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Voice of yesteryear

Sir — The 75th birthday of Lata Mangeshkar may have been celebrated with much pomp and show, but it failed to cheer the birthday girl (“Remix catches up with platinum Lata”, Sept 29). The irony of her own situation seemed to have escaped Lata Mangeshkar, since she even shed a few tears. But to be fair, she was not a common spectator who could walk out if she didn’t like what was being presented. She could only talk of the days when the genre of “remix” music had not been born. Was the celebration then intended to make Lata Mangeshkar realize that her time has gone'

Yours faithfully,
Sanghamitra Sen, Calcutta


In memorium

Sir — Rudrangshu Mukherjee voices the feelings of many of us who have known and admired Edward Said (“Exile and other kingdoms”, Sept 28). We had the rare opportunity to see and hear him at a public lecture some years ago in Calcutta. Said’s writings on history, politics, philosophy and literature reveal the wide range of his intellect. Also remarkable is the ease with which he communicated with both the lay and informed reader. Few will deny that with Said’s death we have lost one of the foremost intellectuals of our times.

Yours faithfully,
Sharmila Sen, Calcutta


Sir — Edward Said may have been committed “to the cause of the Palestinian people”, but he remained silent during the crucial Sharm el Sheikh talks of 2000. Also, although Said was an open critic of the United States of America’s support to Israel, he lived in that country.

Yours faithfully,
Jayanta Kumar Dutt, Calcutta


Sir — “Orientalism”, as discussed by Edward Said, is of greater relevance today, when tolerant cultural relativism in international affairs is being ripped apart by the West. With Said’s death, the Palestinians have also lost an active votary in the academia.

Yours faithfully,
Susenjit Guha, Calcutta


Sir — Edward Said’s death did not create much flutter in the media. Perhaps he was not fashionable enough. In his seminal work, Orientalism, Said exposed the flaws in the Western interpretation of the term, “orient”. He also enriched our understanding of some of the most significant authors of the last century. His contribution and scholarship to cannot be overemphasized.

Yours faithfully,
Paresh Malakar, Calcutta


Biased judgment

Sir — Ramachandra Guha commends Steve Waugh for his charities, but criticizes Sachin Tendulkar for letting the government waive the duty on his Ferrari (“Waugh versus Tendulkar”, Sept 14). But that is rather unfair to Tendulkar. In order to donate, one must have a proper opportunity and objective. Waugh was invited to visit the homeless while Tendulkar was not. Had the latter been invited, he too would perhaps have behaved similarly. Also, Indians invariably attach greater importance to anything foreign.

True, charity means giving something without seeking anything in return. Tendulkar has instituted a number of scholarships for the poor yet deserving students but with little fanfare.

Yours faithfully,
I. Khaund, Dibrugarh


Sir — Sachin Tendulkar did not demand that the government waive the duty on his Ferrari. It was a gift which he deserved for his excellent performances. I am glad that the government thinks so too. Why should there be an unnecessary controversy over this' It is unfair to judge anyone by the amount of charity he does. Guha should realize that human nature is much more complex. Perhaps, Tendulkar may not have felt the need to publicly declare his donations.

Yours faithfully,
Kushal Poddar, Calcutta


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