Khushwant Singh’s article Terror in the name of God (With Malice Towards One And All, November 1) presents a cogent correlation between violence and religion. A closer look at those who are willing to kill people in the name of God shows that they are uneducated and, thus, unable to differentiate between right and wrong. It is the duty of every government to ensure that everyone receives at least the basic education that helps them from being misled by others.
Prabhu Singh, via email
A woman for all reasons
Karan Thapar’s article on Prime Minister Indira Gandhi The first Mrs G (Sunday Sentiments, November 1) reminds me of two incidents that highlighted her affinity for arts and culture. Once she invited Pakistani singer Reshma to her house for a performance and, impressed by her talent, requested Reshma to sing for more than the stipulated time. Second, a celebrity writer once sent Mrs Gandhi an an English translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s Gitanjali. After reading it, Gandhi also tried her hand at translating the book and sent both versions to another well-known personality for comments, but under an assumed identity.
B.M. Singh, Amritsar
Self-reliance is the keyword
Vir Sanghvi’s article Doing us an ex-presidential favour (Counterpoint, November 1) should clear New Delhi’s misconception that the US will assist India in sorting its differences with Pakistan and China. The former US President George W. Bush’s speech reflected the US view that India should be self-reliant enough to tackle its challenges. It is in our interest to recognise our capabilities and stop depending on others.
V.P. Damodar, Pune
A superpower, as Arundhati Roy once wrote, never has allies; it only has agents. What an irony then that George Bush, the man responsible for so many atrocities should be feted. It’s surprising that human rights activists maintained a stony silence during Bush’s visit to India.
KP Rajan, Mumbai
Learning a lesson
The ‘Kantabai’ newspaper ad of Genesis Global School that Indrajit Hazra referred to in Terrified of the bai (Red Herring, November 1) made a mockery of our education system. For once, let’s get pro-reservation to ensure that the school authorities admit children of housemaids and servants free of cost. If they are so worried about our kids learning maids’ language, then let the Genesis Global and its principal Pramod Sharma teach ‘Kantabai’ and her kids what they think is the right language for them.
Sandeep Roy, via email
Indrajit Hazra talked about Indians who feel perversely proud of speaking badly in their mother tongue. One recalls the aristocratic, anglophile Bengalis in the days of the Raj who spoke to their Bengali servants in Urdu because the English did so. If there is any perversity in using a language other than one’s own, then it should also apply to those who use Latin words and phrases in English writings.
Bishan Sahai, via email
Talk more, act less
Manas Chakravarty in State of the enemy (Loose Canon, November 1) rightly highlights the myth of the Naxal menace and the government’s failure to provide facilities to the people in the Naxal-hit areas. An armed rebellion against the insurgents will not solve the issue. Until the government addresses the root cause of the problem, the Maoist movement will only strengthen.
Robi Shom, via email
The hijacking of the Bhubaneswar-Delhi Rajdhani Express in West Midnapore district, West Bengal, by Maoists is alarming. There is no denying that the government is responsible for ignoring the problem of insurgency all this while. It forced the people to resort to violent ways of demonstrating their resentment. But now that it has proposed dialogue with the insurgents, it is the duty of the Maoists to accept the offer and amicably resolve their grudges.
M. Kumar, Delhi