Letters | Apr 03, 1996
  • Bitter Sycophancy
    Apr 03, 1996

    The brazen display of sycophancy by Sakkubai et al. who wore neem apparel, and performed other acts of obeisance(All for you, Amma, March 13),is only indicative of the mind-set of cave-dwelling ancestors. is this any way to usher in the century? Neem is versatile, its use as a garment hardly its image.

    Dr S.K. Gupta, Delhi

  • In Gandhi’s Land
    Apr 03, 1996

    Scam India (March 20) proves the maxim, "All are naked in the hamam". It is unfortunate that the land of Ram, Krishna, Buddha, Ashoka, Vivekananda and Gandhiji, who laid stress on ethics and probity in public life, has come to such a pass in a short span of 48 years.To find any honest politician/bureaucrat is like searching for a needle in a haystack.

    Under British rule, corruption was limited to the lower staff in the judiciary and police, and anybody found taking bribes was firmly dealt with. But today, corruption at all levels has become a way of life.

    No doubt, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, but when it envelops the entire country and people start losing faith not only in the rulers but in the system itself, there is something to be worried about.

    No doubt, corruption in high places started soon after Independence, mainly because of adherence of socialist policies leading to the permit quota raj. Though the recent hawala case has made everybody sit up and think, it is only the tip of the iceberg. What is most unfortunate is that Rao, who was aware of it for the last five years, has timed it so as to decimate all those who could challenge his authority and right to rule the country.

    V.S. Garg, Moradabad

  • Survival of the Fittest
    Apr 03, 1996

    This refers to Out of League? (March 6). The United Nations needs to be completely restructured if it is interested in playing an effective role. Since its inception in 1945, there have been tremendous changes at the global level. Though the world continues to be divided into two major blocs—developed and developing nations—their priorities, economic and social conditions, strength and weaknesses all differ. In the last five decades, the economic status of the developing countries has improved a lot and they are in a position to analyse the role of the developed nations.

    India’s economic achievements can help us secure a seat in an expanded Security Council. Whatever be our foreign policy, the most important aspect would be our economic relevance at the global level. Even in Asia, economic prosperity can easily ensure us a leading role.

    Amar Inder Singh, Patiala

  • Medical Fallacies
    Apr 03, 1996

    The article Fatal Ignorance (March 6) about AIDS awareness is shocking not only for the common man, but also registered medical practitioners.
    While Doordarshan shows how AIDS is not transmitted, the article on the contrary says AIDS can spread by shaking hands, hugging, or by using the telephone. Therefore, people will be scared to go to hotels, swimming pools or even shake hands, thereby inhibiting all social contact. The accepted theory is that AIDs is spread through syringes, blades, blood transfusion and sexual intercourse. Can you elaborate on how it can spread through hugging, sharing the phone or airborne particles?

    Thank god, it is not proposed that talking to an AIDs-infected person can also lead to AIDs. In that case, neither will doctors visit any hospitals, nor will people choose the medical profession as a career.

    Rajesh Sangram, Belgaum

    The essence of the article seems to have been misunderstood by the reader. It attempted to clear fal -lacies about AIDS. It can be contracted only through infected syringes, blood transfusion and sexual intercourse.

    — Editor

  • Gimmicks Fit for Royals
    Apr 03, 1996

    I read with interest the article A Royal Image Boost (March 6) where you talk of how "Princess Diana’s visit enhances Imran Khan’s political aspirations". If one were to take a humorously poetic view of the event, it might read:

    Imran, Jemima, Diana and Benazir Ms, All have their own kind of gimmicks; You don’t know, in love, cricket and politics, Who treads on whose tricks!

    Nilay V. Anjaria, Ahmedabad

  • Leave the Kids Alone
    Apr 03, 1996

    This refers to the article Precocious Professionals (March 6). With an increasing trend towards urbanisation, individualism and impersonalism, the emphasis is on achievement. Youngsters are conditioned to become a part of this mad rat race early in life. In such cases, the borderline between professionalism and ruthless opportunism tends to become very thin. Hapless youngsters are dragged into this quagmire, and in a bid to be successful go-getters, inevitably lose out on something so precious—spontaneity, inspiration and creativity. Isn’t it better to drift, thoughtfully experiment and be your own person rather than emerge as processed tins flaunting an enviable, but meaningless, label.

    Sarvar Abbi, New Delhi

  • Give Azhar a Break
    Apr 03, 1996

    This is with reference to Azhar’s Maiden Trouble(March 6). In one of the recent World Cup matches, the Indian skipper came down the wicket to slam a boundary with perfect footwork. It doesn’t matter who the bowler was. He later dived to his left at mid-wicket to take an otherwise impossible catch. Again, it doesn’t matter who the batsman was. Instead of criticising Azharuddin’s private life, we should perhaps appreciate the brilliant cricketer in him.

    S. Manoj, Podanur

    The feature on Azharuddin’s affair and domestic problems was interesting. The cricketer’s in-laws have accused his family of being orthodox and backward. But can they escape the blame for marrying off a 16-year-old girl when she had not even completed her schooling?

    Babar Zaidi, New Delhi.

  • End of Ashes?
    Apr 03, 1996

    When a gentleman cricketer like Krishnamachari Srikkanth, India’s famed opening batsman, appreciates the decision by the Australians and the West Indians to forfeit their matches in Sri Lanka in the just concluded World Cup and concludes that no blame should be attached to them (But I Say, Not Guilty, February 28), we have to view the pronouncement as coming from the apex court. Accordingly, that should settle the matter. Now the million-dollar question is: will the Australians refuse to play in London, which has witnessed some IRA-orchestrated bomb blasts? Will it thus sound the death-knell for the celebrated Ashes series, intently watched for years by cricket lovers all over the world. Will a contest that gave an opportunity to men like Jack Berry Hobbs, Leonard Hutton and Donald Bradman to make history now be a thing of the past?

    M.S.V. Thatham, Madras

  • And Now, Pin-up Men
    Apr 03, 1996

    You have celebrated the nude by publishing nude pictures (Celebrating the Nude, February 21). But, why only of women? Why not of the male? Every magazine wants to increase its circulation by imitating the Playboy culture. Readers also want it as it satisfies their voyeurism. While the male reader is interested in nude pictures of females and you oblige him, he does not like or allow his female partner to enjoy seeing the male nude. Well, seems like your outlook is also male.

    K.S.S. Raghavan, Bangalore

  • Apr 03, 1996

    Apropos the article The Trial begins (March 13), it seems corruption, like pollution, has pervaded the atmosphere of our country. The motive for corruption among public servants obviously remains—to make a quick buck. The problem is compounded by the de-prioritisation of self-respect.

    The mere weeding out of corruption individuals is not enough, should be made to part with their ill-gotten wealth, if they are not prosecuted their crime.

    N.P. Lakshminarayan, Coimbatore

  • Limit Your Judgement
    Apr 03, 1996

    This refers to Are the Courts Ruling India? (March 6). Of late, it is the courts and other non-elected functionaries at various levels who have been active in dispensing justice to people and groups, thus stepping into areas governed by the executive and the legislature. This reflects the growing apathy and disengagement of politicians from the people and points to the resurgence of antidemocratic politics that does not augur well for the future of this country.

    In the hawala case and the CBI inquiry, the apex court seems to be doing what, lamentably, the Government failed to do on its own. But where were these honourable judges when Justice Ramaswamy was indicted on corruption charges? At that time, not only did the court fail to act, it also appeared to be shielding him

    This trend poses a serious danger to the democratic process in the country. How - ever fragile and deeply flawed the process may be, these self - appointed defenders of "democracy' and 'Justice' need to be asked to function within their defined instititional parameters. Crooked' politicians go to the polls once in five years, if not more often, but these worthies are not accountable to the people at all.

    Vrijendra, Thane

    The sudden outburst of judicial activism can be attributeed to the failure of the executive and the legislature to perform the functions assigned to them. By emerging as a ‘dominant wing’ of the Indian polity, the judiciary is not disturbing the state of equilibrium between the three organs of government, but is trying to maintain the balance by filling the vacuum created by the inaction of the other two organs. However, such a trend could prove unhealthy for our country.

    Shweta Rajpal, New Delhi.

  • A Useless Debate
    Apr 03, 1996

    Apropos your wish to compare notes on the most hated TV programme (Delhi Diary,March 6). I would advise you and your readers not to waste time over the selection of the most hated programme.

    I have another grouse. A rough calculation tells me that in your Outlook-MODE opinion poll on judicial activism in the same issue, more than 85 per cent of the respondents were male. Do you think the female opinion is not worth taking into account? This could explain why most opinion polls are way off the mark considering that females comprise 47 per cent of the population.

    Finally, I commiserate with the English cricket team because they have done so badly. They bite their nails and their delicate stomachs get upset due to which they do badly. What a bind.

    N.N. Thomas, Dehradun

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