Message of music
T.M. Krishna's article (Beyond the scars, October 23), on his visit to Jaffna was really touching and thought provoking. The photograph says it more effectively than all the words put together! I wish more such interactions between the two cultures take place because that will go a long way to make them put their troubled past behind and go ahead with their lives. Congratulations to Krishna and the organisers who took the initiative.
The article was really moving. Culture, they say, is widening one's outlook. Music, which constitutes an important facet of a nation's culture, has the inherent potential to foster unity of peoples of different countries. The author really deserves congratulations for touring the war-affected Jaffna peninsula (in Sri Lanka) and singing and interacting his way into the hearts of hundreds of people of Indian origin living there.
In a new light
The interview with Alan Hollinghurst (Celebrating tradition, in his own way, October 23) makes a delightful read, offering an insight into the creative mind of the British fictional genius. Every writer is a cultural ambassador. His writings invariably reflect the culture in which he was born, blossomed and rooted. The writer does not merely present his native traditions in his works. He explores the traditions in the modern context and often he goes beyond his native, deeply-rooted traditions through the daring choice of his themes, unusual presentation of his subjects and innovative style. It does not mean that the writer violates or breaks the well-established traditions. In fact, in his creative endeavours coupled with a vision, the novelist elaborates, analyses and reveals the traditions in true and novel perspective. It's this particular iconoclastic approach to the traditions and fictional motifs that lends a distinct identity, unique lustre and universal appeal to the fictional works of the novelist.
Venugopala Rao Kaki
Bonded for life?
Harsh Mander's article “Of Human Bondage” (October 23) reveals the fact that justice is always denied to the weak and the poor and the ignorant. And it throws light on an important defect of India's Penal Code: there are no provisions in the IPC to compel the oppressors, the corrupt and the criminals to give adequate compensation in terms of money to the victims of their injustices when their misdeeds are proved; if there were provisions to this effect and failure to give adequate compensation would result in confiscation of property it would be possible to improve the situation with the help of social activists. A thorough rewriting of the IPC is to be done if exploitation and oppression of women, children, the uneducated and the landless is to be checked. Will the members of Parliament favour this idea?
T. John Mathew
The article is a sad reminder of the inhuman social evil the nation has failed to wipe out ever after 64 years of independence. Bonded labour can be rooted out only if there is an equitable distribution of wealth and basic needs like health and education become accessible to all Indians. With rampant privatisation of vital sectors, medicine and schooling have become the prerogative of the rich. Far from implementing land reforms, large chunks of fertile lands are being offered on a platter to the neo-rich in the name of SEZs. It is high time our policymakers realised that the task of eradicating bonded labour has gotten worse with neoliberal policies.
Syed Sultan Mohiddin