• Double Dilemma
    Mar 20, 1996

    Apropos With a Wink and A Nod (February 28), Pakistan’s procurement of ring magnets from China, an NPT-signatory, for uranium enrichment will not shock observers since the tacit between the two countries known to all. The US has opted a confused approach in s regard. Not surprisingly, whenever it came to punishing Chinese authorities for violating any established norms, US Administration always developed cold feet. When it comes to dealing with China, washington’s business concerns e precedence. the case of ring magnets, Clinton Administration is a dilemma as both Pakistan China cannot be antagonised. But the US dithering will flak from pro-NPT countries and make a dent in image as a nation campaigning vigorously for non-proliferation.

    However, it is hoped that this l restrain the Clinton ministration from implementing the infamous Brown amendment.

    Bichu Muttathara, Pune

  • Excellent Coverage
    Mar 20, 1996

    Thank you for your World Cup special issue (February 21). The rite-ups by contributors on respective country’s pros- were interesting, especially those by Srikkanth and Kallicharan.

    Rajnish Agarwal, Visakhapatnam

  • No Lessons Drawn
    Mar 20, 1996

    Ishan Joshi’s article Holding Front (February 21) is symptomatic of the fate of National Front, of which Janata Dal is a partner. e Front’s tragedy is that importance in Indian politics has been blown out of all proportion because it has e leaders than followers. Moreover, all leaders now have inflated egos and want become nothing less an the prime minister or chief minister. he various parties that form National Front, including the Janata Dal, suffer from contradictions. The two states where the Dal is in power are already in turmoil. Other parties forming the Front, or which are expected to join it, do not know where they stand. They have also not learnt from the experiences of 1977 and 1989.

    V. Sagar, Delhi

  • Virulent Campaign
    Mar 20, 1996

    I would like to thank you for the justly balanced article The Cross and the Trident (February 21), bringing to the attention of the public the virulent campaign against Christian social workers. These men have dedicated their lives completely to the upliftment of the tribals in Surguja and Raigarh districts of Madhya Pradesh. The people campaigning against them are motivated by selfishness and a desire for political gains. Far from campaigning against them, we should appreciate people like Father Louis Berger and Sister Ekka Vriddhi who demonstrate God’s love by serving the poor tribals.

    John Jo Varghese, Allahabad

    If the social service activities of the Christian missionaries is genuine, why did they oppose the Freedom of Religion Bill in 1978, which had merely sought to prohibit all mass conversions by force and allurements? Even a person of Mother Teresa’s stature opposed the bill then.

    Is it not a fact that in Mizoram and Nagaland, where the Christian missionaries have succeeded in converting the majority of the population to Christianity, secessionist movements have gone on for years? Is it also not true that there is acute poverty and misery in those countries from where Christian missionaries like Father Berger and Sister Vriddhi hail? Why cannot they first try to lessen the burden of their own countrymen, instead of converting the people here to Christianity?

    If mass conversions and the flow of foreign money into the country are prohibited bylaw, then no Christian missionary would like to continue with his or her ‘social service’. After all, the test of the pudding is in the eating.

    L. Rohini, Tiruchy

  • Judicial Activism
    Mar 20, 1996

    In your cover story, Are the Courts Ruling India? (March 6), you have carried an interview of former chief justice of India P.N. Bhagwati who along with Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer has made seminal contributions to the concept and practice of public interest litigation (PIL) in India. Now, it so happens that Bhagwati has set out the basic principles governing PIL in a speech that he made at the Commonwealth Law Conference when he was the chief justice of the country, more pithily than he had done in his interview. Permit me to quote a small excerpt from his speech:

    "The judges in India have asked themselves the question: can judges really escape addressing themselves to substantial questions of social justice? Can they simply turn round to litigants who come to them for justice, and the general public which accords them power, status and respect, that they simply follow the legal text, when they are aware that their actions will perpetuate inequity and injustice? Can they restrict their inquiry into law and life within the confines of a narrowly defined rule of law? Does the requirement of constitutionalism not make greater demands on the judicial function?"

    In my view, in as much as it is possible to defend, justify and set out the compulsions for ‘judicial activism’ in less than 200 words, the above passage eminently does so.

    Norma Louis, Bombay

  • Misplaced Priorities
    Mar 20, 1996

    Apropos Celebrating the Nude (February 21), the nudity of a woman is celebrated only in the company of a man she loves and not by getting herself exposed on the pages of a magazine or a book (however elegantly designed it may be). The picture of a nude woman generates too much controversy in a land where the number of rape cases and torture (in all their forms) against women is on the rise. I would request fellow readers not to buy Women by Prabuddha Das Gupta. This is the least we can do to discourage such artistes, whose priorities have gone wrong in life. The real celebration of womanhood would be to get her a rightful place in society, in a family and in a man’s life. If women’s nudity on paper was her real celebration, then why have many of the nude models in the book preferred to remain nameless and headless?

    Surendra Singh, Bhilai (M.P.)

  • Victim of Neglect
    Mar 20, 1996

    Since the first issue of Outlook came out, I had been looking forward to reading an article on the North-east. This region always gets a step-motherly treatment from the Centre. But now, thanks to your article At the Mercy of the Gun (February 21), thorny issues should be solved amicably by holding talks. And the demands should be looked into thoroughly. Politicians should work together and not blame each other, otherwise there will be no scope for development in Manipur.

    Rohit, Bangalore

  • Startling Revelation
    Mar 20, 1996

    I was shocked to read the cover story Nothing But Despair (February 14). The urban Indian today lives in a world of individual progression, basking in the metamorphosed, liberalised economic regime and the new lifestyle based on mindless consumerism and dynamic technology. He remains totally divorced from the harsh reality of our country’s poor and the sharp divide and economic disparity that exists between the poverty-stricken and other levels of society. The economic stratification is exasperating. It is time that the ordinary citizens of society sensitised themselves to India’s poor. We must accept that any monetary contribution, if channelised through politico-social organisations, will not reach the poor.

    It is also time that the poignant facts of the undernourished and the under-clothed reach the masses and generate empathy. We continue to believe we will be ableto translate conviction into action which will lift our poor from a life of drudgery, destitution and denial of basic rights. Outlook has done a commendable job in disclosing startling statistics.

    Shalini Puri, Haryana

    The poignant picture of Domba and Alangi Sabar’s starving family made one forget the achievements on the economic front, such ashigher growth rates, low inflation rates, foreign investment, etc. There are thousands of such families all over the country and the reforms don’t provide them even a plateful of food. The fruits of economic liberalisation must be diverted to such vulnerable people. And the government should take NGOs’ assistance in order to extend help to the poor.

    Sobhan Kar, New Delhi

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