• Caught Out!
    Jul 02, 2001

    The article Armsgate: A Sequel (June 18) nails the lie of both George Fernandes and Arun Jaitley who made public statements saying that the Armoured Recovery Vehicles were bought from pses like beml and bhel.
    R. Sundaram, on e-mail

  • Eclipse of the Son
    Jul 02, 2001

    Just because someone hails from a royal family, he does not have to be a reincarnation of Vishnu, as the Nepalis tend to believe (Death and Rebirth of Vishnu, June 18). India, however, will have to tread delicately and be cautious about its comments on the new monarchy. As such it was heartening to notice New Delhi announcing three days of mourning as a token of heartfelt condolence to our neighbour.
    Sairam Sanath Kumar, Thrissur

    This is just to say that out of the several dozens of international articles that I read about Nepal’s tragedy, I found Prem Shankar Jha’s column (A Larger Bereavement) the most understanding and compassionate. Very well-balanced and well-researched.
    Sampurna Tuladhar, Kathmandu

    Anyone who has ever used an assault rifle will wonder how Prince Dipendra not only managed to carry, aim and fire two heavy weapons simultaneously, but also managed the recoil, that too while drunk and drugged. Add to this the fact that he managed to kill only members of his own family, sparing Gyanendra’s, and we have a readymade episode of Ripley’s Believe It or Not.
    Biswapriya Purkayastha, on e-mail

    This might appear a bit insensitive but in Nepal the rich and powerful shoot their own kith and kin instead of the bewildered and innocent who get killed in India. Small consolation, though.
    K.V. Sharma, Bangalore

    Why are the Nepalese so hostile to Indians when we give them work, the right to vote and even provide ration cards to those who cross the border looking for work. Yet, be it the Hrithik Roshan incident or the latest Devyani Rana episode, why is our neighbour so ready to pin the blame on us for events in their own country?
    K.S.Menon, on e-mail

    The citizens of Nepal, no doubt, have tremendous regard for their king. And such a tragedy is bound to provoke them into anger, annoyance and anarchy. But they also have to be cautious of the sinister designs of Maoists who want to dislodge the Koirala government, sow suspicion and disrespect towards the royals apart from spilling venom against India.
    P.K. Srivastava, Ghaziabad

    Nepal’s crown prince could well have been a psychopath, for all we know. In times of crises people tend to believe the worst. And that’s what’s happening in Nepal right now.
    A.S. Raj, Bangalore

  • Two Projectiles
    Jul 02, 2001

    I’ve been reading your magazine for quite some years now. I always thought you researched your articles before printing them (The Marketable Marketeer, June 18). I seem to have been mistaken. This is, however, to let you know that I’ve never been projected by my father or anyone else in Kashmir politics.
    Rubia Sayeed Sherif, on e-mail

    Your remarks on Omar Abdullah are very uncharitable, to say the least. For, there are any number of mbas involved in crimes. I saw him at a local function in Delhi’s Ramjas School in Delhi and like most people was impressed with his simplicity and humility.
    Vinod K. Sharma, on e-mail

  • Great Con Factories
    Jul 02, 2001

    I was happy to see at least one publication having the courage to dwell on IT shops (The Mouse Trap Reinvented, June 18). We are Mumbai-based consultants visited by young men and women of BA/BCom backgrounds, mostly from middle-class families. All of them have a similar story to narrate—of being lured by fancy ads and persuading their parents to part with their life’s savings. All were assured of "guaranteed placements", given an aptitude test whose results confirmed that they were cut out to be programmers, only to find no employment after course completion. Those that reminded the institutes of placement were absorbed as faculty on a pittance or six-month contract. Others weren’t even that lucky.
    Cdr (rtd) Anil Dabir, Mumbai

    You’re right on many counts, but I think it’s also the students’ fault to expect in two or three months skills that an engineer gains after a degree. The government too is to blame for not realising the need for computer education for the masses and offering alternatives. Most colleges can teach these courses in the evenings or on weekends and use money thus raised for improving infrastructure.
    Shailesh Gala, on e-mail

    While your article was right about fly-by-night operators, it was harsh on the training industry as a whole. niit, for one, refunds fees for downgraded programmes. Nor are IT skills required for software companies alone, but in all spheres where computerisation is taking place.
    Gurjeet S. Sekhon, on e-mail

    As one other ‘victim’ of a big-brand training institute, I have come to realise that while the course structure in most such institutes is basically a collection of overviews and brief introductions to advanced softwares, the faculty too comprises not specialists but jacks of all trades. The tests conducted are a mere eyewash and simple enough for the weakest of students to sail through.
    Gautam Goswami, on e-mail

    More than a year ago, an institute called Advanced Technology Labs set out to teach com (Component Object Model), in ‘strategic’ partnership with Microsoft. Zap and Wintech seem small-time compared to the fee atl charged: Rs 2.25 lakh. More than 6,000 students, including me, were stranded midway in the course that was to plant us in the US as comsters.
    A. Varadarajan, on e-mail

    The irony is that the very day Zap opened up in Muktsar, the Mithani brothers ran away. The bigger irony is that the students, pitifully unaware of the situation, are still taking admission there!
    Jagmohan Singh Khurmi, Muktsar

  • Fuzzy Logic
    Jul 02, 2001

    Most of Anita Pratap’s observations in A Clone’s Slow Death (June 11) are eminently sensible. But not the limitations she chooses to impose on democracy and pluralism. What kind of democracy is that which belittles the opinions of rural women as opposed to those of the establishment? And what sort of pluralism is that which treats Indians of foreign birth as second-class citizens? Would Ms Pratap take exception to the venerable nun of Calcutta being called (as indeed she is the world over) Mother Teresa of India, rather than Albania?
    John Francis, Geneva

    Anita Pratap is right in her assessment that Atalji & Co continue to be in power more by default of the opposition parties. However, her surmise that Sonia Gandhi could do something to change the situation is optimistic.
    V. Natarajan, Lucknow

    The BJP-led coalition reminds me of the story of a father in Chinese folklore who, having lost his son, kept searching for him for nearly 40 years with single-minded obsession till he found him. And then he knew not what to do with his son.
    Vivek Khanna, Panchkula

    It’s rather unrealistic of Ms Pratap to expect the bjp to undo in two years the wrongs that took Congress 45 years to perpetrate.
    Mayank Pandey, on e-mail

  • Clerical Errors
    Jul 02, 2001

    Your article Arabian Night (June 18) aptly describes the miserable lives of illiterate Muslim women dumped by their lustful, perverted Arab husbands, but it’s incomplete. It makes no mention of the debased and selfish role played by Muslim clerics and mullahs in solemnising such marriages. Since they play a significant role in Muslim society, especially among the illiterate section, their role in such practices ought to be probed.
    Rahul Wadke, on e-mail

  • Jul 02, 2001

    Abdul Sattar’s interview ("It’s people, not just territory", June 18) came as a welcome relief. I was beginning to wonder what was wrong with Pakistan. Sattar typically talks of India’s "failure" to implement the UN resolutions of 1948 and the "countless "poor suffering Kashmiris". Can our government still not see that the talks are just for international consumption and there can be no solution as long as Pakistan wants Kashmir?
    Bobby Singh,on e-mail

    Thank you for your suggestive solution. But will your Framework for Peace (June 11) be acceptable to Pakistanis as well as Kashmiris? And do you seriously think that a soft border and a Delhi-Muzaffarabad road will make j&k a terrorism-free zone? Terrorism has to be "stopped", not "reduced" for any framework to be fruitful in Kashmir.
    Jyotirmoy Maity, Calcutta

  • A Thirst for Applause
    Jul 02, 2001

    I see nothing wrong with Hussain’s call to British Asians to support the England cricket team (Nasser’s No Ball, June 11). The point is there really isn’t a willingness on their part to integrate into British society. Hussain’s rise to the top is creditable and it’s only natural that he should want some unbiased appreciation in return.
    Sharad Kohli, Gurgaon

  • Cloying Sickness
    Jul 02, 2001

    Apropos Pauperisation of a Maharaja (June 11), my father was recently in Nanavati hospital in Mumbai for treatment. At any given time, there were at least 6-7 Air India employees on our floor alone admitted for minor illnesses. It’s such indiscriminately-implemented healthcare schemes which drain the very lifeblood of an organisation. It’s high time A-I is privatised. Why not return it to the Tatas who pioneered it in the first place?
    Niloufer Israr Ahmed, Mumbai

  • Vajpayee Treads Nehru’s Steps
    Jul 02, 2001

    I find it difficult to agree with Prem Shankar Jha on macro-economic matters but on Kashmir I’ve found his assessment right at every stage of the ceasefire and now in Mr Vajpayee, What Have You Done? (June 4).

    At the root of the flip flop and somersault by the PM is a malady he shares with Nehru: a misplaced sense of destiny and false idealism. Nehru was intent on securing his place in history. There were voices like Rajaji’s who opposed him but he ignored them. What ensured his continuance was the absence of an alternative, as in Vajpayee’s case. Reports indicate that in the meeting where Brajesh Mishra, L.K. Advani and Jaswant Singh were present, it was Vajpayee who argued for the invitation to the general, overruling others. Why the hurry? Why could things not have been taken one step at a time, even if we were under pressure from the Americans to initiate the peace process? How is it that our leadership never has a coherent strategy, a gameplan, an understanding of our interests and strengths or a connection with the aspirations and apprehensions of Indians?
    V.S. Gurumani, New Delhi

  • Instruments of Offence
    Jul 02, 2001

    This is regarding the offensive Durex ad carried in Outlook. For a magazine read by both the young and the old, the least you can do is respect your readers’ sensibilities and not take them for granted. It’s the duty of the editor to act with wisdom.
    Alka Patil, on e-mail

  • Forces of Terror
    Jul 02, 2001

    The Bajrang Dal-VHP is nothing but the Indian face of the jehadis across the border. The recent news that they are training women volunteers in the use of firearms to defend Hindus from the isi comes as a big jolt. The likes of them create more insecurity than security. Minorities in India will live in perpetual fear if these Sangh offshoots are not prevented from carrying out such training.
    Asghar Ali Engineer et al, Mumbai

  • Your Debonair Outlook
    Jul 02, 2001

    With the active help of Khushwant Singh, Mr Mehta, you are successfully inching towards the Debonairisation of Outlook. I wish there were some law that could allow readers refund of prorata subscription.
    Bharat Pandya, Bhavnagar, Gujarat



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