The selfish giant
Sir — The report, “Ex-officer gets life for killing boy” (April 21), was about a retired army colonel, Kandasamy Ramaraj, getting the life sentence for shooting down a 13-year-old boy when he had tried to pluck fruits from Ramaraj’s garden. Ramaraj’s action reminded me of the story of the selfish giant, who would rave at the little boys who came to his garden. But that giant had a change of heart at the end. The modern giant, Ramaraj, could not control his anger. The retired colonel should have trained his gun at the nation’s enemies rather than at a little boy.
Bela Majumder, Calcutta
Sir — Team Anna has taken the right step by expelling Mufti Shameem Kazmi from its core committee (“Transparency pitch backfires on Team Anna”, April 23). After having been caught red-handed while recording the proceedings of a committee meeting secretly, Kazmi, instead of admitting his guilt and apologizing, gave the issue a communal colour by saying that the anti-corruption movement was turning “anti-Muslim”. It is a clear case of ‘sour grapes’ for Kazmi, because he found the movement “anti-Muslim” as soon as he was expelled. Kazmi seems to have been incensed by Hazare’s allegedly unilateral decision to join hands with the yoga practitioner, Baba Ramdev, who has known Hindutva leanings. Kazmi needs to understand that Hindutva as an ideology is not against Muslims per se. It only wants Muslims to consider India as their motherland and to accept Indian culture.
As far as the ‘transparency’ factor of Team Anna’s meetings are concerned, it must be emphasized that details of these meetings need not be shared with the public.
S. Balakrishnan, Jamshedpur
Sir — Just a few months ago, Team Anna’s India Against Corruption movement had its finger on the pulse of the nation. After Parliament failed to pass the lokpal bill and succeeded in sending it to limbo, Team Anna also started losing its focus and the movement its momentum. A series of wrong decisions were taken by the core committee of Team Anna and soon differences crept in within the group.
The last bout of internal squabbling has resulted in the expulsion of Mufti Shameem Kazmi from the core committee. Kazmi has accused the IAC movement of becoming anti-Muslim. His accusations may or may not be true. But it cannot be denied that before his expulsion, he had access to the internal discussions of the committee, and so must have known what the debates were all about.
At the same time, his act of recording the proceedings of the meeting was unethical. If he was not happy with the ways of Team Anna, he could have quit it instead of recording its meeting on the sly.
Any movement to fight corruption must have support from all sections of society if it is to succeed. Team Anna should do some serious introspection to prevent the IAC movement from withering.
Zulfikhar Akram, Bangalore
In the review, “The book of small things” (April 27), it was mentioned that “Proust was an illegitimate child of the lady who took over the perfume company known as Parfums d’ Orsay.” Jacques Guerin, and not Proust, was the illegitimate child. The error is regretted.
— The Editor