Letters | May 15, 2000
  • Penstaking Effort
    May 15, 2000

    Responding to 10 Questions (May 8), Khalid Mohammed says: "Most people who write reviews can’t hold a pen in their hands. Writing a review needs depth and comment: that’s something I don’t see". How very twee, Mr Mohammed, glee to you and yours, yippee, zowie, and whee! Judging by the examples of his reviews that regularly appear in toi, I’d all along thought that the one essential tool of a film reviewer was a ‘rhymer primer’ (apart from "depth and comment", whatever those might be).

    G.S. Chandy,

  • May 15, 2000

    This Sardarji is one tiresome bore, he really should go into quiet retirement (‘Hindu revivalists are mimicking Islamic fundamentalists’, May 8). What a fall from his Train to Pakistan days! He tells L.K. Advani: "You are a good and an honest man. But you don’t drink, you don’t smoke and you don’t womanise. Such men are dangerous!" How can one make such a pathetic and inane remark? Come on Mr Singh, do something creative and redeem yourself rather than dole out repetitive rubbish on booze and women!

    Gopal Kamat,
    New South Wales, Australia

    How can a self-styled ‘commentator’ like Naipaul pass sweeping statements on a religion he knows nothing about? Islam first arrived in India in Kerala, when Muslim scholar Malik Dinar’s ship landed here. History bears testimony to the fact that Islam spread here not by sword but because of its inherent wisdom and universal appeal which won many converts disillusioned with the existing system. The marauding invaders from Central Asia were in no way representatives of Islam.

    Mehboob Abu Bakr,
    on e-mail

    Naipaul will never be able to "penetrate" or "understand Islam". Islam is not an Arab religion; although Prophet Mohammed was from an Arab tribe, he was sent for all people as is evident from the Quran itself. Moreover, converted Muslims can’t be colonised as they’re of a different race from the Prophet’s. Nor can you expect people to speak the language in which the holy books were written.

    Ali Khalil A.,

  • Arid Concerns
    May 15, 2000

    Your concern for the current drought situation would be less hypocritical if you had bothered to report on the issue in the preceding months (Fire in the Soil, May 1). Your own report indicates there were warning signals as early as September 1999. Even now, your last three covers have dealt with celebrities and match-fixing in cricket. You criticise the government for its apathy but your own remedies are appalling. Raising power tariffs and removing subsidies will send an already struggling economy into a recessionary tailspin. We spent the first 30 years after Independence banishing drought by increased government spending and food-for-work programmes. One decade of liberalisation, and we’re back to the dark ages.

    Ravi Raghunathan,

    The famine in Gujarat and Rajasthan has laid bare the incapability of our irrigation authorities and the futility of our irrigation set-up. It only brings into sharp focus our unpreparedness to face the new century.

    Samrita Devgan,

    It’s criminal, shameful, completely unjustified to watch a hapless population get parched under unforgiving drought conditions while our absolutely selfish and insensitive ‘political Neroes’ guzzle soft drinks and bottled mineral water, casually discussing the situation. Even trying to notch political scores by blaming others for mismanaging the whole affair.

    Vivek Khanna,

  • May 15, 2000

    With old values like family bonding, honesty, affection etc on the decline, infidelity and hypocrisy have paved way for suspicion in relationships between spouses, lovers, colleagues, even siblings (Life in the Age of Suspicion, May 1). Hence the effort to hire professionals to shadow people who matter to you.

    Smita Jena Nayak,

  • George’s Ailments
    May 15, 2000

    In the April 17 issue, you announce George Catches a Chill. I think he has perpetual ‘pneumonia’! The situation in Andaman will continue to remain precarious as long as George is the Union leader of the MoD.

    S.K. Das,

  • Courting Contempt
    May 15, 2000

    Rajinder Puri’s Bull’s Eye (May 1) is a caustic reminder that we need a fresh look at the law regarding contempt of court. It’s a relic of the Raj when judges were scrupulously honest. Now we have a V. Ramaswamy who shamelessly misused his official position for pecuniary benefit; he was impeached but was bailed out by the Congress. Another judge at Bombay has proven links with gangsters, he absconds when a warrant’s issued against him and surfaces later. And you expect us to regard the judiciary in high esteem?

    Ambuj Jain,
    on e-mail

  • Cur-tesy Who?
    May 15, 2000

    In his letter (April 24), Syed Kashmiri seems to have missed the fact that even dogs do not like anti-Indian elements in Kashmir. A number of untrained local dogs greatly assist Indian security forces in Kashmir in tracking down Pakistan-trained terrorists and their agents. (This fact’s been published in The Indian Express, March 27.)

    P. Babu,
    Geddanapalli, AP

  • Wow, What Glitter!
    May 15, 2000

    Amisha Patel looked so ravishing in Glitterati (April 17), it made my heart sink like the Titanic. She’s the only actress who’s proved her credentials in her debut film Kaho Na...

    Milind D. More,

  • Prime Time
    May 15, 2000

    I appreciate your highlighting the fact that it’s not the lack of interest from illiterate parents but the acceptability and accessibility of services provided by the government that’s the real problem in universalisation of primary education (Class Struggle, April 10). If continued stories on the enthusiasm of illiterate parents to send their children to schools throughout the country are reported, it may urge the Centre to make primary education a fundamental right. As the south zone branch manager for cry, we’ll be glad to provide a lead to such micro-level experiments.

    Simon Joseph,

  • Surprise Opposition
    May 15, 2000

    The Central government’s reaction to the Sankhya Vahini is baffling, given that it’s so high on IT. The Sankhya Vahini will not only act as a highspeed internet backbone of the country but also as an infrastructural multiplier by providing unique services like telemedicines, teleagriculture, etc to suburban and rural masses. The argument of data networks being in their infancy and the government waiting for superior networks is laughable. In the IT scenario, one has to upgrade infrastructure to keep with the changing times. What’s a craze today may become outdated tomorrow.

    Amita Chawla,
    New Delhi

  • Why the Hurry?
    May 15, 2000

    Motorists are an impatient lot these days. But you can’t blame them. The traffic police harass poor motorists at night and increase fines for various offences, but nothing’s being done about the condition of roads, the dipping of headlights at night, noise, etc.

    Ajay Merchant,
    on e-mail

  • Cause for Discontent
    May 15, 2000

    Every week I look forward to the magazine to check if your table of contents tallies with the articles inside, and every week I fail.

    K.S. Ramesh,
    Courtallam, Tamil Nadu

  • Cronje Con
    May 15, 2000

    Why’s everybody forgetting that Cronje has not admitted to what the Delhi Police "unearthed" (Guilty & Afraid, May 1)? Everyone’s going around saying Cronje’s been ‘caught’, but legally it’ll be very difficult to nail him on this evidence. So, at the end of the day, Cronje’s not admitted to anything Waugh and Warne had not admitted to. So, why no fuss over Waughgate or Warnegate, why only Cronjegate?

    Jaideep Varma,
    on e-mail

    Every angle of the match-fixing scandal has been explored. Why don’t you let proceedings take their own course now and not waste ink on extensive write-ups based on allegations. It does not do a magazine of your esteem any credit by writing a cover story based on mere presumptions.

    Yasir Abbasi,
    New Delhi

    My compliments to the copyeditor who dreamed up the headline: The Plot Sickens.

    Richard Crasta,
    on e-mail

    You’re doing a great job - Kargil and then bcci. Not sensational, but well-researched, and ultimately vindicated. Keep it up. We need you.

    L.H. David,
    on e-mail

    In all the match-fixing controversy, one thing that has not been investigated was the mysterious ‘fight’ between Navjot Singh Sidhu and Azharuddin a couple of seasons back in England. Did Sidhu become aware of some clandestine deal hitherto privy between Azhar and his ‘contacts’? For a player to move out of the team, particularly when it’s abroad, is a pretty harsh step...surely, it had to be more than an ego problem.

    Awdhesh Kalia,
    New Haven, Connecticut

    Justice Chandrachud should refund the fee he may have received for his dud "inquiry" on match-fixing.

    Pramod Sood,

    Why do you have to target Azhar so frequently? While Cassim of South Africa said he knows Azhar, Sachin et al, you modify it to say "Cassim said he knows Azhar and others..." Why was Sachin omitted from that list? Your effort to expose match-fixing is commendable, but don’t use it as an opportunity to settle old dues.

    on e-mail

    One wouldn’t be surprised if in the wake of Kishan Kumar’s calls to Dawood associate Saleem Atheli, he proves to be the mastermind behind the bumping off of elder brother Gulshan! A la Bollywood potboilers, the elder brother might have got wind of his sibling’s nefarious activities and threatened to excommunicate him from his music empire. Only he himself got excommunicated from this earth!

    Vijay Daulat Sampat,

    The use of the Rig Veda in a headline (April 24) was in very poor taste and highly offensive. Rig Veda is a document sacred to millions of Hindus. How could you be so insensitive to their feelings? Would you do the same to the words of the Koran or the Bible?

    Y.L. Nene,

    I read in a newspaper that Rs 50 lakh, bundled in a cloth, was placed in the box at Tirupati temple. Has any Indian cricket player visited this place recently?

    Dr Ullas Hegde,

    To legalise betting in cricket matches (To Bet, Set and Go) is a sure way to kill the goose that lays golden eggs. As a senior citizen and an ardent fan of this sport, the least I can do is to stop viewing cricket matches to register my protest. I may also, as far as possible, stop using products endorsed by the demigods of cricket.

    T.S. Chawla,
    Mohali, Punjab

    Truth is becoming as rare a commodity as water in several states in India today.

    Madhav B.C.,

  • The Ecology of Air-Conditioners
    May 15, 2000

    It appears callous that we may be doing anything else when so many of our countrymen are reeling under a drought. But I found the attitude of cse director, Anil Agarwal, counterproductive (‘This drought is government-made’). At a time when one should pool resources and do something about affected people, he’s busy trying to settle scores with the government. He then makes some generalised statements like there being a need to recharge groundwater and to educate people. If he thinks the politician and the bureaucrat can’t do this, what stops him for taking up the task? About the last thing we need are armchair environmentalists. Before you interview such irritating know-it-alls, it would be better to ask whether people like Agarwal have helped in recharging even a single drop of water in any village? I would not be surprised if the noted environmentalist made these comments from his air-conditioned office, sipping mineral water. Outlook would have done better to bring us comments of people involved in water harvesting methods in Rajasthan or elsewhere. This would be educative and help in preventing future droughts.

    Dinesh Kumar,

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