Blinkered thinking: I was really shocked to read these words in the article The skewed secular psyche by Satiricus (Organiser, 18-4-2004): ?Aurangzeb, on the other hand, was a secularist as explained by an Indian Express article not long ago and if he did not like Hindus, there was no question of hating them?it was only because he had an unhappy childhood as explained in another article in the same secular paper.? As a devout Sikh and the son of a Hindu mother, I am deeply offended by these words of the article of The Indian Express. I ask the author of the article to read the Sikh history. The ninth Guru Tegh Bahadur was called to Delhi by Aurangzeb and was imprisoned in the cage. The five Sikhs who came with the Guru were also imprisoned. Bhai Mati Das was cut into half. Bhai Dyala was put into a boiling pan. Similarly, the other three Sikhs were martyred. In the end, Aurangzeb asked the Guru to become a Muslim. When he refused, he was beheaded before him (Aurangzeb). All this happened on the main chowk of Chandni Chowk, Delhi, in 1675. In fact, Guru Tegh Bahadur sacrificed himself to save the Hindu religion. That is why he is called Hind di chadar. The tenth Guru suffered a lot at the hands of Aurangzeb. Two of his sons died fighting against the Mughals at Chamkur. The younger sons of the Guru (aged 9 and 7) were bricked alive at Sirhind in 1704. Can such a person as Aurangzeb deserve to be called secular? To call Aurangzeb secular is to rub the wounds of the Sikhs with salt. We abhor this kind of ?secularism? and appreciate the ?communalism? of RSS and BJP. ?Amarjit Singh Goraya, Australia
?Humane? face of US: The reports of violence against Iraqi prisoners by US army have shocked the whole world. Naked Iraqi prisoners were allowed to be attacked by military dogs and electric current was passed by US army on the Iraqi prisoners (US bushed in Iraq mesh, Organiser, 16-5-2003). Such types of cruelty on humanity should be criticised in hardest terms. Why did the Indian Muslim brethren and others keep silence over this issue, when they raise their voice against Israeli attacks on Palestinians? The response of all Islamic countries is also not enthusiastic.
?M.L. Narayanan, Nagpur
Commies? true colour: M.V. Kamath'sarticle Isolate the CPM; they for long have forfeited our respect (Organiser, 9-5-2004) decisively proved the perfidy of Indian communists. It has been so since the first batch of the communists came in the 1920s from the USSR, followed by those educated in Cambridge in the UK. In the World War II, they supported Germany, but when the USSR entered into a pact with the UK, they supported it but opposed all the moves against the British in India, including the Quit India movement of 1942 (but supported the Partition). Now when communists all over the world have changed because of the changed situation, Indian communists do not know which way to go.
?Dr Vidya Sagar, Delhi
Neo-imperialists unmasked: In the articles Imperialism of the new century and Neo-imperialists looking for perfect slaves (Organiser, April 25 and May 2, 2004), Dr Deepak Basu has exposed the neo-imperialists? nefarious face, hidden behind the ?human face?, following in the footsteps of the 18th century ?white men'sburden?, who reduced their victims to mere skeletons. The neo-imperialists have already taken over former Yugoslavia, East Timor and the Solomon Islands under the UN flag, and Iraq has been captured by the Anglo-US bloc unilaterally, even defying the UN. ?Pran Salhotra, Gurdaspur
US on right track: This refers to the article Neo-imperialists looking for perfect slaves (Organiser, 2-5-2004). It is not clear why the writer is so sympathetic to Islamic world and prejudiced against Bush and USA. India has been constantly suffering from Islamic terrorism since the last more than one thousand years. But we failed to teach a lesson to them. In fact, USA is doing the job that should have been done by India, and therefore it deserves our appreciation. ?Anand Prakash, Panchkula
Champion of Hindu cause: I have been a reader of Organiser for some years and I admire the weekly for its blunt contents. Organiser is the only paper that can really be described as a Hindu paper and it should be so in the future too. You have started the columns for children and women but there are many publications that carry columns on women and children, but there is no other paper that devotes space to the Hindu cause.
?K. Dewan, London
Address please!: I would like to draw your attention to the fact that when a book review is published in Organiser, it does not carry the full address of the publisher with the result that if one wants to buy the same book, one cannot do so. I therefore request you to please give in future the complete address of the publisher or of the shop where the book is available. ?K.K. Sharma, Rajkot
Temple or mosque?: Apropos of the article What they found in Ayodhya excavation (Organiser, 18-4-2004), the writer'scontention that the foundation walls of the Babri Masjid have been found directly overlaying the walls of the temple of the north Indian style do prove that the said ?temple? must have been built as per the basic requirement of the obligatory direction of quibla, that is the grand mosque at Mecca. Do the Hindu temples in India or elsewhere face quibla? If not, the structure below the Babri Masjid is undoubtedly a mosque of the Sultanate period.
?A.T.M. Anwar, Hyderabad
Agenda for next government: Now that the results for the 14th Lok Sabha elections have been declared, the top agenda for the next government should be to announce a policy on reforms to achieve the growth rate of 8 per cent for the next five years. It is absolutely essential that the value-added increases in the agricultural sector by ensuing newer markets and newer products, and industrialisation, particularly infrastructure development, are stepped up fast. Besides, for the unorganised manufacturing sector, the problem of non-availability of adequate finance needs to be solved. ?R.N. Lakhotia, New Delhi
Defective democracy: The present elections should be declared null and void and cancelled as no candidate has scored more than 50 per cent and above votes, which is required for a winner as per natural justice. Only 60 per cent of voters turned up for voting and the rest 40 per cent rejected the candidates, as they found them unsuitable. The democracy we have is of the politicians, for the politicians and by the politicians and not at all of the people or of the nation. As long as the party politics, linguistic states and the present mode of franchise continue, India will never have the ideal democracy. ?K.V. Sadashiviah, Bangalore
Israel turns 56: On May 14, Israel celebrated its 56th Independence Day. It was on that date, in 1948 that the modern state of Israel was founded. Immediately after its establishment, Israel was attacked by six Arab countries. But Israel fought them off and held its own. The Jewish State'ssurvival amid Arab hostility is a miracle. Israel, like India, is both a modern country and an ancient civilisation. Jerusalem, its capital, was founded by King David about 3,000 years ago. David'sson, Solomon, was hailed as a model of wisdom. But Israel, even in its hey-day, was neither large nor powerful. It was often subjugated by its neighbours. Finally, the ancient Romans overran the tiny country. The Romans scattered the Jews to the far corners of the world. Such was the origin of the Jewish diaspora, or wide scattering, that even India became home to a small Jewish community at Kochi in Kerala. There was no persecution, and the Jews prospered under Hindu rule. The Romans even changed the name of Israel. They called it Palestine. The idea of recreating Israel as a Jewish state was the brain-child of a wealthy Austrian Jewish journalist, named Theodor Herzl. After seeing the persecution of an innocent Jewish army captain, named Dreyfus in France in 1895, Herzl published a book, titled The Jewish State. It called for the setting up of a modern Israel in Palestine. The movement was called Zionism. Theodor Herzl died in 1904 at the early age of 44. In 1917 Britain issued the Balfour Declaration, supporting the creation of Israel in Palestine in November 1947. The United Nations approved it by a two-third majority vote. Israel is therefore the only country to have been created by the UN approval. On May 14, 1948, Theodor Herzl'sdream became a reality at last. ?G.S. Hiranyappa, Bangalore
IIMs? fee controversy: The country'shighest court has accepted the contention of HRD Ministry'sdecision to reduce fee structure to accommodate more students for gaining advantage to progress in their fields. This is so simple for any common man to understand when he looks at a monopoly structure created at a cost to the government, for only the elite class. However, the industry lobby thinks the other way. If the industry has so much concern about their children'seducation in business and other high standard schools, the capitalists should start their own schools and IIMs by contributing their own money, instead of banking on government funds. ?D.G. Bokare, Pune
Judicial corruption: According to reports, the outgoing Chief Justice of India (CJI) V.N. Khare and new CJI S. Rajender Babu have started damage-control exercise following President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam'sanguish on the unprecedented strike by judges of Punjab High Court. Suppressing the issue will be hiding cancer of unchecked judicial corruption. Rather, the whole episode should be taken as a blessing in disguise that the judges have exposed themselves. Only media-highlighted incidents get public attention. Otherwise numerous people regularly become judicial victims of our totally unaccountable system of British legacy. ?Subhash Chandra Agrawal, Delhi