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Unusual entry into hall of fame

With reference to the Forbes’ list on Heroes of Philanthropy, it was disappointing to see that Anil Agarwal, majority owner and chairman, Vedanta Resources, too finds a mention in it.

india Updated: Mar 12, 2009 21:58 IST

Unusual entry into hall of fame
With reference to the Forbes’ list on Heroes of Philanthropy, it was disappointing to see that Anil Agarwal, majority owner and chairman, Vedanta Resources, too finds a mention in it. Since when did being a ‘hero of philanthropy’ involve invading a tribe’s sacred hills and destroying the forests they live in? The industrial projects of Agarwal’s company are ruining one of India’s remotest and self-sufficient tribes, the Dongria Kondh in Orissa. If Agarwal was a true philanthropist, he would talk to those people whose lives have been affected by his company’s projects and work towards providing them with what they want.
Stephen Corry, Director, Survival International

Seniors turn murderers
Apropos of the report Medical student dies after ragging in Himachal college (March 10), the situation demands serious attention. Ragging is a criminal offence and it hampers the entire purpose of imparting education to remove ignorance and evil from society. The sad part is that the colleges, too, are a party in covering up the crime for the fear of earning a bad reputation. It is necessary for college administrations to strongly advocate against this malpractice and report such matters to the police. This alone will ensure that our children enjoy their education and not run away from it.
Amrit Lal Vohra, Delhi

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It is shocking that despite the government’s tall claims of making ragging a criminal offence and implementing it strictly across all colleges, the menace continues to find its way into campuses. It is surprising that a child who joined college with high hopes lost his life only because some people derived pleasure out of cheap thrills. Let the authorities wake up to the horrors of ragging at least now and bring the culprits to justice. Strict punishment alone will set a precedent for others and curb the menace of ragging.
Avinash Pandita, Delhi

Giving in to their evil games
Rajdeep Sardesai in Sent back to the pavilion (Beyond the Byte, March 6) is right in saying that with the recent attack on Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore, and with Pakistani government’s dubious record in tackling terrorism, the future of sports in Pakistan has undoubtedly reached its nadir. It is distressing to note that the high level of emotionalism that we associate with cricket makes it a soft target for the terrorists. This incident has taught us that nothing and nobody is safe from these extremists whose aim is to disrupt the social fabric and instill
terror in our psyche.
K. Venkataraman, Delhi

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Are the 26/11 Mumbai attacks and the Lahore assault on Sri Lankan cricketers not enough to tell us the barbaric tale of how terrorists wish to fill our minds and hearts with hatred for each other? These incidents exemplify the fading morality and growing madness in our society. By attacking cricketers, terrorists have made their heinous intentions clear. It is high time that all governments unite to fight against these extremists and restore peace in society. It is equally imperative for people like us to unite in these hard times and stop playing the blame game.
Cajetan Peter D’Souza, Mumbai

BJP’s shrinking options
With reference to Pankaj Vohra’s article Desperately seeking BJP (Between us, March 10), the party’s present position is no different than that of the Congress in the past. It is out of power and doesn’t have any option but to stay content with fickle allies. The BJP is yet to settle to its post-Vajpayee equilibrium since it cannot replicate the successful Congress model, which has helped it to stay in power for full five-years. The notion of the BJP as a party with no single opinion and a lack of strong leadership to pull all its strings together will not hold the allies for long.
R. Narayanan, via email