Since the fall of the twin towers on that ill-fated September day in 2001, there have been no follow-up attacks on the US soil. But this decade of relative safety in the US is not exactly a proof of the success of George W. Bush's “war on terror”. In the interim, several plots were hatched by terrorists to cause major havoc in US cities, but each time the police intervened before it was too late. Such alertness to danger and swiftness of action are pitifully missing in the Indian subcontinent, which continues to be bruised and battered by terror attacks.
New Castle upon Tyne, U.K
This refers to the article “Can non-violence succeed?” by Harsh Mander (September 11). The answer for this question cannot be in the affirmative ever. As love begets love, violence breeds violence. Two contrasting examples from Indian history can drive home the point. Mahatma Gandhi used non-violence as a means to unite the whole India in his fight against the alien British and got freedom for the country. On the contrary, Babri Masjid demolition in 1992 (which must be considered a barbaric act) by a communal outfit has widened the Hindu-Muslim divide in the secular nation
The article reminds me of Madge Micheels Cyrus's quote “Non violence doesn't always work but violence never does.” No matter how unjust and unfair the system is or further becomes, it can never be corrected by an unjust mechanism. In any civil society it is a must to ensure that tyranny and caprice do not become the order of the day. But in doing so let us resolve to adopt non-violent ways only, so that we do not turn into entities that we once abhorred.
Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh
Harsh Mander's arguments against violence remind me of Karl Popper and his advocacy of piecemeal social engineering. In the 20th century there were many arguments in support of violence for social justice. But Karl Popper beautifully repudiated violence and the social engineering in his Open Society and its Enemies. Instead of violent Utopian social engineering which is undemocratic, he advocated piecemeal engineering. Popper says: “Blueprints for piecemeal engineering are comparatively simple. They are for single institutions, for health and unemployed insurance, or arbitration courts, or educational reform. There will be a possibility of reaching a reasonable compromise and therefore of achieving the improvement by democratic methods.”
Surviving Delhi roads
Noni Chawla's take on Delhi roads reminded me of the days when I travelled the roads of Delhi keeping in mind a few me-made rules. Keep your distance when a blueline approaches a bus stand. The bus's nostrils flaring could be heard from a distance and even the stand sometimes feels unsafe. Carry cotton bales when sitting in the buses because the horns blaring can make you deaf. Sadly the horns blare even when there is a traffic jam a mile long. The racing bikes have rights of passage on the foot path. Don't we dare to complain because the ready answer is ‘Can't you see the jam?' And the autos have a way with the meters. The long distance is the right distance if you don't want to end up having a fish market fight right in the middle of nowhere. If we can survive the roads in Delhi, we can survive anywhere else in this world.
Pow Aim Hailowng
This is in appreciation of the wonderful article on the path-breaking educationist Mrs.Y.G. Parthasarathy (September 11). Mrs.YGP symbolises the best of Indian culture and is truly a source of inspiration to many. PSBB is one of the very few schools giving so much value and importance to Indian culture and arts like music and dance. I adore the way Mrs.YGP is always immaculately dressed with a perfect blend of tradition and trendiness. Whenever I see her, I get a feeling that life is so beautiful and we have so much to accomplish. She radiates the message that every moment should be enjoyed and lived to its best. Mrs. YGP went on to complete her Ph.D at the age of 75 — incredible indeed! Also, the way she encourages every student with her motivating words makes one feel on top of the world and acts as a tonic to keep striving hard to achieve excellence. She is a living embodiment who has proved that hard work, dedication and most importantly, a strong passion towards one's work can make one reach the pinnacle of success
Dr. Radha Bhaskar