s good that it has agreed to become the nation’s conscience-keeper.

Arun Kumar, London

I have reservations about NGOs becoming self-appointed representatives of civil society to run a parallel government. The Congress, of course, is to blame for things coming to this pass: after all, the nac is its own NGO.

Bonita, Chennai

When Anna fasts for a good cause, it’s up to us to give full support. A cricket match can unite India, so why can’t a noble cause do the same?

Shanta Parthasarathy, on e-mail

Although Anna’s intention is noble, the method is skewed. We have a Constitution and a proper democracy in place to bring about change. Mass movements like this should not automatically be accorded so much weight. I dread the prospect, but what if the Jat mahapanchayats start a mass movement in support of honour killings—are they to be granted their wish? I was at a mall the other day and several well-heeled people came holding candles and placards in support of Anna. It was somewhat like profiteering traders who take regular dips in the Ganga to cleanse themselves of sin. Like many Indians, I believe I am incorruptible, but then I have never been put to the test. History tells us that societal change is slow and gradual. What is needed to eliminate corruption is a concerted, long-haul movement.

Dr Col S.V. Kotwal, on e-mail

The establishment’s argument that Anna Hazare has no mandate for his demands is ridiculous. A counter-question to our politicians: why do they think that, having won an election, it gives them the mandate to loot the country?

Sudhir Kala, on e-mail

We now have a messiah against corruption in Anna Hazare, but each one of us will have to undergo a deep ‘purgation’ to move towards clean governance.

Pinaki Sengupta, New Delhi

There’s a sense of outrage among people in Gujarat over the criticism levelled at Anna Hazare over his praise for Narendra Modi’s development model. Why should development be damned over what happened in ’02?

Dr Hemant A. Sant, Baroda

Corruption is so pervasive that we need Anna Hazares in every taluka, but it would be naive to believe that the Jan Lokpal Bill, in the form proposed, will prove a solution to all problems. What is required is a complete change in attitude of the common man: he should remember that it’s his unwillingness to stand in the queue that starts the whole corruption process.

G. Vijayaraghavan, Chennai

Your article on Anna Hazare and his protest was an eye-opener. But by not including political fronts in his movement, he has left it directionless. Also the fact that right-wing groups are supporting him shows how ‘non-violent’ his movement could be. His associating with them is an insult to the Mahatma.

Amol Saghar, Delhi

May 02, 2011
Towards IIM Pvt Ltd? Studied Business
It’s almost as if the HRD ministry is admitting that we are part of a pseudo-democracy (Towards IIM Pvt Ltd, Apr 18). We listen to only those capable of taking the law into their own hands, faculty, alumni all be damned. Sellout!

Naveen K. Singhal, Rohtak

Speculating on the state of the IIM and iits has become a national hobby. Can someone please start questioning the massive rot-by-neglect in our primary and secondary education sectors?

Varun Garde, BangaloreM

The Centre seems hell-bent on disinvesting everything, thereby rubbing out any signs of our socialist background. In Punjab too, there is a great hue and cry over privatising a famous college, Khalsa College of Amritsar.

H.S. Dimple, Ludhiana

Let the IIMs be fully privatised. This halfway house between public/private is bad, like Air India...neither here nor there.

A.N. Banerjee, Newcastle

The IIM faculty is objecting to 160 hours of teaching per year! It seems they are used to being government employees, no work and no substantial research either.

Bharat Paul, San Francisco

Can we trust a faculty and board which argues for safeguards against the RTI? What do they want to hide? The fraudulent admissions and contracts? Other suggestions like perpetual governors etc also reek of nepotism.

Ramkrishnan, New Jersey

May 02, 2011
Delhi Diary The Sun God

Mr Mehta’s lament for the Japanese (Why Japan, Lord?, Delhi Diary, Apr 11) is misplaced. Granted that they are suffering now, but considering their past misadventures, especially till wwii and even after, Japan can only be thought of as an arrogant nation.

Jugal K. Ahuja, Jabalpur
May 02, 2011
Delhi Diary Delivering Maidens
It’s true, one of the failures of the septuagenarian Sheila Dikshit (Delhi Diary, Apr 18) is that she did not bring those pretty girls of Mumbai to the cwg at Delhi.

Manish Banerjee, Calcutta

The item (Cut it Short) reminded me of a story about an African tribe. As per custom, a speaker has to deliver his speech standing on one leg; the moment his other leg touches the ground, he is supposed to stop and take his seat. How about some innovative methods for our own speakers who go on and on?

Lt Col S.P. Karir, on e-mail

May 02, 2011
A Rosy Nimbus Separate Storm

Manpreet is the better of the two Badals (A Rosy Nimbus, Apr 18) but he too is from the same feudal stock with the same sense of entitlement. In desperation, people pin their hopes on a new face, only to be let down at the end. And to his nri friends in Canada who are collecting funds for him, thank you. Just what the Badals need...more money!

Om Prakash, Laguna Beach
May 02, 2011

The vitriolic response to the cover story on India being a US chamcha (Call of the American Demarche, Apr 4) has prompted this response. Chamcha being an adaptation of ‘chamach’ or spoon, let me defend it. Are we not all chamchas in one form or the other? The politician moves with a gaggle of chamchas. The fauji is the officer’s chamcha, the child is the parents’ chamcha. The biggest spoons, of course, are we husbands, most of whom are chamchas of our wives! I am sure even in the Outlook office, the journalists are all chamchas of their editors in whatever pecking order. The spoon list is endless. Chamchagiri is a way of life for us. So what’s the big deal if India is the chamcha of the US of A. If it meets our needs, we should, I vehemently say, take out the big ladle or a huge chamach. So, dear readers, put your knives and forks aside and take out your humble spoon. It’s the only way to survive in this world.

Romy Sakharia, Kochi
May 02, 2011

The Left has had over 80-90 years to reach out to the people (No More Red..., Apr 18). Those who claim to bleed for India’s marginalised groups themselves admit their actions have exacerbated the predicament of these poor folks. The Left today is as relevant as an ice tray in Alaska.

Prakash Kumar, New Delhi

It’s pathetic that the Left in India remains an essentially Bengal-Kerala regional sideshow, with almost zero appeal among the poverty-stricken masses elsewhere.

Kalobaran Singh, Calcutta

May 02, 2011
Break Up The Party Vote Kiosks

Tamil Nadu has no choice, we have to select the lesser evil of the two (Break Up The Party, Apr 18). TN is okay with corruption, my city Madurai being living proof of it. In the LS polls earlier, every sure vote for the DMK was worth Rs 500.

Madhu, Madurai
May 02, 2011

In the minorities-religion-caste divide (Pies by the Slice, Apr 18), Kerala is passing through an era where ‘the scholars’ of the Muslim mes (an invaluable educational body once) and senior reverend fathers blatantly interfere in critical areas of governance. An old Malayalam saying best describes the attitudes of the remaining groups, including the fourth estate and ‘intellectuals’: “If a banyan tree grows on your bum, appreciate the shade it gives.”

K.S.C. Nair, Indianapolis
May 02, 2011
One Side Of The Divide Help Thyself

Even your silly secularism is no excuse for this (One Side of the Divide, Apr 11). Yes, the Gujarat government is anti-Muslim and fascist, but you have to ask—what have Muslims done to improve their lot? Just look at another minority group, the Christians. They don’t whine and harp about inequality, they just go about their business and work and study hard; just see where they are.

Raj Gowda, Bangalore
May 02, 2011

By banning a book on the Mahatma we have once again proved to the world how little confidence we have in our national icons (Picture of Gandhian Grey, April 11). Narendra Modi, however, has done a great favour to Mr Lelyveld. His book could become a bestseller yet.

S. Jafri, Lakhimpur kheri
May 02, 2011
Enter The Dragnet The Third Man

Why is Outlook after the Tatas (Enter the Dragnet, Apr 18)? While the article is mainly against Swan, Unitech etc, the photograph is of Mr Tata, as if he is 2G corruption’s poster boy. If the SC doesn’t find Tata Telecom culpable, will Outlook accept its mistake?

Rohit, Bangalore
May 02, 2011
Delhi Diary Clarification

In my Delhi Diary (Mar 21), I made some references to the late R.K. Karanjia, former editor of Blitz and one of India’s most respected journalists, and Col Gaddafi. I withdraw those remarks unreservedly and apologise to Russy’s family for any unintended hurt caused.

Vinod Mehta
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