THIS has reference to the Cover Story on the Sri Lankan situation ("Undeclared war", May 18). The Rajapaksa government may think of finishing off the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam militarily and the latter may be on the run. But the suffering of thousands of innocent people for decades and the influx of refugees into India are major problems that need solution. If Ireland could successfully deal with a similar crisis, why not Sri Lanka? The peace process should be resumed.A. Jacob Sahayam ThiruvananthapuramEncounters
THE Narendra Modi government is facing its worst ever crisis ("Fake encounters", May 18). The killing of Sohrabuddin and the subsequent brutal elimination of his wife Kausar Bi paint a rather macabre picture of police brutality in the State. As we sow, so shall we reap. The incident is indeed a national shame. Where is the accountability of the top brass in the political and police establishment? The Sohrabuddin case is clearly not an aberration and shows an institutional disregard for human rights. As investigations in the case continue and the guilty are brought to book, the right way forward is to free the police from the stranglehold of politicians and make the force adhere to the laws of the land.Farzana Nigar Ranchi, Jharkhand
SEVERAL irregularities in the way the police function have come to light thanks to a public interest petition filed in the Supreme Court by the veteran journalist B.G. Verghese. During the peak of militancy in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir, the police might have used encounter killings as a strategy. The same methods cannot be used in areas that are not disturbed. In Gujarat, the police seem to kill innocent people for awards and promotions. "Encounter specialists" have become a law unto themselves.S. K. Aggarwal AmritsarSpace
THE successful launch of PSLV-C8 is, by any standard, remarkable ("In launch business", May 18). The Antrix Corporation seems keener on international markets than on meeting domestic needs. No country can become a major player in the international arena unless its citizens are well educated, well informed and well connected. India needs hundreds of such satellites.Y. N. Murthy HyderabadWriting history
I WRITE to congratulate A.G. Noorani on his fine review of the various books concerning Jinnah and Churchill. ("Author's secrets", May 18). In particular, I wish to remark on Noorani's comments on Stanley Wolpert. While his remarks on Wolpert's current historical reputation are certainly on the mark (and more honest than many recent whitewashes), I would ask that he be put in his historical context. Since 1977, American undergraduate students of India have most likely first encountered South Asia through Wolpert's A New History of India (OUP).
It was the first true post-colonial textual history of India that was published in the United States. Wolpert opened up a new vision of India for me. I had entered the field as a nave undergraduate dreaming of servants with parfait-and-biscuit-like turbans, Heat and Dust-style romanticism, and ended up being damn angry about the treatment of the peasantry. Wolpert helped me evolve from an imperialist romantic to an anti-colonial realist. Granted, his recent work has made me pity him. But it is a pity mixed with sadness. When we get down to the basics, his early career was not only distinguished, but I believe that a generation or two of American students, many without even realising it, have a knowledge of India that is deeper and more sophisticated than their parents' ever was, thanks to Stanley Wolpert.
CHRISTOPHER V. HILL PROFESSOR OF HISTORY UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO AT COLORADO SPRINGSANNOUNCEMENT
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