Sir — At a time when the entire country is grappling with questions of ways to prevent rapes and the sort of punishment that needs to be meted out to rapists, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief, Raj Thackeray, is trying to gain political mileage by targeting the people of Bihar for such crimes (“Prejudice pours in gender debate”, Jan 7). He often resorts to hate speeches and whips up sentiments against people from other states for the sake of publicity.
Crimes against women happen across the country and the perpetrators come from various backgrounds. Associating such heinous acts with a particular section of the population would weaken the fight against the crime. It might result in disunity among the people of the country. The manner in which certain leaders speak at public rallies often makes the common people feel that the former are above the law and can get away with saying anything. Leaders, political or otherwise, who take such liberties should be hauled up immediately.
Zulfikhar Akram, Bangalore
Sir — Just because one is a self-proclaimed godman or a political leader does not mean that one can say anything that comes to one’s mind. Certain insensitive remarks from the people in power have proved that the recent outpour against the Delhi gangrape that stormed the entire nation did not have much effect on them. The MNS leader, Raj Thackeray, has politicized the gruesome crime by saying that Bihari migrants should be held responsible for all cases of rape. It seems that leaders like Thackeray are just interested in cashing in on a monstrous crime for the sake of personal gains. Not just political leaders but a spiritual guru also has made irresponsible comments. These men should understand that their medieval ways of thinking may influence people in an adverse way. They should refrain from making such potentially dangerous statements.
Niharika Sharma, Dhenkanal, Odisha
Top of the world
Sir — The Argentinian footballer, Lionel Messi, has once again proved that he is the numero uno in his sporting arena. He recently won the title of the world’s best player, for the fourth year in a row (“Messi is the best again, fourth time on the trot,” Jan 8). Not many footballers possess the kind of skill that he displays on the field. It was once said that Diego Maradona was the greatest footballer the world has seen after Pele. One can easily say now that Messi is one of the best players of this generation although he is yet to display the kind of prowess Maradona showed in the football world cup of 1986. However, Messi, being only 25 now, has a long way to go. He has a high chance of matching Maradona’s feat when the soccer world cup takes place in Brazil next year.
Ambar Mallick, Calcutta
Sir — Lionel Messi must be congratulated for receiving the Fifa Ballon d’Or award again. The latest award has elevated him above Ronaldo of Brazil and Zinedine Zidane of France, each of whom has received this honour thrice. Messi ended the year 2012 with 91 goals to his name, thereby breaking the record of Germany’s Gerd Müller, who had scored 85 goals in a calendar year.
Messi had also set a new record in the European Champions League by becoming the first player to score five goals in a match against the German football club, Bayer Leverkusen.
Dilbag Rai, Chandigarh
Sir — Some recent reports state that the ministry of home affairs is likely to allow the use of ‘Hinglish’ for official work. Hinglish cannot qualify as an official language since it is neither Hindi nor English. Although people resort to Hinglish most of the time because it is convenient, it certainly cannot be regarded as an acceptable language for formal communication.
Hindi is the official language of the country. It is the only language in India that a majority of the population understands. The readership of newspapers and magazines in Hindi is probably higher than that of English dailies and magazines. I hope that the original charm of Hindi will stay intact and the use of Hinglish will be restricted to casual conversations.
Mahesh Kapasi, New Delhi