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Letters | Aug 21, 2006
People Like Us
It May Be Love But... ...Can’t Trust This Love
Aug 21, 2006
Your effort to gauge Pakistan public opinion on Indo-Pak ties (People Like Us, Aug 7) was timely, given the strain in the peace talks post-Mumbai blasts. No doubt, the people of both nations want enduring peace and friendship. But then Islamabad is unwilling to end cross-border terrorism. And New Delhi is unable to make any step that would guarantee demolition of the terror network in Pakistan. In short, the dialogues will continue without tangible outcomes.
K.V. Raghuram, Wayanad, Kerala
Sorry to differ, but I really don’t feel the aam admi in Pakistan is anything like his counterpart in India. Oh no, I’m not fond of Indian politicians but I must give them credit for maintaining a functioning democracy. The common man has made it possible in India, and not in Pakistan.
S. Namboodiripad, on e-mail
I don’t buy the "people are good but politicians are bad" argument. In a democracy, you get the government you deserve. Politicians are representatives of the people’s mindset. There is no country with all corrupt politicians and honest people. Thus, it’s meaningless to contend that the average people in a country are better than its politicians.
Kunal Mangal, Denver, US
Agreed, Pakistanis are not as evil as perceived by Indians at large. But your reporter has interacted only with the common, lower-middle-class people. Just meet the middle- or upper-class Pakistani. Most of them are corrupt snobs living in a semi-western world, least bothered about the kind of people your piece mentions.
Razak, San Jose, US
Nice, touching story. If only it were true! Just because the people share some basic similarities doesn’t mean India should opt for peace at any cost. That the average Pakistani does not hate India is no proof that he loves India either. It’s a myth that, save Kashmir, there are no serious problems between India and Pakistan. Loosely controlled terrorism, ideological rivalry, hatred emanating from its power centres and outright military challenge are some ways Pakistan seeks to undermine India. Kashmir is merely a symptom of the problem, not the problem itself. The problem is Pakistan—or the vicious vermin that she is.
Harish N., Mumbai
So, the people in both countries are alike? In Pakistan, people are totally brainwashed—and focused. In India, they are totally confused—and divided.
Bala Shivaji, Troy, US
I’m sure there are lots of non-terrorist citizens in Pakistan, but this is what President Musharraf told us: j&k can’t be compromised because of "public opinion". The same peace-loving people of Pakistan turn out to be the factor that blocks settlement of the border issue with India. And this "civil society" is concerned about the human rights situation and the will of the people of j&k. Come on, please turn the searchlights to yourselves—to the state of affairs in Balochistan, nwfp, PoK and the Northern Areas.
Ajit Tendulkar, Seattle, US
So, if Pakistan issues threats that more Indians will be killed if we stop the peace process, India should oblige. What rubbish in the name of objectivity! So long as it is ruled by the army, why should Pakistan want peace?
R. Rajeev, Delhi
Pakistanis are indeed people just like us. We don’t like their country and they don’t like ours. It’s foolish if the polite coffee-table conversations prompted you to think otherwise.
Anirud Narrako, Hyderabad
Pakistanis continue to live in a make-believe, suicidal world. At the end of the Afghan war, they diverted arms and terrorists towards India with the hope that they’d be able wrest Kashmir—in the process they nearly disintegrated themselves. Then they tried Kargil and got humiliated again to the point that they refused to accept their own dead soldiers. Soon, displaying "military intelligence", Musharraf became their president. Then 9/11 happened, and they got showered with aid and arms to kill their own people on their western front. Now that is probably winding down and, in desperation, they are going around planting bombs in India.
Sanjay Chawla, Sydney
Thanks for not saying that Hindus are terrorists. In the whole of North America, 17 Canadian citizens in Toronto, and recently one American citizen in Seattle, were of Pakistani origin, trained in their homeland or by their compatriot mullahs in Toronto mosques. But you found Pakistanis full of compassion. They even regretted that Indians are such war-mongers that they do not accept the hand of peace offered by President Musharraf!
A.K. Aggarwal, Ahmedabad
The reality is that the average Pakistani has an intense love-hate, admiration-jealousy relationship with India. The kind we have with the US. Only that it’s a shade bitter—after all, we were the same people 60 years ago. Also, they are a nation whose identity was always defined in terms of India.
Ravi K., Denver, US
Certainly it’s not shared humanity that’s behind Pakistanis’ "love" for Indians. If so, they’d have treated their Hindu and Christian minorities as human beings with full rights.
A.D.H Kiran, Hyderabad
Buses were started between the two nations, and trains as well. Now it seems they have become ‘carriers’ for insurgents. It’s high time our prime minister took a bold step in getting our neighbour to play ball. We shouldn’t end up sacrificial goats for militant Islam.
C.R. Gopalakrishna, Mumbai
Faced with a query on why Indians destroyed the Babri mosque, your correspondent could have asked why the only Krishna temple in Lahore had to be pulled down recently to erect a multi-storeyed mall.
Rajiv Garg, on e-mail
Indo-Pak friendship! Will any magazine produce such rubbish just after the Mumbai blasts? It’s nauseating.
Ravi Marur, on e-mail
The Khurshid M. Kasuri interview (‘No favour if you agree to talk’) warrants the need for New Delhi to be more discreet in courting Pakistan, given its shrewdness to blunt India’s war against terror. Though our PM has indicated continuance of dialogue, it would be unwise if he thinks that such soft gestures are enough to block the gameplans of devilish minds.
Arvind K. Pandey, Allahabad
It’s funny the way the Pakistani establishment has launched an offensive. But then, offence is the best defence. And who understands this better than Pakistan, which has practised this as the ‘strategic’ gospel all through its existence.
Atul Chandra, Mumbai
Amazing Pakistan PM Shaukat Aziz fails to see any prejudicial activity by the banned LeT (‘Yet to see India’s passion for peace’). It’s as corny as saying that bin Laden does not see anything prejudicial in the activities of Al Qaeda.
Azeem Taqi, Nashville, US
While I enjoyed reading your feature on the Manmohan village, I was disappointed with a glaring mistake about Allama Mohammad Iqbal (‘He is of this soil’). That the poet, who composed Sare jahan se achcha Hindustan hamara, later migrated to Pakistan. Iqbal died in 1938, almost a decade before Partition. It is a different issue that Iqbal, a native of Sialkot, was one of the intellectual pillars of the separation movement that founded Pakistan.
S. Digavalli, Middletown, US
Quite a shocking story. Those 16 solar street lights, four community chulahs and basic lighting in 51 homes is sorely missed in some village in India whose citizens paid for them. Except some oldies, I have no doubt that the residents of Gah would only be hating India.
Vivek Kumar, New York
Could Prem Shankar Jha suggest what should be done now (Night of the Empire)? Beg Pakistan to stop doing what it has been for so long? This, when thousand of innocents have been brutally killed because of Pakistan’s active support to terror. Post-Mumbai blasts, any righteous person would call for Pakistan’s head. But not our dear Mr Jha.
A Mole And Much Ado
Aug 21, 2006
Why go on incessantly about a mole in the pmo and a supposedly fake letter from the US (Rat-a-Tattle Mystery, Aug 7)? All that was actually needed was a good marketing guy, who would’ve possibly managed to sell the book without such absurdities!
Medha Dutt, Calcutta
A limerick on the ‘mole’:
"Jaswant’s alleged nuclear secrets leaking mole
If true, ought to be on copious American dole
Even after naming him
Pinning him will be grim."
M.A. Raipet, Secunderabad
What is your logic behind giving a book by a bjp man to a Congress office-bearer (A Congress Mole in the bjp?). Isn’t it defeating the very purpose of a book review?
M.R. Keerthivasan, Chennai
'And Sir, Who Might You Be?'
Aug 21, 2006
That was a terrific piece by Paul Danahar (‘And sir, who might you be?’, Aug 7). Dumbing down is happening in every field, not just the media. I’m in the software industry and can vouch for the following: "When you take graduates just out of college, you often get the antics of graduates just out of college."
Ramana Murthy, Hyderabad
Slight Tweak To The Script
Here’s My Script
Aug 21, 2006
Apopros A Slight Tweak To The Script, Aug 7), if we could reduce the SIZE of the government, aim to provide good governance and reduce cost and complexity of project selection and implementation processes, we’d have sufficient funds for educating all.
Bharath, Detroit, US
You make "neo-liberalism" sound like a bad word. The real bad word is "hate-filled Marxist", which you seem to be.
Raj Shah, New Jersey, US
‘On Navy’s Bofors...’
Aug 21, 2006
The article Navy’s Bofors (Feb 20) on the Scorpene deal referred to Ms Gwendolyn Berger. In a suit filed against us in the Calcutta High Court, Ms Berger has offered her version of events. According to her, she was working with M/s Atlas Defence Systems and had nothing to do with M/s Thales. The telephonic and e-mail communication she made with Abhishek Verma of Atlas Group, she says, was on account of their business relations and official communication and had nothing to do with M/s Thales. Ms Berger disputes the contents and genuineness of the name card and e-mails disclosed in the said article, said to be used by her.
Outlook stands by its story and disputes Ms Berger’s version.
Blast The Reputation
Aug 21, 2006
Reading his Delhi Diary (Aug 7), I can gather only one thing: that Vinod Mehta misses his Debonair editorship the most of his Bombay years!
Baldev S. Chauhan, Shimla
Mc Gone Aloo
Main Hoon, McDon
Aug 21, 2006
So, what’s new or unheard-of about Mc Gone Aloo (Aug 7)? All that came into India took local flavours and colours, be it the British in the past or today’s globalised colonisers a la mtv, McDon or Pizza Hut!
Ameet Bhuvan, Bhubaneswar
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