Letters | May 28, 2001
  • Blowing Up Your Cover
    May 28, 2001

    The tragedy on the Bangladesh border last month which involved the killing of 16 brave bsf soldiers has in itself generated great anguish among all the men in uniform (Home-Made Fiasco, May 7). You’ve now rather attracted part of that anger by publishing on your cover the photograph of a bsf martyr being carried like a dead cow. You may have your own reasons for doing so but it’s demeaning and humiliating to those who lay down their lives in fighting for their country. When publishing such sensational pictures, do you ever think about the people who see such things as part of their lives or the families of those who were slain?
    Flt Lt H.D. Lohani, on e-mail

  • Li’l Brother’s Tantrums
    May 28, 2001

    Smaller nations that have broken away from India are dictating terms in the border areas time and again but India’s reaction is usually too mild, too late, resulting in unwarranted loss of our soldiers’ lives (Home-Made Fiasco, May 7). Being the ‘big brother’, we should assert ourselves authoritatively and strongly warn them not to mess around on our side of the border. Lest, given an inch, even tiny Sri Lanka will take a mile one day.
    Abhyodhaya Krishnan, Chennai

    Mahfuz Anam’s opinion, Big Brother’s Myopia, is one of self-revelation. India’s expected to ensure the sustained growth of her neighbour, lend a perpetual helping hand, even as the neighbour is busy unloading its excess baggage on India whose own is bursting at the seams. It also pretends to be oblivious of the various anti-India activities intelligence agencies of other countries are conducting on its soil. The big brother is a status that’s been thrust upon India.
    Raji Joshi, Pune

    Is it really a coincidence that wherever Vajpayee has taken his diplomacy bus, the only thing we get in return is humiliation? Our neighbours know that the lives of our soldiers are far less important than petty electoral and political gains. The body slung from that pole is not that of a dead soldier but the corpse of a dead nation.
    Gurpreet Singh, Jalandhar

    Which mother will send her son to the Indian army after seeing the photographs of jawans tortured to death and being carried on a pole like a hunted animal? Do our spineless prime minister and defence minister fail to understand that not taking action against Bangladesh will break the army’s morale. To earn our neighbours’ respect and friendship, fear is the only key. Just imagine what the US would have done under similar circumstances?
    Ashok Shah, Ahmedabad

  • Any Answers, Please
    May 28, 2001

    When celebrities support social causes, a good question to ask is: who benefits whom? Is it the movement which gains in terms of media attention or the fading actor, unemployed author or ageing heiress who stall the inevitable oblivion (Defence of Dissent, April 30). Why does Arundhati have to lend her powerful pen and use your magazine as a platform to espouse a cause which was already well taken care of without her?
    Pankaj Sharan, New Delhi

  • Flawed Personalities
    May 28, 2001

    Whenever so-called ‘stars’ of Hindi cinema (I hate the awful self-degenerating word Bollywood) are on TV, they twitter in English or pepper their ‘Hindi’ with English. It’s ironic and pathetic that in public, they won’t string a single sentence in Hindi without falling back on English when they continue to make their millions from Hindi cinema.
    Hriday Pandey, Cambridge, UK

    Why do our filmstars always speak in English even when interviewed in Hindi? It’s the Hindi films which have given them their stardom.
    Mrs Prasad, New Delhi

  • All of a Kind
    May 28, 2001

    The Vajpayee government’s proceeding on the lines of the Congress whether it’s with regard to liberalisation or Gandhian swadeshi (The Wages of Dissent, May 14). In these corrupt times, everyone’s after making a quick buck and rss swayamsevaks are no different. They are certainly no holy cows as has been exposed by tehelka in the case of Bangaru Laxman and others. The rss has a befooling apad dharma, which was first used by Kalyan Singh in UP to split the Congress and Mayawati’s party.
    K.S. Vashisth, Jaipur

  • Selfish Diplomacy
    May 28, 2001

    Dingli Shen’s opinion (India’s Intention Suspect, May 21) is one-sided. Like the US, nothing has ever stopped China from interfering in another country’s affairs when it suits its purpose. One only has to consider its stance on Tibet and its abetting Pakistan against India. Today, China’s worried India might become a global power. And that’s why it’s preaching the virtues of opposing the US.
    Siddharth S. Singh, Illinois

  • May 28, 2001

    Regarding the exchange in the last issue of Outlook (Letters, May 14) between Boria Majumdar and myself, readers interested in the documentary evidence of Majumdar’s borrowings can e-mail me at ramguha@vsnl.com
    Ramachandra Guha, New Delh

  • Needed, Foresite
    May 28, 2001

    The teenager who committed the so-called "cyber-crime" is not alone to blame (Some Dangerous Child’s Play, May 14). The media which whets a teen’s curiosity on sex-related issues and parents who don’t have enough time to talk to their children are responsible in equal measure. The media at least should adopt a constructive approach and not give the incident undue publicity.
    Rananjay Anand, Begusarai

    I’m a Class 10 student and think the whole issue of teens obsessed with pornography on the Net has been blown out of proportion by citing just a handful of examples. Not all teens visit porn sites. As for your saying that such sites are meant only for adults, the fact is they’re unhealthy for everyone, including adults.
    Aditya, on e-mail

    The porn website put up by a Delhi schoolboy was on Freeservers, a vast portal that allows you to put up a website without spending a penny and is popular among students. But usually they have a very strong policy on the content you load. Perhaps this particular site escaped attention because of the hits it was getting to Freeservers’ ads.
    J.S. Khurmi, Muktsar

  • May 28, 2001

    Although you erred in the margin of victory for the Left Front in West Bengal, in Assam, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, your poll forecast was quite accurate (Outlook opinion poll, May 14). In Tamil Nadu, Outlook predicted that Jayalalitha would get between 165-175 seats—which was pretty close to the final figure. The Marxists in Calcutta surprised everyone, including themselves.
    M.S. Satish, Bhopal

    The poll results that came in from five states should serve as a stinging in the face of the bjp and remind them of people’s power. No party can survive by insulating itself from the very people it professes to serve. Maybe the bjp will now wake up and rein in its power-obsessed ministers like Jagmohan. And it better be prepared for an even more severe drubbing in the north, especially in Delhi, than the one it’s received in the south and the east.
    Sumeer Sharma, Delhi

    Did the Stockholm syndrome grip the state of West Bengal? How else could the people—who’d been writing off the Left Front government only a few months ago and singing praises of the Trinamul Congress—suddenly rediscover the LF’s virtues and post it to power? It just shows that the Indian polity is yet to emerge out of "personality cults"—in this case Buddhadev Bhattacharyya—even if they can criticise the Left Front for misgovernance and being the root of all ills that plague the state.
    Bhaskar Sen, on e-mail

    It’s good news that Marxist bastions in Kerala have been uprooted. Wisdom, it seems, has at last dawned on Kerala voters. The organised attacks on women and children in Nadapuram and surrounding areas by Marxists have rung the death knell of the Marxist movement in kerala. One hopes the euphoria of the udf victory should be translated into quick and solid action for all-round progress of the state by the new government under the leadership of the only honest politician of national stature, Saint Antony.
    A. Bakr, on e-mail

    It has been a mockery of democracy in Tamil Nadu. Good governance by good people even in an undemocratic setup is preferable than five years of misrule by an elected criminal. Tamil Nadu’s fickle-minded populace has recently been providing landslide verdicts for anyone in the opposition even when there’s been no need for change. And Jayalalitha walked away with the anti-incumbency cake even though she has a slew of established cases of corruption and abuse of power under her belt.
    Vijayaraghavan A.C., Bahrain

    If the majority of the Tamil electorate—by expressing their desire to have a convict as their CM—inflicted injury to the tenets of democracy, the state governor added insult to it by inviting the convict to form the government.
    Jamuna Doss, on e-mail

  • Right Byte
    May 28, 2001

    The article Byting Chill (May 14) captures the situation very succinctly. All the best to job hunters there.
    A. Panchpagesan, on e-mail

  • May 28, 2001

    I disagree with what Prem Shankar Jha says about the aphc in Doves in Flight (May 7). There are certain factors in the aphc which preclude any positive outcome from what they want to do. None of its constituent groups have a mandate from the people of the state. The demand for a visit to Pakistan is only to fulfil the personal ambitions of its members.
    L.C. Kaul, New Delhi

  • Welcome Gesture
    May 28, 2001

    It was disturbing to read the articles Little Flesh Shops and Faith’s Benign Fiat in your May 7 issue. An old English proverb goes, "My son’s my son till he gets him a wife, my daughter’s my daughter all her life". Isn’t it a pity most Indians wouldn’t agree with this?
    Dev Kumar Vasudevan, on e-mail

    The ban on female foeticide among the Sikhs by the Akal Takht is a welcome step. Sikhism is the only religion in the world to constitutionally reject evils against women like sati, the purdah system, dowry, child marriage and now female foeticide. No wonder equal status to women is the main reason for its prosperity and erudition. Now the shankaracharyas and qazis must follow suit to unshackle "the-mothers-of-kings".
    Savita Rashim, New York

    The Akal Takht, jathedars, priests, gurudwaras, fiats or excommunications can do nothing to straighten the mess of the caste system, dowry, female foeticide or endogamy that plague Indian society at large. In fact the Sikhs carried these ills with them when they migrated to Canada in the ’70s, which has brought the divorce rate in our community to at least 15 per cent over and above the national average.
    Gian S. Thind, on e-mail

  • Unfair Exchange
    May 28, 2001

    One can hardly rely on employment exchanges for statistics (Work: A Generation Gap, May 7). I graduated 50 years ago and registered with an employment exchange in Ernakulam. Though I retired 10 years ago, I am told that the exchange still has my name. As for the labour ministry official who you quote as saying that the "manufacturing sector is the biggest source of employment generation in the country", recent figures show that social services contribute 55 per cent of the gdp, then it’s agriculture and manufacturing comes only third.
    S. Padmanabhan, on e-mail

  • Crisis Point
    May 28, 2001

    Rajinder Puri’s words (Bull’s Eye, May 7) spell terror and impending danger. A vague, nagging fear grips the country that its security is in the wrong hands. The evidence pointing to the bjp government’s incompetence—if not impotence—is mounting. With no strong and dedicated leadership, either in the ruling party or in the Opposition, the nation is facing its worst crisis since independence.
    P. Govindarajan, Bangalore

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