The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, July 16, 2000

Of mangoes, melodies and movies

"MANGOES, melodies and movies" by O.P. Bhagatís (July 2) was very interesting.

Another very old song Jhoola Kin Daro Amarian is about the joys of swinging from a mango tree during the rains.

There is also a raga named after the mango namely Amrapanchama.

The mango was so popular among Urdu poets that a mushaira used to be held in Delhi annually where only mango-related verses were recited. This mushaira was called Aam aur Kalam.

Mirza Ghalib had very poetically described the sweetness of mangoes as "sealed jars of paradisal honey".



One false step

This refers to Taru Bahlís write up "One false step" (June 25). One right step may take one to undreamt-of heights while one wrong step may spell disaster. Jawaharlal Nehru would have ended up as a barrister and Motilal Nehruís successor but for his decision to join Indiaís freedom struggle which took him to the heights of glory both in India and abroad.


Redefining leadership

This refers to Prerana Trehanís write-up "Redefining leadership" (June 25). A leader in any area ó social, religious, political, managerial ó must have a deep insight into the past, present and future. The world around us is changing fast and life as we knew it a decade ago, no longer exists. In politics, leaders must have the vision to analyse the past, present and future.

There is a sea change in the relationship between the leader and the led, between a manager at a workplace and the worker. The boss-subordinate relationship has now become a senior colleague ó junior partner relationship.

A leader should lead by example. He must practise what he preaches. We cannot afford to have MPs who owe lakhs as arrears of electricity charges and preach honesty, integrity and austerity in public life. Leaders have to be sincere in their efforts to find solutions to the problems facing the people.


Mansoor Khan

This refers to Abhilaksh Likhiís article "A filmmaker who is full of josh" (June 25). Mansoor Khan shot into the limelight with the super success of his maiden directorial venture Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, starring newcomers Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla. This film was successful at the box office because of its cinematic freshness. Mansoor Khan had given a stylish treatment to an oft-repeated love story. His second film Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander, clicked because it dealt with a unique love story based on values, attitudes and relationships. Mansoorís third film Akele Hum Akele Tum, which told the story of marital conflict was a good film but it did not do well at the box office. His latest offering Josh tells the story of a romance that flourished amidst the enmity between two rival gangs. This film is reportedly doing well at the box office.

Mansoor Khan has imbibed certain qualities from his illustrious father Nasir Hussain. He has a daringly different style of narration. Bollywood has high hopes from this young filmmaker.


Urban wasteland

The article on "Urban Wasteland" by Union Minister for Urban Development, Jagmohan (June 11) was timely. He has rightly pointed out that politics, poverty, pollution, productivity, planning and shortages in the urban areas are the crucial issues around which the machinery of urban governance revolves. The formidable nature of these issues has thrown this machinery into a deep crisis. When he says that this is not merely a crisis of governance; but extends to the governed as well, it seems that he is shifting the responsibility and blaming the victims. Theoretically, all partners are supposed to be equal in the development process in a civil society. But, in India, a majority of the people in urban areas are poor and living below the poverty line. They cannot be held responsible for the present urban wasteland.

The writer blames the entire community for all the wrongs, when, in all fairness, this blame must rest with the ruling elite which is mainly responsible for making decisions and implementing them.

The lack of influence of the poor on the government and their lack of protection from the law explains a significant part of the deprivation they face. This is also a well-recognised fact that the government will not address urban poverty and its underlying causes unless the poor have more political power to influence resource allocation. The question of urban governance is related to social problems like poverty, unemployment, corruption and very low wages etc. Strategies, which do not deal with the society as a whole will work as mere stopgap arrangements.