Merit has no borders, Anand is at home in the world
With reference to the editorial Degrees of parochialism (Our Take, August 26), even though Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal has apologised for the incident, the damage has been done. Chess champion Viswanathan Anand is living in Spain so that he can prepare better to compete in international events, but that does not make him Spanish at heart. He has always taken pride in representing India. The government needs to ensure that such a faux pas is avoided in future, because it only brings embarrassment to our nation.
Bal Govind, Noida
The Viswanathan Anand incident has revealed the unfortunate fact that remnants of the colonial mindset still continue to rule our 21st century bureaucracy. In an age where borders between nations are disappearing, it is absurd to make a mountain out of a molehill over Anand’s choice of residence.
Janaki Narayanan, via email
An outburst of colour
With reference to the report PC warns police chiefs against ‘saffron terror’ (August 26), Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s apparent worry about ‘saffron’ terrorism is nothing but a fallout of the newfound bonhomie between the UPA and BJP. After all, he had to say this to assuage fears within the UPA, following the Opposition’s support to him on the Naxal issue. But a person of his stature must not casually use words like ‘saffron terror’ because the colour has significance beyond the Sangh parivar or the Shiv Sena, and is also associated with sadhus, Buddhists, Sikhs, priests and others.
Shivam Swami, via email
We are playing to lose
This refers to the report Gearing up for Games (August 27). The brouhaha surrounding the Commonwealth Games must serve as a reminder of the sad truth that we are only living up to the West’s image of ‘Third World’ India. Swathes of the country are still living below the poverty line — malnourished and uneducated; people continue to be ill-treated by politicians, the police and bureaucrats. This marginalised majority has nothing to do with our aspirations to win sports medals. Also, it would serve well to compare our preparations with the enterprising spirit of the Beijing Olympics, where every worker, engineer, leader and citizen only had one goal in mind: the pride of the nation.
Sapan Garg, via email
An autonomous position
With reference to the report Solution lies within India (August 27), former J&K Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah’s demand for autonomy at this juncture is justification enough for the anarchy that has been unleashed by the separatists in Kashmir, even as the plight of Kashmiri Pandits continues to elude attention in Parliament. In fact, the people of Kashmir only want peace and tranquility, instead of azadi or autonomy.
Lalit Ambardar, Delhi
The test is history
Ashok Malik’s disclosure in A strange crusade (August 25), that Jewish intellectuals produced glowing accounts of Cordoba in order to press the case for a Jewish homeland, is a case of drawing conclusions from accounts of doubtful authenticity. Malik does not bother to highlight the fact that under the Al Andalus empire, Christians and Jews enjoyed far more rights than under any other Christian regime. One wonders how, in an age of colonisation, Cordoba came to be recognised as a great cultural and political centre. The moral of the story here is to leave history to historians and not to political commentators with their half-baked and precarious knowledge of history.
Quratul Ayn, via email