Look ahead to move ahead
With reference to Vir Sanghvi’s article Stand up to mullahs (Counterpoint, February 22), writers like Salman Rushdie, Hari and Vir Sanghvi have behavioural problems and they derive sadistic pleasure out of their hate-mongering campaign. Though Sanghvi may not be aiming to get publicity, he over-reacts to non-issues and uses hurtful words that are not required. This is evident from his terminology like chaddiwalas, thugs, fanatics, mullahs etc. But nobody will tolerate such language even if under the guise of free speech. Sanghvi should concentrate more on providing insights into food through his lively writing. I hope you don’t mind my free speech, Sanghvi?
H Khurshid, via email
All right-thinking persons will support Vir Sanghvi’s views. Mankind progresses only through the infusion of new ideas that were possible because there were people who upheld the freedom of expression and speech. Every great religion grew in its time because it was more inclusive and represented a progression on prevailing ideas. With the passage of time, religions became institutionalised in order to bring stability to societies. This created resistance to new ideas and bred intolerance. Mankind has been moving towards greater happiness and well-being. So, the freedom of the human spirit has to be valued above all else.
BP Nailwal, via email
Vir Sanghvi’s article is provocative. Several reasons account for our timidity in the face of orthodoxy. Most people are too scared to speak up or are indifferent. Governments, of course, want to court votebanks. It is time that we call a spade a spade. This must be done against all religious groups. Orthodoxy itself is an impediment on the path of progress.
Dev Gulati, via email
Losing in the Oscar ring
With regard to Indrajit Hazra’s article Tired of uplifting, feel-good movies? (Red Herring, February 22), about the bleak movie The Wrestler and specifically your comment that The Wrestler was rightly not nominated since it was too bleak, I have to ask: was Hazra temporarily inhabiting a cave during last year’s Oscar season? The two films with the most Oscar buzz around them were No Country For Old Men and There Will Be Blood. No Country ended up winning the Oscar for Best Picture and believe me, you don’t get any bleaker than No Country For Old Men. In my opinion, The Wrestler was the best movie of its kind to come out last year and was shafted out of a Best Picture nomination.
Abhishek Ahluwalia, via email
‘What’s with Indrajit Hazra and Rocky?!’ This is the question that sprang to my mind when I noted that he had yet again berated the Sylvester Stallone-starring Rocky’s win over Martin Scorcese’s Taxi Driver at the 1976 Oscars (‘...And the Oscars didn’t go to..., Grey Matter, February 22). I had first read about this complaint of his a couple of months ago and had wondered why someone would prefer a gloomy and depressing film over the subliminally uplifting saga of the boxer Rocky Balboa. I got the answer in this week’s Red Herring as he explained why he enjoyed the Mickey Rourke-starring The Wrestler. Strangely, I found The Wrestler to be a very uplifting film. I guess it just depends on one’s interpretation of things as well as one’s outlook towards life.
Usaamah Siddiqi, via email
The future depends on gen-next
Raza Rumi’s article Casteism: The many-nation theory (February 22), revealed the disturbing fact that caste has a significant influence in Pakistan despite the popular claim of Islamic societies being equal. There is also a similarity with the Indian situation in rural and semi-urban areas. Politicians also keep the cauldron boiling by using caste-equations during elections. The redeeming factor in India is the increasing number of inter-caste marriages resulting from interaction among boys and girls in urban areas. One hopes that social barriers will crumble and that society becomes more cohesive. Raza should take heart from the Indian experience and hope that younger, educated Pakistanis will break free of these social evils.
JM Manchanda, Delhi
Commend the rejection
I read Sidin Vadukut’s response Thanks, but I won’t log in (February 22), on not being part of Bloggers for Advani. I am a retired professor, and like all relatively old people, often worry about the gloomy state of this country. Congratulations on your courage and conviction. I suddenly see hope around.
P Bhagat, via email