Letters to Editor 11-11-2013
Crucial needs Golden voice Be cautious Erratum
- Published 11.11.13
Sir — I agree with the editorial, “Other worlds” (Nov 7), when it says that “national interest and the cause of science need not be mutually antagonistic”. Science should be used to further national interests. India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, had a vision to develop science and technology in the country, but there was a lack of applied policy and political will that put a spanner in the works. The progress in the social, educational and economic conditions of the people has to move at an equal pace with the growth of science and technology.
All the scientists of the Indian Space Research Organization should be congratulated for the successful launching of the satellite involved in the Mars Orbiter Mission. India’s space research has reached a stage that can be envied by other countries. This shows that a mission of such proportions can be carried out if there is political will. It is strange that in a country capable of such scientific advancement, there is equal fervour to ascertain the credibility of the dreams of seers.
Many have asked why so many crores of rupees were spent on a space mission when millions in the country go hungry everyday. But a Rs 450-crore Mars orbiter project costs much less than the amount of public money that is annually siphoned off by corrupt politicians. The cumulative amount of money wasted in India in performing pujas and the construction of temples in a year will amount to more than the money spent on the Mars mission.
I remember the photograph of Neil Armstrong on the surface of the moon. My grandmother had appreciated the feat at the time, but at the same time she had said that people also need security, clean drinking water, nutritious food and proper sanitation. Political will is essential for achieving these as well.
Amitava Banerjee, Calcutta
Sir — The death of the Pakistani folk singer, Reshma, has stunned music lovers (“Lambi judai singer dies”, Nov 4). It is ironic that the singer, who was only 12 when she was spotted singing at Shahbaz Qalander’s shrine and went on to become a favourite on Pakistani radio, was suffering from throat cancer for a long time. Though she belonged to a Banjara family from Rajasthan, her tribe migrated to Karachi. But Reshma was a god-gifted singer, and the power of her music went beyond borders. She rose from humble origins and became one of the finest folk singers. Her Punjabi song, “Ankhiyan nu rehn de ankhiyan de kol kol”, was sung in Hindi by Lata Mangeshkar for the film, Bobby. It was called “Ankhiyon ko rehne de ankhiyon ke aas paas”. Reshma sang “Lambi judai” for the film, Hero. Her songs, “Haye o rabba naiyon lagda dil mera” and “Wey main chori chori” will be listened to by music lovers for years to come.
Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee, Faridabad
Sir — It was disheartening to read about the demise of the talented folk singer, Reshma. She had no formal education while growing up, and she used to sing in mazars when she was just 12 years old. Her talent and husky voice were spotted early on, and she rose to great fame. She was awarded the Sitara-i-Imtiaz by the government of Pakistan. She performed in India in the 1980s, during an exchange of artists that was allowed between India and Pakistan. The filmmaker, Subhash Ghai, spotted her and she sang the popular song, “Lambi judai”, for his film, Hero. She will never be forgotten by her fans and music lovers.
A.S. Mehta, Calcutta
Sir — Some years back, I had enrolled myself in a reputed karate institution in Dover Lane. The instructor there turned out to be dishonest. He soon started pestering me for money. Fitness enthusiasts in the city should be careful of such deceitful trainers.
Amlandeep Bhattacharya, Calcutta
The item, “Dim view” (Nov 10), in the Diary section says that “The Congress has expressed its disgust with exit polls.” The Congress has actually opposed opinion polls, not exit polls. The error is regretted.
— The Editor