Readers write

Letters to the Editor

Print edition : September 19, 2014

Israel’s war

THE Cover Story (August 22) was a brilliant and impartial and also heart-rending account of Israel’s war on Gaza. The Jewish state has never accepted Palestine as the territory of the Arabs. The U.S., the so-called fountainhead of democracy, has throughout played a vicious role. It talks of cessation of hostilities and war, yet supplies arms and ammunition to its friend. The other leaders of the West, too, are supportive of Israel’s aggression. But Latin Americans took a moral and courageous stand against Israel. And people across the world voiced their protest.

Parthasarathy Sen

New Delhi

THE Israeli government justifies its attacks on Gaza as an act of self-defence against Hamas’ “terror infrastructure”. Hamas and terror should be properly contextualised to get a more balanced view of the problem. Edward Said observed: “Palestinian violence, the response of a desperate and horribly oppressed people, has been stripped from its context and the terrible suffering from which it arises…. The location of Palestinian terror—of course it is terror —is never allowed a moment’s chance to appear, so remorseless has been the focus on it as a phenomenon apart, a pure gratuitous evil which Israel, supposedly acting on behalf of pure good, has been virtuously battling.” In fact, the Hamas rockets have very little to do with Israel’s attack on Gaza. This is an attack against the Palestinian people and their continued resistance against occupation and their refusal to accede to the kind of “peace” that Israel wants to impose on them.

Mostafa Murshid Pasa

Rajnagar, Murshidabad, W. B.

ALTHOUGH everyone is pinning their hopes on the United Nations to bring an end to all the conflicts plaguing the world, the global body is proving to be inefficient and incapable of checking sectarian violence and militancy in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Libya or the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza by Israel (Cover Story, August 22). It has also failed to resolve the refugee crises and gross human rights violations in Syria and Iraq. In view of the bloodshed and disgusting conflicts in these countries, I wonder why the world needs to maintain the white elephant called the U.N.

K.P. Rajan


Union Budget

C.P. CHANDRASEKHAR made clear the striking similarities between the latest Union Budget and the previous one (“More of the same”, August 8). The description of P. Chidambaram and Arun Jaitley as neoliberal twins was apt.

G. Azeemoddin

Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh

THE BJP had proclaimed that the country would have “acche din”, or good days, once the party came to power. It had said that the anti-people policies of the UPA government would be buried and price rise curbed. But no such thing has happened. On the contrary, prices of vegetables and foodgrains have risen. There has been a burdensome hike of 14 per cent in railway fares. Petrol and cooking gas prices have gone up. There is no mention of welfare schemes in the Union Budget. What a stark difference between slogans and reality.

M. Hashim Kidwai

New Delhi

Saffronising education

THE article “Distorted lessons” (August 22) highlighted the way politics is drifting into the narrow alleys of obscurantist jingoism and sectarian hatred. The campaign to “Indianise, spiritualise and nationalise” primary and secondary education is being spearheaded by the RSS and its ideologues such as Dina Nath Batra. Installing medieval and retrograde thoughts into impressionable minds is a crime worse than war. Spreading fundamentalism through syllabi will shatter the lives of children. The idea of right-wing activists is to rewrite history in such a way as to show that religious minorities in India have their origins on foreign soil and hence they should either submit to the superiority of Hindus and the Aryan race or leave the country.

Krishna Hatote-Pachegaonker

Aurangabad, Maharashtra

THE attempt in Gujarat to teach irrational lessons will create an anti-science attitude among children. Children are not to be experimented upon by those in power. Similarly, the onslaught on historical truth will reverse the little gains we have made over the years in understanding history.

S.S. Rajagopal


Zohra Sehgal

IN the obituary of Zohra Sehgal (“On the wings of a dream”, August 8), the author refers to “Neecha Sansar” as one of her early films. The film is “Neecha Nagar”. The only record of her choreographic skills available to the public is the dances she created for the Dev Anand starrers “Baazi” (1951) and “C.I.D.” (1956). Her husband, Kameshwar, worked in films as an art director. In C. Ramachandra’s “Jhanjhar” (1953), he created an exemplary Tahitian setting. Both Kameshwar’s and Zohra’s film work will rank among the best in Indian cinema.

V.A.K. Ranga Rao