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Letters To Tehelka
 
From Tehelka Magazine, Vol 7, Issue 39, Dated October 02, 2010

MAKING HAY FROM VIOLENCE

The main reason why the Kashmir problem has continued until today is because the corrupt generals on the other side and the corrupt politicians on this side have turned the issue into a highly lucrative business. Who would want to kill the hen that lays the golden eggs?

VIKAS KHANNA, ON EMAIL

A DIVISIVE FIGURE
Refer to Shoma Chaudhury’s ‘I am not Peter Pan’, 18 September..
I guess I had been tricked into believing that TEHELKA cares about real issues. Was Salman Khan the most important story of the month? Or was it about the timing of his new film? Now that I know what TEHELKA is all about, let me say goodbye. I am removing Tehelka.com from my Internet bookmarks as well.

DINESH SHAKUL, ON EMAIL

Loved it. Immensely.

SWAPAN SETH,, ON EMAIL

Salman Khan may have had a big hit and a new moustache but he is not Peter Pan. By commenting that the 26/11 attacks were overhyped because Mumbai’s elite was targeted, and clearing Pakistan of complicity in the terrible crime, he has caused great harm to the nation and made a fool of himself.

JACOB SAHAYAM, ON EMAIL

MINING FOR TROUBLE
Refer to ‘High-grade energy, low-grade safety’, by G Vishnu, 25 September.
I have never been to Jaduguda or personally studied the health conditions there. What little I know is from my friends Surendra and Sanghamitra Gadekar. On the basis of their study, I am concerned about the conditions there, but I maintain that we don’t know if these are radiation related. By its very nature, epidemiological studies cannot reveal what is the cause of this poor health. They can only rule out the possibilities. As I argue in my forthcoming book on nuclear power in India, in the case of Jaduguda, “the impacts on public health might just as well be a result of contamination of drinking water by heavy metals. All that can be plausibly asserted is that whatever is responsible for the observed deformities will be linked to uranium mining, milling, or processing, because those activities are what marks off the nearby villages and the control villages”.

KV RAMANA, ON EMAIL

IN DEFENCE OF JAWANS
Refer to VK Shashikumar’s ‘Operation Green Hunt is in disarray. Bihar Police are in no mood to fight Naxals’, 18 September and Tusha Mittal’s ‘The pelters and the police. Thousands of stones later, the men in uniform may be on the same side with the boys in masks’, 4 September.
It has almost become fashionable for the media to discredit the armed forces. This may not be due to any ill intentions, but it shows a poor and naive understanding of the working of the armed forces. Basically, the media equates the armed forces on the same footing as civilians in a democratic setup. Strictly from a legal perspective, the fundamental rights are restricted or even abrogated vis-avis the armed forces. It might be true that wrong decisions may have been taken at the political and logistical level, but there are proper mechanisms to correct them without demoralising the security forces. The very ethos of a soldier is “to fulfill the purpose of the one who enlisted him” — even unto death.

OR JOSEPHL, ON EMAIL

THE WRONG RESERVE
Refer to ‘How the elephant crossed a bridge and other tales from Odisha’s forests’, by Sujay Chakraborty, 18 September.
I would like to laud TEHELKA for consistently covering environmental and wildlife issues. Not only does your magazine cover the smaller, local issues that usually escape the media glare, your style of investigative journalism frequently ends up in making the administrative machinery roll, and impact change on the ground. A recent example was the story about the effect of the Brutanga Major Irrigation Project on elephant migration in Odisha. Sujay has done a good job of highlighting what was yet another forgotten wildlife corridor. However, I would like to point out an error. Sujay writes that the Mahanadi Elephant Reserve (ER) has been approved by the Centre, but that the Odisha government is yet to declare it. He has confused it with the South Orissa ER, into which elephants from Mahanadi ER migrate. In fact, the South Odisha ER has been cleared by the Centre while the state continues to sit on its notification.

ADITYA CHANDRA PANDA,ON EMAIL

BANISH THIS EVIL
Refer to Neha Dixit’s ‘Lost Children of the Prophet’, 11 September.
I applaud and appreciate your efforts in digging and exposing such evils that are thriving in our society. These evils can be wiped out only by the persistent efforts of the authorities. I request you to make sure that such exploitation of poor children never happens again. Since TEHELKA has concrete evidence, putting the criminals behind bars shouldn’t be a problem for the authorities.

SAHER ISLAM, ON EMAIL

CENTRE OF GRAVITY
Refer to Vijay Simha’s ‘10 things that work for the RSS’, 25 September..
The 10 things column is awesome. It’s a lot of fun and makes its points in a simple manner that cuts through the bullshit in this age of shrinking attention span. I appeal to TEHELKA to be a little less leftist and move to the centre. A significant number of middle- class readers are conservative/centreright and your coverage gets a little too ideological, especially on Narendra Modi. TEHELKA’s ethos is perhaps Nehruvian and that is fine, but there are a lot of Savarkar fans who also read TEHELKA for its excellent coverage. Don’t leave us out and be truly inclusive.

NIKUNJ MEHTA, ON EMAIL

PAY AS YOU PLAY
Refer to ‘Sting leaves all of us red-faced. But Pakistan might still get away’, by Simon Briggs, 11 September.
Since cricket has been commercialised beyond redemption, I suggest that players, especially Indians, should be paid according to their performances. If their display is poor, they should get only 25 percent of their match fee. If it is average, they should be paid about 50 percent. For a moderate win, they should get 75 percent, and a 100 percent payment should be made only if they thrash their opponents. If the victory margin is big, the team might be given a 10 percent bonus.

MAHESH KAPASI, ON EMAIL

SOLUTION FOR AYODHYA
Refer to Sopan Joshi’s ‘The BJP doesn’t know what to make of Ayodhya. Will Advani make his move?’, 18 September.
Whatever may be the court decision on the Babri masjid case, Indians should set an example in unity. The Muslims should construct a temple in Ayodhya and the Hindus should build a mosque. If this solution is accepted by both communities, then divisive netas won’t have a reason to squabble.

MAHESH KUMAR, ON EMAIL

FOREVER ON THE RUN
Refer to ‘Sansar Chand is India’s deadliest poacher. Here is how he has escaped legal traps for 40 years’, by Raman Kirpal, 7 August.
I was surprised to read how he has managed to fool the law enforcement agencies for so long. It seems that laws work only for ordinary citizens and not for criminals.

MANOJ AGARWAL, ON EMAIL


CORRECTIONS
Refer to Shoma Chaudhury’s ‘I am not Peter Pan’, 18 September.
The name of music director Sajid from the composer duo of Sajid Wajid was inadvertently mentioned as Sajid Nadiadwala.

The credit for the cover illustration should have read Vikram Nongmaithem.

Refer to ‘The BJP-JMM deal is meant to keep elections at bay. But how long will it last?’, by Sopan Joshi, 25 September.
Arjun Munda did not come through the youth ranks of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, but the All-Jharkhand Students’ Union.

 


MEMORY LAPSES
Refer to Shantanu Guha Ray’s ‘Two Boys and Their Grand Fight’, 18 September.
In the review of my book Mahabharata in Polyester, I was baffled to learn that I had once been a part-time anchor for a show in the now-defunct Business India Television channel. Nothing else in Guha Ray’s comments surprised me. He might have mentioned that he had previously volunteered for the role of co-author of this book and had been turned down.

HAMISH MCDONALD, ON EMAIL

SHANTANU GUHA RAY REPLIES: Business India Television planned the Business India Show for which McDonald was considered a part-anchor. He was brought in by Rita Manchanda. The show, with numerous re-adjustments, was eventually anchored by Saloni Puri. I produced the show. McDonald probably does not remember, it has been over a decade. He ignored me as a co-author. I am still reeling under that impact.

 


 

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