Letters | Aug 23, 2004
  • Into The Devil’s Arms, Willingly
    Aug 23, 2004

    With its illegitimate involvement in Iraq based on flawed intelligence, the US has drawn the hapless global population into the vortex of terrorism (The Wages of Fear, Aug 9). The latest hostage crisis is yet another instance of innocent people bearing the brunt of US arrogance. The only solution to putting an end to such hostage-taking is to isolate the US and Britain in Iraq.
    K.P. Rajan, Mumbai

    Two reasons push Indian workers into taking up the risks they do in the Gulf. One is plain greed for money, the other, a ‘nothing-will-happen-to-me’ bravado. The big kidnapping drama itself may perhaps finally force a rethink on accepting jobs in the Gulf. Kidnapping, meanwhile, is becoming an easy—and effective—weapon to keep the foreign national from helping out the occupation forces.
    D.B.N. Murthy, Bangalore

    Indian job-seekers in the Gulf countries are fully aware of the risks involved. They openly admit that it is better to face the perils in those countries than spend their days in penury.
    K. V. Raghuram, Wayanad, Kerala

    The Indian labourer’s statement—"It is better to die earning money in Iraq than to die of hunger at home"—highlights the grim scenario in the country where jobs are decreasing, and reservations increasing. The so-called upper-caste educated candidates from poor families are finding it increasingly difficult to find a job consistent with their qualifications and aspirations.
    Umesh S. Shukla, on e-mail

    From your cover story, it is very clear that the truckers in Iraq are there for the sole love of money. As such they have no claims to sympathy. War profiteers, like collaborators, are the backbone on which any occupation rests, and the Iraqi freedom fighters are only being logical in targeting them. The truckers went to Iraq to make money; let them live or die by their decision. Why should the entire nation suffer for them?
    Biswapriya Purkayastha, Shillong

    It’s evident that most Iraqis greatly dislike Americans and those supporting them in Iraq, in any form. It was a very wise decision not to send our troops to Iraq. No one likes a bully. But when it comes to crisis management, no one’s more wanting than we Indians. Why can’t we have a standing crisis management group of professionals for each foreseeable contingency like floods, droughts, hostages, hijacks, etc?
    Col R.D. Singh, Ambala Cantt

    It stands to reason that the socialist/communist policies of the Congress and its allies for the past 50 years have led to this situation where people are willing to brave bullets to feed their families. Look at those Malayalis, if communism really was great, none of those Malayalis would be sweating it out in the Gulf.
    Dharmayudh Singh, Philadelphia, US

    The plight of Indian truckers shows the hollowness of bjp’s India Shining. Six years in power and they did nothing to create employment. There are more numbers of Indians committing suicide in Gulf countries than from any other nationality. Has any Indian government taken notice of this?
    Abdul Haq, Hyderabad

  • Liquidity Crunch
    Aug 23, 2004

    The syl issue (A Sly Shot on SYL, July 26) makes me wonder if future wars would be fought over water. It would seem so going by the reaction of certain sections of the media and politicians at the Punjab government’s decision to terminate the water agreements with its neighbours. The Centre and the Congress have reacted predictably as their primary concern is winning the forthcoming Haryana assembly elections. Being an agrarian economy, Punjab needs sufficient water for the well-being of its farming community and its economy and is thus well within its right to promulgate such legislation. Contrary to popular belief, Punjab does not have enough water in its rivers (Ravi, Beas and Sutlej) as it relies heavily on groundwater to support its agricultural needs. So much so that groundwater levels in Punjab have dipped to alarmingly low levels as lakhs of tubewells keep pumping water on a daily basis. Narrow political agendas have harmed the country enough and the statesman in our PM should rise above the political myopia of his party to find an amicable, lasting solution to all water-related issues in our country.
    Satish Sharma, New Delhi

  • Aug 23, 2004

    Refusing to see the obvious, a directionless bjp is still in the thinking mode (Saffron’s Cidade de Goa, Aug 16). After its Mumbai musings, the party has a chintan baithak in Goa where it declares its commitment to ‘ideological orientation’ and ‘cultural nationalism’. The party’s tendency to play with words instead of formulating any concrete plan shows its lack of commitment to its earlier agenda. This abdication of its nationalistic agenda and bad governance brought it electoral defeat.
    J.G. Arora, on e-mail

  • Bihar Bachao
    Aug 23, 2004

    Faizan Ahmed’s article Age No Bar (Aug 9) brings out the tragedy that’s Bihar. A few Subhash Sharmas can only make a minuscule difference. The rot is deep and can’t be stemmed by routine measures. A fresh, dynamic approach by all political parties is needed to tackle the problems of Bihar. With the Congress propping up the Laloo-Rabri combine for more than a decade, no initiative other than President’s rule will bring succour to the hapless Bihari. Or Parliament should enact a special law for the governance of Bihar, wherein the state administration is handed over to the armed forces for five years.
    Capt P.K. Pandey, Thiruvananthapuram

  • Logically Challenged
    Aug 23, 2004

    Does Prem Shankar Jha mean to say that Narendra Modi should escape prosecution if 20 or 30 years pass by after the Gujarat riots (Bend it Like Modi, Aug 9)? So why should a different standard be applied to Shibu Soren? If he was truly guilty of killing 11 people, then he should pay the price, whether 30, 40 or 50 years later.
    Aalok Agrawal, Singapore

  • No Holiday This
    Aug 23, 2004

    The Strike Semantic (Aug 9) apart, India already is a country with the maximum number of holidays. Add to it bandhs, curfews and general strikes, and how can you ever increase the productivity of this nation? On behalf of this stri(c)ken nation, can the apex court do something to help?
    Rajshri Mallabadi, Gulbarga

  • Merci Madam
    Aug 23, 2004

    Outlook reaches me later than usual. I just want to say three cheers to Arundhati Roy (The Road to Harsud, July 26). I’ve been living in New Harsud and Chhanera for the past nine years and am witness to the utter neglect and callousness of the powers that be and the unmitigated apathy of the government officials, despite their knowing Armageddon was nigh. A great part of the blame should be laid at the door of the Digvijay Singh government. The writing was on the wall for all to see, years ago.
    Fr B. D’Penna, Chhanera, Harsud

  • Like a Movie Man
    Aug 23, 2004

    Your profile of Ronojoy Dutta (Don’t Chug It, Fly, Aug 9) read like the script of a Bollywood potboiler. As a child, hero Dutta, we’re told, is disturbed by questions of India’s poverty and her subjugated past, and so when he becomes a young man, he takes the next flight to the West to find answers. Back there, he makes it big. But, when the hero realises that United Airlines, of which he is the president, has been grounded along with the twin towers, he turns his attention to poor India and suddenly says Eureka to the questions about India’s poverty and subjugated past (phew) that had troubled him in the past.
    R. Venkatesan Iyengar, Hyderabad

  • Revert to Last Save
    Aug 23, 2004

    Apropos of your article System Reboot (Aug 9), if the IT sector decides it has had enough and decides to move out, it will teach the Leftist politicians a good lesson. They would have killed the goose that laid the golden eggs. And move out they will. Companies like Wipro and Infosys are no longer small companies driven by no other belief but patriotism. They are answerable to their shareholders and profit is their sole motive. If the Karnataka government keeps dragging its feet, they might not only relocate to a different city but maybe move parts of their operations to a different country altogether.
    Vikas Chowdhry, Madison, US

  • Whose War Heroes?
    Aug 23, 2004

    What’s there to celebrate in the Allied victory over the Axis forces in World War II for us Indians as Rahul Singh would have us do in his Delhi Diary (Aug 9)? The fact that Indians played a crucial role in deciding the course of the war only adds to our disgust towards those cowards who chose to follow the biddings of their colonial masters. Could you also uncover how many wars they fought for the British against fellow Indians?
    Keshav Mudgal, Delhi

    Kudos to Rahul Singh for pointing out this oversight on the MoD’s part. As a retired serviceman pushing 70, my generation in free India’s armed forces drew tremendous inspiration from the valiant deeds of those who had served before us; we avidly read everything on their contributions in our cadet days at the military academy. Alas, a nation’s collective memory is so short that perhaps even the recent acts of valour in Kargil will soon fade to black.
    Anindyo Chatterjee, San Francisco, US

  • No Parsimony for JRD
    Aug 23, 2004

    An otherwise excellent review by Khushwant Singh of J.R.D. Tata’s Letters (Books, Aug 9) was marred by the careless statement "Till recent years the Tata board of management was entirely Parsi". In fact, the Tatas were ‘secular’ even before the word was introduced in the Preamble to the Indian Constitution. If I recall right, Sumant Moolgaonkar, Ajit Kerkar, Darbari Seth, F.C. Kohli and A.H. Tobaccowalla were some of the prominent non-Parsis on the Tata board.
    Vijay A. Nair, on e-mail

    We shall never say Tata to you JRD, you will always be with us. Rest in peace.
    Som Benegal, New Delhi

  • We’ll Show ’Em Bollywood
    Aug 23, 2004

    Your ‘exclusive’ story by Aniruddha Bahal (Aug 16) on the Iraqi tribal leader Sheikh Dulaimi and his demand that Asha Parekh or Amitabh Bachchan plead for the lives of the hostages is bizarre only at face value. The extraordinary hold of Hindi films and Bollywood stars in Africa and the Middle East is an asset underutilised in the country. We should use Bollywood stars as ambassadors of goodwill and also to promote our business interests in the region. If the Big B or Shahrukh Khan were to accompany a business delegation to Kuwait or Dubai, cii and ficci would benefit immensely. As far as Asha Parekh or Amitabh making an appeal for the release of the hostages, it is definitely worth a try. Even if it fails, it can do no harm.
    Ashok V. Putney, Indore

  • Corrigendum
    Aug 23, 2004

    In the article Rolling Stoned (Aug 16), that venerable American chain, 7-Eleven, inadvertently became 7/11. We regret the error.

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