Letters | Jun 05, 2000
  • The Right Flow
    Jun 05, 2000

    M. Mohan Rao's idea of recharging depleting aquifers with rainwater harvested from rooftops through simple filteration is unique (Collective Wisdom, May 8). But natural recharging of aquifers takes place only by slow and deep percolation of rainwater through different strata of soil and rocks. If Rao's filters aren't maintained properly, the aquifers can get polluted.

    Alok Kumar Chatterjee,

    We cannot give up Kashmir for the simple reason that most of the river water used to irrigate Punjab and Haryana originates in Kashmir. If Pakistan gains control of these waters, India could face starvation.

    G. Subramaniam
    New Jersey, US

  • Subtle Twist of History
    Jun 05, 2000

    History, it seems, isn't Anita Pratap's strong suit (The Past and its Relics, May 8). Else she wouldn't have compared a vandal's handiwork like the Babri Masjid to the churches of Europe. Even as long ago as 1855, Wajjid Ali Shah had sent his troops to disperse Muslim fanatics opposing Hindu efforts to reclaim this site. British investigators too agreed that the masjid was a permanent source of discord. In contrast, the churches which replaced pagan temples in Europe preached a different version of Christianity. Famed American historian Will Durant was convinced that the religion of Christ borrowed heavily from Hinduism. And it was due to the Hindu-Buddhist nature of early Christianity that pagan temples were allowed to be converted into churches.

    G.S. Hiranyappa,

  • The Use and Abuse of Iconoclasm 1
    Jun 05, 2000

    Outlook has to be India's most irresponsible mag. Your cover can't even claim to be a pathetic bid at investigative journalism. Nowhere in Kapil's Devils (May 22) do you say what we didn't know - that some third-rate cricketer has made vague charges against cricket's numero uno. We all had to suffer the sight of Kapil crying on TV, a fact you seem to gloat over. It's sad you've to lapse into tabloid tactics to boost sales.

    Deepali Srivastava,
    New York

    Wonder why Kapil kept harping on his business acumen and affluent background ('I have nothing to hide', May 22). The real question is whether he offered Prabhakar Rs 25 lakh to play below par. He says 'no'. The buck must stop here. The rest of his explanation, peppered with obiter dicta, is a case of 'protesting too much'.

    G.P. Jain,

    It's time the curtain comes down on the theatrical hypocrisy of cricketers. The media, Outlook included, should occupy itself with more relevant matters. A ban on cricket wouldn't harm the country one bit.

    Vidya Sagar,

  • The Use and Abuse of Iconoclasm 2
    Jun 05, 2000

    If there was one piece I'd have bought your May 22 issue for, it was 'I don't care if he took the money' by Sandipan Deb. Has anyone of repute, bar attention-mongers, ever said anything concrete against Kapil?

    Prashanth Pappu,
    on e-mail

    It was amazing to see you make dramatic allegations in one issue and show extravagant remorse later. Laying evidence-based charges is fine, to console the same man because he cried is ridiculous. Have the guts to stand by your views.

    Pratim Dasgupta,

    Like most teenagers, I'm a cricket buff. My favourites are Tendulkar, Steve Waugh, Robin Singh, Walsh, and...Kapil Dev. Yes, the same Kapil accused of bribery now. The man who won India her only World Cup. Who, on dead pitches, achieved the record for maximum Test wickets. I'm happy you published his side of the story.

    Ranganathan S.,

    To see a grown-up man crying is something even the stone-hearted can't take. Mr Mehta, this is not journalism. By your own admission, you've strayed into this profession. It's time you let someone else take over.

    S. Krishna Reddy,

    Heroes don't cry. Gen Patton once said: "No bastard ever won a battle by dying for his country, battles are won by making the other bastard die for his country." Kapil should heed this advice and make his tormentors cry. Sandipan Deb recalls some stirring moments of Kapil's career. Add to the list the '85 Sharjah odi when India was 125 all out vs Pakistan and Kapil single-handedly won it for us, dismissing Pak for 83.

    Ambuj Jain,
    on e-mail

    Sandipan Deb's piece echoed what I felt the day Bindra named Kapil on cnn. I just can't forget the pleasure he gave us that day in '83 when he ran all the way back to snare Viv. I still get goosepimples when I think of it. Even if Kapil tanked some matches later, I don't give a damn!

    S. Ravindran,

    It was excruciating to see my idol weep. Those who accuse him could never make over 5,000 runs and take 434 Test wkts plus 253 wkts and have an incredible strike rate of 95-odd in odis. Thankfully, Sandipan Deb put almost every feeling on paper.

    Tarun Bhatnagar,
    New Delhi

    Deb's piece was superb. If Outlook is so sure about the tapes, go ahead, reveal your sources to the cbi.

    Nitin Mantri,
    on e-mail

  • The Use and Abuse of Iconoclasm 3
    Jun 05, 2000

    After a series of exposes, you seem to have developed cold feet and gone to the other extreme. How else do you explain 'I don't care...?' An air force officer, a decorated war hero, was held for spying recently. No one, not even Mr Deb, idolised or wrote poetry about him. It is, of course, Mr Deb's (and his weeping partners') prerogative to watch a farce, sing hosannas and worship its stars, knowing it's all fixed even before tickets are printed. Isn't that what happens in wwf, 100 per cent of the time?

    Lalit Prasad,
    New Delhi

    Your story, ostensibly 'soft', sprinkles innuendo wonderfully enough to further damage Kapil's reputation. I've never seen cricketers as 'demi-gods', only as people capable of doing a job, so the 'devastation' you refer to has luckily bypassed my house. The propensity to thrust godness onto ordinary mortals is dangerous, to that extent I'm glad about the scandal. Sandipan Deb's reaction is laughable. I mean, don't journalists have to be the dispassionate presenters of facts, or is that too archaic for a 'trendy' magazine as yours?

    Keshav Das,

    Sandipan Deb's viewpoint left me aghast. How can we forgive a man if he's guilty, if only 10 per cent of the time? Will you forgive a priest who in his life commits only one murder?

    Vikas Mehta,
    on e-mail

    Kapil claims he's a fairly intelligent man, except that his English is pedestrian. How come then, in his long playing years, he never had a clue of anything amiss, when players world over now admit match-fixing happened? His claims of being innocent as well as intelligent can't be true at the same time!

    G. Dinesh Kumar,
    New Delhi

    If the cbi now proves Kapil guilty, he'll deserve an Oscar. But I feel he's sincere. Mr Mehta, I've followed your career, even bought your book on my last trip to India, but there has always been a sensationalist in you. I do hope you're researching your articles well.

    Prasad Dole,
    Newlands, Cape Town

    Do I espy a soft corner for Prabhakar in you? You seem to think he's a Holy Joe! How come you did not even bother to report his business, wealth or income? Mind you, he ran for elections in Delhi. Where did he get the money from?

    Sindhu Mahitha,

    Bindra accusing Kapil? Yeh baat kuch hazam nahin hui.

    A.Y. Sayed,
    on e-mail

  • Partial Recall
    Jun 05, 2000

    Gurcharan Das is quoted as finding Narasimha Rao, Manmohan Singh et al to have "suffered from an unusually poor memory...none had kept a diary, considering the historic nature of their acts" (Hustling the Dream, May 22). This may be because the economic reforms originated in my work for Rajiv Gandhi between Sep 18, 1990, and Mar 22, 1991.

    Subroto Roy,

  • Wallowing in Disappointment
    Jun 05, 2000

    As a young Tamil from Jaffna, I was brought up to believe by my parents and grandparents that the great grand motherland of India will never let us down. But I've been watching with sadness the apathy shown by the Indian government and the Tamil Nadu leadership. The Indian navy is patrolling the Tamil Nadu coast to prevent Tamil refugees fleeing the sufferings of war while the Central government's showing concern for the humanitarian conditions of Sri Lankan soldiers. Outlook is one of the few Indian magazines to give objective coverage to the Jaffna situation. Others have blindly published news releases by the Sri Lankan government that are full of lies.

    Viman K.,
    on e-mail

  • Pique Hour
    Jun 05, 2000

    We shouldn't feel piqued over the Fijians overthrowing their premier of Indian origin, Mahendra Choudhary. They should now amend their constitution to debar people of foreign origin from holding high office.

    J.M. Manchanda,
    on e-mail

  • Not a Party to This
    Jun 05, 2000

    The article Sanctuary Denied (May 22) gave readers the impression that all political parties in Tamil Nadu are willing to back the ltte, but political compulsions are tying them down. But actually only a few fringe groups support the ltte. The electoral success of the pmk and the mdmk was due to their alliances with bigger parties like the aiadmk and dmk, not due to their pro-Eelam stand. In fact, ever since Rajiv Gandhi's assassination, both parties have been distancing themselves from the ltte.


    In his column The Hardest of Options, Prem Shankar Jha castigates the Indian government's policy towards Sri Lanka and says India shouldn't ignore its call for help. But what exactly does Jha want the government to do? Is he hinting at military help, despite recording that the government's decision has been endorsed by all parties? Jha ought to be more specific instead of indulging in the luxury of being wise after the event.

    S. Venkatesan,
    on e-mail

  • More is Merrier
    Jun 05, 2000

    Apropos Indrani Roy Misra's letter (May 22), bigamy's punishable under ipc and an executive order expressly bans it for government servants. That hasn't stopped many eminences from adding to their matrimonial wardrobe. A story in The Week (Feb 12, '95) listed the likes of Bagun Subrai, the veteran politician, who had 57 changes of matrimonial bonds; Hukumdeo Narain Yadav, who married Delhi high court lawyer Sudesh 'to give her a new life'; Bhishma Narain Singh, who remarried while he was Tamil Nadu governor; even Ram Vilas Paswan.

    Jamila Verghese,
    New Delhi

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