• Trust Betrayed
    Aug 13, 2001

    Thank you for a lucid, timely overview on US-64 (The Unit Rust of India, July 16). Your warning signals on the scheme proved correct. It’s amazing that a trust created under a parliamentary act could cheat the public. It just goes to show that it pays to invest directly in the stockmarket.
    Swamy Reddy, Dubai

  • The End-Game
    Aug 13, 2001

    As a young girl, I feel very sad at the cold-blooded murder of the Bandit Queen right in front of her house, in broad daylight. Sometimes I wonder how submissive and defensive we’re when it comes to Pakistan; and how offensive and brutal we can be against our own people. Why?
    Anusha Singh, Kotagiri, TN

    What with Vajpayee, Advani, Sonia et al paying their respects on Phoolan Devi’s death, who will wager that a larger, more colourful gathering of luminaries won’t grace the occasion when Veerappan dies?
    Ramapriya D., on e-mail

  • Roast Doves for Breakfast, Anyone?
    Aug 13, 2001

    The editorial Talk. Talk. Talk. (July 30) left me wondering if this was really Vinod Mehta of Outlook. It was a pleasant surprise to see him agreeing with the bjp-led government’s dealing with Pakistan at Agra. Has he switched sides?
    Dr Karthik Boodugoor, Liverpool

    In his editorial, Vinod Mehta defends his stance at the infamous breakfast meet by proudly recalling his "robustly independent" journalism. No one can deny him this right. But does it preclude his duties as an Indian national? If someone’s indulging in false propaganda against your country—in your face—how is it that your sensitive conscience goes suddenly dead and too silent to even challenge the lie?
    M. Ratan, New Delhi

    Vinod Mehta’s rightly observed in his editorial that we should not undo the gains—however humble—of Agra. Rather than get into political rhetoric and blame each other, it’s best to move forward towards peace.
    Anusha Saharan, Wellington

    According to a Jewish proverb, "he who talks much commits a sin". This is true of Vinod Mehta’s misadventure at Agra.
    A.S. Raj, on e-mail

    For his very "responsible" comments at Musharraf’s breakfast meet, Vinod Mehta deserves the Nishan-e-Pakistan.
    S.P. Goel, on e-mail

    Dear Mr Mehta, unlike you I am a card-carrying hawk who is very clear about the contours of my country’s borders and those contours are non-negotiable. You are free to wave candles at Wagah and play charming host to self-deluding generals over breakfast. The reality is that India, for all its shortcomings, has a better sense of its nationhood, military superiority and economic resilience than Musharraf, his tinpot regime and his clueless countrymen.
    S. Krishnamurthi, Chennai

    The opposition against the Star News telecast of the editors’ meet with Musharraf is uncalled for. In fact, the channel did great service to the nation by revealing the agenda of the visiting dignitary and shaping public opinion on the summit.
    Vishesh Mahajan, on e-mail

    What was perhaps a coup for Prannoy Roy turned out to be a triumph for the Pakistani general. Does ndtv have an explanation for this?
    Sardari Agarwal, Calcutta

    What was the need for Vinod Mehta to keep on "chanting at Agra that we should give the general some verbal satisfaction on the ‘core’ question". That’s a job best left to politicians; an editor should not directly or indirectly belittle the government. I’m disappointed.
    Col B.D. Verma, on e-mail

    I compliment Vinod Mehta for lodging a protest with the Pakistani high commission at the televisation of the informal editors’ meet with Musharraf. How come none during that meet could draw the attention of the cowboy president that since the summit wasn’t concluded, he should desist from his outburst?
    K.R. Aiyar, on e-mail

    It amazes me how the general could make public his propaganda without even one word being raised against him.
    Sushmit Ghosh, New Delhi

    Although people like Vinod Mehta don’t carry the "burden of history", those who forget history are likely to repeat it.
    Veer Sagar, Delhi

    What prevented the editors from convening a meet and issuing a joint communique recording their anguish at being taken for a ride? How can anyone expect the doyens of print media to condemn the general for doing a tehelka on them when Tehelka-I was hailed as a new milestone in Indian journalism?
    Aki Anjaneyulu, Chennai

    If only Indian journalists had been as active and alert as they are in handling Indian leaders, Musharraf could not have gone on merrily criticising India on Indian soil.
    K.S. Bhalla, New Delhi

    What’s common between street dogs and ‘our fiercely independent, brave and anti-establishment’ Indian editors: throw them bread and they start wagging their tails.
    Ananth Gupta, New Delhi

    It’s a shame the Indian media always plays devil’s advocate. Peace can’t be one-sided, and if it has to be, we’ll be the first to be sacrificed at the hands of the enemy.
    Deepan Gill, on e-mail

  • Roast Doves for Breakfast, Anyone?
    Aug 13, 2001

    When passions and prejudices govern people’s minds in India and Pakistan, the spirit of revenge will no doubt lead to a split in Kashmir (Where to Now, General? July 30). Can peace be born in the midst of flagrantly violent situations marked by ruthless killings of innocents and pilgrims massacred by terrorists? Was the summit an omen to disaster?
    R. Ramasami, Tiruvannamalai

    The next summit, if any, should be between L.K. Advani and Musharraf.
    B.S. Kalra, on e-mail

    Is the Agra summit being seen as a failure because it didn’t result in a formal declaration? Isn’t it enough that a beginning was made and the two leaders were able to meet?
    Zohra Javed, Allahabad

    J.N. Dixit and Muchkund Dubey are correct in their considered opinion that autonomy to the people of Kashmir is the only solution to the problem. K. Natwar Singh perhaps echoes the views of his party rather than his own. With due regard to Sunil Dutt, India and Pakistan are two nations (perhaps three, if you count Bangladesh) and it’s wishful thinking that the people of the two countries will ever unite.
    Avinash Pagare, Sagar, MP

    The three summits from a South Asian male’s viewpoint:
    Simla: It’s a boy!
    Lahore: It’s a miscarriage!
    Agra: It’s a girl!
    Dev Kumar Vasudevan, on e-mail

    Giving away Kashmir because a majority of its inhabitants are of a particular religion would be a body-blow to Indian secularism. It would also amount to us accepting the two-nation theory.
    Indranil M., on e-mail

    There are so many Muslims in other states also. Does it mean they too should go to Pakistan?
    Rajeev R., on e-mail

    Goodwill shouldn’t be allowed to cloud reality. Islam is the moving force in theocratic Pakistan and to understand the country and its policies, you have to consider how it’s interpreted. The people of Pakistan continue to be fooled in the name of religion as they were by Jinnah in 1946. He raised the slogan ‘Islam in danger’, and the Muslims went berserk.
    Parjan Kumar Jain, New Delhi

    Musharraf has successfully used the Agra summit as his first campaign for the October 2002 elections. Another round in Islamabad will be his second. He might even declare elections in advance of October 2002 and make a clean sweep at the hustings.
    Sunil Dasgupta, on e-mail

    Both India and Pakistan can discuss Kashmir till the cows come home, but not reach a solution. So why not focus on other issues like liberalising trade, sports and cultural exchanges, free visas, etc.
    Prasad Dole, Cape Town

    It’s amazing the release of Indian PoWs is not a precondition for any talks with Pakistan, especially since we released more than 90,000 PoWs after the Bangladesh war (Prisoners of Hope, July 30).
    Paramvir Sawhney, Gurgaon

    In your article on PoWs, B.K. Suri is shown holding a letter his brother Major Ashok Suri sent from Pakistan but the envelope bears Indian postage.
    S.S. Almal, Calcutta

    It was gratifying to see that Outlook’s Indo-Pak summit special (July 23) cared enough to include not only many articles penned straight from the heart but also capturing (A Stranger in the Mirror) images of life in Pakistan.
    Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee, Faridabad

    After reading two subsequent issues related to the much media-hyped Musharraf visit, I have no doubt that Outlook is the only Pakistani English magazine available in India.
    Abhishek Verma, Delhi

    It’s heartening to see Outlook publish as much hate mail as it does letters of praise. Keep up the good work.
    K. Mallikarjuna, Bangalore

  • Just Some Etceteras
    Aug 13, 2001

    Umar Nizarudeen (Letters, July 30) wants "Jagmohan, Saxena and all those bsf brutes" brought to justice (at The Hague I guess) for crimes committed against the Kashmiri people. I hope he won’t mind my adding the Lashkar-e-Toiba or the Hizbul Mujahideen to that list for what they have done to the Kashmiri Pandits. Ridding an area of a specific ethnic community amounts to ‘ethnic cleansing’, something the Pandits have been subjected to.
    Bikash B., on e-mail

    It’s shocking to know that a memorial being built by the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons for more than 5,000 persons missing in j&k was destroyed by the state government a day after its foundation was laid on July 18. What does it fear? Or is it guilt? Whatever, it just feeds the alienation of the Kashmiri people.
    Gautam Navlakha, New Delhi

  • Epithet Copyright
    Aug 13, 2001

    Your story on Sachin and Saurav (Silly Mid Off(er), July 30) was as silly as the point you were trying to make. Dare to ask the Shiv Sena in Mumbai what the ‘Butcher of Bandra’ means.
    Pandurang Dabholkar, on e-mail

  • Nothin’ to Smiley About
    Aug 13, 2001

    The cash-strapped dotcom industry has at last found a sure means to make money by way of e-mails—:-) to :-( @ $.com, July 30. But does this augur well for the average Indian who has a long way to go before getting used to the paid service? No takers for now, Sire!
    Jinu Matthew, on e-mail

  • Krishna Con Brio
    Aug 13, 2001

    H.Y. Sharada Prasad’s review (Naming Games, July 30) of Indian Names amused me. I’ve been called ‘Toad’ since I played the character in Toad of Toad Hall, a play put on by Welham Preparatory School in Dehradun 60 years ago. Friends and cousins called me Toady. I’m not exactly Todi Khan, but close don’t you think Mr Prasad?
    Aminuddin Khan, on e-mail

    Jhinjhoti Saxena is ghastly. For a twist, try Piloo Mishra.
    Anonymous

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