• A Silence Broken, But Just Partially
    Feb 05, 2001

    Your cover story (The Last Stand, January 22) was worth a read. Azhar’s been treated very badly by the cricketing community. My friends and I believe he alone can’t fix a match. Thank you for a lovely cover.
    Vikas Abraham,
    on e-mail

    Azhar is up to his usual tricks again. But this time he seems determined to take a few more people down with him. The cbi is systematically looking into all aspects of match-fixing, including tax evasion by certain players. It’s Azhar’s folly to assume that by mouthing things already on record, he’ll be able to prove his innocence.
    K.V. Raghuram,
    Wyanad, Kerala

    Azhar’s indictment and the absolution of other major players raises doubts over the conduct of the match-fixing probe. Exalted cricketers like Gavaskar and Kapil have escaped investigation as well as uncomfortable media attention. Looks like all cricketers have made money; so shielding some and persecuting others only adds shame to ignominy.
    Naveen Chopra,
    on e-mail

    Disappointing. After 11 stories on match-fixing and getting the cbi and the bcci into action, you’ve undone it all by choosing to defend the main guilty. Not even once is Mr A confronted with indigestible questions like his links with MK, his confessions to cbi, Cronje’s allegations against him or his links with Ajay Sharma. Why? Only for hiking circulation?
    Rajeev Matta,
    on e-mail

    After reading Azhar’s ‘all-inclusive’ interview to Outlook, I felt he ought to have continued his self-imposed silence forever.
    Suresh Tinaikar,
    Bombay

    It baffles me that the interviewer did not think of asking Azhar point-blank if he had indeed fixed matches? Or was that taken for granted? If so, everything Azhar has said is to be scoffed at.
    Sam Varghese,
    on e-mail

    That was a beautifully fixed interview with Azhar. No wonder he himself ate cornflakes and fed your correspondent chicken biryani so that he could whisper sweet nothings in response to the questions. Unfortunately, despite spending Rs 10, we readers never got to know what sweet nothings he muttered into the cbi’s ears. Further, how did the interviewer or the interviewee miss mention of M/s MK, Sanjay Chawla, Cronje & Co?
    B.S.J. Swamy,
    on e-mail

    After all the hype and talk of months of silence, Azhar’s interview turned out to be a damp squib. I do believe Azhar is guilty. After reading the absolute apology for an interview, I’m convinced he’s hiding more than he told the cbi.
    Sripathi Jagannathan,
    Colorado, US

    The interview with Azhar reads like a desperate public relations exercise. How come no questions were asked about his (in)famous statement that he was being prosecuted for being from the minority community? Azhar better come to terms with the fact that no one believes him to be innocent any more and he would find no safety in numbers if others too were somehow persecuted.
    Vijay Nair,
    on e-mail

    Hypocrisy, thy name is Azharuddin. How can Azhar say he’s a proud Indian when he sold India’s pride to bookies? Naming others won’t make Azhar innocent. Indian cricket has already lost too much to lose anymore. We cricket fans of India want only the truth.
    Dr Keshav K.J.,
    Mysore

    I can’t understand how Azhar gave an interview to you when he had threatened to take you to court in response to an earlier story. And why didn’t you ask him about his close relations with Tiger Memon?
    Prateek Shah,
    on e-mail

    Jadeja, Prabhakar and Azhar should come out through court rather than crying foul before the print/electronic media to prove their innocence and gain sympathy. If Azhar believes the Bombay boys have gone scot-free, there should be another inquiry where he could testify exactly how.
    Dr Amalendu Kumar,
    Muzaffarpur

    You were the ones who opened this can of worms and carried a series of articles on match-fixing. So why this interview with Azhar? All the questions put to him seemed fixed. And his answers, however insipid, did not prove his innocence.
    Mahesh Inamdar,
    on e-mail

    Azhar and Outloook seem to have one thing in common. One fixes matches, the other fixes publicity. I’ll kill him the next time he says anything about one batsman who’s arguably the greatest of all times, Sachin Tendulkar. As for your magazine, I’ll burn a copy when next it resorts to cheap tricks like publishing the hypocritical statements of a traitor.
    Srikanth,
    Hyderabad

    Azhar’s guilt is beyond question. His repeated denials are mere face-saving exercises. Nevertheless, he has every right to demand the truth.
    Shobhit Bahadur,
    on e-mail

    Coal doesn’t change its colour when you wash it. Similarly what can’t be cured must be endured. Perhaps that’s what you wanted to convey by publishing a cover story on the idiot’s game for the ‘n’th time.
    Murali Duggineni,
    Hyderabad

    For a change it seems Azhar has paid rather than received money for you to fix a cover story that brings him out as a wronged man.
    Anirban Banerjee,
    on e-mail

    Azhar puts himself across as honest, a strong believer in destiny and a wronged man. But just by pointing his fingers at others, he cannot lead us to believe he’s not guilty.
    Kunal Kundan,
    on e-mail

    Manoj Prabhakar, Kapil Dev and now Mohammed Azharuddin. Why does Outlook tear apart cricket personalities in one story and build up their defence in the next?
    Sunit Purandare,
    Benares

    An excellent laundry job for Mohammed Azharuddin!
    Urvish Kothari,
    on e-mail

  • Selective Sight
    Feb 05, 2001

    Roar of the Sublime (January 22) depicts a distorted image of the Mahakumbh. There is more to this great Hindu religious festival than just saffron-clad sadhus, their practices, chillum and hashish. The article lights on the eye-catching antics of a few to entertain the West, while ignoring the faith of millions who throng the mela. Interestingly, the write-up has a parallel in the daily footage of the Kumbh on UK television produced by Channel 4 which seems to equate Hinduism with naked sadhus and their ‘bizarre’ activities. Is your reporter by any chance a local advisor to the London broadcaster?
    Dr Karthik Boodugoor,
    Liverpool, UK

  • Rue at Leisure
    Feb 05, 2001

    General Powell’s recent statement must surely have disappointed you a lot. Contrary to your wishful thinking, the Republicans are proving far better for India than the Democrats, offering to remove all sanctions. For once, your hatred/ dislike of the bjp-led nda government seems to have got the better of your judgement.
    L.Y. Rao,
    on e-mail

  • Inept Mediation
    Feb 05, 2001

    In the alleged massacre at Chhoto Angaria, the press has done nothing but echo Mamata Banerjee’s utterings. Your article (The Bone Collector, January 22) says "most people in West Bengal...believe...some people did die in Hemnagar village on the night of January 4". How do they know what "most people in West Bengal believe"? If most people in West Bengal believed what the media and opposition parties were saying about the Left Front government, Mamata would’ve become CM years ago. She has a habit of putting her foot in her mouth quite often. But does the media have to allow her to put ‘her’ foot in ‘their’ mouth?
    P.R. Ramesh Kumar,
    Thiruvananthapuram

  • Feb 05, 2001

    The army itself is to blame for the shortage of officers Gen Padmanabhan mentions in his interview ("I first intend to restore the soldier’s izzat", January 15). There was a time when ex-maharajas, senior officers’ children and businessmen were keen to join the services. But instances like a soldier’s service being remembered only during war, Adml Bhagwat’s summary dismissal, the infamous Samba trial and the scant regard for the welfare of ex-servicemen has brought things to this pass.
    Sqn Ldr (rtd) Bipin Baveja,
    New Delhi

  • Mistaken Identity
    Feb 05, 2001

    Uttaranchal pcc chief Harish Rawat got his first Lok Sabha ticket with the blessings of Sanjay Gandhi rather than Rajiv Gandhi as reported (Polscape, December 18). That was in January 1980, when the Congress roared back to power with Sanjay and his cronies calling the shots while Rajiv was still ensconced in the cockpit of Boeings. The fact that Rawat’s political graph didn’t dip after his mentor’s premature death reflect his political acumen and survival instincts.
    Anil Joshi,
    Ranikhet

  • In Your Own Words...
    Feb 05, 2001

    Both the author of the article After a Pagan Slur (January 15) and Joginder Singh Vedanti should read the Outlook of March 29, 1999, where Khushwant Singh says: "The roots of Sikhism lie deep in the Bhakti form of Hinduism. While the Adi Granth is essentially a distillation of the Vedanta in Punjabi, the Dasam (10th) is a compilation of tales of the valour of Hindu goddesses." The original name of Amritsar was Ramdaspur; after being stabbed by two Pathan boys, Guru Gobind Singh prepared a funeral pyre for himself following the precedent set by Hindu saints. And Master Tara Singh was a founder member of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.
    Sanjeev Nayyar,
    Bombay

  • All for a Laugh
    Feb 05, 2001

    One hardly finds any humour in your otherwise very worthy magazine. But reading Hung by a Chad by Chidanand Rajghatta (January 8), one almost died laughing. Thank you. More power to such works.
    Goolcheher D. Koyaji,
    Pune

    I tend to agree with the List of Bores in your anniversary issue. But you missed a couple of names that should have gone on top—of Arundhati Roy and Jhumpa Lahiri. Let’s not be prejudiced by the patronage they enjoy under Outlook.
    Umesh Dixit,
    on e-mail

  • Brotherhood of the East
    Feb 05, 2001

    In the article Discovering the Backyard (January 22), you seem optimistic about India’s ‘Look East Policy’. Our relations with the eastern bloc countries have been a series of missed opportunities. We have always, especially after Nehru and Shastri, worked for certificates from the West, who by patting us on our backs and praising our selfish politicians, have got away with murder. Our leaders are enamoured of Americans and have changed our policies at every stage of our relations with them to suit their whims. And the Americans themselves could go ahead with sanctions against us after the nuclear tests; they even had the gall to illegally confiscate our crucial system developed for the lca. I wish your optimism bears fruit and India not only rediscovers its destiny in the comity of Far Eastern nations but also mends its ways with China.
    Somnath Amin,
    Mumbai

  • Rogues’ Gallery
    Feb 05, 2001

    Three top sinners of 2000, you ask for (Year-End Diary, January 8)? Here goes: Veerappan, Azhar and Manoj Prabhakar.
    Laxman Singh Pangtey,
    Lucknow

    Sinners Unlimited: Sonia Gandhi, Keshubhai Patel and George Fernandes.
    Dr Hina,
    Surat

    Will Dawood Ibrahim, Jayalalitha and Azhar get me the
    Rs 1,001 please?
    R.S. Sarma,
    Bangalore

    I nominate Narasimha Rao, Sonia and Jyoti Basu, whether or not you nominate me.
    V.V. Gandhi,
    Surat

    Risking the sin of omission, I vote for Manoj Prabhakar; the panel which adjudged Priyanka Chopra Miss World and the killer of tigress Saki in Nehru Zoological Park, Hyderabad.
    N. Sadasivan Pillai,
    Guntkal, Andhra Pradesh

    Undoubtedly, Laloo Yadav, Maneka Gandhi, Bal Thackeray.
    A. Mehra,
    Tinsukia, Assam

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