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Security as status symbol

In his article, “Cracking the cocoon” (Sunday Oped, Dec 7), Dilip Cherian has given a very good insight of the political mindset of the country. There is a huge disparity of security blanket given to the politicians and other VIPs compared to none for a common man.

It reminds one of the famous Darwin theory of the survival of the fittest. May be, the people who govern the country are not only fittest but are fastest and smartest to achieve this level of security. There is no problem with that. But the problem is the manner in which they act for their personal gains at the cost of the common man and the nation.

There is a need to change the system by which we elect the people who govern us. We need a system which can identify the qualified, the ablest, the competent and the educated to be elected to various posts. It could be each politician should have a degree in law to have a sound knowledge of law and order and also have served the country in the Army for at least three years.

We ought to blame ourselves for this mess. We need to raise ourselves and be counted and elect politicians who are truly patriotic and work as leaders. Consider how Americans have elected Barrack Obama as their next President following a stringent election campaign. There is a lesson for all of us to learn!

Dr SANJIV GUPTA, Perth (Australia)


I am shocked to see crores of rupees being spent on VIP security. In New Delhi alone, about 14,200 policemen are deployed on protecting our politicians. Do they really deserve this kind of protection? The public revulsion against the politicians in the backdrop of the Mumbai carnage shows otherwise.

The writer has compared politicians with diapers. But we don’t change old diapers with used, stinking ones. We replace old diapers with new ones.

We need a whole lot of new leaders who are strong, honest and firm in their commitment towards the nation. For this, the youth will have to rise to the occasion to lead the nation to progress and prosperity.

SUSHIL KUMAR GUPTA, Tohana (Fatehabad)


Dilip Cherian’s article was not only bold but also truthful. It must have struck a familiar chord in innumerable hearts. This is what people wanted to hear about the cocooned politicians, terrorism and the government.

The piece on Romila Thapar was also nice and illuminating. Indeed, she is an eminent historian. She deserved the honour bestowed on her by the US Library of Congress for her revolutionary and path-breaking views on historical approach.



The writer’s concern about people’s annoyance against their leaders for excessive security and protection is perfectly understandable. It is also the anguish and concern of every responsible and democratically conscious citizen.

It is time our politicians changed their outlook and approach towards the nation and the people. The people too should reject irresponsible and non-performing politicians at the hustings.


English: The global language

In “The global language” (Saturday Extra, Dec 13) Deepti has written about the Bournemouth Council of the UK asking its staff to avoid using Latin words and phrases. This is absurd as words and phrases from Latin, Greek and several other languages have become a part and parcel of English.

For example, words from Hindi, Japanese and Chinese languages are frequently used in English. As a result of the frequent use of the terms of these languages, English is often called Hinglish, Japanese and Chingling in India, Japan and China, respectively. The Greek language is a treasure house of scientific and technical vocabulary.

In India, Hindi has adopted words from Persian and Urdu and this has made it a rich and flourishing language of the country. The beauty and prestige of Hindi has not at all been endangered by the use of Urdu and Persian words.

The modern English vocabulary includes words derived from almost every language of Europe and from innumerable languages of Asia, Africa, America and Australia. Words of foreign languages have not themselves attempted to enter into English vocabulary rather English has adopted them.

In his book, The Making of English, Henry Bradley observes: “Still, however surprising the fact may be, it remains certain that the English language owes practically nothing to the language of the ancient Britons.” Then, how can English disown foreign words and phrases?

IQBAL SINGH, Bijhari (Hamirpur)

Reading habits

Khushwant Singh, in his piece “India’s book trade” (Saturday Extra, Dec 13),
aptly stated that the development of a country is judged from the books read
by its people. But being an intimate lover of books, I have an adverse view of
reading habits.

Though a lot of good books are available, there are very few serious readers. By reading good books men get knowledge of human mind, well being, spiritual attainment and materialism.

Here in our country, corruption, dishonesty untruthfulness and exploitation of the women are order of the day. This is due to moral degradation of the people.

I quote here a pertinent couplet “How little do politics affect the life, the moral life of a nation, a simple good book influences a vast deal more”.

RIKHI DASS THAKUR, Palbhu (Hamirpur)



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