Drawing their own lessons
Sir — Why do B-schools need an excuse to read up their Shakespeare (“B-school lessons from the Bard”, Jan 26)' There is no doubt that management gurus, with a little bit of attention and understanding, can deduce similar “lessons” from other great literary works. There can be no masterpiece without its lesson for humanity. Which means our future chief executive officers would be doing themselves as much good if they were to read Plato and Socrates as Shakespeare, or for that matter Rabindranath and Premchand. There can be no doubt about the fact that the introduction of Shakespeare in the curriculum will enliven it, as would any other literature, but hopes that the students are allowed to have their own perspective on the plays, instead of being dictated to by professors and management experts on how to look at them. The lessons, whatever they are, would then stand a better chance of being applied to real life management.
J. Acharya, Calcutta
Sir — The allegations of the Khaleda Zia government that India is responsible for Bangladesh being blacklisted by the United States of America are both baseless and immature (“Blacklist America’s, blame India’s”, Jan 25). Ever since the new government came to power, there has been a definite rise in Islamic fundamentalism across the border and, with that, atrocities against the minorities. Quite obviously, these factors, and not India, have been responsible for Bangladesh’s present standing in the eyes of the superpower. Besides, it is also surprising that Bangladesh should assume that India is close enough to the US to impress its opinion upon it. The Bangladesh foreign minister, Morshed Khan, quite obviously, has no idea of how international diplomacy works. Otherwise he would have known of the US’s indifference towards India.
The US, as the world’s lone superpower, functions on the basis of its own whims and fancies. It does not matter if a third world country has to suffer because of its actions. Look at Afghan-istan and more recently, Iraq. The US has not even spared Pakistan, its closest ally in the war against terrorism. Pakistan too has been blacklisted for its association with terrorists. Bangladesh should turn its attention to what is happening inside its borders for answers — the belligerent procession of Islamic fundamentalists in response to US attacks on Afghanistan, the exodus of minorities and the pro-Islamic stance of the government itself. Bangladesh has already proven to the world how its land is being used by fundamentalists to forward their anti-India activities.
Also remember, the Indian Football Association team from Bengal had to return following protests by fanatics (“Soccer girls flee Bangla Taliban”, Jan 24).
Rajesh Kumar Sharma,
Sir — It is quite evident that Bangla-desh is shameless when it comes to discriminating against minorities. One would agree that everyone who speaks Bengali in Bangladesh cannot be accepted as a Bangladeshi, but does that mean anyone who is a Hindu is also not a Bangladeshi' Our next-door neighbour invariably preaches what it never practices. Which is why headlines like “Hindu women traded for the lives of family members” are common.
The infiltration into India continues because the present Bangladesh government has systematically targetted the minorities. The matter should be brought before the United Nations immediately.
A.K. Roy, Durgapur
Sir — The Left Front government in West Bengal has encouraged illegal infiltration of Bangladeshi Muslims, and even legitimized it somewhat in order to garner more votes for the party. If Jyoti Basu now acknowledges that militant trade unionism has been a blunder, he should also take the blame for the sizeable Bangladeshi population in India and its attendant problems.
L.Y. Rao, Mumbai
Sir — The report, “Bangla visitors on US watchlist” (Jan 18), confirms India’s worry that the change of government in Dhaka has infused Islamic fundamentalism in that country with fresh blood. One may recall the increase of attacks on Hindu minorities in Bangla-desh around the time of the Durga puja last year. Of the 25 nations included in the US list, North Korea is the only non-Muslim country. The inclusion of the last is not surprising, given its recent nuclear stance. The rest are mostly Islamic nations, which shows that religion plays a vital role in US decision-making. Naturally, Pakistan has also come into the spotlight. But it remains to be seen if the US will actually train its guns on Pakistan, which also happens to be its chief ally in the war against terrorism.
Jang Bahadur Singh, Jamshedpur
Sir — It is heartening to note that the Centre is thinking of upgrading the BE College to a national centre of excellence provided the college authorities, that is the West Bengal government, agree to the demand to open up admissions to students from outside the state through the all India entrance examinations conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (“To BE with Delhi or state”, Jan 13).
I, an alumni of this 147 year-old-institute, implore the college authorities not to drag their feet over the issue and to try to evolve a strategy, in consultation with the distinguished alumni of the institution, to achieve the objective of bettering the standards of the institution. The infusion of huge funds is necessary for this. Only the Centre can provide the funds. The cash-strapped state government, which barely manages to pay the staff salary, cannot cater to the massive capital requirements of the college for sustaining quality technical education and research.
The college authorities ought to steer clear of politics and instead focus on garnering funds that would allow it to appoint the best possible faculty, publish the achievements of the college through the media, update its website and provide more internet access to students and, last but not the least, encourage a cosmopolitan outlook in all activities.
In today’s globalized context, a premier engineering institute like BE College, Shibpur, should open its door to students from all over the country, the first step towards the long trek to excellence. We should not underestimate our students who can certainly cope with the competition, given the right guidance. At the same time, our students should also get an increased opportunity to seek admission into various institutes of technology and other deemed universities through the CBSE-conducted entrance examination.
Shantanu Chakravarty, Burnpur