The Tribune - Spectrum


Sunday, August 19, 2001

Narrating Phoolan Devi’s story

I compliment Ashwani Bhatnagar for sharing his diary notes in "Chasing shadows" (August 5) narrating his attempts to track down Phoolan Devi.

The Thakurs of Behmai may have succeeded in destroying the mortal frame of Phoolan Devi, but they can never destroy her spirit. Be unfair to even a lowliest of a creature and rest assured the reaction is bound to be there — quite equal and opposite, if not even more stern.

K.L. Noatay, Shimla


Phoolan Devi’s story has been graphically portrayed and dramatically narrated.

‘The night before surrender’ has all the drama of Hitchcock’s thrillers...suspense, terror, fear of death and destruction. The author carries his message of social justice forward!

G.K. Sharma, Bahrain


Rewriting history

This refers to V.N. Datta’s write-up "Dusting history off shelves and adding sparkle to the story" (July 29). The writer’s critical comments on the writing of history justifies the persistent demand for the rewriting of Indian history which implies primarily two tasks: the filling up of the gaps in our knowledge of historical events and their reappraisal. The first task, though difficult, does not lead to controversies.

However, the task of reappraisal of historical events is more difficult for it brings in its train the subjective element. Historical events, when viewed through the mind of the historian, take on different hues.

The historian is not a log of wood but a human being with his own prejudices and impulses. It is the task of the historian to explain facts and draw inferences and, therefore, the way in which he discharges that task would depend to a very large extent on his impulses, emotions, prejudices and values.

The historian is a creator of ideas and he is using history as a valuable means of popularising certain ideologies. In the hands of a second-rate scholar, history degenerates into mere propaganda but a clever historian can use the historical data to influence and indoctrinate the minds of the people. The task of rewriting the history of India is thus beset with many difficulties.

K.M. Vashisht, Mansa


The article "What is this carrying man on his head? (July 22) by Aruti Nayar attempts to analyse the effects of market forces on the behaviour and psychology of urban people. I agree with the writer’s conviction that media advertisements have created a market for the average urban Indian and he feels greatly motivated to spend his entire monthly income on different consumer goods. But his economic compulsions don’t allow him to so. The rich middle class people (comprising big traders, bureaucrats and the doctors) spend lavishly. The average urban Indian tries to emulate the lifestyle of middle classs men and women. The seductions of a charming city life allure him. This sort of modern life, based on consumerism makes a man hollow from within. He is becoming more and more selfish, opportunistic and dehumanised. Different consumer goods available in the market may give an excessive pleasure to his senses and they perhaps satisfy his inflated ego also but they kill his soul. In search for blind pleasures, he tends to adopt even undesirable means of amassing wealth.

Raj Bahadur Dehati, Rewari


Food becomes you

This refers to the write-up "Food is your best medicine" (August 5) by Jasmer Singh. While there is danger in the drug treatment of hypertension, reverting to a diet low in salt and high in potassium can do no harm. We consume at least 5 to 20 times the amount of sodium that we actually need.

Preventive action for hypertensive patients is harmless, prudent and effective.

Avtar Narain Chopra, Kurukshetra

Keeping marriages alive

Apropos of Taru Behl’s "When a marriage stagnates" (August 5). Man’s outlook towards human relations is more important than his/her material gains out of such a relationship. But when a suitable match is considered a ‘plum catch’ rather than a life-long partner of joys and sorrows, marriage is bound to stagnate sooner than later. Building a career has taken precedence over one’s duty and responsibility towards one’s family and society. Hence earning huge amounts of money for a luxurious life, has become an obsession.

The unhealthy results of such an irrational attitude towards life have started appearing in our society. Marital relation and mutual understanding are taking a backseat as ‘tiffs’ on flimsiest grounds are becoming common. Life partners are growing indifferent to each other’s expectations and losing interest in the partner’s achievements and problems. Marriages for many an enthusiastic professional has resulted in insecurity, pain and even loss of self-esteem only because of their disregard for the feelings of their partner.

Ved Guliani, Hisar


If marriage is based on sex only, it is subject to the law of diminishing marginal utility. Not only does love making lose charm because of its repetition ad nauseam but the sameness of face, body and manners of the partners also make it monotonous.

If there is an instinctive love between the partners, there is nothing like it. If the feeling grows with time even then it is okay. Otherwise with the passage of time, a marriage starts stagnating.

The progress of stagnation can be contained, if not reversed, by a conscious effort on the part of the wife and husband to keep the bond as fresh as possible.

Husband and wife should not take each other of granted. The trappings of romance should be kept alive. The husband should not let even an iota of his attention and care for his wife be usurped by his office or business duties and wife should not let not even fraction of her affection for her husband be transferred to their children.

Marriage stagnates only if there is not complete understanding and a perfect union of minds.

Chaman Lal Korpal, Amritsar

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