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|September 29, 1998||
How Readers reacted to Varsha Bhosle's last column
Date sent: Mon, 21 Sep 1998 14:29:50 -0700
There is the economic right wing and the social right wing. So long as we do not confuse the two with each other we would be fine. I want the politicians (and the public-by-proxy, too) out of both my purse and bedroom.
Date sent: Mon, 21 Sep 1998 16:33:43 -0400
I really enjoy reading most of the articles on Rediff. While I do not always agree with the author's viewpoint, I still enjoy reading his/her article -- with one sore exception. And that's Varsha Bhosle
Her articles are spiteful, painfully one-sided, and devoid of any information. She reminds me of an ill-behaved 3-year-old throwing temper tantrums to attract attention. Her articles leave a bad taste in my mouth, and I have decided not to read her columns till she grows up. I must say I really enjoyed logging on to your site for the past couple of months and not finding any columns penned by Varsha.
Disgusted in Florida
Date sent: Mon, 21 Sep 1998 13:24:36 -0700
It is not fair to comment on a foreign country's domestic affairs. I enjoyed the earlier columns of Varsha's on Indian politics. However, this article, no matter how well written, doesn't merit any attention. Varsha, next time you write such articles you will lose an avid reader of yours.
Date sent: 21 Sep 98 19:50:00 PDT
For the life of me, I cannot understand how anyone could ever justify Mr Kenneth Starr's actions, let alone his deeds. Varsha Bhosle goes on to state that "America should be extolling his guts and a system that Actually works."
Pray tell me, What System!?
A SYSTEM that hounds a president for 4 years of his 6 years in office? Or A SYSTEM that could not find anything wrong with the original accusation it set out to prove and so continue on and on till it corners him on his sexual escapades? Or A SYSTEM that deliberately corners the poor guy and makes him lie and then attacks him for it?
Let me tell you, the SYSTEM you so eloquently extol, simply FAILED here. It was misused, abused and perverted in this whole saga.
I am not justifying Clinton's actions by any means whatsoever, but the guy was cornered into answering questions about whether or not he was having sex with another woman barely older than his daughter in front of his wife for Christ's sake! Believe me, 99 out of 100 blokes who do that would lie. The point I am trying to make is this: This whole so-called Investigation (What a joke!) should never have come this far in the first place.
The fundamental -- and let me restate the ONLY -- mandate for this man's (Starr's) enquiry was whether or not the first family had indulged in questionable financial dealings before their stint in the White House. This so-called investigation should have been completed in 6 months and that should have been the end of it. Instead, when he could not find anything on the issue that he started on, he moves on to a so-called Travel gate, then FBI files, then Billing records, then suspected suicides, etc (not necessarily in that order) and finally his sexual habits! Tell me, what system permits this? In my dictionary this is called a 'witch hunt' not investigation.
Frankly, the Americans have done it yet again. They are the only ones in this whole wide world who would pay or rather spend 40 million dollars for a pornographic tale of their president. Go America! Do the world proud!
This whole sordid tale was a classic case of the system going totally overboard, going berserk. The Republicans (believe me, I myself am a Republican at heart) could simply never accept the fact that this man won in 1992 and yet again in 1996. This is in spite of the smear campaign against him publicly calling him a liar (maybe rightfully so) during the 1992 campaign. Well, the people spoke after that and yet again in 1996. So what do they do after that? They continue their vilification and then manage to get an "Independent Counsel!" Ha! What a joke.! Some System Indeed!
This man (Kenneth Starr) is driven by a perverse desire to go down in history as only the second public prosecutor who brought down a president. I cannot think of anything else. He would do anything to justify the end he was seeking. And also, this is being used by the Republicans to bring down a Democrat. One should remember that Richard M Nixon was not only a liar but also a petty crook and a common thief. The SYSTEM did work then, but today it is simply perverting every law in the book.
For crying out loud, please spare the tears for Mr Kenneth Starr.
Date sent: Mon, 21 Sep 1998 13:55:04 -0400
A bad start with the article on Clinton! We had enough of it. And after reading the Starr report, no love is remaining for such a president. I don't know for other Indians, but I am done with this guy. He is a gone case. And who says he is good for India? I remember his comments and the abuses hurled by his secretary of state towards India after the Indian nuclear tests. I don't think that any other Republican can be more worse than this regime of Clinton's as far as India and our interests go.
So let's turn to our Hindutva-wadi topics. A lot more attention is required in that direction.
Date sent: Mon, 21 Sep 1998 21:10:37 -0400
Varsha Bhosle's articles are always stimulating to read. I have been missing her writings for a long time and have been wondering what happened. Hope I will see her writings on Rediff more often. She is a strong protector of Hindutva, free in thoughts and does not mince words. I may at times not agree with some of her ideas, but that is the beauty of Hindu thought -- that opposite view points can be respected. Varshaji, keep up the good work. The pen is pretty mighty and, in a civilised society, a tool to protect the helpless victims of terrorism that is engulfing us in the name of jihad against the infidels.
Date sent: Mon, 21 Sep 1998 21:11:43 -0500
Dear Varsha Bhosle,
You mentioned that you expected a lot of hate mail in response to your column about Mr Clinton. All I can say is that I am sorry to disappoint you! I thought your column was excellent, a refreshing change from what many other columnists are saying. Thanks for a well-written article!
Grace and peace,
Date sent: Mon, 21 Sep 1998 20:25:48 -0700
Whenever Varsha strays from her 'standard' writings, she always comes off only half impressive. She did make some good points here, like judging Monica for what she is, and refuting the theory that Americans are being apathetic towards all this because they are only interested in the economy doing well. But she wouldn't find too many takers when she says that she too doesn't believe that Bill has sinned when he did what he did.
Now, I am not talking about 'sinning' in a religious sense. But the fact is he is a married man. He has committed a breach of trust -- the piece of statistics that 50% of married Americans cheat on their partners notwithstanding.
Secondly, she seems to believe that the desi Americans have a soft corner for Clinton. Not true. After his sickening display of kow-towing to China and all, more Indian Americans want to see somebody else in that chair. At least, that would hopefully replace Madeline Albright. So much about the article.
One thing I have noticed about Varsha is that she doesn't take to criticism, even mild disagreement, very well. She lets off a lot of steam unnecessarily, puffs and pants, calls people names, and generally behaves in a manner which doesn't fit a good writer like her. (Yes, I do believe she is a good writer, and yes, I will prefer her over the oh-so-holier-than-thou writers like Dilip D'Souza and co)
One example that comes to mind in this regard is when she called one Mr Baparao, a 'typical SCI moron'. Most of my fellow readers felt then that she completely over-reacted.
Since Varsha quotes 'Rajeev Dear' so often, she might do well by taking a leaf or two from his book about being decent when dealing with criticism, without compromising on his stand or diluting it. Rajeev Srinivasan comes out as a strong-minded individual in his articles, without adopting to the tactics Varsha is so famous for. That is, spewing venom at people whom she doesn't agree with.
You don't have to be ruthless, scornful and sarcastic to prove that you hold a different view. In fact, such actions always produce undesirable results. If she believes that it adds to the entertainment value of her articles, then she is dead wrong. Every time she castigates her critics, she always has this 'I don't care about what you say' line in there. But I believe that she really cares. She still has to learn how to take criticism in her stride.
Well, I have a pretty close friend who behaves similarly. Same story: good ideas, bad attitude. I don't expect him to change and have learned to get along with him. So, I am not expecting a sea change in Varsha either. :-)
All said and done, I am an avid fan of her articles on 'Hindutva'. Hopefully there will more of them in the future. It's also high time she wrote a sequel to her article, 'Dilip Dear'. That guy has been getting on my nerves!
Date sent: Mon, 21 Sep 1998 23:13:53 -0400
Welcome back Varsha! Dilip and another guy called Darryl or something have been raving and ranting. We need you to expose these India-haters.
Date sent: Mon, 21 Sep 1998 09:09:16 PDT
Date sent: Mon, 21 Sep 1998 12:52:22 +0000
As a denizen of 'Amreeka' for the last umpteen years, and one who has had his fill of details about Bill's amorous adventures, I am impressed with the puns in your views but not the content. Bill Clinton's sex life is his business, and the plain truth is that Ken Starr and the right-wing extremists that claim to be his cohorts (do you also belong there?), in the absence of anything substantive to report vis-a-vis Whitewater or Travelgate or Vince Foster, came up with a tawdry sex tale so ubiquitous in this society that it rightfully makes most people scoff.
As Henry Hyde, the man who leads the Clinton investigation in the House of Representatives, sanctimoniously put it the other day, he is going to pursue the truth (because people have a right to it) despite the fact the dirt on his dalliance thirty years ago reveal a man who ruined another man's family to satisfy his thirst for a good roll-around. The point is, if you look close enough, you will be hard-pressed to find many closets that are free of such skeletons.
But the important issue is: can we heap scorn on Clinton, as you seem to be doing, simply because he showed a critical lapse in judgement (in his choice of a paramour)? And the answer is clearly no. He messed up in messing around, and the consequences are best left out of public view. In the final analysis, but for a handful of voyeurs who do not have a real life (and need to get one) no one should care about where Bill gets off, with or without Monica's help.
Date sent: Mon, 21 Sep 1998 21:37:16 -0700
Good to see you back Varsha, missed you a lot!
Date sent: Mon, 21 Sep 1998 21:54:54 -0700
Funny article! Seriously though, while I am no big fan of Billy Bob on the character front, this is a witch-hunt. There is no substantive issue. Technically, there is no perjury because in Billy's definition there was no "sexual relation" (I know! I know! but the definition was the one given to him in the Paula Jones case). There is no conclusive proof of witness tampering or obstruction of justice. What's left is indecency and poor judgment (OK, taste in women too). Hardly, impeachable offences.
Strangely enough, this may backfire for the Republicans. The 4-hour spectacle on television this morning would have done MacCarthy proud. Billy's womanising was easily eclipsed by the mean spirited and sordid nature of the questioning (cigar anyone?). The irony of the whole thing is that Starr's chasing of his own tail (no pun intended!) on the Monica issue has sadly diverted attention from more serious issues like "China-Gate". I have a feeling that there really could have been some dirt there.
Anyway, welcome back!
Date sent: Tue, 22 Sep 1998 10:50:57 +0530
Thoroughly enjoyed the article.
Date sent: Tue, 22 Sep 1998 11:18:05 PDT
I do not have much hopes of getting this published but here goes: I find it truly amazing that this person -- Varsha Bhosle -- finds herself competent to write on every issue from cricket to economics to foreign affairs! Truly incredible, and something which could well explain why Rediff has never been the recipient of any award for 'competent journalism'.
Let us look at her recent article about Clinton. She wrote: "However, the one character in this sordid tale I'd still root for is the hapless Kenneth Starr. Hey, if I'd been called a liar and right-wing conspirator at the opening of a legitimate investigation, I'd have gone all the way, too. Mr Starr's course seems to have been: You think he's honest; well, here's the only way I can disprove that. And he did it, unlike the poor president, without holding back -- with a complete blow-by-blow account of the events. Frankly, America should be extolling his guts and a system that actually works. "
Well, let's look at the facts. The Starr investigation was started to investigate any misdealings in Whitewater, Travelgate etc. The investigation spanned four years from 1994 to 1998. $ 40 million was spent over this period, and the end result was voluminous evidence about Clinton's love life! And absolutely zilch on the initial motive.
The issue is not whether his behaviour was appropriate or that politicians in India get away with things far worse. It is that whichever way you see it, this was basically done to embarrass him. Kenneth Starr's document was extremely thin regarding impeachable offenses -- obstruction of justice and subornation.
Further, Varsha Bhosle claims that Indians or people of Indian origin would support Clinton merely because he is pro-minority. I consider that stupid and irresponsible, and downright offensive. I hope that in the future, Varsha Bhosle reads the responses to her articles and decides to narrow her repertoire to issues that she is competent on, whatever they may be. Hoping for the best.
Date sent: Tue, 22 Sep 1998 17:22:28 +0530
Nice to hear from you after a long time...
Date sent: Tue, 22 Sep 1998 09:04:13 -0500 (CDT)
Sure am glad that the indomitable Bhosle is back. The editors should have let the readers know that she is on a vacation (or whatever).
I have a couple of comments about Ken's investigation. While I am no fan of Clinton, the truth remains that Starr first chose his "criminal" and then (with 40 million bucks) tried to find a "crime" to fit the criminal. Give me that kind of money and I'll find dirt on any politician there is. Clinton did what he did and should probably resign himself. But the Republicans do not have enough to impeach him. But I fully agree with you when you say that the Amrus should be happy that their system works: You can come but you may be forced to go.
If we had had a system like that, who knows, the Nehrus and Gandhis might have been banished from politics and the country would have been better off. Did I hear some one say "Keep Dreaming ?"
PS: Varsha, I would like to hear what you have to say about Pachmarhi and the Italian promise to eradicate poverty by resorting to socialism :)
Date sent: Tue, 22 Sep 1998 07:56:38 -0700
We all think that the president of USA is a very capable person. "Something came up" and he misbehaved. It may be Hillary turning him off. Clinton lied when he told us before his election that he did not "inhale". He tried to redefine the meaning of "sex". Now he can say that he inserted it, but did not ejaculate which in his book tantamounts to "No Sex". What girl on this earth will keep a stained dress for over two years?
Date sent: Tue, 22 Sep 1998 11:44:57 -0400
It feels so good to read your writings after a long time. I meant to write to the editor to find out why you weren't writing, but I coudn't find the e-mail link "To the Editor". Every Friday, I used to search for your article, and mistook "Harsha Bhogle" for you a few times and read his articles (even wondered, why you took up writing about cricket :-). Wecome back!
Rediff has gotten a bit tooooooooooooo 'Secular' these days, with Darryl D'Monte joining the bunch of D'Souzas and Diwanji's... Your presence must balance it a bit.
Date sent: Fri, 25 Sep 1998 16:58:18 +0100
Well, well! The Clinton bug has bitten this female. And why not when the whole of the Yankees stay glued to watch a day-light free sexual documentary broadcasted on the national tele? Good for the country! Great read! Keep up the good work. I became a fan of urs after the Hindutva Bomb Article!
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