It appears that the wave of coordinated attacks on western embassies, Parliament and Nato bases in Kabul and elsewhere in Afghanistan carried out by the Taliban was intended to make a strong political statement against the continued presence of the U.S. forces in the country. It is a new phase in the Taliban's “Spring Offensive.” By now, the U.S. and its allies must have realised that wars, as in Iraq and Afghanistan, drag on for years but get them nowhere.
G. David Milton,
The serial attacks in Kabul show that even after 11years of American and Nato intervention, things are not under control. Hamid Karzai is heading a puppet government of the Americans. One wonders whether the situation in Afghanistan will soon resemble that of the 1990s. It is shuddering to think of the fate that will befall Afghanistan if it falls into the hands of the Taliban.
At the immigration counter in the U.S., my immigration card is stamped and sent to another room whereas that of my wife (not a Muslim) is cleared immediately (“We are all Khans,” April 16). I am sent to a special room of the Department of Homeland Security, where further “investigations” are done to clear my name. These have meant long waits. A quick look around confirms the suspicion that one is there because of one's Muslim name. In fact, on one occasion, the flight attendant of the Middle Eastern airline that flew me into the U.S. was cooling his heels and my name was cleared before his.
We are all fish dragged into the DHS security net. Once our name is cleared, there is no subsequent harassment ever in the U.S. The DHS has a portal — http://www.dhs.gov/files/programs/gc_1169673653081.shtm — where one can register oneself and get a redress number.
Shah Rukh Khan's detention in a U.S. airport is being blown out of proportion. Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was denied a visa to travel to the U.S. If all Khans are Indians, are all Modis aliens? The U.S. has its own security compulsions. The daring attack by the al-Qaeda on the World Trade Centre has shattered the image of the country as a superpower.
P.V. Ramana Rao,
The world's super cop never lets go of an opportunity to insult well-known leaders, renowned personalities and celebrities. Shah Rukh Khan has fallen prey for a second time. The irony is, this time he was invited to Yale University to receive the Chubb fellowship, whose previous recipients include Presidents and Nobel Prize winners. After the two hours of detention and harassment at a New York airport, it would have been prestigious if Shah Rukh had refused the honour and returned to India.
K.M. Abdul Salim,
Millions pass through American airports everyday. I am sure people from other countries are also questioned, other Indians are also questioned. If Shah Rukh is detained, the American method of keeping their country safe becomes distasteful.
Although the American security agencies enjoy enormous powers, suspecting and insulting every Muslim in the name of safety checks are unfair. The U.S., no doubt, has been a victim of terror. Indeed, all countries, including Islamic nations, are battling rising incidents of terror. But no other country has overreacted like the U.S. Instead of labelling some names suspicious, it would do well to hunt for Hafiz Saeed.
Much media hype has been generated over the invitation extended to Shah Rukh Khan to deliver a lecture in Yale University. Over four decades ago, the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and founder of the DMK party, C.N. Annadurai, was invited by Yale University and awarded the Chubb fellowship.
Hike in salaries
The article “Give the professor a raise” (April 16) talks about the need for decent pay for teachers to prevent an exodus to other fields. But salary hikes alone will not help retain the best talent in colleges. We need to recognise and encourage outstanding academic contributions at the national and international level. The prevailing practice of treating professors as bonded labourers in self-financing colleges should end immediately.
Rameeza A. Rasheed,
Salaries at college level and beyond are reasonably good in India. But this is true only in government-owned and government-aided colleges. The situation is quite pathetic in unaided private colleges. In the low-paying colleges, the terms of employment are chaotic or simply non-existent. I was employed in such a college for nearly a decade. The terms of employment changed according to the whims of its owner and self-styled “Chairman/Chancellor.” Laboratory conditions are minimal and the affiliated university's so-called “inspection committees” are regularly bribed. High-school laboratories, for instance, are passed off as college laboratories. Corruption is rampant: failed students are promoted, students with zero attendance are given hall-tickets and promoted.
Teaching has never been easy; it will only get tougher. A good, devoted teacher needs space and time to inspire students but with so many restrictions on teachers, good teachers switch professions.