Review historical and social distortions, not only cartoons, in textbooks (Organiser, 27.5.2012); I appreciate Shri Shyam Khosla’s views in Organiser that politicians strong objection to their ‘offensive’ depiction in cartoons is a sign of their intolerance to criticism. No public figure in any democratic country takes exception to his/her depictions in cartoons as these are statements that are part of freedom of thought and expression. Cartoons can provoke laughter or may be biting. These have to be taken in stride with grace. Those who resent them do no service to democratic spirit. It would be better if the MP’s use their power and time to debate on the various Bills pending in the Parliament rather than protesting over a cartoon which has been around for many years. Infact by protesting over the cartoon they are making poor caricatures of themselves. Political maturity requires the ability to accept criticism. Cartoonists are political commentators and their illustrations are used to raise pertinent question and stimulate thinking. More than the lack of a sense of humour what is worrying is the desire of the political class to curb free thinking . Shri Dina Nath Batra, Chairman of the Shiksha Sanskriti Uthan Samiti has rightly pointed out in the article that the textbooks prescribed by the NCERT contain texts that distort history, contain derogatory remarks about our national heroes, culture and religious icons. Equally worrisome is that under the garb of de-saffronising textbooks NCERT has produced several ideological skewed books for students of social sciences.
MAHESH CHANDRA SHARMA, E-198, Panki, Kanpur
Who will be our next President? (Organiser, 8.4.2012); This refers to a brief discussion ‘Who will be our next President’ by MV Kamath, in Organiser. The basic problem is that neither the Congress/UPA nor BJP/NDA have their own numerical strength to elect President and Vice-President. In such a scenario, the best thing would be, that the Congress and the BJP come to an understanding, that Congress Presidential candidate should be supported by the BJP, and the BJP’s Vice-Presidential candidate should be supported by the Congress. The candidates should be such, that they are acceptable to both the parties. In my opinion, Congress can put Dr Karan Singh as its Presidential candidate. Last time in 2007 also, he was one of the aspirant, and would have been fielded by Congress, but due to opposition by the Left parties his name was dropped. He has been a faithful Congressman, at the same time not a bitter opponent of the BJP. He is a highly learned man just like Dr S Radhakrishnan, and must be acceptable to the BJP. On the other hand, BJP may put Sushma Swaraj as its Vice-Presidential candidate, who is a non-controversial candidate and should be acceptable to the Congress.
Anand Prakash, 72/Sector-8, Panchkula : 134 109
Indianised Christians and crypto Christians (Organiser, 1.1.2012); This is with reference to the article , ‘Indianised Christians and crypto Christians’ by Dr Purushothama Bharathi in the issue dated 1.1.2012 of Organiser. Dr Purushothama has righty exposed the evil designs of the churches in Kerala. His assertion, “It is a fact that Christian propagandist are fooling the poor and unintellectual Hindus and get them converted to Christianity”, reveals the truth. The nefarious act of copying the symbols of Hinduism or Indian culture by the Catholic churches is simply to befool the Hindus and under its cover to propagate Christianity. The present Catholic churches in Kerala are simply adopting the trick which was practiced by saint De Nobili, his associates and successors. To familiarise with the reality of saint De Nobili, it is relevant to read what William Hickery, pleader practicing for several years in the southern districts of India wrote in his book, The Tanjore Maharatta Principality in Southern India, published in 1873.
KSHATRIYA DEOLAL, Jharkhand
A mountain has been made of a molehill The hue and cry in the Parliament over the 1949 cartoon of Jawaharlal and Dr BR Ambedkar is absurd. A cartoon is drawn in lighter vein. One should stop reading in between the lines even when no text exists and enjoy the humour in a cartoon. Moreover if Ambedkar and Nehru did not have any objection to the cartoon why are our MP’s today making such a hue and cry after six decades. It is sad how our leaders often overlook political humour and are quick to react and create ruckus in the Parliament for such small things, thereby waisting public money. It is just an uproar triggered by vote-bank-politics to placate a particular community. Infact by banning the cartoons the government will attract more attention towards them. The outrage expressed by our politicians has shown them as intolerable and fussy. From banning books and films to curbing books and films to curbing the freedom of social media to censoring school textbooks for the sake of political adventurism, politicians are on a binge. The Parliamentarians should get themselves involve in other serious problems which the country is facing rather than indulge in such silly actions and furthermore, fuel divisive tendencies of caste or religion. What a shame.
SUDHIR KAUSHIK, Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh
Don’t jump to conclusions This is with reference to a report in Indian Express, ‘Sri Sri’s Wisdom: Government schools produce Naxals, privatise them’, dated 21.3.2012. Without understanding the inner meaning of what Sri Sriji had said at Jaipur on March 20, Kapil Sibal and likes of him simply jumped upon in defence of government schools to say that they were also educated in government schools. True! But unmindful of the fact that they studied in government schools about 70 years back, and to day whether their grand children study in these institutions? If not then why? It is learnt that Kapil Sibal also studied in St Stephan College. Here a UPA government minister is exposed for his hypocrisy. His irresponsible and sarcastic utterances caused a hue and cry to denigrate the reputation of a revered Guru of ‘Art of living’, whom millions of people in the world appreciate and follow his teachings. Kapil Sibal is minister for Human Resource and Development. Is he satisfied with the present way of functioning of government schools? He will find a number of adverse reports on this issue. Only he has to remove the dust. Even TV channels echoed in the same voice of Kapil Sibal. They too are advised to go through their coverage on conditions of government schools for the past few years. They will find that they have been commenting on directionless functioning of these schools. Today the government is not serious and teachers are not dedicated. To name India’s best teachers in 20th century, were Pt Madan Mohan Malviya, Dr Radha Krishnan, Mahatma Hansraj, Swami Shradhanand, Rabindranath Tagore, Shri Ashutosh Mukherjee, Shri MS Golwalkar, Dr Sampurnanand, and many more. They have been a source of awakening in youth and developed the spirit of patriotism with a sense of responsibility. Such great men should be the ideals for educationists. So, Kapil Sibal should know, the present government system will make the society completely directionless. That is why Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji has warned that youth may go the Naxal’s way. His assessment needs due attention. Teachers employed should know their social responsibility. And government schools should have a better look.
HS Mehtani, 89/7, East Punjabi Bagh, New Delhi:26
Defence preparedness The recent revelations of defence establishment regarding defence preparedness are alarming and a nationalist is bound to be aghast and anguished, though the age controversy of General VK Singh and the corruption matters are somewhat different. Undoubtedly, the brave and belligerent General VK Singh whose integrity is beyond doubt has put the Government into dock and some of the MP’s asking for General’s scalp without knowing the military, technically and serious repercussions thereafter, hence the matter needs a high restraint and a low profile with acumenship to dilute the matter at the earliest possible time and concentrate on a solid and invincible defence establishment. Questionably, if the state of our military entity is not upto the level despite India being the largest importer of artillery keeping in view the threat perception from China, Pakistan, then who is responsible for this. Candidly, India could have been militarily ahead of China and Pakistan considerably as with its vast resources, had there been emphasis on indigenisation and developing military industrial complexes, but sorrowfully there are anti-national elements, corrupt babus and selfish politicians at the helm of affairs of Indian domain, consequently, nationalism is facing an extinction alongwith the defence outlay being low of GDP in comparison to the enemy nations while crores are spent for political purposes. It would be better that the politicisation and media-materialism of our one of the best world’s army should end and don’t make it mockery for enemies outside and inside India. Lastly, speeding up the modernisation and enhancing the combative capabilities with greater striking potential alongwith upgrading the quality of soldiers life with fast pace will serve the pious mission for this great nation India as nation and nationalism would stand supreme than anything else.
D Verma, Lucknow