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

People’s CBMs

I was pleased to read the report “A first in Pakistan: Road named after an Indian post Partition” (The Tribune, Feb 25). This is a more significant development than the government’s confidence building measures (CBMs) to strengthen Indo-Pak relations. The subject should invariably be at a people-to-people level to secure their confidence. In the same spirit in 2006, I was fortunate to have a book dedicated to me by Zia Ullah Khokhar, managing director of Abdul Majid Memorial Library in Gujranwala, Pakistan, which holds more than 30,000 books of pre-Partition India.

The well-researched 432-page book in Urdu, “Mahanama Rasael ke Khasusi Shumarae (Special Numbers of Monthly Urdu Magazines)” carried the dedication: “To Mr Gurbachan Chandan (Delhi), Honour and Grace of Literary and Research Journalism”. The two governments also should look to lowering the postal and telephone rates between the two countries, rather than increasing.

Gurbachan Chandan, Gurgaon

Manto forever

This refers to the interesting and very informative special feature, “Brave, bold trailblazer: Urdu’s enfant terrible” (Spectrum, March 4), based on the life and works of Saadat Hasan Munto. It is amazing that in a short span of 43 years of his life, Manto authored 22 collections of short stories, one novel, five collections of radio plays, three of essays and two of biographical sketches of famous personalities. Very few seem to be aware that Manto belonged to a family of Kashmiri traders and also made some money writing stories for Bollywood. It is painful to know that he spent his last days in penury and depression. The literature he has left behind, however, continues to keep us enthused about good things of life.

Dr Raj Bahadur Yadav, Fatehabad

One on terror

Article “What the states can and must do” (Oped, March 4), followed by “Why states alone cannot deal with terror (March 8) by N.N. Vohra, provides enough reason for dissenting states to come to terms with the Union Home Ministry on tackling terror. The prolonged Mumbai crisis was the result of lack of coordination amongst various agencies. Formation of the National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC) under the IB is a right initiative. And without powers to arrest and prosecute, it would be a toothless tiger.

Gurmit Singh Saini, Mohali


Apropos “A ‘sexy’ faux pas” (Perspective, March 4), an Indian woman plays the various roles of a mother, sister, daughter or even a good friend or senior colleague. A degree of reverence is associated these roles in society. It is ridiculous to use a word like “sexy” for a woman, which in no way is a compliment or flattery. It does not even refer to the beauty of a woman. It may be acceptable in western culture, not in India. The Chairperson of the National Commission for Women justifying the use of the word “sexy” is untenable.

Anjali Mahna, Karnal

Be discrete

The article on “A ‘sexy’ faux pas” was meaningful reading. Influence of western values has lent many connotations to the word “sexy” in India. Commercial cinema is loaded with “item numbers” with the sole purpose of sexual gratification. Under the circumstances, indiscriminate use of the word is hardly surprising, but such openness damages the social fabric. The word must be used cautiously, respecting customs. We have to protect the future generations from getting desensitised to social mores.

Dr Sanjiv Gupta, Perth, Australia

Unfit for job

Kishwar Desai has very rightly put NCW chairperson Mamta Sharma in the dock for defending use of the word “sexy”. It does not conform to Indian ethos and culture. Being in her position, Mamta should have weighed the implications of her remarks, especially for girl students and working women. She should quit on her own.

A.K. Sharma, Chandigarh



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