Look who’s preaching
Sir — It takes unusual qualities to become a role-model these days. So what if you are a poacher, have been booked under the Arms Act or have driven your luxury car over people' Such colourful credentials obviously did not bother organizers in Abu Dhabi when they chose Salman Khan to give an inspiring lecture to schoolchildren (“Salman sermon”, Feb 20). Is there really such a dearth of role-models in the country' The very thought of this temperamental actor as a figure children could look up to is repelling to most, but it also shows the depths to which some people’s senses have sunk.
Brinda Ghosh, Patna
Thoughts of home
Sir — One cannot agree more with Ashok Mitra’s views on the needless idolizing of non-resident Indians (“Passport to privilege”, Feb.7). He may sound acerbic, but there is much truth in what he says. The National Democratic Alliance government’s hype and hoopla about the contributions of the NRIs is excessive, since the countries of their adoption reap the fruits of contribution much more than India does. There is no need for the government to bend over backwards to please them, when the contributions of resident Indians go unhonoured. This ambivalence in dealing with Indians and NRIs is not a good thing.
A.C. Mohapatra, Shillong
Sir — Pratap Bhanu Mehta has correctly observed that “the respect for Indians that NRIs have undoubtedly created is not the same thing as respect for India itself (“Indians out of India”, Jan 17). India is highly regarded for its institution of democracy, but NRIs in the United States of America, for instance, must be having a tough time explaining to fellow Americans the reasons behind the atrocities on minorities in different states of India while the Central government plays the role of a mute spectator. Also why religion divides people rather than uniting them.
Indians living in the US may be highly respected for their contributions, but India continues to be viewed as a hypocritical country. Indians should come together to remedy the situation, irrespective of whether they get any help from the government or not. For, time is running out for them.
K.R. Rangaswamy, Madison, US
Sir — It was a little difficult to grasp S.L. Rao’s opinion in the article, “The dollar brides” (Jan 28). He talks about three categories of Indian girls. The first category comprises daughters of Indian migrants, but does not explain clearly why they should come under the category of dollar brides. It would surely be wrong to assume that most of them agree to settle for an arranged marriage in India instead of selecting appropriate partners for themselves, say among eligible immigrant bachelors.
Rao claims that women in the second category, those who go to the US — as opposed to being born there — have no intention of returning to India. Being such an immigrant myself, I have had the opportunity to observe first hand that many such women earn their degrees and return home. The author has not given any figures to corroborate what he says. He has made far too many assumptions. The article has been printed as an opinion, but opinions which seem more like the results of a survey but which have no statistics to support them, do not hold strong.
Soma Chaudhuri, Pennsylvania, US
Sir – My five year old son, Tanmoy Bag, will have to undergo an open heart surgery at the B.M. Birla Heart Research Centre in Calcutta. This would incur an expense of nearly Rs 80,000. My husband works as daily labour, and his monthly income cannot meet the expenses of the surgery. I have no income and desperately need some financial help. It may be sent directly to the hospital or to: Ranu Bag, C/O Jugal Bag, Vill & P.O - Rashpur, Howrah, PIN - 711 401.
Ranu Bag, Howrah