Barkha Dutt in Shadow on India rising (March 15) throws light on our biased attitude towards the Indian diaspora. But our media are busy conferring Indian citizenship on international achievers of Indian origin who hate being tagged as geniuses of Indian origin. Had it not been for the incident in the US, the Mississippi happenings would not have been covered by national dailies. Countless incidents of Indians being tortured in the Gulf countries go unnoticed by the media. Instead, the focus is on the US presidential race and the former New York Governor’s prostitution scandal.
Barkha Dutt is right about Indian citizens not reacting much to the Mississippi horror story. It is true that India’s middle-class knows better than most how hard and lonely the struggle of an ordinary man can be. Aspiration cannot be a substitute for neglect.
Barkha Dutt is right in saying that aspirations cannot become a substitute for neglect. Disparity has so become a way of life. We still hail the rich and popular who left us decades ago, but feel ashamed to help those who are poor and unsung.
We are fascinated by the rich and famous NRIs while neglecting the rest of the diaspora that often pass through hell in foreign lands after being duped by recruiting racketeers. The government should take steps to alleviate the suffering of those who live in an area of darkness.
The saga of the success of the world’s four richest Indians contrasts starkly with the hellish experience of Indian workers and job-seekers stranded in the Mississippi shipyard. Our lackadaisical approach is repeated in the context of Myanmar, Tibet, Malaysia and Arunachal Pradesh. If we are morally strong enough to put forth our opinion, we shouldn’t be afraid of being watched doing what we do.
A systemic failure
Apropos of the editorial Test message (March 20), stress is natural and unavoidable when the student knows that he/she can lose her/his seat in a quality institute over one mark
and fall into the clutches of third-rate politically-run trust institutes. Rote learning and exams are the result of this competitive environment where every student has to score
above 95 per cent to qualify for competition. If the government can free the educational system and create a credible second rung of quality institutes,
the suicides rate will dramatically drop.
It is a matter of astonishment that 5,857 students committed suicide across India. The faulty exam system is to blame for these staggering figures, because of the tendency of parents to compare children with their peers. The pressure forces them to commit suicide or take to smoking and drugs.
Often sadness over a small failure prevents us from gaining real success. So is the case with those parents, teachers and children who are obsessed with examinations. Many great scientists and thinkers met with failures initially and even had irregular education. Had they became discouraged, we would never have known them. So, a possible approach is the key to success.
Live and let live
Apropos of the editorial Sarabjit must live (March 18), the death penalty awarded in such dubious circumstances can never be justified. Carrying out the death sentence in the case of Sarabjit Singh would only give a fillip to more hangings in both India and Pakistan, provoking a clamour for reprisal actions. We urge Pakistan’s government to prevent such an outcome which is detrimental to international harmony and well-being.
Under the prevailing atmosphere of bonhomie between the citizens of India and Pakistan, it is more than desirable for both governments to declare a general amnesty for all the prisoners languishing in each other’s jails. It will be the best way to accelerate the current phase of normalisation of relations.
Mustafa Kamal Sherwani
The Taslima Nasreen episode is sad. But the controversial author’s marching orders were signed by those who claim to be gladiators of secularism. Both the Congress and the Leftists recently supported M.F. Hussain’s freedom of expression. In the Taslima issue, they took a crash course in religious sensitivities. Even the media have maintained a silence on this issue whereas they launched a blitzkrieg against Shiv Sainiks for protesting against Hussain.