In Pride and prejudice (January 20), Barkha Dutt rightly said that Indians are hypocrites. We tend to boil up with anger when a racial remark is made against our celebrities but when such things happen to common people, we hardly pay any attention to it. Cases such as the one concerning actress Shilpa Shetty are reported within hours but when it comes to a Dalit being tortured, the media do not actively report it. Our national pride is important, but we can’t ignore what is taking place in our own backyard.
Barkha Dutt hit the nail on the head while talking about the attitude of Indians towards racism. We have caste barriers in our temples, we look down upon SCs and STs and raise a storm about racism. What we are referring to as ‘racism’ is nothing more than emotional melodrama to raise the TRPs of the show. Had Shilpa been so bothered about the comments, she would have walked off the show. The comments are no doubt offensive, but the manner in which the case has been manipulated is not right.
I agree with Barkha Dutt’s view that we take pride in our being an Indian abroad while we exercise prejudice right in our homes. Reality shows are a mixture of bullying, group dynamics and cultural clashes. Shilpa Shetty is too mature an actress not to know all the aspects of the show before entering it. The racist factor is designed to help increase the TRP ratings, thereby increasing her own fees for the show.
Lay of the land
There has been a lot of controversy about the purchase of land for SEZs, particularly agricultural land. There have been agitations against the land acquiring process. Is it possible that any land falling within this, or any industrial project, will be continued to be used only for agricultural purpose? The previous owner should be asked to continue to till the land under the SEZ control and with a government-approved contract. This would ensure that the overall agricultural land area is not reduced and that industrial projects can be undertaken to benefit the local populace.
Trial and error
Apropos OF the report Bush’s Iraq plan finds no takers (January 25), President Bush is seeking the Congress’s support for winning the war on Iraq as a final chance. Bush went wrong on diverting the thrust on the war on terror from the Pakistan-Afghanistan flashpoint to Iraq. The regrouping of the Taliban, under the patronage of Pakistan and under the nose of the US, has undone this scheme.
The editorial Where is the Opposition? (January 25) should prove disturbing for the BJP, which claims to have an almost equal number of seats in Parliament to that of the Congress. The Opposition leader is referred to as someone who will always be a bridesmaid and never the bride. The second-rung BJP leaders do not see anything beyond their Muslim-phobia because they have been moulded in the RSS pot. A strong, intelligent and bias-free Opposition in a democratic set-up is vital for a democracy. Unfortunately, India does not have this.
The BJP is in dire need of a leader who can put an end to the party infighting. The party is currently unable to make its existence felt as an Opposition.
Sitaram Yechury in Break the cycle (January 25) forgot to take into account what happened in Russia after the Bolshevik revolution of 1917. When Hitler expressed his fears over socialism, he was not unjustified. The Stalin regime in the USSR was totalitarian and curbed the development of the human mind. We do not want such indoctrination of Marxism in India.
The Uttar Pradesh police once again proved its ineffectiveness when the two accused in the Nithari killings were beaten up in its presence by a mob. Koli and Pandher deserve capital punishment, but that does not absolve the police of its responsibility to protect them while they are in custody. How can anyone repose trust in the police at this rate?
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