Not always a bag of laughs
Karan Thapar’s write-up Jest a minute (Sunday Sentiments, October 10) about the joke cracked about Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit was not impressive. If today we don’t react to such things, tomorrow they might be making fun of our Father of the Nation. It is not Dikshit who reacted to the incident but people who respect her and cannot tolerate a foreigner mocking an elderly Indian woman.
Shivam Swami, via email
Thapar rightly highlights our inability as a nation to digest humour, however juvenile and distasteful, directed at us. In Anglo-American culture, the name ‘Dikshit’ has unfortunate connotations and it would be altogether sensible of us to recognise the same instead of going overboard. But perhaps our political and bureaucratic classes are too caught up in that colonial legacy of propriety and prudery which, when combined with sycophancy, makes us seem hypocritical and immature as a people.
Anubhav Pradhan, via email
I agree with Thapar when he says that the joke about Sheila Dikshit by a New Zealand TV anchor could have been better handled by India. The Indian media made a horrible mistake by referring to Camilla by her divorced husband’s surname. This happens, and people should be magnanimous enough to laugh it away.
Ashok Ghosh, via email
Trial and terror
I beg to differ from Vir Sanghvi’s views in Let’s be clear about what we’re up against (Counterpoint, October 10) that the West has bought Pakistan’s line that it is best to deal with the Taliban and Haqqani network and then get out of Afghanistan. Western powers are in the Af-Pak mess because they figure that it is better to fight terrorists at the source. Hence, they will not get out of Afghanistan any time soon.
Pradeep Goorha, Bhopal
Pakistani rulers have been sponsoring terrorism in India for two decades but acknowledge it only when out of power. As the situation in Pakistan becomes weak, the control over terrorist groups turns weaker. India needs to be cautious while dealing with its neighbour. We need to build a protective mechanism to safeguard the country as we can ill-afford to derail our economic growth by believing Pakistan.
Vivek Sharma, via email
Wrestling with bias
Shalini Singh’s article Heavy mettle (October 10) about India’s women wrestlers who brought laurels to the country was interesting. It is heartening that these girls, belonging to male-dominated states like Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, emerged winners and beat Olympic champions in the Games. Their magnificent feat and success is an inspiration and it will definitely change the attitude of our society towards the girl child. The entire nation salutes this show of women power.
Manish Chandra, Delhi