Sir — According to Catherine Zeta-Jones, being invaded by the paparazzi is having her wedding pictures printed in one magazine too many (“Perfect union, but for pictures”, Feb 11). And she expects people to believe that the sight of those pictures in the magazine — when she was already aware that they would be printed in another — had left her “devastated, shocked and appalled”. Celebrities like Zeta-Jones who, despite sitting on mountains of money, have no qualms about selling the picture of their infant son for upwards of a million dollars, have little moral right to complain about the ethical breaches of others.
Subhadra Gupta, Calcutta
Fruits of accord
Sir — After the recent talks between the Centre and the leadership of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) ended on a positive note, the signing of the Bodo accord between the Centre, the Assam government and the Bodo Liberation Tigers portends an encouraging and healthy development for the Northeast. As the editorial, “Winning words” (Feb 12), points out, the credit for the agreement goes in equal measure to all the three parties involved. The huge responsibility of making the Bodo territorial council a success now rests on the Bodos. Also the larger onus of protecting the interests of the non-Bodos in the area. The BLT chairman, Hagrama Basumatary, has already claimed that the BLT would ensure that the non-Bodo people living in the area got “equal status and honour”.
This accord only strengthens the view that amicable settlements can be worked out on the negotiation table if the parties involved are sincere and have a positive approach towards the goal. For those believing in the gun, the remarks of BLT’s publicity secretary, Mainao Daimari, are quite significant: “While pursuing the armed struggle, we did not have any idea whether what we were doing was good or bad. But seeing the huge turnout here to celebrate the signing of the accord, we are convinced that we have really done something good for the people.”
M.C. Joshi, Lucknow
Sir — At long last, the people of Assam can hope that the signing of the Bodo accord is going to bring a semblance of normalcy to this militancy-prone state (“Promises aplenty in new Bodo accord”, Feb 11). However, without belittling the achievements of the government and the secessionist outfit, it must be said here that much depends on how both the parties go about fulfilling their commitments. The BTC, which has been vested with quite a few powers for the uplift of the Bodo community, must be transparent in their operations to instil faith in the minds of the people.
It goes without saying that the success of this accord will give a tremendous boost to the image of Assam and that of the government of Tarun Gogoi. Keeping that in mind will help the Assam government work doubly hard in making the accord a success'
Bijoy R. Dey, Tinsukia
Always bad for the jug
Sir — Women have been told for the last two decades by a school of radical feminists that sleeping with a man amounts to giving comfort to the enemy. In fact, certain streams of feminism have done more harm than good to women by vitiating the relationship between the sexes. Through fascist legislation, they have created a situation whereby spontaneous male sexuality has been largely criminalized.
Today a man with any spontaneous sexual expression runs the risk of being pilloried for sexual harassment, rape, eve-teasing, marital rape, mental torture, commodification of women, and god knows what else. Every man today has been reduced to a potential sex-criminal. In an American university, rabid feminists took out a rally with posters reading “xyz is a potential rapist”, using names of male students at random from the students’ directory. Now we have this article (“The trouble with sex”, Feb 2) mocking men for being stuck up and prudish. There is much truth in the old Jewish saying, “If a stone falls on a jug, it’s bad for the jug. If a jug falls on a stone it’s bad for the jug. It’s always bad for the jug.”
Sandeep Mukherjee, Calcutta