• Passport to Godliness
    Sep 10, 2001

    Anita Pratap seems busy pleasing her Norwegian hubby and in-laws with Vikings, Anyone? (August 27). Her comparative analysis of Indian chor-mentality vis-a-vis Norwegian good samaritanism really makes us feel ashamed of our roots and we humbly submit our passports to help her ship us to Norway with her (of course) to imbibe the New Way of Life!
    Rishab Sood, on e-mail

    India is worse for the millennium kids than it was for the midnight’s children. The opportunities are no doubt greater but the larger picture is still dismal. Thank God the Reader’s Digest wallet experiment was not conducted in India. Indians here have lost all rationality, fairness and concern for others and have become indifferent to deceit. In fact, most of them seek the greencard escape at the earliest.
    Ashok Karania, on e-mail

  • Practically Speaking...
    Sep 10, 2001

    Apropos your coverage on Bangladeshi immigrants (Pink Slip, August 27), it is extremely unfair to introduce a warped, communal angle into one of the most practical steps taken by a state government. We’re better than the Pakistanis who pick them up by the hordes in trucks, line them up on the Indo-Pak border and open fire at them to make them run into Indian territory. More often than not, they send them in as human shields to send terrorists behind them. At least the state government is going about it in a reasonably democratic, humane way.
    Subhasini Singh, on e-mail

    The fact is that with so many illegal Bangladeshis in India, they have to be deported. We don’t have enough to feed ourselves, so how can we feed these extra mouths? Send them to Saudi or Pakistan. Let’s see if they will be willing to keep their Mohammedan brothers.
    Gopal,on e-mail

  • Articles of Unfaith
    Sep 10, 2001

    The report Fatwa Terrors (August 27) was disturbing. Islam is a world religion and in most Islamic countries, large segments of Muslim men and women do not sport beards or wear burqas. And if this militant outfit is so keen, why doesn’t it start with Pervez Musharraf and his wife? Sikhs in Punjab had faced a similar situation when Bhindranwale had ordained keeping of long and flowing beards. But many a Sikh did not submit to his diktat. Let freedom-loving Muslims do the same.
    K.S. Bhalla, New Delhi

  • Get a Life, Man
    Sep 10, 2001

    Amaresh Mishra’s review of Dil Chahta Hai was perplexing (Glitterati, August 27). Farhan Akhtar’s directorial debut has infused a new look into Hindi cinema, whether in terms of the characters, dialogue, music or cinematography. That the movie’s running to full houses is enough evidence. It’s time Mishra let audiences decide what we enjoy watching.
    Preetam Bora, on e-mail

    It’s high time your reviewer, Amaresh Mishra, got a life. Maybe Prozac should help.
    Nishad Victor, Dubai, UAE

  • Should He Stay or Go
    Sep 10, 2001

    It’s high time Ganguly was relieved of his captaincy. He will only break hearts and demoralise the younger dynamic players in the team who are capable of performing to win. Evidently, Ganguly is still haunted by his troubled private affair.
    N.V. Pandurangiah, Chennai

    At Kandy, Saurav not only managed to save his place in the team but has also prevented the ridicule of his fans who’ve been crying themselves hoarse about his immense abilities.
    M.R. Navindutt, Kalyan

  • Redeeming Feature
    Sep 10, 2001

    Dear Mr Mehta, many a times I have disagreed with Outlook and its outlook. In fact, sometimes I really get worked up about some of your articles. But just one feature in your magazine compels me to forgive all your sins, and that is the column, Making a Difference.
    Vikram, on e-mail

  • Salve for Despairing Souls
    Sep 10, 2001

    I want to congratulate you and your team for your Independence Day special issue (August 20). It made me feel proud and gave me a sense of belonging to my country. Criticising our country all the time has become a habit with us. Though constructive, criticism sometimes does damage one’s morale. at moments like these, I will turn to your issue.
    Anupam Kher, Mumbai

    While the message on your cover, "When you see it, you know it, but it’s difficult to define", is very catchy, you contradictorily set out to define India and Indian. Nevertheless, a brilliant issue.
    B. Venkatesh, Hyderabad

  • Be Warned, Musharraf
    Sep 10, 2001

    If terrorism in Kashmir is like the freedom struggle in Palestine, don’t be surprised if India responds Israel’s way.
    Abhishek Kaul, on e-mail

  • Clarification
    Sep 10, 2001

    In Polscape (July 20), we’ve inadvertently said that minister of state for personnel, pensions and small-scale industries Vasundhara Raje Scindia was the first customer of the Sonata, a luxury car manufactured by Hyundai Motors. We’ve since been informed that it was the honourable minister’s sister, H.H. Maharajkumari Yashodhara Raje Scindia, who made the purchase. The similarity in names led to our confusion. We regret any inconvenience we may inadvertently have caused the honourable minister and her sister.

  • The Outside View
    Sep 10, 2001

    The underlying message in your issue What is Indian? (August 20) was: when you see it, you know it, but when it comes to defining our national spirit, we turn to emigre scholars, as you have done in your magazine.
    Kallol Bhattacharya, Delhi

  • Sep 10, 2001

    Compliments on an absolutely fabulous piece that was Mapping Cacophony... And Silences. Sunil Menon is absolutely right: the language diversity in India is insufficiently mapped in the 18 languages mentioned in our Constitution. Not even the 845 or so languages that the 1971 census listed can do enough justice. As a Hyderabadi living overseas, I should know. I usually can’t follow (or speak) my compatriots’ Lakhnavi or Delhiite Hindi with the same gusto as I understand (and speak) Dakkhini.
    Akshay, on e-mail

  • Of Disasters Past
    Sep 10, 2001

    "Nehru was the worst disaster to ever hit India" is an incomplete statement on the part of James W. Michaels, when he speaks of India, Indians and Indianness. The list of worst disasters that have hit India in the past is long and endless, and has to include Buddha, Gandhi, Vajpayee and their like, all of whom transformed a brave and strong nation into a weak and submissive ‘Ahimsavadi rashtra’.
    Balwant Singh, Chandigarh

    James Michaels’ views are something you’ve come to expect from outsiders like him and the ‘westernised Indian intelligentsia’. Michaels can’t even imagine how tough it would’ve been for a half-starved, half-naked India in 1947. A purely capitalist government at that time would only have strengthened the hands of zamindars and rai bahadurs and widened the gulf between the rich and the poor. Michaels can’t appreciate Nehru’s vision as he is looking at it from an economist’s point of view. Even today, the erstwhile editor of Forbes advises India Inc to get out of Kashmir as though the world was a stock exchange and Kashmir a bad investment.
    Nitin Verma, San Jose, US

  • Sep 10, 2001

    Interviewer Arun Venugopal seems more embarrassed about his country and his people than the venerable John Kenneth Galbraith himself ("It was India’s good fortune to be a British colony"). Venugopal is apologetic about Indians going abroad to succeed, but Galbraith considers it normal. Likewise, for Venugopal, anything Hindu is a millstone around the nation’s neck, while Galbraith sees it as a natural part of Indian life.
    B.N. Gururaj, Bangalore

  • Warp Entrapped
    Sep 10, 2001

    Tears welled up in my eyes as I read your cover story Edge of Town (August 27) on Erwadi’s mentally-ill, Vrindavan’s widows, the abandoned Lambada children and worst of all, Ahmedabad’s excreta carriers. Despite nine 5-year plans, Jawahar Rozgar Yojanas, over a dozen general elections, 10 years of reforms, nuclear bombs, a lunar mission on the anvil, etc, it’s disgusting that we’re still in this hell-hole. Looking at our abysmally low human development, I sometimes wonder if we’re living in AD 2001 or 2000 BC.
    Robin Rajan, Mumbai

    Why do the hapless have to pay for India’s development? Materialism has eroded our concern for others and torn asunder our joint family system. Thus the elderly are left to fend for themselves, widows and children are abandoned, the mentally-ill are tortured as are hiv/aids patients. It’s time we seriously asked ourselves where India is heading in this millennium.
    K.P.N. Kalyan, Vishakhapatnam

    Have we really moved beyond the 18th century, when social evils like sati were prevalent? Not really, I think; social exploitation has just taken newer, more menacing forms.
    Nirbhay Chaturvedi, Indore

    Callousness has become the creed of Indians. The increasing number of geriatric patients consulting government hospitals is testimony to this. Even the doctors are not immune to this disease; many a government hospital in Andhra does not even have a working steriliser machine. Considering the rising prevalence rate of hiv, this is criminal.
    Dr A. Sasikiran, Vishakhapatnam

    We Indians have become indifferent to our country, our family and even ourselves. Nothing touches the emotional chord anymore. Scores of people die at rail crossings, but no one seems to care. Our government likes to start projects, but not implement them. It’s become an institution that thrives on itself. And don’t blame the half-hearted liberalisation of the last decade. It’s the hypocrisy and sham called Socialism that’s led to this sorry state of affairs.
    Tejovikas Suravajjala, on e-mail

    Edge of Town is really just a peep into the apathy that pervades our social system. More surprising is the absolute inaction of human rights activists and ngos. Or does the Human Rights Commission raise its voice only when there are alleged attacks on minorities and killings of criminals in police encounters?
    P.K. Srivastava, Ghaziabad

    Why have we become so inured to the plight of our fellow brethren? Why doesn’t anything move us anymore? And what the hell is our government doing?
    Surabhi Kureel, Lucknow

  • Big on Belittlement
    Sep 10, 2001

    Maithili Rao (Billboard Bacchanalia) is a perfect example of people who acquire world fame by belittling their own country and everything that it stands for, while themselves staying abroad. Her article was utterly ambiguous, as were the phrases that she inanely used, like "conspicuously or otherwise, we demand the certitude of a moral fable from entertainment". Can we have articles in plain English? Please...
    Dilip Achal, Fatehgarh

  • The Other Divides
    Sep 10, 2001

    I agree with Kancha Ilaiah in that there’s widespread discrimination based on caste, region and language (The Buffalo’s Unholy Milk). But I don’t agree that it’s against the Dalits only. In fact, no other country in the world has more reservation for Dalits than India does. And the result is the Laloos, Mulayams and Mayawatis. It’s more a rich-poor divide that exists the world over, even here in the US.
    Sanjeev Jain, on e-mail

    So there were past exploitations, Mr Ilaiah. But what good does it do to keep harping on them ad infinitum? Exploitation has been endemic the world over. The only difference is that Indians excel at making an issue out of a non-issue and beat drums about it.
    V. Subu, on e-mail



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