Vivid picture of Turkey

"Turkish delights" (Saturday Extra, June 16) by A.J. Philip was an absorbing and informative piece of writing that gave a vivid description of Istanbul.

It was delightful to learn how Istanbul is different from other places of the world. Its main attraction is mosques, particularly the Blue Mosque, which is a splendid work of architecture. Besides it boasts of having 2,000 mosques, which shows that the people there are highly religious.

The writer, in his inimitable style, gave the readers a peep into the Ottoman Empire, Byzantine era, Haghia Sophia, Egyptian obelisk and Four Seasons hotel. People’s social, cultural, economic and religious life also got highlighted. All that made enriching reading and experience.

However, it was startling to know that in Turkey a cup of tea costs Rs 35, which clearly shows that the city is very expensive. The compendium was worth reading for which the writer deserves accolades.



More than spiritual

The mystery woman” (Saturday Extra, June 2) has made an effort to present Mahatma Gandhi and Devi Chowdhrani as normal human beings who had walked on this earth. The writer has stripped these two demigods of the aura around them and presented them as great intellectual beings but capable of normal human frailties.

The evidences clearly show that their relationship was more than spiritual and Gandhi’s well wishers had to put in great effort to wean him away from Sarla Devi. The relationship between them was going to be disastrous for both of them because none of them would have been ready for the compromises that marital life demands.

ARUN BALA, Bathinda

Erasing the myth

Prof K.C. Yadav’s article, “Profiles of courage” (Perspective, June 3) made it possible for the world to know the facts about the role of the Sikhs in 1857. It erases the myth that Sikhs were loyal to the British in 1857.

The hanging of Sardar Mohar Singh and Sham Das at Ambala and the wiping of the entire Sikh village of Dabri say it all. The nation salutes these unsung heroes.

There is absolutely no truth in the popular perception that Sikhs were loyal to the British in 1857. The first man in the Punjab who was hanged for sedition was a Sikh.

HARBANS SINGH, Ambala Cantonment

Super success

Ambarish Datta has done a very good job by highlighting the achievements of a coaching centre based in Patna (“It’s a super hit”, Saturday Extra, June 9). Super 30, a free coaching institute, is sending economically backward and meritorious aspirants to the pretigious IITs. The credit goes to maths wizard Anand Kumar and a senior police officer of Patna, Abhayanand.

The institute will serve as a guidepost for others. But is is sad that the people dedicated to such a noble cause have their adversaries in society. The picture of India will certainly change if we have such institutes all over the nation. If a six-member Japanese media team can make a documentary on the institute, why can’t we get inspired to do some good for millions of backward people of India?



Taking Punjab to greater heights

Khushwant Singh, in his article “Punjab may go the Bihar way” (Saturday Plus, June 2), has rightly summed up the issue of deras in Punjab. The word ‘Sikh’ perhaps came into existence from Khalas (pure), a term given by Guru Gobind Singh.

Punjab is a land of saints, peers, pegambars, and gurus. All religions preach peace, love and non-violence. The Punjabis are considered to be broadminded, who can take anybody in their fold. They are known for their hard work and brotherhood. No wonder, Punjab has been the most prosperous state.

Dera Sacha Sauda, however, should not have been associated with politics in the last elections in the state. All religious organisations should maintain their distance from political parties.

Sikhs are very broad-minded. To take Punjab to greater heights in the field of emerging technologies and attract foreign investment, cooperation among all sects and religions should be is a must. Punjab should be on the top of the world.

G.L. BANSAL, Palampur

Leather embroidery

Dolly Sagar’s article “Fancy Footwork” was highly informative (Spectrum, June 24). Apart from Rajasthan's fancy juttis, Himachal Pradesh is also famed for its beautiful leather embroidered chappals that are made in Chamba.

About two centuries ago, a Katoch princess, sister of Raja Bir Singh, ruler of Nurpur, protested against her marriage proposal to Raja Charat Singh of Chamba (1808-1844) feeling that people of Chamba wore crude shoes. Therefore, a cobbler from Panj Baria village near Nurpur was sent in her dowry to make beautiful embroidered footwear for her. His descendants are said to be still residing in Chamba.

The artistic urge among the cobblers that resulted in the art of leather embroidery, received inspiration from arts like Chamba’s rumals and miniatures apart from Himalayan flora. 




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