Letters | May 12, 2003
  • May 12, 2003

    I felt sadness and rage when I read the story Can They Be Tried for War Crimes? (April 28). The killers of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have once again been let loose on the Asians. So many people think that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were justified revenge for Pearl Harbour. The harbour was a military target, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were Japanese cities inhabited by millions of civilians. I wish to live to see the day when Bush and Blair do get the retribution they deserve.
    Farhan, Rajshahi, Bangladesh

    The US actions in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, and prospective actions in Syria and Iran, remind me of what the statesman Georges Clemenceau said about that country: "America is the only nation in history that has gone directly from barbarism to decadence without the usual intervention of civilisation." I await the day when that otherwise great nation comes of age and behaves as a responsible world citizen. That will be the day when a Statue of Puberty shall stand across the New York harbour.
    K.R. Ravi, Mumbai

  • School, Not So Cool
    May 12, 2003

    With a feverish cash economy and cutthroat competition, parents realise their children won’t succeed in life unless they get proper education (Riding the Riverdale High, April 28). Which is why they do not mind spending extra on their offspring’s future. The question is: will these schools deliver the goods in the long run or will they remain money-spinning businesses? Awaiting a future edition of Outlook.
    Kanak R. Nambiar, Karaikal

    Only those parents who want their children to grow up in a special way and wish to send them overseas will be glad to acquire this visa power for them at the earliest.
    Sunil Chauhan, Sehore, MP

    The subject being important and timely, I started to read the Outlook cover story with great interest. Only to find that it was full of commercial twists. Was it really necessary to allow it as a cover story? It certainly depicts one of the ugly faces of globalisation in India. One section of the privileged is making rapid progress at the cost of the underprivileged. And this bania government is collaborating wholeheartedly. It’s selling profit-making psus. I won’t be surprised if the education sector is fully privatised next.
    Christina Martin, Goa

    Whenever there’s a story on the best schools of our country, I cannot help but think of the plight of millions of rural students attending typical rural schools. Will we ever be able to bridge the yawning gulf?
    Asadha Arul, Mugaiyur, Tamil Nadu

    That was some good news. I hope things have changed from the time it was difficult to get admission to good schools and they could demand whatever they wanted, treating both students and parents badly.
    Nayanika Barat, Toowoomba, Australia

    On the surface, it may all be very well to send children to schools with a luxury ambience. But what purpose will it serve in the long run except for pampering them?
    Appu Joseph, Kochi

    I had put my son in one of the Dehradun boarding schools (The Asian School) mentioned in your story. The school remained under perpetual construction. Three principals changed in three years; the last being the Sumer Singh you spoke to. All the staff too has changed. Singh is right when he says these schools are nothing but hype. The world has changed but they are still copying the Doon school. Even there, very few admission-seekers are left; most students leave after Class X to better their academic record. I withdrew my son as he was doing badly academically. Of the 35 students in his class, 18 had failed. Yet they were all promoted to the next class.
    V.K. Arora, on e-mail

    The kind of money getting pumped into such ventures surely calls for some sort of "monitoring mechanism". Hope the I-T department has read this article too. With investments getting into nine- and fee structures into six-digit figures, are we offering an education system which will be able to deliver the needs of a country where the per capita income barely crosses five figures?
    Rohan Bhargava, Jalandhar

    Rajiv Gandhi was proudly called a product of Doon School (although the education imparted by the school had no relation to what he was). Why don’t we hear of any school or educational institution associated with President Kalam that has made him what he is today. An elitist bias?
    M.C. Joshi On E-Mail

    The new international schools provide education at half the price of what it would cost abroad. While Victorian era educationists were convinced that rich kids should learn about life in spartan boarding schools, prudent parents nowadays know there is nothing wrong in their kids having the best of both worlds, that is, comfort plus solid education.
    G.S. Rao, Bangalore

  • Naidu Does
    May 12, 2003

    Andhra Pradesh is fortunate to have Chandrababu Naidu as its chief minister (Dried-Up Inc, April 28). At least he tries to do something, unlike other politicians who live on empty promises and don’t even pass the third grade.
    S.W. Adhikari, Detroit, US

    Another personal viewpoint by a frustrated Congress supporter. Please do not publish such nonsense. Naidu has projects worth $1 billion. That is $1 billion more than what anyone else has done for AP.
    Jai Padmanabhan, Boston, US

  • The Place to Be
    May 12, 2003

    Forget Where is Alphaville? (April 28), have you guys heard of Vizag? Having seen all the metros, Hyderabad, Bangalore, etc, it is not only the cleanest but also the most cosmopolitan and beautiful city. It is unique because there are not many cities in India where the hills and the sea meet. And having seen many cities in the US, there is only one place which reminds me of Vizag: San Francisco, particularly its bay area.
    Gopal Krishna, Durham, US

    By declaring Chennai as the No. 1 city for healthcare, do you mean to say that the government hospitals and dispensaries there are the best in the country? If not, you are talking about just 20 to 30 per cent of the population.
    Gowri Raman, Madurai

    Ahmedabad ranks No. 3 on safety? Even after all the riots? What a farce!
    T.N. Ganesh, on e-mail

  • May 12, 2003

    In Two Totems and a Taboo (April 28), you say, "That apart, BJP leaders are also silently praying for a fourth consecutive year of drought in MP and Rajasthan." Does this mean that Sonia Gandhi and her gang of chamchas and commies silently prayed for India to lose the Kargil war? Have some shame, there’s a limit to biased journalism.
    Rohit Nirale, Mumbai

  • Almost Electrocuted
    May 12, 2003

    ISRO chairman K. Kasturirangan may think that an unmanned mission to the moon would electrify the nation (Over the Moon, April 21), but what our nation needs more is uninterrupted supply of electricity and not any electrifying cosmic orgasm, that too at a cost of Rs 400 crore. It’s time the folks at isro realised that any money pumped into fruitless space missions is money down the black hole.
    R. Venkatesan Iyengar, Gulbarga

  • The Truth About IT
    May 12, 2003

    Surprising that through these ‘boom’ years, analysts didn’t see that IT’s obscene growth levels were abnormal and not really sustainable (Bursting Margins, April 28). Even the media poured oil on the fire by showing only the swimming pools or golf courses of such IT companies, and not questioning their nature of work. Truth is, our "sunrise IT industry" is in real terms only a bunch of bodyshops for global mncs. The branded ones like Infosys, Wipro, tcs etc survived the bust by gathering some maintenance contracts. Those with no management skills were wiped out. The market correction was far due and it’s good it has arrived—it will make these guys think of doing some real product development and research.
    Prateek Kaul, Pune

    With the rise of East European countries as potential competitors and the moves by western companies to set up their own developing-cum-maintenance software shops in other nations, the Indian software export story will be much less significant from now on. Geopolitical risks too will play a major role in this world of heightened terrorism fears, hence India will have to solve its so-called Pakistan and Muslim problems fast and chain in the likes of RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal, etc.
    J. Shah, Wisconsin, US

  • Give Us a Break
    May 12, 2003

    Your stilted film reviews are getting quite tiresome. The stories contain more Hindi dialogues than English writing, which becomes banal and difficult to read for a non-Hindi-speaking person. Can’t you break out of your north Indian Brahminical mould and write articles which people living in other parts of the country can understand as well? If we had to read an article in Hindi, why would we read the English Outlook and not the Hindi one?
    Prabhat Patnaik, New Jersey, US

  • What Else But...
    May 12, 2003

    When a Nehru brand secular editor (Vinod Mehta) hands over a book, The Essential Writings of Jawaharlal Nehru, Vols I and II, edited by a Nehru protegé (S. Gopal) to a diehard Nehru fan (Mohit Sen), what the readers get is three columns of flattery pulp (Mahatma’s Truant Child, April 14).The difference between criticism and denigration is the angle of your view, Mr Mohit Sen!
    D. Srinivasa Rao, Vijaywada

  • Give Them Food, Not Stone
    May 12, 2003

    It is rather shameful that the prevalence of untouchability and violence on Dalits by upper-caste Hindus is continuing in several places in the country even after 55 years of independence. And that such an incident has happened in Karnataka Chief Minister S.M. Krishna’s home district Mandya as reported in More than a touch of hate (Newsbag, April 28) is unfortunate. Governments will have to take appropriate action to remove this blemish on our country. But that may not be achieved by installing more and more statues as madam Mayawati envisages (Our Busts and Us, Polscape). Because statues could create more problems than solve them. Any one miscreant could create trouble by placing a chappal or the like near a statue. When people cry for food and shelter, why
    try to satisfy them with statues?
    A. Jacob Sahayam, Karigiri, Tamil Nadu

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