It shouldn't take ages to settle this
This refers to Karan Thapar's article No defence for this (Sunday Sentiments, January 22). The dispute over General VK Singh's date of birth has certainly dimnished the army's image. Both sides are to blamed for this. The government should have nipped the issue in the bud long ago and Gen Singh should have acted more maturely. The least that both sides can do now is find a peaceful soultion and end the debate at the earlies.
RK Kapoor, Chandigarh
Very little to be proud of
I was shocked to read Khushwant Singh's views on Salman Rushdie in his article We should be proud of Rushdie's achievements (With Malice towards one and all, January 22). Rushdie has hurt Muslim sentiments, which is unpardonable. We should stop glorifying the author.
Abdul Moiz, Shahjahanpur
Not pure as the driven snow
With reference to the article Quite off target (Chanakya, January 22), the row over the army chief's age can be resolved by accepting the date of birth that's mentioned in General VK Singh's UPSC records. It is relevant to ask who will benefit more if the general's year of birth is changed from 1951 to 1950. The answer reveals how shrewdly the government's trying to malign the reputation, and ruin the career, of an innocent soldier. It seems even the writer has failed to understand the government's cunning ploy.
Rajender Kukreja, via email
The government deserves blame for the controversy, as it has mishandled the issue from day one. The matter could have been settled amicably if the army chief wasn't forced to go to the Supreme Court.
M Ratan, Delhi
From bad to verse here
With reference to Indrajit Hazra's article Shahabuddin verses (Red Herring, January 21), the fact that Salman Rushdie could not visit Jaipur or talk on video link is an eye-opener for India. We now know how much the State respects our freedom of speech and that secularism is a myth in India. The Rajiv Gandhi government did not have a valid reason to ban The Satanic Verses. Whoever has a problem with the contents of the book is free to take the author to court and register their protest in a democratic way.
Ragini Sabnavis, Mumbai
The controversy over Rushdie's India visit stems from votebank politics. The scholar and peace activist Maulana Wahiduddin Khan once said, ‘Let Rushdie, Muslim scholars and intellectuals sit together and discuss and debate the issue for a lasting solution.' I believe that the time has come to act on the Maulana's suggestion.
BM Singh, via email
Soft landings in the media
The humour in Manas Chakra-varty's article Frights of fancy (Loose Canon, January 22) makes for interesting reading. Every newspaper and magazine today is full of articles by self-styled commentators, who seem to be obsessed with politics and sports. There are few writers who write on ‘soft' subjects, which are equally, if not more, important than politics. Chakravarty is one such gifted writer whose articles are informative as well as entertaining.
Parambir Kaur, Ludhiana
Honesty is a rare commodity
The article Are Indian babus the worst in Asia? (360 degree, January 22) rightly observes that files in government offices don't move till people bribe babus. Corruption is so rampant in India that even peons ask for money to do menial jobs like fixing an appointment with an officer or transferring a file from one department to another. Honest and hard-working people are becoming a rare species in public offices. That's why it is important to get all public officials under the purview of the Lokpal Bill.
Mahesh Kapasi, Delhi
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