Prince and the pauper
Sir — The world has a new prince of peace, never mind if he is absconding at the moment. Abdul Bari Atwan, an Arabic newspaper editor, has found similarities between Osama bin Laden and M.K. Gandhi in that each “gave up all his possessions to take up a cause” (“Anger over Gandhi tag on Osama”, Feb 27). The rather apparent differences between the causes that they chose to take up and the means they adopted to reach the end are of little consequence to the editor. The parallel is so ridiculous that it is beneath one’s dignity to protest against it.
J. Ghosh, Calcutta
Rise of a daughter
Sir — The 45th annual Grammy Awards ceremony was a refreshing change from what we have seen in the past. It is clear that more and more musicians are trying to make meaningful music rather than producing a great deal of loud noise which is hardly music to the ear.
Arup S. Bagchi, Calcutta
Sir — Biological fathering is not enough, a man must fulfil certain obligations to be recognized as a father. By this definition, Ravi Shankar has hardly been a father to Norah Jones. It is understandable that Jones has not cared to include the sitar maestro in her Grammy awards acknowledgement speech.
J. Singh, Jamshedpur
Sir — Winning eight Grammy awards must have been more than a dream coming true for Norah Jones (“Norah comes away with all”, Feb 25). It must be remembered that she faced stiff competition from the all-time favourite, Bruce Springsteen. It was perhaps Jones’s command over jazz, country and folk music that tilted the balance in her favour.
S. Kulsum Khan, Chennai
Sir — Journalists are in the habit of chasing sensational and controversial stories to attract more readers. And Norah Jones has become a favourite with them of late. She deserves all the accolades being showered on her, but on account of her work. There was no need to dig up the uncomfortable issue of her parentage. One can be sure that the media will now dish out newer stories about Jones.
V.A. Gopala, Bangalore
Sir — There are apparently strict rules on sound pollution in Calcutta. During the Durga Puja, there is strict monitoring of decibel levels at the various pandals. However, these rules seem to be relaxed in specific cases and localities. The wedding of the daughter of a group-D employee at the Nil Ratan Sirkar Medical College and Hospital premises fitted in this pattern quite well (“Hospital parties, patients bear”, Feb 11). Visitors to government hospitals in the city know too well the clout of these employees, who often resort to extortion from patients. All norms of a civic society seem to be getting obliterated with each passing day in the city.
Kajal Chatterjee, Sodepur
Sir — The report about hospital rules being flouted by a marriage ceremony reminds me of something similar I had witnessed five years ago in a city hospital where my son was born. Such illegal acts, if not been addressed by the government, are likely to recur frequently.
Sujit De, Sodepur
Sir — Despite the knowledge that free eye operation camps have very high incidence of post-operation blindness, the government has not taken action against the so-called charitable organizations conducting such camps. West Bengal is also among the states holding such camps. There is no doubt that noble intentions are the driving force behind these camps, but there is no excuse for carelessness with such a vital thing as people’s vision. Health authorities can train the organizers and arrange for better infrastructure for them. Proper compensation must be given to the victims of these “free” eye operations that go wrong.
Mohan Lal Sarkar, Budge Budge