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This is with reference to your cover story No Cure Yet For That Buzz In The Ear (March 5). The last chapter has not been written yet in neuropsychiatry textbooks, thanks to the rapid turnover of information and changes in therapeutic interventions due to research. It’s too early for profit-seeking pharmaceuticals to jump into the fray! This specialty has to be given time to find its place on an evolved scientific mooring.
George Jacob, Kochi
I read all the articles on mental health in the current issue of the magazine. They were useful and informative and almost offered a holistic picture. But I wish you had included a pager or two on the various therapies and steps one can take to stay mentally healthy, there surely have been some positive development there.
P. Kumar, New Delhi
This refers to your story on dementia (If The Brain Withers). My mother is suffering from dementia. She nurtured eight children and was very active even in her seventies. But, her brain took the toll from the drugs she took for diabetes. She has some vivid memories of her childhood but forgets who came home yesterday to meet her. “But you can still live well with dementia,” says a line from the article. Yes, you can. Mother is doing just fine, but she has to pop several multivitamin tablets and medicines in that state.
V.N.K. Murti, Pattambi
Your article on dementia caught my eye. My father succumbed to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) after fighting it for four years. I was looking after him in all those years. He was treated by good neurologists in Kolkata, but they all said that Alzheimer’s had no cure as of now. My experience with my father prompted me to write a small manual for the care givers called ‘A TO Z care for Alzheimer’s patients’. I am now making a documentary on the subject to spread awareness.
Arindam Chatterjee, On E-Mail
The infinitely complex human brain should skip the whole pill routine and look for alternatives.
Anil S., Pune
The AAP-BJP conflict in Delhi has degenerated beyond the limits of acceptable bizarreness—yes, Indian politics is marked by such a thing. That a large number of bureaucrats have rallied around the Chief Secretary is telling. It reveals the tension that AAP, itself a party with a former civil services employee at its helm, has had with bureaucrats in its three years of being in power. The Delhi CM has to take up some responsible and clear the air around this unbecoming incident. Kejriwal’s eccentric functioning of the party now appears to be going out of control. Political goons—and there is no dearth of them, in all parties—will perceive any failure to resolve this case as a green flag to intimidating civil servants.
J. Akshay, Bangalore
As Delhi CM, Arvind Kejriwal has never cared for norms of governance—leave alone the recent skirmish with chief secretary Anshu Prakash (Long Rope Curls Into Tight Tape, Mar 5). He has been at loggerheads with the Centre, LG, bureaucrats and even the municipal heads, all the time blaming others for his own failures. Prakash, in his police complaint, said the CM’s advisor had phoned him three times on February 19 to inform him about that night’s meet. So much for the nagging nature.
M.C. Joshi, On E-Mail
The country’s constitution lets the judiciary, legislature and bureaucracy work within their allotted powers. Crossing the line will result in an administrative breakdown, which has become Delhi’s recurring problem post-AAP. On top of it now, the ruling party is itself allegedly indulging in goondagiri—and, still worse, playing the victim. The perpetrators of crimes must be booked.
Ganesh Hedge, On E-Mail
The CS episode continues to linger what with AAP spokesman Ashutosh blaming the Lt Governor for not acting on complaints of attacks on its two leaders. What’s more, even CM and his deputy, who were eye witnesses to the episode, have conveniently shifted the blame on to the Opposition BJP!
K.R. Srinivasan, Secunderbad
No matter what, no CM should summon the CS in his residence at midnight—unless the matter is to discuss something very urgent. By the government’s own revelation, there’s been a delay in ration disbursal. So, why not wait till the next morning? No wonder, even the food and civil supplies minister chose to gave it a miss!
Buddhadev Nandi, On E-Mail
The present case shows something more than is in public view. That the Delhi Government has been limited by the Centre in the past is not hidden from anyone. The Delhi government has been pushing development particularly in the fields of education, health, bijli, pani etc. So, bureaucrats who have been working overtime to deliver for AAP, are bound to feel pressured. If an assault happened, it should be unequivocally condemned, but there is a lesson in all this for bureaucrats as well.
Mahesh Kataria, On E-Mail
This is apropos Outlook’s story on the PNB fraud (Neglect Is A Fraud’s Best Friend, Mar 5). The modus operandi of Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi needs to be investigated thoroughly. The fraud was enabled by SWIFT (Society For Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication), a messaging system used by banks worldwide to transfer funds. It is supposed to be a secure service, but Modi, in collusion with PNB employees, breached it.
Deepak Dang, On E-Mail
The organised loot of more than Rs 11,400 crore happened even after the Mallya scandal! Perhaps the successful fly-by-night operations of Lalit Modi and Vijay Mallya served as inspiration for Nirav Modi. This fraud may well prove to be just the tip of iceberg of banking scandals. The Modi government has already pinned the blame of the NPAs mess on the Congress. Even if they are to be believed on that, they have to accept that they were caught napping. A clean-up of the balance sheets of banks was the primary challenge this government had taken on its head during the 2014 elections. If they had acted on their promises, such a fraud couldn’t have happened.
P.L. Singh, On E-Mail
When the rich and the powerful are swindling national banks periodically, perhaps enjoying the ‘ease of doing business’ climate, are people, who have kept their hard earned money in banks, not bound to lose their faith in the banking system? Can they now trust the banks with their biometric digital details, something the government is pushing for aggressively? The only way, I feel, to allay the fears of costumers is to bring the fraudsters and the conniving bank officials to book as quickly as possible.
K.P. Rajan, Mumbai
I am not surprised that this government is determined to go ahead with the River Linking Project (Bid for a Big Catch, March 5). The ruling party wants to go ahead with all those projects that can fetch it votes and funds—even those that fall flat on all scientific facts and logic. River basins across India follow different geological patterns and linking them is not just impractical, but disastrous. Secondly, a river isn’t a pipe that we can control. You can’t compare the Ganga to another river. It has different characteristics, so do Godavari, Krishna and Mahanadi! This is happening at the time when policymakers all over the world have given up old paradigms of development. Dams, which were touted as the temples of new India, are now being decommissioned in the West. But here, we are going ahead with the Pancheshwar Dam project in Uttarakhand, which will displace thousands and devastate a huge area. The real reason is the huge amount of money involved in these projects.
Rakesh Agrawal, Dehradun
This refers to your editorial comment Dalit Atrocities (March 5). It is a reality that unfortunately continues in modern Indian society as well. There has not been much change in people’s attitude towards those who are exploited by the dominant community, in both urban and rural areas, and this is irrespective of the literacy rate. It’s high time elected representatives and public servants showcased some good examples. But then, all politics is done keeping in mind the caste calculus.
Ramachandran Nair, Muscat
The review of Anne Applebaum’s book on the Ukrainian famine (Bare Bones of the Holodmor, Mar 5) was brilliant. A conference held on October 4, 2015, in the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kiev—‘Holodomor 1932-1933: losses of the Ukrainian nation’—organised by the National Museum ‘Holodomor Victims Memorial’, among others, certified and established the number of deaths caused by the tragedy. The astounding number came to ten million deaths. Strangely, historians ignore statements by journalist Walter Duranty, Stalin and Krushchev on the Holodomor.
The USSR census is also revealing: In 1926, it recorded that there were 31,195,000 Ukrainians; in 1939 the figure was 28,111,000. A decrease of 11 per cent! In 1934 Duranty, then a reporter for The New York Times, privately reported to the British embassy in Moscow that as many as 10 million people may have died in the famine in Ukraine. Duranty also played a major role in shielding this massive horror. In his memoirs, Khrushchev Remembers, the former soviet leader writes: “I can’t give an exact figure because no one was keeping count. All we knew was that people were dying in enormous numbers.” But Khrushchev (and through him, Stalin) knew the numbers all right. He was intimate with Lazar Kaganovich, the party head in Ukraine, and must have talked with him over horilka and salo (vodka and fat back). Historians Timothy Snyder and Robert Conquest also, with insufficient information at their disposal, pegged the number of deaths at around five-seven million victims.
Peter J. Piaseckyj, On E-Mail
Outlook’s story on Justin Trudeau’s visit to India (Costume Drama, Mar 5) was an apt one. It was rich in photo-ops but lacking in substance. But there was much that was laudable. His visit to Amritsar, keenly watched by Sikh-Canadians, speaks of Trudeau’s commitment to minority rights and explains his liberal credentials. He had, after all, turned up at a gay pride march in Canada. Here is a leader who is not afraid to get it wrong, or give in to exaggeration as long as he is speaking the language of inclusiveness, something sorely missing in the smug Indian regime.
L.J.S. Panesar, On E-Mail
It was highly unusual for an Indian PM to give a virtual cold shoulder to his visiting Canadian counterpart. For a leader so partial to photogenic teleshoots with visiting dignitaries, Modi had been oddly reticent right from the time Trudeau’s unusually long visit kicked off. In ideal circumstances, Canada, with its reserves of natural resources (especially Uranium) should have been royally serenaded. But even the standard prime ministerial tweet was missing and as if to reinforce the message, the reception party for Trudeau was decidedly low key.
K.S. Jayatheertha, Bangalore
This refers to Rajpal Yadav’s delightful Shahjahanpur diary (March 5). It’s true what they say about hard work, that it never goes waste. But to be a truly successful artiste, another condition is required—a passion to touch the skies from the bottom of your heart. Rajpal Yadav certainly possesses this quality. Snippets from his life’s journey in the article prove it. That he is a good writer, as I pleasantly discovered, adds to his persona.
Parshuram Gautampurkar, Sawai Madhopur
Rajpal Yadav’s tale is inspiring. I like both his comic and serious roles. That he has walked off the beaten track and risen to big heights is in itself very impressive. And he is absolutely right: “You don’t need an extra foot to gain stature in your chosen field.” My good wishes are always with him.
A.B., On E-Mail
When both ICC and BCCI are making lot of money from cricket, that is as much a lucrative market as it is a popular sport, why should they be given tax breaks now? (Taxing The Broadcast Cherry, Feb 28) It is time for the government to actively encourage other games. Having said that, in recent years, it’s good to see games like football, even kabbadi, grow with the help of private leagues.
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