Facts into fiction
Sir — Given Taslima Nasreen’s record of exposing “naked truths”, one wonders who her next victim might be in a possible fourth sequel to her “Meyebela” series (“Tripped, Taslima parades naked truth”, Nov 20). Chances are, it will be a Muslim male again. For even though Nasreen may have had relations with white men, she seems to be systematically gunning for men of her community, who, she believes, have plenty to hide. Why don’t people like Syed Hasmat Jalal shut up and prove that they actually don’t. Why give needless publicity to Nasreen’s fictionalization of her “affairs”'
Joydeb Chatterjee, Calcutta
Sir — In “The new Shangri La” (Nov 13), Jairam Ramesh misreads the signals when he accuses the Indian government of not being enthusiastic about the Kunming Initiative. It is, in fact, just the opposite. The former president of India, K.R. Narayanan, during his official visit to China in 2000 showed much interest in the project. India actually sees the initiative as part of its “Look East” policy, and a powerful adjunct to organizations like the south Asian association for regional cooperation and Bangladesh-India-Myanmar-Sri Lanka-Thailand Economic Cooperation. The recent visit of the Indian vice-president to Myanmar reconfirms India’s continuing interest in the Yunan province.
Ramesh touches on the Sino-Indian border issue when he mentions Beijing’s 1960 proposal. Regrettably, this proposal was dismissed out of hand by Jawaharlal Nehru for vote bank concerns. Yet there is no other solution to the problem. India has to forego Aksai Chin in the west in lieu of China’s disengaging from Bara Hoti in the central sector and Sumdurong Chu-Northern Mishmi Hills in the eastern sector. China had suggested the course even earlier, but our full-time attention to Kashmir put paid to it.
As a first step, India needs to annul its unrealistic parliamentary resolution stating that it will recover Aksai Chin from China.
Jayanta Kumar Dutt, Calcutta
Sir — Jairam Ramesh’s dream about increasing Sino-Indian trade by promoting greater connectivity through the North-east is unlikely to succeed. Insurgency has wreaked havoc on the region, especially the economy. The perpetual fear among the people that they will be robbed of their culture will act as a stumbling block. Because of these factors, the region continues to lag behind mainstream India despite the talent and vast potential for development.
Subhajit Ghosh, Shillong
Sir — In all probability, Jairam Ramesh is right about India’s lack of seriousness with respect to the Kunming initiative. Had it been otherwise, India would have been more realistic in its foreign policy in the region. India cannot afford to cock a snook at China, for whatever reason. For Sino-Indian relations are inextricably tied to Indo-Pak relations and in a larger sense, the balance of the entire south Asian region.
S. Acharya, Calcutta
Sir — It is good news that Calcutta has emerged as a regular haunt for Mumbai filmmakers. The presence of the movie stars will add some attraction to the city. The Vidyasagar Setu is now one of the most sought-after sites. As a result, the traffic on the bridge has increased manifold and the state government is also making a quick buck. There is a problem, however. None of the Bollywood teams are bothered about the environment. The bridge is now littered with waste and the Hooghly is facing a serious threat of pollution. Actors are role models for the public. They should ensure that the pollution is minimized.
Sumant Poddar, Calcutta
Sir — The continuous increase in the number of vehicles in Calcutta should be an indication of the increase of pollution in the city. The plantation programme has to be followed more vigorously. Neem and pipal trees should be included in large numbers in this drive.
Prashant Mukherjee, Calcutta