IRANS presidential election results and the manner in which they were reported reflect the Wests deep animosity towards Iran and Islam (Deep divisions, July 17). Long before the elections were held, a campaign of demonisation of Ahmadinejad was under way. There has been almost uniform condemnation of Iran and the election results without any space for alternative points of view.
This is a standard practice in the West: dominate all news in the first few days to firmly plant in the minds of most people only one narrative.
Later, this may be modified, but by then people may either have lost interest or lost sight of the lies that were initially told. To this day, many Americans believe that Saddam Hussein was involved in the 9/11 attacks; an equal number of Americans believe he had weapons of mass destruction. One must give the Western media credit for its fantastic brainwashing.Safiya Sameena VijayawadaDeemed universities
THE Cover Story (University Business, July 17) presents a dismal picture of the functioning of the deemed university system.
The University Grants Commission (1960-66), under the chairmanship of Dr D. S. Kothari, warned in its report that Section 3 of the UGC Act, 1956, should not be cheap side- or back-door to university status (page 274). That is exactly what has happened.A. K. Dasgupta Hyderabad
THE Cover Story gave us an insight into our institutions of higher learning. Professor Yash Pal needs to be congratulated for his relentless efforts to cleanse the system.K. Nehru Patnaik Visakhapatnam
THE business of higher education is getting more corrupt every academic year. The government has proved itself to be a catalyst to the profit-driven education system in India. The question of whether Indian education is alienating the have-nots should be answered.Wasif Riza kozhikode, Kerala
YOUR Cover Story on higher education was excellent.Rajeswara Rao Visakhapatnam
MANY deemed universities have deviated from the original concept, and corruption and nepotism have crept in. Why cannot we provide our children with world-class higher education in India? Only then will we be able to achieve the objectives of expansion, inclusion and excellence. Why not think of bringing all courses after Class XII under the university system as is the case in some developed countries?A. Jacob Sahayam Thiruvananthapuram
KAPIL SIBAL has announced a policy to allow the entry of foreign educational institutions. This will lead to total commercialisation of education and denial of higher education to weaker sections.
At the school level, the proposal to make the Class X public examination optional is welcome. This should be followed by examination reforms and revisions to curricula that would provide students a wider choice.
Students who want to opt for non-academic pursuits such as the fine arts or athletics should be allowed to do so. This requires a reduction in the compulsory subjects of study. His proposal to have a nationwide common examination is unworkable in view of the wide differences in the access to educational facilities among the population.S.S. Rajagopalan ChennaiMaoist violence
THE article Lalgarh battle (July 17) reveals that the Left failed to complete land reforms and fulfil the food, health and education needs of the people living in tribal belts and backward areas. As a result, the Maoists were able to enlarge their base and could take control of Lalgarh and its surrounding areas.
At this crucial juncture, the Centres move to ban them not only seems misplaced but would serve no purpose if the real issues are not addressed. It is imperative that the State government immediately establish the rule of law and address the legitimate grievances of tribal people in order to restore normalcy.K.R. Srinivasan SecunderabadAli Akbar Khan
THE touching article The last of the titans (July 17) pays rich tributes to the unmatched sarod maestro Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. With his passing away, the Indian musical world has lost one of its stalwarts.Dilbag Rai ChandigarhBJPs decline
THIS is with reference to the essay Decline of the BJP (July 17). Every election does not get a party to the seat of power and it is wrong to take the BJPs defeat as a setback to Hindutva. Elections are lost or won for many reasons.
The BJP is ruling a number of States on its own or in a coalition. Hindutva is all encompassing. It needs to be reinvented so that it is in tune with the modern idiom of security preparedness, technology and good governance.Shreekrishna Phadnis Mumbai
A.G. NOORANIS version of the oft-quoted speech delivered by Macaulay in British Parliament on February 2, 1835, is quite disappointing (Macaulay and Dr M.M. Joshi, July 17). While Noorani attempts to establish the impossibility of Macaulay having given the speech, he does not try to expose Macaulays anti-Hindu attitude.
On page 83 of the book History of Education in India by R.N. Sharma and R.K. Sharma (Atlantic Publishers, New Delhi, 1996), Macaulays letter to his father reads:
Our English schools are increasing by leaps and bounds and now the condition has reached a position that it has become difficult to accommodate the students. Hindus are much influenced with education. There is no Hindu who may keep real faith in his religion after studying English. I have full confidence that, if our education policy succeeds, then no idolater will be left in Bengal. All this will be done naturally without any religious preaching and interference.
Macaulays education policy had a hidden agenda. Hence, the possibility of such a speech cannot be ruled out. Leaders and reformers such as Mahatma Gandhi, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Aurobindo, Dayananda Saraswati and Swami Vivekananda were critical of that policy.
No patriotic person can be sceptical about criticism against Macaulay and his education policy.J. Somasekharan Pillai ThiruvananthapuramSocial justice
IN (Untold story, July 17) his review of Empowering Dalits for Empowering India, the writer highlights the role of individuals who had a pivotal place in the bureaucratic hierarchy and whose work for social justice almost always goes unreported and unrecognised.
The sharp introduction to Social Justice Philanthropy exposes the false iconisation of corporate lords as the saviours of the common people.S.V. Venugopalan ChennaiAfghan tragedy
THE United States policy of indiscriminate bombing in Afghanistan (like in Iraq) is shocking (Cover Story, July 3). There are reports of civilian victims including children.Shiv Shanker Almal Kolkata
IN spite of all the expectations the world had of Obama, he has not yet been able to make a mark in reviving the U.S. economy or in its external affairs. The Cover Story points out how his administration has failed to prevent the killing of Afghan civilians. Rather it has surpassed the Bush administrations brutal record.
The only way to stop the killing is to withdraw U.S. troops as soon as possible. Only then can peace prevail there.Victor Saha Agartala, TripuraKamala Surayya
KAMALA SURAYYA was buried at the Palayam Juma Masjid in Thiruvananthapuram (Beyond the body, July 3). Her eldest son participated in all the rituals including the funeral prayer. The active participation in her funeral ceremony by non-Muslims was applauded by all.
The tolerance and full-hearted cooperation shown by Kamala Surayyas three children and their families also is an exemplary approach, which is to be highlighted in a pluralistic society.
P.P. Abdurehman Member, Kerala State Wakf Board Kozhikode, KeralaObamas speech
THIS is with reference to Waiting for action (Column, July 3). To expect the U.S. to act against Pakistan is just wishful thinking. Our looking to the U.S. to sort out our affairs only makes the country look helpless.
While it may not be in order to pursue a hawkish policy as followed by China or Israel, it is time for India to show some spine in its character. India must be prepared to fight its wars on its own.Prem Kumar NagpurOpium addiction
IT is a well-known fact that since Independence the Central government has not taken any interest in developing north-eastern India. Opium addiction is a major problem in Arunachal Pradesh (June 19).
Poverty pushes people to the cultivation of opium. To solve this problem, education facilities in every village and de-addiction centres in every public health centre are a must. Tackling this problem will not be easy.
The government should make a separate plan for this region and should also consider buying all the opium for use in making medicines.Giridher Mehar Rajendra MaharashtraCORRECTION
In the interview with Professor Yash Pal, the penultimate sentence in the answer to the seventh question should read as follows and not as published: "So, if accreditation is made stricter than that, if you are making a constitutional body, you are saying that the States or the Centre or anybody hasnt the right to set up a university by itself."
The title of the article on opium cultivation in the print edition (June 19) should read "Opium valley", and not as published.ANNOUNCEMENT
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