Letters | Jun 28, 2004
  • Papa Was A Rolling Stone
    Jun 28, 2004

    I’m a 31-year-old and father of two young girls. I live in a metropolitan city and play a very active role in their upbringing. However, I think this whole business of counsellors, coaching parents etc that your cover story outlines (Momma, See My Wisdom Tooth, June 21) is a load of crock. It is just another excuse for my generation not to stand up and be counted. Either these folks are neurotic or just plain dumb. A lot of it is our generation’s desperate desire to be seen as modern, western. My parents’ generation never attended classes or counselling sessions to learn how to bring up their children. Parenting was instinctive, natural. And they managed just fine in producing well-adjusted, successful and happy individuals. We also have to do the same.
    Rohit Dhawan, London, UK

    In the mad whirl that is a career-oriented couple’s life today, it’s no surprise that they seek ‘outside’ help to aid their natural function. Nuclear families, the burden of ‘modernity’ and the intense competition feed this frenzy. Attending workshops will be just another fad and no solution to the problems confronting these so-called modern parents.
    K. Balaji, Chennai

    To be a parent is a blessing. The hyper-parents would be better off if they would simply fulfil the well-known prerequisites of any happy relationship—love, understanding and quality time. Parenting, whether old or modern, has to be a joyful and enriching experience, not a burden either on the parents or on their children.
    Anusha Singh, Ambala Cantt

    With growing technology and parental concern, the day isn’t very far when an ultrasound will be generating the ‘source code’ of the foetus so that it could be reprogrammed as per the parents’ requirement even before being born.
    Rajneesh Batra, New Delhi

    It is indeed a strange coincidence that both Outlook and India Today had the same cover story and even the same headline. I subscribe to both magazines and received both together the same day. As for the content, Outlook did have a better outlook on the subject.
    K. George Thomas, on e-mail

    How come Outlook and India Today had the same cover?
    Ranjeet Vaishnav, Mumbai

    Good parenting is good business—children are just grist for the money-spinning mill.
    Rajan N. Panchal, Mumbai

  • Reforms, A Rich Idea
    Jun 28, 2004

    Your story The Poverty of Statistics (Jun 14) reflects the desperation not only of the nda government but of the economic ‘reformers’ as a whole. Reforms have done nothing for most Indians and have impoverished many of them. The most damning indictment is tucked deep in your report—that by caloric intake, 77 per cent of Indians are poor. Food matters much more than gdp growth or the stockmarkets. But you’d never know that from our reforms-obsessed media, most of which never discusses reforms critically. The reality is that in 25 years of market reforms throughout the Third World, there is not a single country where either poverty or inequality has been reduced. But most Indian media interviews stockbrokers and ficci as ‘experts’ on reforms, precisely the people who have benefited from reforms. It’s like calling the rss ‘experts’ on Hindutva.
    Shankar Gopalakrishnan, London, UK

    In a sort of witch-hunt, every ministry is coming up with its own set of scores to settle with the previous government. So, the defence ministry is to review defence deals concluded in the last government’s term, the home ministry to reopen Babri files, the hrd ministry to ‘detoxify’ education, the rail ministry to reinvestigate Godhra! Such vendetta-driven politics indicates that the next five years will be ill-spent on running after ghosts; poverty will be an issue in the next election.
    Rahul Malviya, Bangalore

    Sheer vindictiveness. This article is an attempt to besmirch the bjp government on all fronts. This is an echo from the socialist regime which had kept the Congress in power all those years. But this is not the ’70s and ’80s. The poor will get wise to their antics. The party is burning its own house.
    Abhishek Drolia, Raipur

  • Remember/Forgive
    Jun 28, 2004

    Manmohan Singh is an eminent Sikh whose loyalty to the Gandhi family came in handy for Sonia when she herself couldn’t accept the prime ministership due to personal and political limitations. For the Sikhs to condone the Congress for its atrocities (1984 to 2004, Jun 14) just because a Sikh has become PM points to the depth to which communalism is entrenched in our psyche.
    R.N. Kohli, New delhi

    Punjab is now reaping the harvest of peace and enterprise, but its people still recall Operation Bluestar. It’s one event which divides the state and the people on opposite sides. "The wounds have still not healed," says Akal Takht jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti who was inside the temple while the operation was under way. However, Manjit Singh of the Delhi Gurudwara Committee says forgiveness is of utmost importance in their religion and the principle of forgiveness is the only logical response in the situation.
    S. Chander, New Delhi

  • Defend Our Own
    Jun 28, 2004

    The attacks on Indians in Saudi Arabia is real cause for concern (Suddenly Alienated, Jun 14), as the majority of the Indians there appear to be manual labourers, who do not have an alternative place of work, and certainly not at that level of income or affording that kind of quality of life. The Indian government should, in cooperation with other affected countries, demand that the Saudi government spare no effort, and no resources, to protect its citizens. The corrupt Saudi elite is isolated from the effects of its own ignorant and inequitable policies and it’s time they shared the risk.
    Rustam Roy, London, UK

  • Funny Monies
    Jun 28, 2004

    There’s no reason why there should be an upper limit to spending in an election as Prem Shankar Jha suggests in his column (The Public Warchest, Jun 14) as long as political parties can be forced to declare the origin of their funds. If our system can’t impose this, how can it monitor whether a candidate is spending government-allotted money or his own money? If we follow Jha’s suggestion, we may end up in a situation where the candidates spend government funds and their own money for elections.
    R. Srivatsan, Newport, US

  • Welcome Voice
    Jun 28, 2004

    Where sophistry and servility reign comes at last the voice of cold reason—Balbir Punj’s column Grace Marks, Please (Jun 14). The writing was crisp, the arguments well-balanced and the conclusions seem prophetic. Overall, as good an opinion column that one can expect to see in a magazine. Let this bring to a resounding end all erstwhile puerile discussions regarding Elections 2004.
    Krishna Nair, Jabalpur

  • Jun 28, 2004

    Kersy Katrak’s column The Return of Page One (Jun 14) is such a grovelling display of servility and sycophancy that it’s an embarrassment reading it. I have only one thing to ask him: can he please refrain from mentioning Hindu culture (which Sonia Gandhi has refused to accept) and leaders like Mahatma Gandhi in the same piece as Sonia Gandhi? It’s a travesty no self-respecting Indian should tolerate.
    Aditya Burman, Boston, US

  • King Dom of Verse
    Jun 28, 2004

    Anil Dharker’s tribute to Dom Moraes (Return to Reticence, Jun 14) was a moving one. Dom showed early promise at 19 by winning the Hawthornden Prize (the only non-Englishman to do so, ever) for A Beginning and went on to Poems, John Nobody, followed by extensive travel, editorships of publications, a UN assignment, prose writing and even war reporting. He could never really understand India’s inefficiencies and inequities, but this bohemian Bombay Goan of reclusive nature and prolific pen gave vent to his feelings in book after honest and elegant book. Now, either the government of India or the bbc, or his friends and admirers, aided by sponsors, should institute an annual poetry and creative writing prize in his name.
    Vinod Chowdhury, Delhi

  • Jun 28, 2004

    In a country where academic exams in most schools and colleges are a recycling of question papers of previous years, where marks are directly proportional to the number of answer sheets filled and where the questions are no test of an individual’s capability (Jane’s Just Fonda Books, Jun 14), I do not think the better scorer (be s/he of any gender) deserves any eulogy. ‘Intelligence’ and ‘smartness’ are subjects which are still being researched upon and thus the use of the words has to be judicious. Certain entrance exams in this country do test the ability of an individual and sadly the number of girls making through and even trying for these exams is low. It’s high time the young generation started thinking of how to use education as a tool to enhance one’s potential rather than cram needlessly for marks which have no bearing on a person’s intelligence.
    Sujith Nair, on e-mail

  • Fraud Case
    Jun 28, 2004

    I don’t touch a film magazine, even with a bargepole. But you thrust one in my hand, in the guise of Outlook (Jun 7). It may have been a special issue for you, but for a reader like me New Bollywood was the same old nonsense.
    K.P. Rajan, Mumbai

  • By Appointment Only
    Jun 28, 2004

    Here’s one suggestion for Crossings in Newsbag: Vinod Mehta, editor of Outlook, has been selected as the president of the Sycophants’ Society of India by Sonia Gandhi.
    S.C. Paul,Mandi, Himachal Pradesh

  • And The Prize Goes To...
    Jun 28, 2004

    The odd cliche is still dropping in in response to Vinod Mehta’s call to readers to send in their pet hate phrase (Killing Cliches in Delhi Diary, April 19). But we are announcing four winners on the basis
    of the entries already sent in. The phrases and their
    winners are:
    • Mala Ashok,Chennai HAVING SAID THAT.... Everybody (ab)uses this phrase to say something and then say its converse.
    • G.D. Coyaji, Pune Wonder who invented BLAH, BLah, ETC ETC, so on and so forth? All they make one sound like is a bleating sheep.
    • Vinod Dhawan TO CUT A LONG STORY SHORT... Gasbag fave.
    • M.L. Pandit, New Delhi The rain in the hills and plains of north India is a sublime sight. I cannot stand it, therefore, when someone says, it’s raining cats and dogs.

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