Letters | Sep 23, 2002
  • In Poor Taste
    Sep 23, 2002

    The whole issue will be out of context pretty soon, Mr Pereira (Policing Poverty, September 9). For the neighbourhood eunuchs are fast hustling the old "legitimate beggars" out of the begging "market". It began at the Lawrence Road-Ring Road intersection about two years back but now the hijra gang seems to have invaded a lot more crossings on the Ring Road. Surely there exists no justification in allowing them to unabashedly milk the hapless public on 2-3 wheelers. Let the cops chase this crowd off first.
    Anu Jain, New Delhi

    If Maxwell Pereira thinks children begging on streets portrays a wrong picture of India, what does it say when a 12-year-old mentally challenged child is raped on a Mumbai train? Rather the Delhi government should do something for their food, education and shelter.
    Bal Govind, Bareilly

    Great! So the next time I visit Delhi and give sweets to a hungry child or buy from him a box of tissues I might really need, I will instead be confronted with a macho/arrogant traffic cop (who will most likely expect more of a person whose skin colour is not exactly Indian and whose Hindi is a bit broken). Congratulations, Delhi, for giving the traffic police more freedom to act like bullies and for kicking the poor when they are down.
    Nethaan Fitzgerald, Minneapolis, US

    Saba Naqvi is right when she says beggar children should be given occupations. Because if they aren’t, they could very well take to crime or be coopted by criminals to earn a livelihood.
    Rafika Rangwala, on e-mail

  • B for Bizness
    Sep 23, 2002

    Apropos your cover story, Big Bees (September 9), the iits, nitie or iift cannot be ranked with other B-schools. They offer specialised courses and so they should have been listed among the sectoral B-schools, like the last time.
    Puja Mehra, Bhopal

    A very authentic, unbiased survey. Keep up the good work.
    Sanjay Aikat, XISS, Ranchi

    Obviously, you guys haven’t heard about the new management school they have in Hyderabad. Having partnerships with Kellogg and Wharton, some top-notch faculty from around the world, surely the Indian Business School warrants greater coverage?
    Akshay, Singapore

    Outlook replies: We consciously limited our survey to B-schools from which at least two batches have graduated.

    Well done. An impeccable and unprejudiced analysis with amazing insight!
    Deepak Dalal, IIM Bangalore

    As a student of iim Calcutta, all I can say about the inflated salary figures of different institutes is that you should cross-check the numbers. For years iim Calcutta has also been part of a "let’s see who can lie more outrageously" game but our conscience finally seems to have woken up last year. What B-schools usually do with regard to salary figures is, when a student is offered two jobs during placements (he is allowed to pick only one, of course), both salaries offered are added up as a single salary (4.5 lakh+5.2 lakh=9.7 lakh becomes the "official" salary figure) and put into the average. iimc did not do this last year. Therefore, to even suggest that S.P. Jain, fms and others have a higher salary than ours is laughable. For that matter companies coming to iimc do not go to iimb, so how logical are your comparative figures?
    Devi Y., IIM, Calcutta

    It’s true that a majority of
    students land up at private business schools, but what are they to do? The only solution, as I see it, is to make the quality of education and other facilities of a higher order than is presently available.
    Gaurav Bhatia, Kozhikode

    The concept of management education offered by the iits is a very novel one. But contrary to what has been written in your cover story, the iims do not thrive on iitians but students who are outstanding in their respective areas, be it arts, science or commerce. For the iits, it will be a Herculean task to reach the iim level, unless the media deems it so!
    Sai, Arizona, US

  • Birds of a Feather
    Sep 23, 2002

    Apropos Anita Pratap’s opinion piece, Survival of the Fittest (September 9), the sad fact is that we have no choice between the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ today. One had hopes from Digvijay Singh, but his behaviour over Eklavya’s innovative science programme (and we blame the bjp for saffronising education) and the rehabilitation of those displaced by the dam put paid to all that. There is not much difference between Modi and him, except in the degree of violence they visit upon people, and not much choice for us in leaders.
    Uma Rao, Mumbai

  • Divine Intervention
    Sep 23, 2002

    The article Hindus in a Babel (September 9) depicted the real situation in the country. The support and concern showed by the Jain munis and other religious heads renews the hopes of disillusioned Indians in Modiland.
    K. Kumar, New Delhi

    Our saints are not saints any more but businessmen. They are no longer around to protect right from wrong. They have been cowards all along; it was because of saints that the Somnath temple was plundered so many times. It’s time the Gujaratis stopped relying on them and listened to their inner voice. That alone would help them take power in their own hands and protect their wives and daughters against militants.
    Arish Sahani, New York

  • A Killing Excess
    Sep 23, 2002

    VSNL says that the excess capacity of the Bharti link to Singapore would remain under-utilised for the next 10-15 years (Monopoly Hangover, September 9). But what does vsnl have to say about its own investment in capacity, by way of various fibre-optic links? A capacity which doesn’t get utilised is national waste, particularly so when VSNL has squandered public money to achieve it. They have no right to pontificate till they first give access to the ‘international bandwidth’ they have at very attractive rates.
    Raghav, Kochi

  • Go on a Hydrodrive
    Sep 23, 2002

    So, the hype and hoopla about environment-friendly cng is just that (Suspended, in Thin Air, September 2). Thank you for publishing a fine piece by G.V. Ramakrishna on facts hitherto unknown or known but ignored by our invincible politicians and never-say-die babus. His column comes as a pleasant surprise, for I knew GV only as a finance expert. I hope the decision-makers at the top, including the prime minister and environment ministers, take note of it. In fact, the timely invention of hydrodrive should be encouraged all over India and not just in a few cities.
    Muralidhara H.B., Mumbai

  • Each in Their Own Time
    Sep 23, 2002

    Sir Isaac Newton was once praised for being a genius scientist. In all modesty and humility, he replied that he had only stood on the shoulders of giants and looked beyond. Likewise, Sachin is admittedly a good cricketer. But he has also had a good coach and an opportunity to study the game of those who have played before him. Hence, to label him as "greater than Sir Donald Bradman" smacks of audacity and arrogance. If the Don were alive today and perhaps as young, Tendulkar’s achievements may have faded into insignificance!
    Natasha Parasuram, on e-mail

  • Press On
    Sep 23, 2002

    In Waterloo Country (September 2), Madhu Trehan hits the nail on the head regarding the attitude of senior personnel in organisations like the ndmc. In their zeal to build fountains (including one for the beautification of the ndmc Malcha Marg Market in Delhi), they are insensitive to the inconveniences that may be caused to the residents, a footpath obstruction in this instance. It is in this regard that I welcome Outlook and Madhu’s efforts. I am a retired person living in Diplomatic Enclave and firmly believe that it is the media alone which can change attitudes in administration.
    P.R. Iyer, New Delhi

  • That Alien Feeling
    Sep 23, 2002

    I cannot refrain from letting you know that your review of Signs (Glitterati, September 9) was, for want of a better word, really "kiddish". Looks like your critic went to see the film with a preconceived notion of watching an epic human-alien clash on the screen and was disappointed not to find it so. Signs is not about aliens at all. It’s about how a priest loses faith in God and in himself and how and why he gets it back. It is undoubtedly one of the best movies to have come out this year, with a brilliant cocktail of laughs, scares and above all, a great deal of food for thought.
    Roger Smith, on e-mail

    I can understand your film critic not liking the movie but I don’t think she has right to give away the suspense and spoil the fun for other movie-goers. For instance, why did she have to point out that "The talented young actor Phoenix is underused, all to play out a baseball duel with aliens."
    Rajesh Tapde, on e-mail

  • Sep 23, 2002

    Turrets? Moats? Thirty-feet tall French domes? Good god, what next? Dungeons, crocs for the moats, a hall of mirrors (Banjara Barons Live it Up on the Hills, September 9)? Are these essential necessities for good living? If only these people had invested this money into educating the illiterate and sharing some of their happiness with others less fortunate. Your article shows how selfish and extravagant we Indians have become today. Shame on us.
    Radhika Viswanathan, Bangalore

    Do these guys pay income tax to the Indian government? Only 10,000 people in the whole of India declare an income of over 10,00,000 per year. Is it any surprise that we have such flashy opulence on one side and roads in disrepair on the other?
    Sanjiv Saharan, Hyderabad

  • A Penny For Your Thoughts
    Sep 23, 2002

    The iron frame of Indian democracy has proved time and again that it is rusted at best as far as intellect goes (Policing Poverty, September 9). So it is with Maxwell Pereira’s most recent order. It isn’t begging that portrays an adverse picture of India, it’s the poverty. People in general don’t detest the fact that children beg on the streets of Delhi as much as the fact that these children have to beg. Pereira’s order will have an effect all right, but only in lining the pockets of the already corrupt traffic policemen.

    And even if his decision had any merit, his experience must have taught him by now that it is impossible to achieve what he
    is trying to achieve. Smoking is banned in public places in Delhi but how many public places does anybody know of where you can’t find anybody smoking?

    I hope somebody puts some sense into his bloated ego. He would do better to recognise that children begging on the streets have at least as much rights as the stray animals found sitting right in the middle of the road.
    Vinayak Agrawal, Cambridge, UK

  • Endearingly Off
    Sep 23, 2002

    I am accused of saying nasty things about Indian critics (Bibliofile, August 26). At my book launch, I did say that most Indian critics writing in English often "reach for the lowest-hanging fruit". Malice passes for meaningful criticism. Unfortunately, while berating me for airing these sentiments, Bibliofile seems intent on proving me right. In the column, I am charged with having invented the blurb attributed to Outlook for my last book, Passport Photos. In my response, I can only repeat what I have said before: "Our hack critics must learn to read!" Please see your issue dated September 18, 2000: the words you have used to describe my book are precisely the ones that appear on my dust-jacket.
    Amitava Kumar, Pennsylvania

    Outlook replies: Our apologies. The blurb did appear in Outlook, but not in the review of the book. It was in the Rapid Reader section, which has so far not been accorded the literary status that Amitava Kumar bestows on it as the last word on the book.

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