Spirit of Shillong
As a proud Shillongite, it felt wonderful to find our good old Lou Majaw featured in your Magazine (Blowin' in the hills, Mini Anthikad Chhibber, June 3). Growing up in Shillong, I can totally relate with its “musical” soul and Lou remains an all too familiar face of that spirit, at least for us music lovers. I can still remember Dylan numbers being played on cassette players in homes, schools, taxis and run-down garages alike. Lou's tribute is an expression of Shillong's deep love and passion for music. Many of us identify with Dylan the poet, and I think that dimension adds to his legend.
Role of bureaucracy
Harsh Mander is right to point out that there is a tiny minority of bureaucrats which is still able to distinguish right from wrong but almost without exception, their careers have suffered as they have been marginalised by the politicians (Dissent is a virtue too, June 3); some bureaucrats have even opted out of the premier cadres just to retain their sanity! It is a tragedy that some of the most highly educated and upright sons and daughters of the country are now reduced to the status of being the most feared in the country (and ignored abroad) rather than admired or respected, as in the past. Will anything change without Jan Lokpal?
Posted on the website
It was disturbing to read the article “No Muslims please” (Arefa Tehsin, June 3). If even a social activist and well-known actor like Shabana Azmi could not get a flat in Mumbai, it shows the intensity of the problem and the narrow mindedness of some people. The authorities concerned should take appropriate action before this problem takes a serious shape. Such incidents have no place in a secular country like India.
The article is a sad commentary on the pseudo-secularism of our society and politics. I also had a similar experience, when a few years ago I rented out my flat in a housing society in Pune to a Muslim family. The society made their life so difficult by lodging petty complaints so often that they had to leave before the expiry of the lease. I am also reminded of a Bangladeshi Muslim girl who was working in our society here in Delhi under a false Hindu name, wearing a bindi and sindoor etc., only because people refused to employ her because she was a Muslim! Despite our theoretical allegiance to secularism, the Muslim community hasn't found a place in the mainstream even 65 years after Independence.