Letters

Letters to the Editor — July 16, 2021

Afghan’s future

Despite what the Kabul government and India’s External Affairs Ministry say, it seems probable that all of Afghanistan will soon be under the control of the Taliban. The Taliban have defeated the Americans, just as their predecessors did the British and the Soviets. But it is unlikely that they will be the insular tyrants of 1996, as both they and Afghanistan have changed. They are more aware of the wider world now. They are likely to convene a Loya Jirga, and Afghanistan is likely to be ruled as a loose confederation of tribal leaders. Foreign powers will be well advised to stay out of Afghanistan’s politics for now. Afghans in the last two centuries have never tolerated a ruler propped up by outsiders, and will not tolerate one again. India should continue aid, but not make the mistake of telling Afghans what to do in their own country.

Mano Daniel,

Chennai

Astrology and India

In a nation that still blindly adheres to numerous irrational practices, the idea of a society founded on one of logic and reason is too far a dream (OpEd, “No pseudoscience, please”, July 15). Despite many being educated and/or having access to various technologies, adherence to scientific temperament has taken a back seat in the minds of many. Any discussion challenging the validity of such blind beliefs is most often scorned or termed as hurting prevalent cultural sentiments. This reluctance to accept rationale over blind beliefs and related practices is what has also stalled growth and development.

AdhiraSree K.,

Puthur, Palakkad, Kerala

Every progressive thinking person in India must oppose the introduction of this course by IGNOU which goes against the spirit of the Constitution in promoting scientific temper, the spirit of enquiry and reform. Every effort must be made by the Government, universities and the general public to promote astronomy and not astrology. Astronomy affords ample opportunities to advance the frontiers of knowledge and science.

Karra Anil Kumar,

Guntur, Andhra Pradesh

The article reminded me of what is considered to be the first Malayalam novel, Kunthalatha/Kundalatha, published in 1887, where the author, Appu Nedungadi, is sarcastic about astrology: that humans believing in the planets directing their course of life is akin to the fish of the sea thinking that their life is shaped by the ships criss-crossing the waters.

It is quite intriguing to see India looking to subjects such as astrology, with no interest in the iconoclastic philosophies of those such as Charvaka that will show us India’s intellectual vibrancy even in ancient times and help foster scientific temper.

Sukumaran C.V.,

Palakkad, Kerala

Being a contemporary of the writer and witnessing astounding human achievements in exploring space, I think all of us should ponder over the decision of a premier academic institute launching astrology as a degree course. It would be laudable if further opinions and suggestions of great scholars on the subject are taken into account for the inclusion or withdrawal of astrology as a core subject .

Ranjani Natarajan,

Chennai

Astrology is a subject which may be of interest to some people. How can anyone object to pursuing a subject which is of interest to him? Notwithstanding the opinion of the writer, there are many who still believe in astrology. Perhaps the writer needs to take some time off to explore the subject.

V.S. Jayaraman,

Chennai

While I agree that astrology is not a panacea and has its own limitations, calling it a pseudoscience” instead of “ancient science” is undoing the works of writers such as Varahamihira. The writer is advised to go through the works of B.V. Raman, K.N. Rao, P.V.R. Narasimha Rao and Barbara Pijan. I would say the article lacks depth in terms of research in astrology.

Jay D.,

Mumbai

Wimbledon matches

It is a bit shocking that there could be a hint of match-fixing at even Wimbledon. Of course, as the International Tennis Integrity Agency has said, an alert on its own is no evidence of match-fixing, but with two matches under scrutiny, it does make one’s heart skip a beat wondering whether the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world is safe. There may be nothing to it in the end. Tennis has to be scandal free.

Aman Arora,

New Delhi


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