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You can’t ignore Karanjia

india Updated: Feb 09, 2008 22:38 IST
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Love him or hate him, but you can’t ignore Karanjia

Vir Sanghvi in Karanjia and his Blitz (Counterpoint, Feb 3) paid a touching tribute to Russy Karanjia. I used to read Blitz in the 1960s. It was juicy, spicy and different. While some people may not have agreed with Karanjia, no one could ignore him. I think his name will not be forgotten in the history of Indian journalism. This happens when you are above pressure and have no personal axe to grind.

RD Singh, Jammu

11

Vir Sanghvi's analysis was a nostalgic trip through the bylanes of Russy Karanjia’s lost empire, Blitz. The annual Blitz national forum meetings where top Left-leaning intellectuals addressed the mass gathering used to be an occasion on which Mumbaikars looked for enlightenment, particularly on the Vietnam War. His columnists like K.A. Abbas, Ramesh Sanghvi, Kunhanandan Nair and P. Sainath have been matchless in their respective areas. While he was a bitter critic of the US, he was also a close friend of its ally, the Shah of Iran. Lal Salaam to the noble soul.

KP Rajan, Mumbai

III

It would be more appropriate to call Karanjia the father of yellow journalism in India. He was an uncritical supporter of the Soviet Union and his support to Nehru and Indira Gandhi was an extension of it. He saw no contradiction in publishing interviews with the Shah of Iran and projecting him as a great monarch.With this kind of patronage, Blitz was never short of money. He silenced his critics by making malicious attacks.

Vijaya Singh, Ghaziabad

Land in hand

Kaushik Basu’s article Economics of land acquisition (February 3) is timely in the current era of capitalism. India has 20 per cent barren land and could be used for industrialisation. The farmers occupying it will also get money and employment. As seen in Nandigram and elsewhere, any land acquisition hurts thousands of people. The government should encourage industrial houses to set up their plants on barren land sites.

Murari Chaturvedi, Delhi

Just a smokescreen

Apropos Karan Thapar's Is there a duty to discourage? (Sunday Sentiments, Feb 3), whether the discouragement comes through pictorial warnings, media campaigns or banning tobacco sale, the Health Minister is responsible for creating awareness. But asking celebrities to change their habits is not an effective measure and won’t help reduce the smokers.

Kaniz Aeliya, Delhi

11

Karan Thapar deserves praise for exposing the foul play. That the Health Minister is shelving the implementation of the pictorial warnings on tobacco products fearing he will lose votes in his constituency is regrettable. The presumption that skull and cross-bones will be offensive to Muslims is hypocritical.

Shadab Husain, Lucknow

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