This is with reference to the story on how the sons and daughters of cricketers have also taken up the game and harbour ambitions of playing for India (The Blues Beckon, Mar 12). So, after the legal, medical, business professions, along with politics and the armed forces, cricket in India is also about to go the dynastic way! Another bastion that is to be devoid of meritocracy.
G. Natarajan, On E-Mail
Dynastic continuity is acceptable in every field, provided that the offspring prove their worth. It is widely observed that successful parents want their children to continue in the same profession since they already have an established foothold in it. It’s alright as well, since they are not really doing anything wrong per se by doing so. These kids grow up in their parents’ world after all. And it’s not really a cakewalk; think about it, failure is liable to hurt them a lot more since expectations from star kids are sky high as the world is watching.
Mahesh Kapasi, Delhi
With the Tamil superstars’ headlong plunge into politics, it is once again proved that the latter is more lucrative and rewarding than working in tinsel town (Two Heroes, Twin Roles, March 12). But I don’t think an idealist like Kamalahaasan, who venerates former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, will be able to hold his head high above the cesspool of politics.
K.P. Rajan, Mumbai
I read the article on Bangladesh with keen interest (Balancing The Wheel, March 12). BNP leader and former Bangladesh PM Khaleda Zia’s incarceration on graft charges closes a chapter in the country, but opens a new one. It raises questions on the future of her party that has been unable to mount a serious agitation in response. It’s obvious that with a weakening BNP the beneficiary will be Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League.
P.L. Singh, On E-Mail
The column on corruption by A.K. Biswas (Our Very Own Nadir Shahs, Mar 12), is quite wonderful and aptly timed. It talks about little-known bank scams in India’s history and how they were entangled with religion. Actually, nebulous concepts like ‘morality’, ‘ethics’ and ‘value’ can all be twisted out of shape. We now have to stress cast-iron things like accountability, scientific approach and the rule of law.
Chhanda Sarkar, On e-mail
Actually, there is no reason why the BJP’s landslide victory in Tripura should baffle the Left (From Bud To Flower, Feb 26). Actually, top CPI(M) leaders are to blame for the state the party is in. They have miserably failed to follow the examples of their past great leaders and surely lost the plot. It is apparent that there was something wrong in the Manik Sarkar government that forced supporters to leave the party and the common people to repose their trust in the BJP, an ‘outsider’ party. Unless the CPI(M) retraces its legacy, ideals and ideology, this might just be the end for it as a national entity.
M.Y. Shariff, Chennai
This is about the review of Sanjay Manjrekar’s autobiography (Honour In Imperfection, Feb 19). When Manjrekar suddenly retired at 33, it was whispered that Sachin Tendulkar was behind his early exit. Is this there in his book? If so, the review doesn’t mention it.
B.N. Roy, On E-Mail
S. Venkatesan: I have come to learn that a few facts mentioned in my homage to Mr S. Manikandan, A Forest Warbler’s Tale (March 19), which appeared in your magazine recently, are not correct. I wrote that Mr Manikandan was the last person in the file to oversee the burnt area but the fact is that he was accompanied by many other people, including fire watchers. Secondly, I wrote that Mr Manikandan was wearing a cream colour shirt when the incident took place. Now, I have learnt that he wore a camouflaged shirt when the incident took place. I tender my apologies for these mistakes.
This is with reference to your cover story No Cure Yet For That Buzz In The Ear (March 5). The last chapter has not been written yet in neuropsychiatry textbooks, thanks to the rapid turnover of information and changes in therapeutic interventions due to research. It’s too early for profit-seeking pharmaceuticals to jump into the fray! This specialty has to be given time to find its place on an evolved scientific mooring.
George Jacob, Kochi
I read all the articles on mental health in the current issue of the magazine. They were useful and informative and almost offered a holistic picture. But I wish you had included a pager or two on the various therapies and steps one can take to stay mentally healthy, there surely have been some positive development there.
P. Kumar, New Delhi
This refers to your story on dementia (If The Brain Withers). My mother is suffering from dementia. She nurtured eight children and was very active even in her seventies. But, her brain took the toll from the drugs she took for diabetes. She has some vivid memories of her childhood but forgets who came home yesterday to meet her. “But you can still live well with dementia,” says a line from the article. Yes, you can. Mother is doing just fine, but she has to pop several multivitamin tablets and medicines in that state.
V.N.K. Murti, Pattambi
Your article on dementia caught my eye. My father succumbed to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) after fighting it for four years. I was looking after him in all those years. He was treated by good neurologists in Kolkata, but they all said that Alzheimer’s had no cure as of now. My experience with my father prompted me to write a small manual for the care givers called ‘A TO Z care for Alzheimer’s patients’. I am now making a documentary on the subject to spread awareness.
Arindam Chatterjee, On E-Mail
The infinitely complex human brain should skip the whole pill routine and look for alternatives.
Anil S., Pune
The AAP-BJP conflict in Delhi has degenerated beyond the limits of acceptable bizarreness—yes, Indian politics is marked by such a thing. That a large number of bureaucrats have rallied around the Chief Secretary is telling. It reveals the tension that AAP, itself a party with a former civil services employee at its helm, has had with bureaucrats in its three years of being in power. The Delhi CM has to take up some responsible and clear the air around this unbecoming incident. Kejriwal’s eccentric functioning of the party now appears to be going out of control. Political goons—and there is no dearth of them, in all parties—will perceive any failure to resolve this case as a green flag to intimidating civil servants.
J. Akshay, Bangalore
As Delhi CM, Arvind Kejriwal has never cared for norms of governance—leave alone the recent skirmish with chief secretary Anshu Prakash (Long Rope Curls Into Tight Tape, Mar 5). He has been at loggerheads with the Centre, LG, bureaucrats and even the municipal heads, all the time blaming others for his own failures. Prakash, in his police complaint, said the CM’s advisor had phoned him three times on February 19 to inform him about that night’s meet. So much for the nagging nature.
M.C. Joshi, On E-Mail
The country’s constitution lets the judiciary, legislature and bureaucracy work within their allotted powers. Crossing the line will result in an administrative breakdown, which has become Delhi’s recurring problem post-AAP. On top of it now, the ruling party is itself allegedly indulging in goondagiri—and, still worse, playing the victim. The perpetrators of crimes must be booked.
Ganesh Hedge, On E-Mail
The CS episode continues to linger what with AAP spokesman Ashutosh blaming the Lt Governor for not acting on complaints of attacks on its two leaders. What’s more, even CM and his deputy, who were eye witnesses to the episode, have conveniently shifted the blame on to the Opposition BJP!
K.R. Srinivasan, Secunderbad
No matter what, no CM should summon the CS in his residence at midnight—unless the matter is to discuss something very urgent. By the government’s own revelation, there’s been a delay in ration disbursal. So, why not wait till the next morning? No wonder, even the food and civil supplies minister chose to gave it a miss!
Buddhadev Nandi, On E-Mail
The present case shows something more than is in public view. That the Delhi Government has been limited by the Centre in the past is not hidden from anyone. The Delhi government has been pushing development particularly in the fields of education, health, bijli, pani etc. So, bureaucrats who have been working overtime to deliver for AAP, are bound to feel pressured. If an assault happened, it should be unequivocally condemned, but there is a lesson in all this for bureaucrats as well.
Mahesh Kataria, On E-Mail
This is apropos Outlook’s story on the PNB fraud (Neglect Is A Fraud’s Best Friend, Mar 5). The modus operandi of Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi needs to be investigated thoroughly. The fraud was enabled by SWIFT (Society For Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication), a messaging system used by banks worldwide to transfer funds. It is supposed to be a secure service, but Modi, in collusion with PNB employees, breached it.
Deepak Dang, On E-Mail
The organised loot of more than Rs 11,400 crore happened even after the Mallya scandal! Perhaps the successful fly-by-night operations of Lalit Modi and Vijay Mallya served as inspiration for Nirav Modi. This fraud may well prove to be just the tip of iceberg of banking scandals. The Modi government has already pinned the blame of the NPAs mess on the Congress. Even if they are to be believed on that, they have to accept that they were caught napping. A clean-up of the balance sheets of banks was the primary challenge this government had taken on its head during the 2014 elections. If they had acted on their promises, such a fraud couldn’t have happened.
When the rich and the powerful are swindling national banks periodically, perhaps enjoying the ‘ease of doing business’ climate, are people, who have kept their hard earned money in banks, not bound to lose their faith in the banking system? Can they now trust the banks with their biometric digital details, something the government is pushing for aggressively? The only way, I feel, to allay the fears of costumers is to bring the fraudsters and the conniving bank officials to book as quickly as possible.
I am not surprised that this government is determined to go ahead with the River Linking Project (Bid for a Big Catch, March 5). The ruling party wants to go ahead with all those projects that can fetch it votes and funds—even those that fall flat on all scientific facts and logic. River basins across India follow different geological patterns and linking them is not just impractical, but disastrous. Secondly, a river isn’t a pipe that we can control. You can’t compare the Ganga to another river. It has different characteristics, so do Godavari, Krishna and Mahanadi! This is happening at the time when policymakers all over the world have given up old paradigms of development. Dams, which were touted as the temples of new India, are now being decommissioned in the West. But here, we are going ahead with the Pancheshwar Dam project in Uttarakhand, which will displace thousands and devastate a huge area. The real reason is the huge amount of money involved in these projects.
Rakesh Agrawal, Dehradun
This refers to your editorial comment Dalit Atrocities (March 5). It is a reality that unfortunately continues in modern Indian society as well. There has not been much change in people’s attitude towards those who are exploited by the dominant community, in both urban and rural areas, and this is irrespective of the literacy rate. It’s high time elected representatives and public servants showcased some good examples. But then, all politics is done keeping in mind the caste calculus.
Ramachandran Nair, Muscat
The review of Anne Applebaum’s book on the Ukrainian famine (Bare Bones of the Holodmor, Mar 5) was brilliant. A conference held on October 4, 2015, in the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kiev—‘Holodomor 1932-1933: losses of the Ukrainian nation’—organised by the National Museum ‘Holodomor Victims Memorial’, among others, certified and established the number of deaths caused by the tragedy. The astounding number came to ten million deaths. Strangely, historians ignore statements by journalist Walter Duranty, Stalin and Krushchev on the Holodomor.
The USSR census is also revealing: In 1926, it recorded that there were 31,195,000 Ukrainians; in 1939 the figure was 28,111,000. A decrease of 11 per cent! In 1934 Duranty, then a reporter for The New York Times, privately reported to the British embassy in Moscow that as many as 10 million people may have died in the famine in Ukraine. Duranty also played a major role in shielding this massive horror. In his memoirs, Khrushchev Remembers, the former soviet leader writes: “I can’t give an exact figure because no one was keeping count. All we knew was that people were dying in enormous numbers.” But Khrushchev (and through him, Stalin) knew the numbers all right. He was intimate with Lazar Kaganovich, the party head in Ukraine, and must have talked with him over horilka and salo (vodka and fat back). Historians Timothy Snyder and Robert Conquest also, with insufficient information at their disposal, pegged the number of deaths at around five-seven million victims.
Peter J. Piaseckyj, On E-Mail
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