• French Toast
    Jul 09, 2001

    Cheers once again to Leander and Mahesh for restoring the French Connection (Goodbye Splitsville, June 25). Their return from the hell-hole of 2000 is happy news for a nation starved of sporting success.
    Louvina Andrade, Mangalore

  • Skipper’s Flip
    Jul 09, 2001

    Saurav Ganguly must be the most over-rated batsman in modern-day cricket (Driftwood Champ, July 2). Any batsman, to be called a class player, must score runs against quality attacks both at home and away, in all conditions, when needed most by the team. Ganguly’s record against attacks from South Africa, Pakistan and Australia has been abysmal. In 29 such Tests since his debut, he has scored only 1,343 runs at an average of 27. Yet our selectors persist with him as they get carried away by his odi 100s.
    Ramji Rajamani, Mumbai

    Alistair Campbell’s determination to win at Harare shows the mettle of his team in spite of having just one world-class performer in Andy Flower (Big Game Hunting in Harare, June 25). Our cricketers unfortunately cannot do this consistently, even though John Wright has toughened them up. They remain short on leg work, fitness and inspiration.Dilip
    Mahanty, Australia

  • Unholy Nexus
    Jul 09, 2001

    The gruesome killings of three Catholic priests in Imphal (The Seventh Hell, June 18) indicates a dangerous nexus between the self-proclaimed custodians of Hinduism and the underground outfits in the northeast.
    Ashok Kujur ‘Chere’, Bangalor

  • Lop-Sided Liberals
    Jul 09, 2001

    No matter what swadeshi hawks say, liberalisation has bailed us out of a huge debt hole (Ten Years of Economic Reforms, June 25). Yet, infrastructure is one area where restructuring has failed miserably. Not only has this prevented us from achieving a higher gdp growth rate but also stunted industrial growth and prevented existing industry from becoming globally competitive. The government’s welfare policies have done nothing but sap our resources. For reforms to succeed, our attitudes too need to reform. We can’t enter a market economy riding a bullock cart.
    Aftab Khanna, on e-mail

    Narasimha Rao’s confessional statement is a powerful warning to the country: "But whatever policies were used over the past 50 years, one thing is certain: poverty continues to rise". History will never pardon Rao and his collaborator, Manmohan Singh, for taking the country back to the feet and mercy of foreign powers. Can poverty ever be eradicated without confronting head-on the four basic and simple questions: who owns, who controls, who decides about and who enjoys total wealth of the country?
    Prof E.P. Menon, Bangalore

    Your special issue is a good survey of the reforms process. It’s difficult to get rid of the pre-reforms mindset and your articles provide one example. Migration to the cities has been portrayed as a negative effect of reforms. Is there an example of any country which has high income levels with a large rural population?
    Sai Yayavaram, on e-mail

    Your special issue on reforms—with contributions from one prime minister, three finance ministers and plenty of bigwigs—was very readable. But I’m surprised you did not include a 5,000-word diatribe from Arundhati Roy. Why?
    Aminuddin Khan, on e-mail

    I fully agree with Sandipan Deb that "if the evidence of the pudding is in the eating, then our plates are still empty". And if some have filled their plates with pudding, it’s by the "rule of the jungle". The process of reforms was to have brought about something much better.
    Pankaj Arora, on e-mail

    The impetus for the IT revolution was given by Rajiv Gandhi, Chidambaram began it with a bang, Manmohan Singh breathed life into it but isn’t Yashwant Sinha going too far, too fast? Agriculture is being moved backwards, his reforms have failed to generate employment for our youth and liberalisation in imports sans growth in export will only kill our industry.
    Dr U.S. Iyer, on e-mail

    Sandipan Deb’s article is one of the most hard-hitting, in-your-face I have read in a long time. Bravo, but is the government listening? We, the urban middle class, are helpless against political musclemen; we can only sit back and watch, or at the most educate our kids and send them abroad.
    Mohua Lalvani, on e-mail

    A true measure of the success of liberalisation would be how it has helped the nation’s growth and reached its benefit to the highest possible number of people. Sadly, liberalisation in India has just meant patching up the BoP position and nothing has been done to strengthen the entrepreneurial spirit.
    Surajit Agarwal, Philippines

  • Eternal Optimists
    Jul 09, 2001

    BJP leaders in UP must be hoping against hope if they are expecting victory in the assembly polls (Temple of Doom, June 25). Troubled by intra-party bickerings and condemned by the masses for poor governance, Rajnath Singh has little option but to finalise strategic understandings with other parties as this alone will help him gain a respectable number of seats, of course, without a majority.
    P.K. Srivastava, Ghaziabad

    The BJP is as power-hungry as anybody else. That’s the only reason it’s willing to bring even the traitorous Trinamul Congress back into its fold.
    Anita Salim, on e-mail

  • Woe Betides Monarchy
    Jul 09, 2001

    Reading your cover, The Death and Rebirth of Vishnu (June 18), I couldn’t help but think of what Bertrand Russell wrote: "The law of causality...is a relic of a bygone age, surviving, like the monarchy, only because it is erroneously supposed to do no harm." In India, of course, we have "inherited democracies".
    S.A. Owais, Srinagar

    Was it merely the romantic lunacy of Prince Dipendra or a heinous political conspiracy that resulted in the regicide, patricide, matricide, homicide and suicide all rolled into a plot that exceeded the thrill of any Agatha Christie whodunit?
    R. Ramasami, Tiruvannamalai

    In the Nepal tragedy, a few fingers are also pointing to the alleged involvement of raw, but surprisingly no one is talking of the constructive role India can play at such a time. Mere declaration of official mourning won’t suffice, India has to be more proactive in regional affairs if it wants to be a superpower. And by that I don’t mean military intervention!
    A. Kulkarni, on e-mail

    The tragedy in Nepal is as much about the death of royals as it is about the life of monarchy. How relevant is it today? The world over—led by the British royals—monarchy is in trouble because of the personal lives of its members.
    Suja Nambiar, Karaikal

    In his late 30s, King Edward of Great Britain merely abdicated his throne in order to marry the woman of his choice. Couldn’t Prince Dipendra have done something similar? Or did he want both his woman and his kingdom?
    Prem Behari, Lucknow

    Pakistan’s isi has become so powerful that it got eliminated the entire family of the Nepal king through his son.
    A.P. Thadhani, Ahmedabad

  • Web of Deceit
    Jul 09, 2001

    God knows how many have been lured by bogus computer institutes and then ditched (Network Terror, June 18). There should be a mandatory clearance from the aicte for all new computer institutes. Tutors should be appointed only after clearing a national examination.
    Anshu Mathur, Ahmedabad

  • Brief for Transparency
    Jul 09, 2001

    Instead of digging decade-old graves investigating old defence deals (Armsgate, the Sequel, June 18) and indulging in witch-hunting, why doesn’t the government come up with a transparent system to procure defence equipment?
    Dharamvir Singh, on e-mail

  • Banking on Appearance
    Jul 09, 2001

    I was delighted to know that minister of state for commerce Omar Abdullah (The Marketable Marketeer, June 18) makes a great calling card because of his lineage and Anglo-Indian looks. The accompanying photo looks better than the story, which fails to mention his achievements. May I now propose model John Abraham as our next calling card when Vajpayee visits the US? He sure looks good.
    Jai Verma, Chennai

  • Jul 09, 2001

    If the current LoC seems to be the most convenient and rational solution, then so be it (Framework for Peace, June 11). India should not spare any more land than what is occupied by Pakistan. All options—independence, union with Pakistan or staying with India—should be with regard to this area alone.
    Om Tiwari, Bangkok

  • Missionaries with Some Art
    Jul 09, 2001

    Your essay Faded Leaves from a Mughal Spring (June 25) bears testimony to the fact that priceless treasures lie forgotten and neglected in remote corners of the world. It takes art lovers like Beach to rescue these from oblivion and restore it to public view. I’m sure there are countless such treasures in India which have to be saved from dust mites and woodworms in frowsy, decrepit archaeological departments before they are lost forever. Museums in the West not only glorify the creators of art, but also those who once owned it and thought it fit to donate it. Each piece is meticulously catalogued and entrusted to professional restorers and preservers. When will we ever treat our glorious past with the dignity it deserves for our progeny to enjoy?
    Chitra Amarnath, on e-mail

  • Same Difference
    Jul 09, 2001

    I would like to ask those who are finding fault with the "illiterate electorate" for Jayalalitha’s win in the TN assembly poll (JJ & Her Technicolor Cape, May 28) if they found nothing wrong with the same electorate when it elected Advani, Uma Bharati and Murli Manohar Joshi after their ‘heroic’ role in the Babri demolition?
    S. Prakash, New Delhi

  • Getting Verse
    Jul 09, 2001

    The Kargil ‘war’ is done and gone; Erstwhile heroes mow the lawn The officers who held troops back From certain slaughter get the sack Politicos on generals favours spawn.
    Biswapriya Purkayastha, on e-mail



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