TAMIL NADU

Why these relics?

Sir, — Although the new President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, bowed to the wishes of the people and his family by sporting a buttoned-up coat and matching trouser, it is amusing to see how the country has become a slave to the conventions imposed by an alien culture. The man was rightly chosen for the highest position solely on his worth and achievements and not for the dress or looks that he prefers to wear. Respect for the position comes from the innate qualities of scholarship, natural dignity and the way the incumbents conduct themselves.

K. Parthasarathi,

Chennai

Sir, — It is absurd that so much is being said about A.P.J. Abdul Kalam's attitude towards the formalities of his office. Many senior citizens feel the need for pomp and ceremony whereas the younger generation applauds the break from monotony. If he does not appear to adhere to these codes it is not because of disrespect for his position but because as a man of reason he knows that styles and fashions are passing fancies. The educated Indian cannot claim to be totally secular and still have this narrow-minded outlook.

M. Kamalraj,

Coimbatore

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