When will China stop making claims over all things Indian?
I agree with Pratik Kanjilal’s views in A journey without maps (Speakeasy, January 30) that the core talent that the Chinese possess is in laying claim, whether it is to Sanskrit or parts of Arunachal Pradesh. How can the Chinese lay claim to Sanskrit when historical evidence clearly shows that the language belongs to India. Besides, what the Chinese singer Sa Dingding sang was a fusion of Han and Mongolian languages, parading as Sanskrit.
Nupur Shrinet, via email
The sorry fate of a state
Abhijit Banerjee in Strong and silent (The Poverty Line, February 2) highlighted Jyoti Basu’s charisma and mass appeal. But then a politician must be judged by the outcome of his politics, not by personal credentials. Basu’s long tenure as West Bengal’s CM is characterised by the ruin of the state and the exodus of the bright and brilliant, as well as with a steep decline in the quality of life. This, in a state that had earlier been the vanguard of the economic, social and cultural matrix of the country. West Bengal’s loss can’t be mitigated by achievements in the areas of agriculture and local self-government alone.
Jyotsna Sahai, via email
Pot calling the kettle black
It is ironic that Maleeha Lodhi in Tipping the balance (February 3) has chosen to criticise India for its Indo-US civilian nuclear deal and the NSG waiver for the import of nuclear material to power India’s agricultural and economic development. The Indo-US nuclear deal is a legitimate agreement, duly ratified by the US Senate. On the other hand, it’s well-known that China is secretly supplying nuclear technology to Pakistan to augment its nuclear weapons arsenal. Pakistan has already deployed the long-range Ghauri missile that can target all major Indian cities. Therefore, Lodhi’s view is highly skewed if she believes that the Indo-US nuclear deal and the waiver impinges on Pakistan’s security.
Prem Talwar, via email
It appears that Pakistan is obsessed with the misplaced and ambitious notion of achieving parity with India. India’s nuclear programme, as envisaged in the Indo-US N-deal, is directed towards power generation and has nothing to do with the acquisition of nuclear weapons. As far as strengthening our armed forces is concerned, India is as much entitled to its security as Pakistan. Still, instead of entering into a nuclear arms race, we should focus our attention on eradicating poverty, hunger, disease and unemployment, problems that are common to both nations.
S.S. Singh, via email
The Thackerays must apologise
Samar Halarnkar in We’re all Shah Rukh (Maha Bharat, February 4) is right in arguing that injustice triumphs when the powerful are silent. So it is good that powerful people have spoken out against the baseless statements of the MNS and the Shiv Sena. It is not Shah Rukh Khan who needs to apologise, but the Thackerays, for their undemocratic demands and for threatening to suppress our freedom of expression. Mumbai belongs to every Indian, just as the rest of India belongs to every Mumbaikar.
Manzar Imam, Delhi
Mind your language, politicians
The report Sena: Mumbai doesn’t belong to Rahul’s Italian mummy (February 4) proves that politicians are increasingly using the word ‘mentally ill’ to describe their opponents every time there is a clash of opinions. If being a bachelor can be equated with being frustrated, former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam should be at the top of the list of mentally ill people. In fact, such comments are an affront to the dignity of mentally-challenged people. We expect the media to be more responsible while reporting such comments.
Nandita Elankath, via email