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Hazare’s crusade ought to be better planned

I do not agree with the assessment that the present insensitive society of India cannot see the end of corruption (article, “Anna Hazare cannot stop Shri 420” by Surendra Kumar, Apr 19). One Hazare is sufficient to root out corruption, provided he spearheads his movement in a more cautious and systematic way, because public at large is now desperate to follow the lead given by an honest but sensible leader.

Most of the movements in India have failed because these were ill-organised. The first War of Independence in 1857 failed because it was spontaneous and thoroughly mismanaged. 

The freedom movement of Mahatma Gandhi could not achieve Independence in the desired format because it was carried out in fits and starts. However, Salt Satyagraha in 1930 was a grand success because it was meticulously carried out. The JP movement in 1974 for total revolution flopped because politicians hijacked it.

The movement of Baba Ramdev against black money got derailed because he showed himself in the company of discredited politicians in February, 2011 rally at Delhi. Likewise the movement of Anna Hazare will not go very far because he has not done his homework well. He targeted only one party and spared the others. He needlessly praised the Chief Ministers of Gujarat and Bihar. Then he made the mistake of including both the Bushans in the drafting committee.

If the civil society is really serious to make India corruption free then the great Anna Hazare will have to lead the movement like a competent General.

He must prepare a comprehensive agenda and plan of action to awaken the whole nation for a big battle against corruption like the famous Dandi March.


Why skirts?

Badminton’s new rule that requires all female players to wear skirts, is not right. Shorts are always comfortable and it should be made compulsory for girls to wear shorts (not skirts) while playing. The National Commission for Women should intervene in the matter.


Role of art and artist

The article “The end of ideas” (Apr 20) by Vandana Shukla brought forth the age-old debate about the role of an artist in society. “All arts aspire to the condition of music” perhaps because music is one of the purest forms of all arts. Thus no art perhaps can be without its inherent musical melodies of varied kinds. The artist begins performing first for his or her own pleasure and later, if he or she graduates to some acceptable level, for the masses.

The basic role of a true artist has always been to entertain. However, since no artist can cut off himself from his social moorings his artistic outpourings serve, more than often, as ‘concealed’ social/historical chronicles.

History is replete with instances that show that whenever any artist, like Ai WeiWei, has transgressed from his inherent role of an entertainer and vomited out his raw feelings like breaking news, he had to suffer immensely at the hands of an intolerant society.

“But what is the difference between literature and journalism?...Journalism is unreadable and literature is not read”, remarked Oscar Wilde.

After my four decade long experience as a working artist I am of the firm view that art is neither journalism nor political propaganda.

BALVINDER, Chandigarh

Travails of writing

Harish Dhillon’s middle “On writing a bestseller” (Apr 21) takes a gentle, self-deprecatory, in effect, a universal dig at the ethics of writing an “inspired” best seller as also at the underpinnings of a peer friendship that chose unethical profiteering at the expense of peer trust.

Sometimes, in the adrenalin-driven rush for narrow gain, we tend to lose the plot and mess up. In this much-needed season of national introspection, the subliminal desire of everyman to promote probity over manipulation for personal gain, has been elegantly and delightfully brought out by this fetchingly honest writing.

Maj-Gen RAJ MEHTA (retd), SAS Nagar

China’s mindset

The article “Inside the Dragon’s fire-breathing mindset” (Apr 22) by Vijay Mohan was analytical. The article should be viewed in the light of Deng Xiaoping’s famous saying, “We should hide our strength and bide our time.”

Any student of history of China would know that the serious humiliation suffered by China at the hands of Japan and the Western powers spreading over almost a whole century will provoke a serious rebound from them once they have acquired the status of a world economic and military power.


PSLV launch

Scientists of ISRO must be congratulated for the successful launch of PSLV C-16 ResourceSat 2 mission from Sriharikota. Despite failure of two earlier missions, the determination to succeed has been tremendous. The satellites will transmit useful data on natural resources, weather and environment. This will prove beneficial for future research. 


Don’t ban books

In his article “Banning of books” (Apr 21) Justice Rajindar Sachar (retd) has rightly pointed at the anti-Gandhian attitude of British news magazine Daily Mail.

The whole issue has been taken out of context and the letters from Gandhi to Kallenbach have been interpreted in a sleazy and salacious manner along with heavy innuendos.

Gandhi had the moral courage to write about his sexuality in his autobiography. He had taken to celibacy after living with his wife and begetting children.

His life has been an open book and to write about certain aspects of his life out of context, is nothing but an attempt to scandalise Gandhi for commercial gains of the book.

India being a mature nation should not ban the book as the author himself has denied that Gandhi was bisexual. Keeping in view the liberal and democratic traditions of India, we must not ban the book without even reading it.

Brig HS SANDHU (retd), Panchkula



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