Issue Dated: October 09, 2000

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The Root and the Shoot

You seem obsessed with the rss and the bjp (Sangh in their Soul, September 25). What's this? Sanghphobia? The bjp is an offshoot of the Sangh parivar and there's nothing wrong in appointing people with an rss background as bjp functionaries.

H.S. Mahadeva, Bangalore

Truth and its Fictions

The idea that Vajpayee should have kept away from the vhp meet (Such a Long Visit, September 25) as he was in the US as India's PM is wrong. The same people wanted him to play host to the Pope, which he did, even though the Pope was here not to improve ties but to address a gathering of Asian bishops. The double standards of Indian secularists again stand exposed.

Rakesh Srivastava, on e-mail

Your unbiased reporting about Vajpayee's American yatra was great. When the country's biased pro-bjp Hindi media was playing up the 'magnificent success' of Vajpayee's visit, your's was quite a balanced account.

Dr Ajay Chauhan, Agra

A Modest Proposal

What a vision and analysis Prem Shankar Jha and Vinod Mehta have! (Rhetoric of Despair, Delhi Diary, September 25). They should be listed under mfbs (Most Favoured Babblers). Outlook is becoming more anti-nda and pro-Pakistan. Why not move your office to Karachi?

Vinod Narsana, on e-mail

A Captain's Move

Vinod, you are really a vinodi! What a nice way of saying you are leaving Outlook for a new job with an increased income (Delhi Diary, September 25). The prophecy needn't have come out of a fortune cookie, a Marwari-minded journo-shopper's 'brainwave' would be enough. Isn't that how the media works?

A.S. Raj, on e-mail

Was that bit about the fortune cookie a premonition or a preamble? If Vinod Mehta now happens to leave for an 'increased income', he could always blame it on 'fate'.

Venu Gopal Nair, on e-mail

Not in our Genes

If one-sixth of the earth's genepool habitually fails to get a single medal in the Olympics (Goldrush Down Under, September 25), shouldn't it be a subject of research for anthropologists? At least to find out if this genepool belongs to another planet!

Ratan Mathur, Nashik

It's shocking that many of our Olympic coaches openly declared that our athletes have little or no hope of winning medals at Sydney. To concede defeat even before an event had begun is atrocious and defies the Olympic spirit. Such statements should be discouraged and the officials firmly dealt with. The motto ought to be "Citius, Altius, Fortius" not "Criticise, Discourage and Demoralise".

Subhashish Majumdar, Mumbai

Crude Excuses

In A Crude Sense of Humour, (September 25) you call the petroleum ministry 'myopic' for not looking at alternatives, but don't suggest any yourself. Making the ad valorem tax specific would only slightly reduce the impact of the increase in international prices. As crude prices have trebled over the last 18 months, making the taxation specific would still mean that the gross price would increase by at least 2.5 times. Of course, present prices aren't based on the low crude prices of March '99, so the increase wouldn't be in this proportion.

Ashok Chowgule, Mumbai

With more than 70 per cent crude imports, we're at the mercy of the opec countries. Tinkering with the tax structure is no solution to costly petroleum products. It's time domestic crude production is stepped up. There's also no getting away from conservation of energy and the use of alternative fuels.

D.B.. Murthy, on e-mail

The Submerged Facts

Dilip D'Souza is yet another Gujarat-baiter (Domkhedi Diary, September 18). He's unhappy that the dam "will send electricity to far-flung corners of Gujarat" and Domkhedi will drown, but forgets that thousands of affected people have been resettled. The Lower Narmada Projects envisage, inter alia, allotment of 1,920 MW of power to MP, 1,450 MW to Gujarat and 27 per cent of 1,450 MW (of ssp) to Maharashtra. Similarly, annual irrigation for MP will be 2.90 mha and for Gujarat 1.80 mha. Clearly, MP is a bigger beneficiary. Why can't you provide full details of the ssp project?

R.K. Bhrugushastri, on e-mail

The Ink of Jealousy

Your review of Fiza (September 18) was appalling. The movie was a socially conscious one and Karishma and Hrithik also played their roles to perfection. The critics' attempt to put down another film critic's movie was all too obvious. Criticising Santosh Sivan's work was ridiculous.

Liz J., on e-mail

Age of Imprisonment

Apropos How to Catch a Jackal (September 18), the sixth way to nab Veerappan: wait 40 years more, after turning 100 the brigand will crawl like a child, and it'll be easy to nab him!

Priya, Gobichettipalayam, TN

Enemies of Amour

What's wrong in young people making love in public places? (Crowding out Cupid, September 18). These morality watchdogs don't object to x-rated movies on TV, are not bothered about improving things like infrastructure, instead they're worried about lovebirds!

K.P. Rajan, Mumbai

Seniles and Statesmen

Apropos Those Seventy Plus Blues (September 11), at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, Vajpayee said "thank you" five times while trying to finish his speech before finally giving up. Earlier, his staff had cancelled his joint press conference with Clinton. Clearly, he's become senile. But as his inner coterie will lose their jobs if he retires, they continue to let him make a fool of himself.

Gopal Saraswat, Virginia, US

Do you expect a 76-year-old man burdened with 24 parties to be polevaulting like Sergei Bubka? Instead of focusing on trivials like knee joints, you should have praised the achievements of India's finest statesman since independence.

Santosh Mohan Joshi, Maharashtra

The Dream Still Lives!

People's Shrine (September 11) clearly shows that India's multi-religious, multi-cultural society is intact despite the efforts of the fundamentalists. The media must also combat communalism and the politics of hate.

Jamal Ansari, Aligarh

Snobs and Southpaws

Why this belief that poor Saurav has been given a raw deal by the 'racist' English press? (Rub of the Green, September 4). Michael Henderson of The Daily Telegraph, one of the 'suburban hacks' Sanjay Suri alludes to, is a trenchant defender of cricket's traditions. As for Ganguly, who is yet to outgrow his 'arrogant maharaja' image, as the captain it's time for him to start behaving like a cricketer.

Sharad Kohli, Gurgaon

Children of Dark Design

Pakistan's youths are being trained to fight India (Ready for Jehad, September 25) instead of getting an education and helping develop their country. While we try to ensure education for our children in the 21st century, Pakistani parents prefer the 'pride' of having a son fight India. Pakistan might've been created for Islam, but it's poised to become the worst place for Muslims.

Rucha Trivedi, Ahmedabad

Your story was deeply shocking. After the revelations about the jehadi's plans to destroy India, should we still turn a blind eye to Pakistan's campaign of terror? How can any Indian overlook the fact that under the patronage of the isi, a bigoted monster is being bred and reared in our neighbourhood? What do our great liberals, secularists and human rights activists have to say now? And remember it was Outlook, not The Organiser that published the report.

Pushpa Motihar, on e-mail

People like Azhar Masood represent elements which are out to poison the whole social environment. It's high time Pakistan realised the folly of nurturing him.

Shashwat Gupta Ray, Baroda

Not only do these jehadis want to claim Kashmir, they also want to kill all Indians. And after that, they want to spread jehad all over the world with the support of Muslim nations.

Girishkumar C. Chauhan, Jamnagar

The story was quite a scoop. Pakistan's youth should try and fight the military junta first rather than think about Kashmir. With one elected premier already put to the gallows, another in close proximity to the noose and a third ex-premier on the run to save her life, Pakistan's democracy is really blooming! In these days of a global economy, where the world is becoming a village of symbiotic relationships, terrorism can only further isolate Pakistan. Perhaps some day India can help Pakistan's people re-establish democracy.

Raghubir Singh, Pune

It is a pity that children who should be studying to become engineers, doctors and businessmen are being instilled with poison against Hindus and other non-Muslim communities. In what age are these militants living? In medieval times? There shall be no more Ghaznis and Ghauris, they have all had their time. Now, they shall have to pay for their crimes. Pakistan, along with these jehadis, is soon going to meet its nemesis.

Indrajeet Asija, Delhi

In Defence of Love's Labours

Manu Joseph's Crowding out Cupid (September 18) is a lot of tripe. Mumbai is a cosmopolitan city, a miniature India, home to people from all constituent states. With all the constraints and road-blocks, people here try to conduct themselves with dignity and have neither the time nor the inclination to make a public exhibition of their love life. Despite this, Joseph has tried his best to denigrate and demean them. He appears to be obsessed with sex and this has let his imagination run riot. The illustration by Jayachandran is equally offensive. It was sad to read this crass article.

M.A. Bijoor, Mumbai


In Some Spaces in Time (October 2), Ms Pereira of Khotachi Wadi was wrongly identified as Ms Fereirra in a photo-caption. The error is regretted.

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