L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

Fair enough

Despite our pretensions to modernity, we remain slaves to the fair skin (In all fairness ? Nah ! by Vimla Patil, Spectrum, November 6). Dusky women can also look stunning and eventually it's the nature of women that really matters - that is the real beauty. But of course all matrimonial advertisements seek fair-complexioned brides, obviously for producing fair children. The craving, accentuated by cosmetics promising a fair complexion, promote a colour bias. They promote false hopes because the complexion is determined by melanin-producing cells in the skin, the climate, genetics and the environment

Roshni Johar, Shimla

Not fair

The corrupt in the government or the public sector are bribed by the corrupt in the private sector (Fight corruption but not with law alone by Harpal Singh, November 20). Bribe givers and bribe takers are equally guilty. Crores of Rupees are paid as salary by the private sector to executives in order to save themselves from paying corporate income tax. Big builders, almost all in the private sector, collect as much as 50 per cent of the property prices in cash through their dealers. Why then should the private sector/corporate sector be kept out of the ambit of the Lokpal?

Ajitpal, Ludhiana


Law against corruption should deal with corruption affecting the greater public interest, wherever, it exists. Secondly, keeping the corporate sector out of the ambit of the Lok Pal would mean permitting them to continue influencing government decisions like allocation of the 2G spectrum. Thirdly, it is not only scarcity of services that has led to breeding of corruption but also the cumbersome systems involving issue of driving licenses, domicile and other certificates, ration cards, water and electricity connections etc.

Puran Singh, Assistant Professor, Haryana Institute of Rural Development, Nilokheri


The author rightly suggests that excessive power should not be concentrated in the Lok Pal. The institution instead must be able to prevent misuse of power - public or private. There is also need to strengthen anti-corruption institutions. Such activity must focus on the creation of a corruption-free environment.

Anju Anand Sikri, Ferozepur

Fact and fiction

Apropos the review of my latest book 'Indian Culture and India's Future' (Spectrum, November 6). The reviewer describes me as a "French author", which I am not (I was born in France, but am an Indian national). He further writes that I have "chosen an ashram of Sri Aurobindo in Pondicherry to understand Indian ethos and cultural phenomenon." This again is fiction: I have never lived in any ashram, and if the reviewer had merely read the blurb on the back of the cover, he would have learned that I live near Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. Besides, the reviewer deals with the book's first chapters, that too missing their central ideas, and completely ignores the last two parts, in which I deal with contemporary issues and challenges. This strengthens the feeling that reading of the book by the reviewer has been less than cursory.

Michel Danino, by email

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Readers are invited to send their comments, criticism, suggestions and feedback of the Sunday issue to sunday[email protected] The letters should not exceed 250 words.



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