• Sanjay Suri replies:
    Nov 13, 1996

    Akbar Ahmed freely uses words such as ‘distorted’ without specifying a single quote that might have been distorted. I have a tape recording of the conversation with Ahmed, made with his knowledge, which corroborates every word.

    Ahmed constantly made the point that Nehru’s closeness to Edwina gave him an access to Mountbatten that Jinnah did not have, and this had consequences in Kashmir and Ferozepur, for division of assets. This was a constant theme. It is his view that makes the supposed Nehru-Edwina relationship critical to the Partition and, as he said, to his film.

  • Set the Record Straight
    Nov 13, 1996

    This pertains to The Gujarat Virus (November 6). I was the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) of the area where encroachment removal action was taken, but was in no way responsible for ordering the firing. In Delhi, where the Police Commissioner system prevails, the powers for ordering firing, rest solely with the police. I write this to correct the slight inaccuracy which has crept into the story, and to set the record straight.

    Srivatsa Krishna, New Delhi

  • Where Are We Going?
    Nov 13, 1996

    One has no option but to feel ashamed that a great country like India has Kanshi Rams as leaders. What is the country coming to?

    The ugly incident of media persons being beaten up by BSP goons is appalling. And the sad part is, that we forgive and forget easily. People like Kanshi Ram should be tied to a tree and whipped publicly for behaving the way he did. To see our politicians behave in such a manner is shameful and must not be condoned. Because justice delayed is justice denied.

    Rajeev Madan Shimla

  • Advantage Man
    Nov 13, 1996

    Where Three is a Couple (October 30, 1996) reflects the deterioration in age-old values. Stay together till death does you part, says Christianity. Be together come rain or shine, in pleasure and in pain, says Hinduism. Faith and togetherness are the essence of this noble institution which is the foundation of the family, the most important unit of any civilisation.

    Chief Minister Karunanidhi, posing with his wives, represents the dark side of Tamil Nadu, and is an illustration of the unfavourable effect politicians and the film industry are having on the state. Balakumaran’s statement is shocking. Having committed an illegal act, he wants to now glorify it. The concept of a second woman takes advantage of the wife’s dependence and helplessness to give a man sanction for his base desires. Like any other crime this has to be denounced.

    Sudha Ramanathan, New Delhi

    Second marriage is far better than to carry on extra-marital relations or to keep a mistress. The marriage gives a woman respect and security and keeps society free from the burden of the bastard child. Islam allows polygamy when one is in a condition to treat wives equally sexually, mentally and financially. If society accepts polygamy, it is sure that the morals of the people will increase.

    F.I. Choudhury, New Delhi

    I am surprised that you have published the article with hardly any comment on the perversion and the anachronism it represents in today’s world. The religious sanction of the one man, many wives syndrome comes from the depiction of our Gods, except Rama, as the much married males. This is because Hindu society is dominated by men who have interpreted everything to suit their interests, their likes, their pleasures. Karunanidhi, Balakumaran or even Annadurai who married two sisters, are examples of man taking advantage of gullible women and are to be condemned.

    N. Narasimha, Bangalore

  • Media & Mammon
    Nov 13, 1996

    Recent happenings in Bangalore (Battle for Bangalore, October 16) such as the refusal of hawkers to lift copies of Times of India and the subsequent reduction of prices of English newspapers have added new dimensions that continue to baffle readers. Commercialisation has overtaken ethical values. Making a newspaper commercially viable is important, but whether this industry is progressing in the right direction and the journalists are discharging their duties conscientiously for the good of society remains to be seen.

    N. Krishna Swamy, Bangalore

  • For Men Only
    Nov 13, 1996

    A Lady with a Mission (October 16) made interesting reading. The lady bishop described her new role as "a great honour to be entrusted by God". This statement is unscriptural. Timothy Ch 2. 9-15 says women are to be modest in dress and moral deportment, not to be a public teacher, but a submissive learner and not to usurp authority in the Church. God intends man to have leadership and this is shown in the order of Creation and the story of the Fall.

    The first Book of Corinthians Ch 14, Verses 34-35, says if women wish to learn anything let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is a shame for women to speak in Church.

    Some say that St Paul’s teachings are not applicable in this century because women now have equality in all spheres of life. If that is the case, then many things in the Bible are not suited for this century. When Jesus selected his 12 disciples he didn’t select a woman.

    Philip Verghese ‘Ariel’ Secunderabad

  • What’s in a Law?
    Nov 13, 1996

    A few lines about the meeting between Law Minister R. Khalap and Narasimha Rao (Midnight Moves, October 16) and Khalap’s orders to the CBI not to oppose Rao’s bail application:

    All are equal before law But some are more, you know It was only a quid pro quo To our esteemed ‘brother-in-law’! To the winds how I throw And did not care a straw Constitutional ideals, rule of law I, the Hon’ble Minister for Law!

    Nilay V. Anjaria, Ahmedabad

  • Nov 13, 1996

    The story Hindi Writer’s Cul-de Sac (October 9), on the woes of Hindi books and writers made me think, and feel a sense of regret. Because as an avid reader of fiction, classics, poetry, prose etc., I have never bothered to pull out any of these books in Hindi, let alone read one. I might have read one, or for that matter umpteen, if I’d come across a book shop, well stocked with Hindi titles.

    I wonder if booksellers try to invest and sell titles in Hindi? If people of our generation continue to enjoy reading only in English, I doubt if any Hindi books will be available in a couple of decades.

    Vishal Thakur, New Delhi

  • Courts Don’t Work
    Nov 13, 1996

    Saira Menezes’ report on Shiv Sena leader Anand Dighe (A Law Unto Himself, October 16) unfortunately paints a grossly unfair picture of his Consumer Protection Centre.

    I have been witness to a case personally. My friend suffered as his civil case dragged on in the court for three long years because the opposing party, a local, influential entrepreneur, used his clout to get extension after extension.

    Finally I took him to Dighe’s Grahak Sanrakshan Kaksha and within three months both parties came to an amicable settlement. Believe me, no muscle power was used, and no money changed hands.

    While pursuing the case, I came across people from all walks of life (even Muslim families) flocking to Dighe’s ‘parallel court’ for legal remedy. First it has to be ensured that the poor and the needy get the justice within a fixed timeframe. Only after that should you begin to put the likes of Anand Dighe under a microscope.

    Rajesh R. Iyer, Mumbai

  • Blame the Bosses
    Nov 13, 1996

    In Merit is an Abstract Noun (October 9), Rathin Roy considers the people as guilty of corruption as the rulers. But he misses an important point. That bribes flourish only when scarcities prevail, and scarcities are created and perpetuated by the politicians for their own benefit. A new chief minister or prime minister can promise that he will root out corruption. Initially, he may even succeed to an extent. But can any department head—even if he be T.N. Seshan—claim to have rooted out corruption from his department? Will not his political boss create all possible impediments to see that he does not succeed? One suspects Rathin Roy is not quite well acquainted with the working of our system.

    Dr. R. Narasimhan, Chennai

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