Time to take a bow
Sir — Some things of the past are better done away with — like the traditional bow to the royal box at the Wimbledon (“A royal bow out of Wimbledon”, April 30). For modern-day tennis players (most of whom hail from countries where monarchy has been abolished centuries ago), that little curtsy could actually entail a great deal of tutoring and rehearsing. All for a few days every year in strawberries-and-cream country, when they ought to be concentrating on their serves and volleys and not worry their heads off about which leg should bend more than the other. It is wonderful that the royalty should think of them too.
Neeraj Purohit, Calcutta
Sir — The surrender of Iraq’s deputy prime minister, Tariq Aziz, has only added fuel to the rumour mills by encouraging speculation on what might have made Aziz turn his back on Saddam Hussein’s regime (“Aziz: Credentials of an American mole”, April 28). The most plausible reason for Aziz’s surrender seems to be that Hussein never gave him the sort of space in which he could perform his duty as he wanted to. The coalition on its part must have done a splendid job in reaching a deal to Aziz which he simply couldn’t refuse. In exchange, Aziz is surely expected to pass on some vital information to the coalition forces.
But the million-dollar question is, will the information given by Aziz be of any significance, more so when he was not a trusted aide of Hussein at all' Besides, is the intelligence wing of the coalition equipped enough to verify the information provided by Aziz'
Bijoy Ranjan Dey, Tinsukia
Sir — Tariq Aziz’s case should be an eye-opener to those Indians in positions of power who attach more importance to lofty ideals than to the security of the country. Until not so long ago, as the only Christian occupying the high-profile post of deputy prime minister in an Arab country, Aziz was a symbol of secularism. He was also adept at mouthing words of loyalty to his country, and even claimed to be ready to die rather than surrender to the invading forces.
If Aziz had been acting as an American mole all along even under a dictatorial regime, it is horrifying to think of what powerful Indian officials are capable of, when offered the right kind of temptation. India is ostensibly a liberal and free country. Added to this is the worrying fact that our history is replete with our own countrymen inviting invaders to attack their own land.
Ashok Shaw, Asansol
Sir — George W. Bush, Tony Blair and their allies had better realize that as in the case of Osama bin Laden, it does not matter if they round up a hundred Tariq Azizes if they cannot catch Saddam Hussein, alive rather than dead.
Siddharth Kumar, Calcutta
Sir — It was around 10 in the morning, and the Chandni Chowk Metro station was bustling with office-goers and schoolchildren as usual. Many, if not all, had their eyes glued to the television sets perched high on the platform. Suddenly a scream, out of a girl of five or six, alarmed everyone around. Her trembling index finger turned my attention to the TV. I was stunned. An appalling scene of a terrible looking “ghost”, up in flames and strangling another man whose face had blood oozing out of it, apparently due to the slicing action of the demon’s nails — a well-known, and in fact, “stock”, scene from a well known horror movie.
It was one of those films not meant for universal viewing. But how could the Metro administration allow the production company which handles the fare served on the Metro station TV to show such a film, knowing that children and adolescents were at definite risk of coming across the film while waiting for a train' No parent would like the idea of their young children watching such horrifying films.
This ludicrous “gift” of horror and violence that comes free with Metro tickets is highly repulsive and should be withdrawn with immediate effect.
Subhadip Pal, Calcutta