The article “I am Bhutto too” by Ziya Us Salam (April 11) made poignant reading. It is laudable to note that although the tragedies in the Bhutto family, including the violent death of her father Murtaza, struck in quick succession, Fatima Bhutto braved these calamities stoically and was able to move on, carrying on her literary pursuit. It is hoped that more books will come out from her pen in the coming days and hopefully she may, like her aunt Benazir, lead her country and establish friendly relations with India.
This is with reference to Sevanti Ninan's article “Between extremes” (April 11). The Shoaib-Sania-Ayesha saga gained unwarranted publicity in the media, given the fact that the marriage between the tennis star and the Pakistani all-rounder was purely a private affair needing no debate in the open. It's high time the media, both print and electronic, showed restraint in the matter of reporting news which are essentially private. The Page Three culture of the print media is the bane of journalism. There are better things to report.
Dr. Kavery Nambisan has rightly observed that the saying ‘Prevention is better than cure' remains a platitude (Buying health: Who pays? April 11). Her revelation that many of the smaller countries like Costa Rica, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Malaysia have done better in the healthcare industry than India has is indeed startling. As the two photographs accompanying the article eloquently portray, it is ironical that while on the one hand we have the most sophisticated medical infrastructure, equipment and outstanding doctors, on the other we have deplorably poor insanitary conditions which freely germinate a variety of diseases. The problem needs to be tackled with all the seriousness it deserves.
Waking up to realities
Harsh Mander's article Ash in the belly was so heart-wrenching that it ended up pricking the artificial balloons we have so carefully nurtured in ourselves in order to conveniently escape/avoid the gross realities around us. Plus, his articles are also so well-researched that they do challenge our detachment and complicity towards darker realities of life. I am a final year student living in a private hostel. There hasn't been a single day that went without me complaining about hostel food. The article made me realise one very vital point — that it is still food, something that is still a rarity to a lot of people living in our country. Perhaps, I should be thankful to Mander for making me realise that.
It is really sad to know the condition of these economically challenged families in many states of India. The biggest stigma is that the children are being made to compromise with necessities like food. On the one hand we call them the future of the country while on the other there are conditions like these which well reflect the bias in the policies of the government which turns a blind eye to the underprivileged mass of the country. We must not wait for the government to take action and instead take up the task of providing these families with adequate food. If each of us and even the celebrities sponsor one family or a village, it will make a big difference, at least to the innocent souls who sleep teary eyed each night with growling stomachs.
As I went through the article, there was one constant word which was reverberating in my heart: help. We the people who belong to the so-called middle and high class spend hundreds and thousands at juice shops, restaurants, discos and other recreational centres. Why not give a part of that money to the needy people? Let us not be just be readers of the article, rather be the people who will be the reason behind the change in the coming days. Let's look around; find them and help them live.
It is difficult to believe that these conditions exist in the 62-year-old post-independence India. But then we have succeeded in proving water exists on the surface of the moon. Great compensation indeed!
The article “A personal Odyssey” on Michael Danino's quest for the lost river Sarasvati brings to light many hitherto unknown points. Though earlier satellite pictures have revealed the course of an ancient river, believed to be the Saraswati, the fact that even today sweet water is found when a borewell is dug in the Saraswati basin is really astonishing. That the disappearance of the Harappan civilisation is closely linked to the disappearance of the Saraswati has been explained lucidly. Pushpa Chari's thoughtfully structured questions have elicited equally illuminating answers, making for an educative and scholarly article.