Letters on January 1 issue

Letters on January 1 issue
On Why I’m Losing Hope in India

A thought provoking article by Kiran Kumbhar! I haven't read the article mentioned by the author, but I can surely say that the current education system in India has been deeply rotting since its inception. As a kid growing up in tribal areas of Odisha, I looked up to Ganesh and Saraswati pooja that are officially celebrated in government schools. Nobody told us why these secular schools didn't celebrate Eid, Christmas or Buddha poornima. No schools or colleges or universities ever taught about the two most important books of pre-independence era: Annihilation of Caste by Dr. BR Ambedkar and Hind Swaraj by Mahatma Gandhi. We never knew we lived in a horribly racist society. We never questioned why teacher 'colonies', lecturer 'colonies', doctor 'colonies'... and all such white collar colonies were being created at the cost of vibrant rural social lives.

The current hopelessness is the manifestation of that rot. Yes, we need more deep discussions, more open and honest look into ourselves, and we need to demolish this education system altogether. In fact, India needs another Gandhi and Ambedkar who can then create a more sensible India. Surely, they will enlighten the masses to squash the current bunch of jokers and rise out of the ashes of this deeply fractured society.

Pradeep Nayak

This article by Kiran Kumbhar, read in conjunction with that of Andy Mukherjee, is quite revealing of the dilemma that has existed in India since 1947 about which path to choose to continue to be Indian. It was seen by Mahatma Gandhi. The founders of modern India and especially those who shaped the Constitution did not address this problem. That said, we can only agree with Kiran Kumbhar's point when he implicitly says that the development of India with its imperfections does not date from 1991 nor from the coming to power of the current leaders. To be Indian is not to do what others do; it is not to be in love with the growth rate. We must be ourselves and, as Swami Vivekananda said, be "proud to belong to a religion which has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance."

Sougoumar Mayoura

Remarkably well written essay by Kiran Kumbhar! Sadly, seemingly vast numbers among those who benefited the most from not only 1991 but from 1947 and 1952 in the first place, seem to have lost the sensitivities the author talks about. And that is reason enough to lose hope.

Deep Joshi

Wonderful thoughts by Kiran Kumbhar! Each Indian should make an objective introspection of the current state of affairs. Let us go back to our true selves. Let us respect and nourish our diversity. We are a great country and let us live together as equals.

Ummer Koya

Very well articulated personal essay by Kiran Kumbhar. It is true that the nature of evil is mostly banal but it is here that people, especially in the government sector, should rise above petty differences and work as trustees for others.

In the education sector during the Corona period I feel the system could have uploaded videos of teachers who excelled in their subject, translated into multiple languages and made it available to children in the remote locations to view, review and question. The divide that exists for children in custodial homes or in villages would be bridged if they are given the opportunity to hear and see the best in the field.

Other organizations should have shared best practices. It's the time not just for creating awareness of various schemes and laws but being self aware of the difficulties faced by various sectors whose interest they are duty bound to serve and then provide solutions hands on.

Giribala Singh

Till the time we have people like Kiran Kumbhar, I have all the hope that the situation in my country India will improve, Inshallah!

GRK Shervani

Kiran Kumar's article is not a true depiction of the ground realities. It is too critical without much basis. Any nation’s growth depends on hard work, sincerity  and discipline. I tend to disagree with the writer.

Om Kumar
Careful Analysis of the US Elections

Congratulations to Sarah Duvisaac and Avanti Mukherjee, the authors of "Has the US Dodged the Rise of Far-Right Politics?". They have offered a succinct and careful empirical analysis that is normatively grounded. There are important lessons here for the Biden administration, with a caution about the potential cleavages in the base.

Ronald Herring
John Le Carrè, George Smiley and Alec Guinness

It is my belief that Rudrangshu Mukherjee speaks not only for himself but for many of us, in his appreciation and admiration of John le Carre. What a superb article! I hope The India Forum will carry increasingly more frequent pieces of this nature—such a pleasure to read!

On the screen, Alec Guinness’s  is, of course, the acknowledged master portrayal of George Smiley. I thought Gary Oldman was badly miscast in the film version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. This can’t be news for die-hard le Carre enthusiasts, but it is a lesser-known fact that his second novel "A Murder of Quality" was made into a film for Thames Television in 1992. For those who don’t know this, the film is available on Youtube, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8qNYh9LaeU . George Smiley is
portrayed by Denholm Elliot, and on a recent second viewing of the film, it occurred to me that Elliot surpasses Guinness: the latter is a bit too *patrician* for Smiley, while Elliot impresses profoundly, just like Smiley, with his very ordinariness, until the extraordinary breaks out, suddenly but with enduring effect.

S. Subramanian, Chennai
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