Letters | Jul 04, 2005
  • A Traipse In Follywood?
    Jul 04, 2005

    Well-educated, urbane and non-religious, Jinnah’s was a secular personality. He married a Parsi woman and forged unforgettable bonds with Mumbai. He turned intolerant only when the Congress under Gandhi, Nehru and others refused to recognise his leadership. He came back into the reckoning only after he proposed the two-nation theory. Partition too happened because Nehru & Co wanted to safeguard their own leadership and were unwilling to have Jinnah as the country’s first PM. So not just Jinnah, Nehru et al too are equally culpable. Call them historical blunders or facts. But Advani’s reasons are different. He has been hoping to gain a statesman-like aura, a la Vajpayee, so that he can be PM when the chance arrives. Nothing else explains his belated recognition of Jinnah’s secularism.
    Krishna Chaitanya, Vijayawada, AP

    What happened in 1947 is history and cannot be changed. What can be changed and made better is our tomorrow. And that can be done by making relations cordial and supportive between our two countries. Yes, there is no justification for Advani’s statements in Pakistan. But giving him the benefit of doubt, considering his consistent stand on Hindutva, he probably made a wrong choice of words. Perhaps he meant to use a term like ‘liberal’, or ‘intellectual’ or ‘pragmatic’ to describe Jinnah. But what he did over 50 years ago is history and need not come in the way of our future. Not so palatable is the fact that if Jinnah had been allowed to become PM, could Partition have been avoided? Would it be unreasonable to name those who prevented him from being PM as the real divisive forces? Would it be outrageous to speculate that the same forces are active in further dividing the country even today! Hindus and the Hindu faith have never been in danger. It is the Hindu obscurantist who is in perpetual paranoia. When he wakes up from his nightmare, he will wake up in a secular world.
    Jaswant M. Singh, New Delhi

    Frankly, I am baffled at why the media is wasting so much space and reader’s time on whether Jinnah was secular or not. The Qaid-e-Azam has long been forgotten and relegated to obscurity in the nation he founded. Why are we Indians breaking our heads over him? Are we so bereft of issues in this nation? Let’s keep this never-ending debate for some other day, when India is peaceful, prosperous and her citizens can afford to waste their time.
    Varun Venkateswaran, Michigan, US

    Like Advani, Jinnah too was a shrewd politician at heart. Thus he might have made contradictory statements during his entire political life just as Advani is doing now. Once his political aim of creating Pakistan and ruling over it was achieved, Jinnah talked like a secularist. Who knows, some years from now, someone will quote Advani’s speech in Pakistan and claim that Advani too was a secularist! Only fools give credence to words mouthed by politicians. I thought better of Prem Shankar Jha (A Mere Figure of Speech).
    Dr Prasanth M., Thiruvananthapuram

    It was only in 2003 that Advani held Jinnah responsible for the Partition on religious grounds. Why this sudden turnaround now? Advani, like Jinnah, was only trying to score political brownie points by donning the garb of a secularist. I only hope Indians will be able to see through this gimmick when the time comes for them to decide.
    Mayadevi B. , Bangalore

    The bjp knew it could never attain power on its own. It came to power only with the support of anti-Congress secular parties. Trouble started when they had to showcase a secular image to keep their allies with them even as they executed the Hindutva agenda to keep the parivar happy. Ever since, the bjp has had its feet in two boats. They are today both pseudo-fundamentalists as well as pseudo-secularists!
    Cletus Dias, Mumbai

    If Vinod Mehta sees Socrates and Groucho Marx in himself (Delhi Diary, June 20), then I see Mr Mehta in me, for I am as good as him (and I don’t even charge a fee unlike him, who wants ndtv to double his fee) at predicting events. The day Advani quoted Sarojini Naidu on Jinnah’s secular credentials, I foretold how Mr Mehta would react, how he’d put Advani on the cover and omit Sarojini/Congress in his edit (Look... No Horns); how he would say that Advani did not go to Pakistan with the purpose of reconciliation but to woo Pakistanis for Election 2009.
    Raj Bharadwaj, on e-mail

    Whether Jinnah was secular or not, we do not know. But Advani for sure—given the exigencies of politics—has become secular.
    Anupam Kishore, Patna

    Some people just have to be in the news. Advani is one of them.
    Vibhooti Malhotra, Pathankot

    Why doesn’t Mr Advani launch another rath yatra, this time to round up kar sevaks to rebuild the Babri Masjid?
    Debolina Sen, Calcutta

  • Nabob Of Excess
    Jul 04, 2005

    Whenever a poaching incident happens, there should be penalty and imprisonment (Newsbag, June 20). But if the poacher happens to be educated, his punishment should be doubled. And if he is a celebrity, then not only should his jail tenure be three times the normal, his property too should be attached and liquidated for the Wildlife Preservation Fund. And all this should be in a fast-track court so that it happens within four weeks.
    R.K. Dhanvada, Hyderabad

    As it is, the law in India hardly works and for people like him, the homo sacers, it doesn’t even exist.
    Rajeev Garg, Fairfax, US

    It’s better that Pataudi goes free. Otherwise we’ll have Outlook carrying articles saying they are homo sacers and that they’re being persecuted because they’re Muslims and that they have has less rights than a black buck, etc, etc.
    Dharmayudh Singh, Philadelphia, US

    You must be joking when you talk of a maximum possible sentence for Pataudi. We all know he will in due course get away with it. He and the likes of Salman will continue to hunt protected animals. In the process, some officers from the police force and the judiciary will become richer. So much for Mera Bharat Mahaan!
    Satish, Hong Kong

    I don’t think anything is going to happen to Pataudi. After all, Salman Khan killed human beings while driving drunk and is still a free man! The sad thing is that these people are celebrities and they have immense influence over people’s emotions, and can be very successful in promoting a good cause because people will follow them. But instead of harnessing this power to promote the betterment of society, they behave like snobs and lose any sympathy people might have for them.
    Kunal, Denver, US

    What Pataudi has done is heinous enough. But even stranger are the ways of the police and other law-enforcing agencies of this country. He was caught red-handed with two guns, 50 cartridges, two searchlights, a dead deer and two dead rabbits and they allowed him to go scot free! Were it any common man, he would have been tortured or killed in police custody.
    L.R. Sabharwal, on e-mail

    A ‘Tiger’ hunts an antelope. A normal occurrence in these days of jungle raj, isn’t it?
    Rajneesh Batra, New Delhi

  • Star Struck?
    Jul 04, 2005

    I really fail to see the logic behind the puff piece on actor Prosenjit (Mr Bumbastic, June 20), when his last three films have not done well at all, perhaps showing definite signs that his star appeal is on the wane. Perhaps he’ll find his niche in art films, but while his contribution to Tollywood film industry has been noteworthy, even more stupendous is the way a newcomer like Jeet has already delivered three major hits. And Prosenjit, 40? Guess upcoming actors in Bengal are cutting their first milk tooth!
    Manjira Majumdar, Calcutta

  • Blights Of Fancy
    Jul 04, 2005

    Your story Weeds in the Lawn (June 20) rightly captures the sense of dismay afflicting all those who shared in the vision of Chandigarh. But it’s not entirely correct to lay the blame for the compromise of this once-great conceptual model of city planning at the doors of the builder-real estate lobby. They are merely catering to the vast majority of citizenry interested in meeting the more primary needs of existence and considering any pandering to aesthetics as over the top. It is the government which should have been more firm in countering the erosion of the standards that governed the planning and construction of the city. Such a resolute sense of purpose would have salvaged the city from all the pernicious revisionism with respect to the building, architectural or real estate rules put in place by sets of individuals who did not have a stake in the architectural or aesthetic sanctity of the place. Commercial aspirations could have been met through a proper process of facilitation coupled with strict monitoring of compliance to the master plan.
    A.K. Sarda, Chandigarh

  • Tiger, Tiger, Fighting Shy?
    Jul 04, 2005

    I couldn’t agree more with Vinod Mehta when he talks of being "appalled" by Tiger Pataudi’s behaviour (Delhi Diary, June 20). For those of us who have been admirers of the regal cricketer-cum-nawab, there is a deep feeling of being let down. While one can fully expect someone like Salman Khan to kill (animals or humans), to see Tiger Pataudi as a poacher is bitterly disappointing. If he had been caught by the paparazzi shooting animals with a camera, think of what a good message it would have sent. With this act, however, he has severely eroded the goodwill that he commanded.
    Vikram Singh Chauhan, Jabalpur

  • Clarification:
    Jul 04, 2005

    In D.P. Sinha’s letter (June 20), Bhanu Pratap Mehta’s review of Arun Shourie’s book has been described as "downright honest" instead of "downright dishonest". We regret the typographical error.

  • Missed The Bull’s Eye
    Jul 04, 2005

    In Bull’s Eye (June 20), I said Chhagan Bhujbal was accused in the Telgi case and detained in jail for months. This is incorrect. Mr Bhujbal was named in the fir and interrogated for a day by the police. On account of that, he lost his ministerial post. Mr Bhujbal’s nephew was detained in jail in connection with the Telgi case. The columnist offers his sincere and deep regrets.
    Rajinder Puri, New Delhi

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