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To Pakistan with insincerity

Sir — With its on-again-off-again “peace initiatives” vis-à-vis Pakistan, the Vajpayee government’s incomprehensibility is on the rise (“A dozen for Pak, Advani for Kashmir”, Oct 23). The sudden announcement of a dozen conciliatory gestures — to mend bilateral relations perhaps' — appears insincere more than anything else. Remember, the Pakistani foreign minister, Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri, was not welcomed to India last month. So what has changed in the few weeks since then' Has Pakistan stopped aiding and abetting cross-border terrorism' Or has Washington demanded a soft stance from India' Or is this A.B. Vajpayee’s “festival gift” for Pakistan'

Yours faithfully,
R. Sen, Calcutta


Injury time

Sir — One fails to understand why it is taking so long for Sourav Ganguly to recover, apparently from a simple boil. In this day and age of advanced treatment, when a patient is released within a fortnight of a bypass surgery, why does the Indian skipper have to be hospitalized for so many days' Could it be that there were some lapses in his treatment in Chandigarh, which necessitated a second surgery' I also have a feeling that things would not have taken such a serious turn, had Ganguly not played in the first test. But since he not only played but also scored a century, few are going to find fault with his decision to play.

Yours faithfully,
Anagh Pal, Calcutta


Sir — This is turning out to be a particularly bad time for Indian sports. First, Leander Paes was taken ill with a suspected brain lesion. Then Indian hockey’s promising star, Yugraj Singh, suffered serious injuries in a car accident. And now, Sourav Ganguly has been ruled out of at least the first few one-dayers in the ongoing tri-series involving India, New Zealand and Australia.

But there is a silver lining to this cloud of woes. First, Paes has come back fully recovered from his ailment. Second, India won the Champion’s Trophy even without the services of Yugraj Singh, who, with good treatment abroad, should come back to the game soon And finally, if India will be without Ganguly, so will Australia be without Brett Lee, Darren Lehmann and Jason Gillespie in the tri- series.

Yours faithfully,
Sucharita Gomes, Calcutta


Sir — Sourav Ganguly needs to get well really fast. The Mohali test against New Zealand has shown up the glaring difference between him and the rest as far as leading the team is concerned.

Yours faithfully,
Hirak Mandal, Howrah


Violent ways

Sir — If violence against women is on the rise in India, then it can be attributed to the vulgar soaps telecast on prime-time slots of private television channels. Not only are they full of objectionable images and ideas, they also portray women as sex objects.The information and broadcasting ministry should take steps to check such abuse of public space.

Yours faithfully,
R. Sekar, Angul


Sir — Mainstream Hindi cinema is increasingly donning a violent look. The censor board must ensure that violence remains within permissible limits in the films. Films in India are watched by the young and the old alike, and it cannot be denied that violence on screen has a negative impact on the young. The censor board should take note of this.

Yours faithfully,
T.R. Anand, Calcutta


Sir — Prakash Jha deserves congratulations for making a film on the Bhagalpur blindings (“Gangaajal echo in Bihar blindings”, Oct 5). While the rest of the Hindi film industry dishes out saccharine romantic plots and family entertainers, a few like Jha have the guts to deal with reality. The commercial success of Gangaajal could rekindle our interest in the genre of hard-hitting, experimental films.

Yours faithfully,
Shivani Ghosh, Calcutta


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