• Poor Little Rich Blokes
    Oct 27, 2003

    Having lived in India all my life before I moved to Sydney, I know the kind of spending Bliss Krieg (Oct 13) is talking about. Though Australia is a consumerist society dedicated to the shopping mall, the pleasures of small-town life in India in the ’60s—a small patch of garden, local activities—are still possible here. ‘Let’s go to the mall’ arises out of a certain emptiness in life. And I don’t think middle class values of the past—idealism, a simpler life and altruism—can be scoffed at. There’s something wrong with an economy fuelled only by consumption; it’s unsustainable in the long run. Don’t we know the effects of unbridled Thatcherism, the problems in post-Communist China?
    Anuradha Moulee, Sydney, Australia

    It might well offer brief glimpses of nirvana, but this road to riches will only give us a more selfish, bereft-of-values world. No one’s against good living, but spending money needlessly is anti-social and anti-national.
    S. Lakshmi, on e-mail

    Sad thing is, the bridge between the rich and poor is getting wider. It’s about time minimum wage pay scales were revised. In the US, irrespective of your monetary status, you have access to most commodities. In India, on the other hand, in India you just have to step outside these malls and pubs to see the beggars, slums or street urchins. I’m all for the so-called pleasure-seeking culture, but not to the extent that I overlook those less fortunate than me.
    P.S. Srikanth, Baton Rouge, US

    Great show. Just the prescription the imf doctors ordered to cure all ills that ail Indian economy—if there’s any left of it. Go on young ones, look what the cheerleaders of top ad houses and mnc execs are saying, they just love you. So whip out those 15 credit cards, grab all you can, shop till you drop dead—all you need to think about right now is the simple matter of a bare minimum payment, you have all your life to worry about the 18 per cent interest rate in the small print. So forget what those boorish shrinks are saying, they are old fossils anyway, work hard on those late-night shifts, put on your ‘merican accents and let the party roll!
    Satadru Roy, San Jose, US

    "Dead yesterday, unborn tomorrow, live for the day." The current generation seems to be practising this with a vengeance. Their parents might have grown up with the saving habit, but their offspring worship plastic wealth and borrowed money.
    G.S. Rao, Bangalore

    Your cover story captured very well the unfolding attitudes of young urban educated professionals. This is a breed apart, influencing the nature and trajectory of consumerism in our country. They definitely hold the key to market growth and cannot be ignored by marketing gurus in their future strategies, especially for products and services targeted at them.
    Amit Kumar Dey, Pune

    Set a beggar on a horseback and he’ll ride straight to the devil. One not used to luxury will abuse it.
    Raj Purohit, Toronto

  • In a Scientific Warp
    Oct 27, 2003

    Your views on state hrd minister Sanjay Paswan (The New Rope Trick, Oct 13) are ludicrous; even Western authors wouldn’t write like this. Yoga is a rage in the West, of which tantric science is a part.
    K.R. Sudhir, on e-mail

    So, Paswan would replace doctors in the villages by ojhas, bhagats, gunis, jogis and vaids and have tantric establishments in place of institutions like Apollo or aiims. Wonderful, indeed. By making such announcements, he has made sure that people like me who were not aware of his existence now not only know him but also ensure to posterity that we had such enlightened members in our cabinet!
    Dr V.S. Mathur, on e-mail

  • Losing His Religion
    Oct 27, 2003

    Is this the same Prem Shankar Jha who tore to pieces Pakistani lies and innuendo in his book Kashmir 1947? His column A Mirror to Our Faces (Oct 13) was disappointing. What has Gujarat got to do with Pakistan? As for the insults he imagines are meted out to representatives of that country, I remind him of the countless times our high commission staff has been assaulted, harassed, battered and bruised. I have never seen any whimper of protest from these apologists. To top it all, he justifies terrorism from Pakistan saying it can’t be expected to rein in the scumbags for more than 10 months.
    S. Sridharan, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

    Have the experiences of Salman Rushdie and Taslima Nasreen put such fear of Allah in Jha that he can’t write a bad word against Islamic terror or Musharraf? That he bends the other way? He should remember that a million Noor Fatimas may come to India and get love, affection and free treatment. But from the evil, military dictatorship in Pakistan we will get only terror attacks and bombs.
    Sanjay S., New Delhi

    Jha has either joined the propaganda brigade of Pakistan or he is being paid to head their caucus from our land. He just remembers Musharraf’s offer of peace but ignores his support to the Kashmiri struggle. He speaks of basic courtesies to the Pakistani high commissioner but forgets how our staff was regularly kidnapped and returned badly mauled. I don’t know about Jha but the masses here are happy we now have a leadership that is paying back Pakistanis in the same coin.
    Rajeev Sinha, Gurgaon

  • Who’s the Good Lord?
    Oct 27, 2003

    In a speech, the high points of which were broadcast over radio, L.K. Advani spoke of the "providential escape" of Chandrababu Naidu (Red Blisters, Oct 13) and attributed it to the grace of Lord Venkateshwara. However, I have it on the highest authority that the divinity responsible was either Lord Panduranga or Lord Murugappa, though some hold that the two worked as a team.
    Mukul Dube, Delhi

    Just a week after its failed assassination bid, the PW has declared it’s still after Naidu. Given the ease with which armed extremists in AP and also the Northeast and terrorists in j&k strike at their chosen targets, preventive security needs more attention, without compromising on proximate security.
    J.S. Acharya, Hyderabad

    Naidu is one of the few politicians in India who deserves respect. And I feel sorry there was an attempt on his life. Normally politicians like him are so protected that even the sunrays find it tough to reach them. Perhaps now they’ll realise how vulnerable ordinary people feel to terrorist strikes at public places.
    Tipu Ali, London

  • Service Charge
    Oct 27, 2003

    Apropos your story Career Brakes (Oct 13), why just call centres, the same could happen in the glorified IT services sector. Almost all such firms (tcs, Infosys, Syntel, etc) work in the area of maintaining legacy systems for their global clients, which similarly leaves their lower-level fresh engineering graduates without any skills except maintaining legacy mainframe systems.
    Prateek Kaul, Pune

  • Legal Beagles
    Oct 27, 2003

    It was quite demoralising to know that top legal eagles like Ram Jethmalani and Kapil Sibal were instrumental in seeing that Bharat Shah went scot-free (Soft Dismissal, Oct 13). These very people never miss a chance to claim the moral high ground on the integrity of the judicial system in India. I wonder if the courts could tot up any convictions in cases that pass through the magnifying lens of these legal luminaries. Why don’t these gentlemen, some of whom are honourable members of the Upper House of Parliament, help in improving the Indian police force instead of making a mockery of the law enforcement authorities?
    Barry Matthew, on e-mail

  • Heavens!
    Oct 27, 2003

    Syed Kirmani’s nomination (The Blind Spot, Oct 13) is a good move but one hopes that by pushing the agenda of a specialist wicket-keeper, he does not unleash his son on the Indian team!
    Sanjay Sahay, on e-mail

  • Piece of Advice
    Oct 27, 2003

    Antony and Shinde are right men in the wrong party (Fist Over Hand, Oct 13). They should join the BJP.
    Subhadra Kumari Sonkar, Mirzapur

  • Admit It!
    Oct 27, 2003

    Even his worst detractors have to admit Modi is an able, hard-working administrator (Into My Parlour, Oct 6).
    S. Amin, Ahmedabad

  • An Honest Guy
    Oct 27, 2003

    Judith Brown seems to have written an interesting biography of Nehru (Brown’s Sahib, Oct 13). What went wrong with his grand vision? He took the entire task of reconstruction upon himself, without bothering to have reliable deputies. Those around him were mere sycophants.
    K.R. Venkata Narasimhan, Tumkur

  • Moo Point
    Oct 27, 2003

    It’s the land of Krishna alright but I’m paranoid about the cows that roam about in Bangalore. Why just cows, even Yama’s vahana, the great Indian buffalo, one of whom recently drove a friend of mine into a drain. Maybe our corporation or municipal authorities should do something to protect the life of innocent citizens who get knocked off by these animals. Life is precious, whether animal or human but the concern is coexistence, urban or rural.
    Binu Radhakrishnan, Bangalore

  • Tyranny of the Terrible Two
    Oct 27, 2003

    I fail to understand why Outlook retains myopic and useless journalists like Rajinder Puri and Prem Shankar Jha. Puri is just obsessed with Advani-bashing and demonising the BJP. Not even a single Bull’s Eye looks beyond the BJP and the DPM. And now he mocks the courts for forever favouring Advani. The DPM was relieved from hawala charges long back. Why does he have to hark back to it all over again?

    Jha is another obsessed soul. He thinks he’s the only person who understands foreign policy and others inside and outside the government are fools. This country has more confidence in its leaders and policymakers, however dirty the word politics has become. I would not be surprised if Jha succeeds Aziz Ahmed Khan as the Pakistani high commissioner to India.
    Sumeet Sinha, on e-mail

  • How Now, Outlook
    Oct 27, 2003

    It was amazing to see Outlook sing paeans to the ‘filthy capitalist’ structure and gush about investors coming back to their favourite ‘pink’ bastion of Marxism (The Pink of Health, Oct 13). No questions are being asked about why the investors fled in the first place. Or the tamasha CPI(M) goons created after the court ruled as illegal strikes on working days. No wonder Waste Bengal is second only to Bihar in development terms. Only Laloo can do a better job of driving away capital.
    Rahul Deshpande, Mumbai



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