Reviving interest in reading

THIS has reference to “Italian honour for Indian authors” (Saturday Extra, June 25). Anita Desai, whom I had the privilege of reading as a prescribed author at the MA and M.Phil levels, has come of age, both in letter and spirit. The conferring of the Una Vita Per La Letterature (A life for literature) award is only a corroboration of my view shared by the reading fraternity world over.

It is equally heartening that after the roaring success of Arundhati Roy’s Booker Prize winning novel, The God of Small Things, Rupa Bajwa’s The Sari Shop has won international acclaim and is in the process of being published in many other foreign languages. The Debutant Author Prizes for Rupa and Siddharth Shanghvi is a recognition and exhortation for the budding talent in India.

The felicity of language employed by Bajwa in The Sari Shop in probing the commonplace is truly marvellous. There is a need to revive the interest of our generation in reading which has taken a nosedive over the past decade with the proliferation of IT aids. One small step in this direction can be that we begin gifting good books to our near and dear ones on select occasions. One glowing lamp can light numerous others. I wish the onward march continues.


Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor, neatly hand-written or typed in double space, should not exceed the 150-word limit. These can be sent by post to the Letters Editor, The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh-160030.

Letters can also be sent by e-mail to: Letters@tribuneindia.com

— Editor-in-Chief


Advani’s insomnia

Khuswant Singh writes with authenticity and authority and has an uncanny knack to dig out facts, historical or current, with a surgeon’s accuracy, the scalpel (pen here) in hand.

In This Above All column (Saturday Extra, June 25) the write-up on Veer Savarkar is nerve-shattering. Even if there is a grain of truth in it, it puts the BJP/NDA in a tight spot, who have been churning out ill-conceived and ill-informed ideas to their advantage to rule by hook or by crook.

The government should, at the first opportunity, undo the wrong by pulling down the portrait of Savarkar from the Central Hall of Parliament and also rename Veer Savarkar airport after the name of a martyr.

B. M. SINGH, Amritsar

Timely concern about helpless women

Kiran Bedi’s piece “Plight of voiceless women” (Sunday Oped, June 19) reflects the pain and suffering of women as ordained by God Himself. God’s creation, this world is well planned. If we try to outlaw His nature, it causes havoc. God has put this responsibility of regeneration of human kind on the shoulders of women with a cause. He made her stronger emotionally, if not biologically.

God also wanted to test man for his candidature of His best blessings. That is why, it is said, Yatra naryastu pujayante, ramyante, tatra devta (where woman is worshipped, Gods live there).

It would be better on the part of the authoress to make men feel and share the pains of the expectant mother rather than blame God. But she has rightly said, “while the law of nature is irreversible, the state of affairs can be reversed.”

USHA TANEJA, Fatehabad


I fully agree with the writer’s concerns. But who is responsible for all this? The prevailing socio-economic system is responsible for this as it has failed to introduce modern humanistic changes at quicker pace.

Outdated traditions in the garb of religious practices are doing their best to keep society still backward, indifferent, divided, fatalistic and feudalistic in outlook. Inadequate systems of education, health and governance have failed to modernise society to the expected level. Then, how can we expect progressive changes in the people’s mindset?

Even the media’s role is disappointing. Like politicians, sometimes, the media also strengthens the traditional and superstitious thoughts of people when it exploits them to promote its business. In fact, we need a holistic approach to tackle the grim socio-economic situation.



Better to die

This has the reference to “Liberty to die” by Khushwant Singh (Saturday Extra, June 18).

The first and the last phases of life are alike but the difference is in desires. Desires take root with the birth of a child. As the child grows, so do desires. And desires are a cause of worries.

But we must have the liberty to die. By the time the last phase comes up, the old person has tasted luxuries but the desires still hold sway within the person though his physical condition does not allow him enjoyment. So it is better to die once rather than to die many times a day.


Samosa millionaire

This refers to the feature, “Samosa millionaire” (Spectrum, June 19). A couple of years ago, someone told me that potato-stuffed samosa prominently figured among the seasoned Indian dishes in the UK. However, during a visit to Lahore, I saw samosas containing minced meat. This spicy triangular pie is also called sambosah and sanbosah.

Evidently, samosa was one of the savoury dishes enjoyed by the Indians even about 700 years ago. It finds a mention in the 13th century celebrated poet Amir Khusrau’s verse: Gosht kyoon na khaaya / Doom Kyoon na gaaya — gala na tha / Joota kyoon na pehna/ Sanbosah kyoon na khaaya — tala na tha. There is a play on the words ‘gala’ and ‘tala’. While ‘gala’ means fully cooked and throat, ‘tala’ denotes a shoe’s sole as well as fried stuff.


A good effort

I read Shahira Naim’s “The Bose I knew — is a memory now” (Spectrum, June 12 ). Captain Sahgal is the symbol of our glorious freedom struggle. This full-page write-up will inspire our daughters and sisters to learn a few meaningful lessons of patriotism from the life of Netaji and Captain Sahgal.

In fact, we Indians will never forget Netaji or Subhas Chandra Bose and his comrades like Captain Sehgal. The nation will never forget its bravest and boldest patriot, Netaji. Bose and his comrades were selfless patriots who dared to challenge the mighty British Raj.


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |