Through his article Let them eat okra (Loose Canon, December 6) Manas Chakravarty seems to have joined the undistinguished league of writers who get carried away by the weightlessness of their own words. His opening line connecting Pranab Mukherjee, inflation and his own evaluation of Brinda Karat’s political ideology on the basis of her looks — seems to render the central issue meaningless . Is the author interested in knowing Karat and Mukherjee’s differing views on inflation or more inclined towards the battle of the sexes in Indian politics?
Rajni Sharma, Jalandhar
English is losing its voice
Karan Thapar’s article Riches to rags (Sunday Sentiments, December 6) was a reminder of how the English language has deteriorated over the years. Technological advancements — like the Short Messaging Service (SMS) and electronic mail — have played their part in this decline, seriously damaging the most widely spoken language in the world. As Thapar rightly states, it is disheartening that we seem to have forgotten most of the rather delightful collective nouns that we learned as children.
Vasudha Sharma, Chandigarh
Temple or mosque? Few of us care
The format that Vir Sanghvi used to analyse the Ayodhya issue in Ayodhya for dummies (Counterpoint, December 6) made for easy reading about the genesis of the Ram Janmabhoomi wrangle, but stands in stark contrast to the complexity of the problem itself. The reasons for communal tensions between Hindus and Muslims run deep, and have been exacerbated in recent years by Pakistan-sponsored terrorist activities in India resulting in a backlash against Islam. Fundamentalism of any kind must be condemned.
M.K. Barua, Delhi
It’s true that in India issues related to religion don’t die down as long as they have the potential of being exploited for political gain. A majority of Hindus still feel embarrassed about the demolition of the Babri Masjid as Hinduism discourages violence. Most Indians, too, disapprove of the way in which politicians sideline ethics to appease minorities. In this day and age, nobody cares about the original structure that existed in Ayodhya.
J.M. Manchanda, Delhi
Not an irrational move
Indrajit Hazra’s views in Minaret in A Minor (Red Herring, December 6) made one think of the reasons behind the Swiss vote against minarets, a decision that has surprised many. Contrary to Hazra’s view, there are many who feel that the followers of Islam in Europe wish to impose the Sharia after eliminating a certain percentage of the European population through jihad. In light of the fact that fears of terror attacks from jihadis have gripped almost all developed nations, the Swiss decision to ban minarets is not irrational.
Udita Agrawal, Delhi
Be it Britain, Italy, Spain or the US, terror attacks have forced national governments everywhere to take measures to safeguard their citizens against the threat of Islamic terror. But in India, political parties continue to turn a blind eye to terrorism and appease the Muslim minority, all for votebank politics. At a time when the Taliban is mercilessly killing fellow Muslims in Pakistan and Afghanistan, there is an urgent need for governments all over the world to take pre-emptive measures, like curbing jihadist propaganda and beefing up security.
R. Narayanan, via email
While condemning the demolition of the Babri Masjid by right-wing groups, in his article Deny hookah-paani to the villains of Babri demolition (With Malice towards One and All, December 6), Khushwant Singh seems to have forgotten his condemnation of the use of force in Operation Bluestar, back in 1984. Such conflicting opinions, supporting hooliganism in one case and opposing it in another, are unbecoming for a writer of Singh’s stature. His vacillation leaves the readers unable to take him seriously in either case.
Anil Sood, via email