Missing the Mahatma’s message

The report Selling memorabilia of Mahatma is immoral (February 25) is really a shame. How we value Gandhiji’s priceless treasures is doubtful, given the rampant corruption in all walks of Indian life.
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Updated on Feb 27, 2009 10:34 PM IST
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Missing the Mahatma’s message
The report Selling memorabilia of Mahatma is immoral (February 25) is really a shame. How we value Gandhiji’s priceless treasures is doubtful, given the rampant corruption in all walks of Indian life. To show respect to Gandhiji, we have crowded many a cross-roads with busts and statues, which are cleaned a day before October 2 every year as token patriotism by our politicians. The prospective owner of these items probably has much more reverence towards him, despite being a foreigner. Our museums are also not safe. We must follow his ideals and not only follow the path that helps us track down his personal belongings in foreign lands.
Subhankar Mukherjee, via email

Truth against all odds
I agree with Barkha Dutt’s views in Packing a punch (Third eye, February 21) that in Pakistan democracy might be as fragile as glass, but the media are not. The Pakistani media fraternity has shown great solidarity after the murder of a colleague. But the need of the hour is to sustain the momentum following their efforts to usher in a change in the administration, otherwise the initial gains might dissipate as has happened many times in the past in India. Pakistan must understand clearly that the Taliban is not anyone’s friend and that it is dangerously eating into the fabric of Pakistani society and politics.
Bal Govind, Noida

Barkha Dutt’s analysis was informative, and apprised readers of how the Pakistani media are doing their job honestly and without fear of death. Though the government in Pakistan is democratically elected, it is gradually ceding control to the ISI and the Taliban, which is trying to take over Pakistan. This is a dangerous situation for all democratic countries, especially India. The importance of the media in a democratic set-up cannot be emphasised enough, for it has played an instrumental part in warning the world against the dangers of terrorism. In fact, for a truly free media, Pakistani channels should be made
freely available.
Mahesh Kumar, via email

Barkha Dutt’s analysis on democracy as it prevails in Pakistan, made for interesting reading. The arguments between Indian and Pakistani journalists almost led to a verbal tug-of-war following 26/11. But the fact remains that there definitely are times when journalists have to work under difficult situations, often at the cost of their lives, like in the Kashmir Valley and Naxal-infested areas. What is required is to concentrate on fair reportage whatever the situation or level of danger. But will the vested interests on either side ever let this happen?
RL Pathak, Delhi

Paying for their mistakes
With reference to the editorial No winners, only losers (Our Take, February 26), US President Barack Obama’s resolution to end tax breaks for firms that outsource jobs is an attack on the very concept of globalisation. The Indian IT industry is surely going to be affected once this order comes into force. Whereas America’s economy is in trouble of its own making, it wants other countries to pay for its mistakes. Globalisation doesn’t recognise boundaries and even Indian firms operate in America, are generating local employment. The Indian government and international financial bodies should register their protest against this. Indian IT firms should look for customers elsewhere to avoid
any unfavourable eventuality.
Kamal Sethi, Gurgaon

Bullying as a sign of ‘democracy’
Apropos of Pratik Kanjilal’s write-up Extreme hues of the Tricolour (February 21), religion is the holy cow of India, which can never be called into question. When fundamentalists attack the offices of the Statesman for publishing an objectionable article, we do not bring those hooligans to book, but arrest the editor of the respected daily instead. We agree to the diktats of rioters and expel Taslima Nasreen from the country and also bar M.F. Husain from setting foot on his native soil. This is not freedom of expression but brute muscle-power. In fact, ‘might is right’ seems to have emerged as the epitome of democracy in this secular land called India.
Kajal Chatterjee, Kolkata

Public money for the public
In his article From the arc lights to reality (Left hand drive, February 26), Sitaram Yechury has rightly pointed our attention towards the grim reality faced by a majority of our people. The solution he presented is right on target, whereby unaccounted money must be brought back and used for public investment purposes. We should not forget that it is public money after all.
Nishant Kukreja, Noida

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