THE response to the article, Collage of life (August 13), about my art has surprised and touched me. I received many letters from Kerala, other places in India and from overseas, including Switzerland, the U.S., France and even Ireland.
In 2007, I was fortunate to visit Kochi from Amritsar. I could only spend four nights, memorably so, there; its cosmopolitan atmosphere impressed me. At the railway station in Ernakulam, the stationmaster quipped: You are the first Pakistani I ever met. (I had shown him my passport to secure a priority tourist booking for New Delhi.) I responded: Did you notice any difference? He observed: No!, quite cordially.
Kochi was alive with tourists even during the off-season April. I suggested a national museum of contemporary art for Kochi on which I have been working since. Art is borderless. Knows no frontiers or fetters. Art is about c hanGe. Jai progressive denizens of New India! I affectionately remit my good wishes.Amit Shah
NOW that the war of words between the Congress and the BJP has turned the Amit Shah case into an ugly episode, with each trying to derive political mileage out of it, it is time the BJP realised its responsibility and constitutional duty to uphold the law instead of undermining the legal process, which will not only disturb the social fabric but also cause immense damage to democracy (Cover Story, August 27).
THE Sohrabuddin Sheikh case highlights the fact that people with political connections can use any method to clear the way for their activities. I hope the CBI inquiry uncovers all the hidden aspects of the case.
ENCOUNTER killing is not a new phenomenon in India. Terrorism in Punjab was uprooted once and for all through encounter killings. But these were warranted to safeguard the sovereignty and integrity of the country and cannot be compared with the present case, which seems to be the result of a falling out on account of rivalry in sharing the booty and to take political mileage. The growing police-politician-criminal nexus underlines the urgent need to enact stringent laws and set up fast-track courts.
THE arrest of Amit Shah is a victory for law and justice. The arrest of a Chief Minister or any elected representative proves the principle that the law is supreme. Only when the mighty are punished will the number of crimes decrease and will people have faith in the country's judicial system.
However, Sohrabuddin was an extortionist who terrorised builders and the marble lobby, and most probably a terrorist as well. Ordinary citizens should be happy that a dreaded criminal was eliminated. Fake encounters are a necessary evil.Kashmir
THE present situation in Kashmir could have been avoided if we had a strong leadership (Valley on fire, August 27). One does not understand why the Kashmiri Pundits are not allowed to take part in talks. Are they not bona fide citizens? It is tragic that they have become refugees in their own country.
India should recall the U.N. resolution that called for a plebiscite in the State within a time period of 10 years and the withdrawal of armed forces to the positions they were in before the invasion. The resolution was not carried out. One does not understand why India's leaders do not talk about these vital facts. It is wrong to say that there is no ideal solution for Kashmir. The valley is in disarray only because of our leaders' lack of experience, maturity and competence.S.P. Sharma Mumbai
THE article just gave one side of the picture in Kashmir. It elaborated on the youth agitating on the streets but ignored the cases of violence against the police. Lawless activities should always be condemned, but one needs to understand the root cause of the chaos and acknowledge the sentiments of families whose dear ones have been brutally killed. If we think we can keep peace in the valley with gun power, we are mistaken.Nasim Akhtar & Yousuf Tekri HyderabadANNOUNCEMENT
Letters, whether by surface mail or e-mail, must carry the full postal address and the full name, or the name with initials.