Poshan
Letters | Nov 24, 2003
  • Lost Peace Of The Puzzle
    Nov 24, 2003

    I liked your candid cover story The Deaf Shout (Nov 10). Why can’t India learn? At this juncture, no peace initiative with Pakistan is likely to succeed. I am neither a pessimist nor a cynic. It’s just that President Musharraf is a diehard army man; he still dons an army uniform and wants the forces to wield power in Pakistan. If there is peace between the two countries, the army will lose its hold in Pakistan. This neither the army nor Musharraf will accept. Any peace initiative by India will be seen as a weakness or a diplomatic ploy. Pakistan will continue bleeding India in j&k and elsewhere. So, let us be realistic about Pakistan. Being emotional or Gandhian will not work in this case. To survive, Pakistan leaders in general, and the army brass in particular, would want hostilities with India to continue. Hence, to avoid further bleeding at the hands of Pakistan, India needs to be tough and decisive. World opinion moves with the strong.
    Anusha Singh Saharan, New Delhi

    The Vajpayee peace initiative has given India the diplomatic and political space to deal with Pakistan. With the Himalayan passes closing with the advent of winter, levels of infiltration along the LoC are likely to fall, before they rise again in the summer next year. New Delhi should use this period to prepare a robust reply to the menace of cross-border terrorism.
    J.S. Acharya, Hyderabad

    By not reciprocating India’s peace proposals in right earnest, Pakistan has once again showed its unwillingness to solve the Kashmir issue. But despite this, India should continue with its effort as only a diplomatic tack will have a definite impact in isolating Pakistan in the international arena.
    Siddhartha Raj Guha, Jabalpur

    One is aghast to read the Pakistani offer of 100 scholarships for Kashmiris. It’s shocking because Pakistan is the perpetrator of cross-border terrorism and at the same time has the temerity to declare itself the ‘saviour’ of the Kashmiris.
    Rajiv Vasisth, on e-mail

    What’s the point in the Indian media and think-tanks going on and on about a stable Pakistan being in our interest? This is in the realm of fantasy. What we have is an unstable, jehadi Pakistan whose usp is exporting terrorism across the globe. As for democracy, why would Pakistan need it, it has the most successful dictator of all time: Pervez Musharraf. He has understood what Castro, Gaddafi, Saddam, Khomeini, Mullah Omar and the generals ruling Pyongyang and Rangoon failed to grasp. That even a dictator needs the blessings of Uncle Sam. Musharraf lies through his teeth on nuclear export to North Korea, offers asylum to an assortment of terrorists led by Osama, supports Al Qaeda and is the leading exporter of terrorists worldwide. Yet while other dictators face sanctions, he is still the darling of the West and is rewarded with millions of dollars.
    Anand and Swati Sriram, Mumbai

    Pakistan should give up its tendency to smell a rat in every sincere peace initiative India offers. It should grab India’s proposals for enduring and harmonious ties with Pakistan. Ultimately, it should accept India’s unquestioned superiority on all fronts, and unerring traditions of democracy and secularism.
    S. Lakshmi, on e-mail

    The fact is that the desires of President Musharraf’s selfish, depraved heart know no bounds. I would like to remind him of the scriptures which state, "Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile; depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it."
    A.S. Raj, on e-mail

  • PR Pressure
    Nov 24, 2003

    Yes, "the Congress will have to reinvent itself" (Whose Pitch Spins?, Nov 10). While the new, media-savvy generation of bjp leaders carries the day at its press meets, the Congress lags far behind. In an age of supersonic communication, the oldest party has got to discard its out-of-sync mindset and try and cultivate a cadre of mediapersons who’d be willing to echo the party’s ideology faithfully. The National Herald’s M. Chalapathi Rau was a trusted confidant of Nehru and used to frequently apprise him of the mood swings of public opinion vis-a-vis the Congress.
    R.M.V.N. Ramakantha Rao, Visakhapatnam

  • Oh, Really?
    Nov 24, 2003

    Rajinder Puri, in his unsolicited advice to President Bush (Bull’s Eye, Nov 10), springs a surprise by saying that the politicians who led the mobs for the demolition of the Babri Masjid had links with Dawood. This being the case, why did Mr Puri keep it a secret all these years when we were being told that the demolition was the work of Hindu fundamentalists and that the Bombay blasts were a retaliation by Dawood and co?
    M.C. Joshi, on e-mail

  • Nov 24, 2003

    It’s shameful to read the extreme reactions to Prem Shankar Jha’s Who is an Indian? (Nov 3). Sonia’s foreign origin is cited as a disqualification for her becoming PM, when the politicians who have the qualification of being born in India have repeatedly failed the country. Where does our izzat go when the same politicians abuse us, steal our money, create divisions among us in the name of religion? The real issue is not Sonia’s origin but whether we’re willing to put our narrow-mindedness aside and accept a person who wants to get into the country’s mainstream and contribute.
    Nitin Garg, Guildford, UK

  • Surely A Saint
    Nov 24, 2003

    Do you need a miracle to test the spirit of a lady who selflessly dedicated her life for the indigent and who is undoubtedly a saint, canonised or not (Saint Teresa, Nov 3)? The Mother, who treated destitutes of all religions like her own children, can’t be said to be a proselytiser. Nor can her work be called a show of non-existent charity. Can anybody name one individual, godmen included, who served humanity (especially lepers) even 10 per cent of what the Mother did?
    M.K.M. Samdani, Hyderabad

  • Grim Slice Of History
    Nov 24, 2003

    Do Skeletons Have a Soul? (Nov 10) was an excellent piece of journalism. Balbir K. Punj has brought to the fore sordid details of the orgy of violence that gripped the country during Partition through an incisive review of Pinjar. He’s right when he says the Hindus have a poor sense of history.
    R.S. Yadav, on e-mail

    It is not appropriate to say that the Partition of India has not got due attention in Indian films. Ritwik Ghatak, a cult figure and an immensely talented filmmaker, was obsessed about the theme and made at least four movies on the background of the partition of Bengal. But to Balbir Punj, like all other Hindi(u)vadi north Indians, Bengal was never part of India. It was just a serfdom to be ruled out and not to be heard.
    Subir Nag, Mumbai

    Shame on Outlook for publishing Balbir Punj’s piece. Pinjar is a human interest story and the religion of the characters in the movie is incidental.
    Pratyush Bhaskar, on e-mail

  • The Greater Devils
    Nov 24, 2003

    Kuldip Nayar, while writing On the JP in the BJP (Nov 10), shows symptoms of selective amnesia. Despite good intentions, JP made the biggest mistake of his life by launching his crusade against corruption. Corruption did not disappear, instead Mandalism and communalism appeared in a big way. Mr Nayar, being a socialist, has forgotten his responsibility as a journalist to present the other point of view. Communalism is definitely a scourge, but Mandalism of the kind practised by Messrs Paswan, Laloo and Mulayam is no less an evil.
    Vishwanath Rao, Bangalore

    Outlook and Kuldip Nayar, what a combination! Don and Sancho lose by a mile. So, Mr Nayar, Hindus and Muslims had lived together for centuries till the rath yatra. Why then do you live in Delhi, not in Rawalpindi or Lahore where your ancestors are from? Or, do you feel the Indian candle industry needs you more than the Pakistani one?
    R. Chakravarthi, on e-mail

  • Hold Your Breath
    Nov 24, 2003

    Apropos your article Slappin’ Champs (Oct 27), the kabaddi prevalent in the UK, US and at home, especially in Haryana and Punjab, is the circle style as opposed to the national style. In the former, it’s a contest between two players in one go—the raider and the catcher—both vying with each other to prove their superiority within the stipulated 30 seconds. It’s a sport that calls for a rare combination of strength, speed, stamina, skill and strategy. However, your comment that "perhaps kabaddi is the only sport where slapping is fair sport" is wide off the mark. Slapping as a rule is strictly prohibited. What goes for slapping is "hatthi" in local parlance and is part of the technique to tackle the raider.
    Subhash Chander Sharma, Rewari

  • Echoes Of ’69
    Nov 24, 2003

    In his column On the JP in the BJP (Nov 10), Kuldip Nayar refers to the Jana Sangh as being "an rss creation, with the avowed aim of creating a Hindu rashtra". This reminds me of the first session of the Organisation of Islamic Conference, held at Rabat in September ’69, where India had first been invited and then the official delegation led by the late Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed denied participation. However, before their arrival, I’d attended the second plenary session of that conference as acting leader of the Indian delegation, since I was then the Indian ambassador to Morocco. The consequent embarrassment to which India was exposed was fully exploited politically. An intensive debate ensued during the winter session of the Lok Sabha. Many Opposition members, including A.B. Vajpayee, Balraj Madhok and Manohar Sondhi lambasted the government for having agreed to officially participate in an Islamic conference. A meeting of the consultative committee for external affairs too was held and presided over by then foreign minister Dinesh Singh. I had been recalled from Morocco and was in attendance with other mea officials. Madhok, then a Jana Sangh member of the Lok Sabha and a committee member, said during an intervention: "The problem would be solved once and for all if we were to declare India a Hindu state."
    Gurbachan Singh, New Delhi

  • A City in Decline
    Nov 24, 2003

    Life in Bangalore has improved in some respects but deteriorated in others (Chips Are Down, Nov 10). The deterioration is mainly in cultural aspects. The once laidback town has lost its charming southern tradition, mores and values. It’s now a "globalised’ city, and frenetic rat race is its denizens’ preferred lifestyle.
    Pradyumna K., Bangalore

    What’s happening in Bangalore is true of any urban centre. It’s alarming here because the city’s become the Silicon Valley of India and major players are rushing in to set up shop here. Its infrastructure though isn’t geared to meet this increased pressure and cannot keep with the fast pace of development. Corruption only makes things worse. Indeed, only the citizens’ pro-active involvement will stop Bangalore from becoming a Fatehpur Sikri which Akbar had to abandon for Agra for lack of water.
    H.R. Bapu Satyanarayana, Mysore

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