Sing your own song
Sir — From condoms to candles. On the crest of success, pop divas would try to sell everything they can besides their music. So it is not surprising that Kylie Minogue, mostly spotted in underwear, should try selling lingerie in her name (“Models, not Kylie, show off designs”, Feb 5). What however jars is why such popular singers do not ever think about lending their name to humanitarian causes' Are they scared of damaging their image' But if Angelina Jolie and Richard Gere can preach their causes and remain successful stars, what could be restricting Minogue to undergarments alone'
S. Samanta, Calcutta
Sir — Ashok Mitra has rightly exposed the myth of liberalization (“Back to the gamble”, Jan 10). The reform process in India has done nothing for the poor. That the policies cater to the rich become evident from the fact that there has been little investments to meet the basic requirements of the rural poor — potable water and irrigation facilities for example. Modernization of industries and introduction of the latest technology have managed to shrink the job market and saddle the country with a sizeable population for the unemployed. The welfare of the millions toiling against the vagaries of nature seem to be the last thing on the minds of the entrepreneur-friendly authorities obsessed with globalization.
The pursuit of a capital-intensive growth in lieu of a labour-intensive one will widen the gulf between the rich and the poor. Unless the people of this country are liberated from poverty and hunger, economic liberalization will spell doom for India.
Kajal Chatterjee, Sodepur
Sir — Mani Shankar Aiyar, in “The downside of globalization” (Dec 24, 2002), brilliantly exposes the hype that surrounds globalization and its exponents. In India, globalization is becoming an end in itself. The example of China, as Aiyar points out, shows how deceptive the change in life-style can be. We should review the liberalization drive immediately and change gear if necessary. We cannot pursue a policy that benefits only a privileged few.
Rudrasish Datta, Shibpur
Confusing the past
Sir — Reading about the recent excavations near Dum Dum was a thrilling experience (“Calcutta digs up a 2000-year history”, Jan 14). The discovery of the Archaeological Survey of India that shows that urban centres flourished long before Calcutta came into being adds to the historical glory of this ancient city. The discovery could be exploited by the state tourism department to attract tourists to the city.
Aritra Roy, Shyamnagar
Sir — The ASI’s latest discovery will go a long way in unravelling the history of Calcutta. North Bengal has equally rich archaeological sites. But little has been done to further research there. The government has often used the excuse of the “economics of excavations”. Perhaps it ought to realize that these heritage sites deserve more importance than are presently accorded to them.
Dhiraj R. Rai Chamling, Darjeeling
Sir — The five-member panel set up by the Calcutta high court has been given a time frame within which it has to give an alternative birthday of the city (“Judging a city’s history”, Feb 2). This followed objections from the family of Saborno Choudhury against August 24 being celebrated as the official birthday of the city. But why has the family raked up this issue suddenly even after the government itself has celebrated 300 years of the city’s existence' Is it not a little too late now, especially after the postal department has already issued stamps commemorating the city’s birthday' There is no point in creating confusion over the matter. It is not clear whose interest this public interest litigation seems to be serving.
Diptimoy Ghosh, Calcutta