Why are we letting publicity seekers hijack literary fests?
Political sociologist Ashis Nandy’s remark at the just concluded Jaipur Literature Festival that “most of the corrupt come from the OBCs (other backward classes) and scheduled castes and now, increasingly, the scheduled tribes” must be condemned as strongly as possible (Protests on, Nandy leaves, January 28). A scholar of Nandy’s stature should have exercised restraint while speaking on such a controversial issue. But why are we allowing people like Nandy to hijack literary fests for publicity? Last year in Mumbai, again at a literature festival, playwright Girish Karnad attacked author VS Naipaul for his views on Muslims in India.
Rajan Kalia, via email
You reap what you sow
This refers to Krishna Kumar’s article It’s primary evidence (January 28). According to a media report published last year, there’s a shortage of 6.89 lakh primary teachers in the country. In such a scenario any dilution in the quality of teacher training would be regressive. Primary education is not just the foundation of the education sector but also of nation-building. Our government must not shy away from investing in primary education because an educated generation is the best return that a nation can get.
Ashish Rai, via email
Think before you speak
With reference to the editorial She packs a punch (The Pundit, January 28), West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s irresponsible remarks on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Left leaders of the state are a sad reflection of the dearth of civility in Indian politics. Though Banerjee is known for making such remarks, the one against the prime minister is absolutely unbecoming to a chief minister. Banerjee should offer an unconditional apology to the prime minister.
Ashok Goswami, Mumbai
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