Letters | Apr 14, 2003
  • Reverse Bias
    Apr 14, 2003

    Once again, Kashmiri Pandits have been killed in Kashmir (Death in the Family, April 7). Their population has been reduced to half in the village; the Nadimarg massacre will only provoke an exodus of the rest. But our ‘secular’ media will remain unmoved: so what if an innocent minority keeps getting killed in Kashmir, aren’t crores of minority Muslims being persecuted in the rest of the country? Nobody honestly cares to answer why only Hindus are getting uprooted from their homes in a so-called Hindu majority country.
    Udita Agrawal, New Delhi

  • There’s (Black) Gold in Them Sands
    Apr 14, 2003

    When the US waged war against Iraq in 1991, the oft-asked question was whether America would have gone to the rescue of Kuwait had it been producing potatoes instead of oil (Babylon Burns, March 31). There are many undemocratic and oppressive regimes waiting to be overthrown—Libya, Cuba and, yes, Pakistan. But no sir, Uncle Sam won’t go for regime changes there because they don’t produce oil.
    D.V. Madhava Rao, Chennai

    The Iraq war will be another reason why the hype around technology will take a whipping in the US. All the allied casualties out of ‘friendly fire’ were more a result of misguided technology. Also, with civilian casualties mounting in Baghdad, ‘precision’ bombing has been as bad as carpet bombing. It was enough for the American defence secretary to realise that pushbutton war was not working and rush in troops for a ‘low-tech’ war. It is back to primitive war, and for equally crude reasons.
    Moneeza Kalhan Siddiqui, on e-mail

    Utterly Selfish America and its associates are under the illusion that they are like the invincible Gauls of the Asterix comics. But Vitalstatistix Bush’s calculations have gone a bit awry in Iraq. Time for Getafix?
    Nitin G. Panchal, Mumbai

    In the aftermath of 9/11 when Bush declared his intent to wipe out terrorism from the face of the earth, we all felt assured since we ourselves had been victims of terrorism over the last two decades. But after a partial victory over the Taliban, the US veered away from its main aim and turned on innocent Iraqis under the pretext of ousting Saddam. Do the war-crazy Americans know that Saddam has been a benevolent dictator-administrator who has ingeniously used all internal resources to conquer the Basra desert and turn it into pieces of cultivable land allotted to the Iraq-Iran war heroes? Of course, he is a ruthless administrator but not needlessly so. He only does what’s needed to pull his country out of domestic turmoil.
    Amal Mandal, New Delhi

    The Pentagon had planned the war in Iraq to the last meticulous detail, a la Hollywood blockbusters. But Saddam has forced them to rewrite the script a bit. The US is poised to enter Baghdad anytime but the wily Saddam seems all set to do an Osama, disappear as the Saudi did in Tora Bora.
    Rajan N. Panchal, Mumbai

    Apropos Prem Shankar Jha’s Weapons of Mass Delusion (March 31), we have to consider the following. Why should Saddam support Hamas and the Hizbullah? Is it for Iraqi good? Why should India be involved in this tussle? Bush is doing what’s good for his country. Why can’t we do the same?
    Pichaimani Bala, Santa Clara, US

    It’s obvious that no one in your family is currently threatened by anyone and/or you are of the same belief system as Iraq, which is hell-bent on killing all people who do not follow their religion. If this was just some minor country with neither the money nor the power to hurt western countries, it could have been ignored. Unfortunately, Iraq has access to billions of dollars and has trained its people to believe that evil is everyone else in the world. When faced with a people who think that suicide bombing will get them a ticket to heaven, we have to protect ourselves from the leaders of such
    insane people.
    Paul W. Johnson, Las Vegas, US

    Why is the Indian media so anti-national when the US and other media are so patriotic, regardless of personal ideology? Is it because of some sort of extreme self-hatred?
    Rajiv Malhotra, Princeton, New Jersey

    This is in response to Vinoo Ramakrishnan’s letter on Vinod Mehta’s column, Disarming a Tyrant (March 17). Getting rid of a tyrant is fine as long as it’s actually about getting rid of Saddam and not for oil. Of course, it’s just a coincidence that the US’s oil pact with Saudi Arabia is about to expire in 2005. It’s also a coincidence that North Korea is far more dangerous than Iraq at present but no one wants to talk about it. It’s also a coincidence that the US economy is in recession and it needs a heavy boost. It’s also a coincidence that companies like Dick Cheney’s former employers Halliburton are already lining up for their share of the spoils.
    Nihar Panda, Patchogue, US

    Having aborted the celebrated League of Nations, the self-same US is all set to stifle the UN. Yet Vinod Mehta waxes American, declaring himself to be "profoundly and unapologetically pro-America". Be under no illusion, America is a bully nation and people, as Bush’s soaring ratings show.
    Ravindra Wagh, Mumbai

    Apparently the days of Saddam are over. Guess who’s next? No, not Musharraf. It’s Monsieur Jacques Chirac—the newest Public Enemy No. 1 for the US.
    Vivek Khanna, Panchkula

  • Apr 14, 2003

    Its misguided policies will backfire on the Congress (What a Pity, No More PT?, March 31). The best way to fight an ideology is through an ideology. Unfortunately, the Congress has none.
    Prithvi Nath, The Hague, Netherlands

  • Favourite Hate Object
    Apr 14, 2003

    Outlook is a magazine everyone loves to hate. Nowhere is it more apparent than in your Letters to the Editor. People seem to curse you, call you names, berate you, yet they can’t ignore you. Indians need people like you who do not hesitate in calling a trishul a trishul. Now how about getting after some regressive mullahs who are misleading the Indian Muslims down the abyss of socio-economic stagnation and hopelessness?
    Zayir Shah, Hyderabad

  • Your Colour, Please
    Apr 14, 2003

    Instead of worrying about what judgement history will pass on A.B. Vajpayee, Vinod Mehta (Delhi Diary, March 31) should worry about what judgement history will pass on hypocritic editors like him and his team of journalists who can produce articles like Keeping the Faith, giving a communal tinge to a game like cricket. It is people like you who keep reminding the Muslims that they are Muslims first and then Indians. Is it that the secular media of today will become the patron of communalism tomorrow?
    M.C. Joshi, on e-mail

  • Between Oz and Ozymandias
    Apr 14, 2003

    The curtains have come down on yet another World Cup (In the Shadow of the Superpower, March 31). Looking back, Ganguly’s decision to field was justified but his bowlers let him down by not limiting the Aussies to 300 runs. At last, the lack of a fifth strike bowler caught up with him. The Indian team had the potential to beat the Aussies even with six batters but the target was too high. Sadly, Tendulkar chose the wrong day to score four runs.
    Titto S. Biddapa, on e-mail

    I think I hear and read "Aussies are invincible" too often these days. I agree that they are a very good side but they are definitely beatable. Give them a pitch that turns and look at them bat. However, what Australia do well is to stick to the basics. India may have lost the final but Australia did not "win" it. Had we bowled well, the outcome would have been very different. Ponting played a great innings no doubt but even he will agree that he got too many lollipops to hit out of the park.
    Vidyut Naware, Ithaca, US

    I am greatly flattered that you should refer to our country as a superpower. India were outplayed on the day and that is a shame for them. But I do feel for the Indian cricket fans. In Australia, we take our cricket seriously but not to the level of the Indians. Nonetheless, I was impressed by the fight put up by the Indian team and was nervous till the 25th over. As for the piece itself, most native English speakers would have trouble deciphering some of those phrases, let alone non-native English speakers.
    Chris Beitzel, Canberra, Australia

    The article had interesting points to make, but couldn’t the language have been any simpler? Much of what’s wrong with Indians writing in English is that they seem to be writing for themselves. How many of us know Ozymandias? I am loath to speculate. When readers have to stop every couple of lines realising that they don’t understand some parts, I don’t think journalists are doing their job. Journalism is a public service, not an egotistical enterprise. Indian journalists writing in English often suffer from their inflated sense of knowing more English than their readers. That is one sure recipe for putting people off. They’ll just turn the page. Use grandiose terms selectively, and if you do, clarify in parentheses. Your readers will appreciate it more.
    Arundhati Parmar, Chicago, US

    True to our belief in our team, they did us proud. Your article was marvellous in explaining just that. Of all the articles I have read about our team, this one shines out.
    Abhijit, Herndon, US

  • Doubtless!
    Apr 14, 2003

    Please help or I’ll go crazy (Gods & Mortals, March 31). What is this five-letter word that begins with a ‘d’, ends with a ‘t’ and has a silent ‘b’? Also, the final was played on March 23, not February 23.
    Manisha S., on e-mail

    We don’t doubt you. —Editor

    Marvellous article. The pain and anguish of losing the Cup is not only Ganguly’s but is felt by every Indian. Your soothing words act as a balm.
    Shyamala Ayachit, on e-mail

  • Zipping Past
    Apr 14, 2003

    So great is the comfort level of the new-look Outlook that I, a senior citizen, finished reading the magazine in less than an hour.
    Raj Bhardwaj, Mumbai

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