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How Readers reacted to Rajeev Srinivasan's recent columns

Date sent: Fri, 20 Mar 1998 11:11:41 -0600
From: Lois Tauer <>
Subject: America Comes Of Age

I am an American who subscribes to your wonderful paper. I agree wholeheartedly with the writer of this column. America does have a very severe problem with races of all kinds. I have tried to teach my children to accept people as they are without being judgemental. I enjoy reading Rediff very much. I am also learning.

Date sent: Mon, 02 Mar 1998 17:30:15 -0800
From: OfficeLAN User <"OfficeLAN User">
Subject: Rajeev Srinivasan

Just one word " Most eloquently said" and I am moved, will try my level best for my mother country's improvement.


Date sent: Tue, 3 Mar 1998 16:44:56 +0530
From: "Gowrishankar R. (Col.)" <>
Subject: Rajeev Srinivasan

It was a pleasure reading the column by Mr Rajeev Srinivasan. I am a retired colonel from the Indian army. Whenever I was asked by anyone as to the greatest soldier of India, I had always taken the name of the Mahatma.

Date sent: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 17:02:38 EST
From: <>
Subject: A case for pragmatism

Three cheers for Rajeev Srinivasan. He has given words to the thinking of the silent majority. If there are people like Rajeev, there is still some hopes for India.

Vinod Kumar

Date sent: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 16:20:34 -0500
From: "Ramanand Komarraju" <>
Subject: Rajeev Srinivasan's A case for pragmatism

Rajeev's article expresses the very ideas that have been developing in my own mind over the past few months. I have always considered myself a liberal (even in India), and I am still guided by the same views. However, I have noticed that my liberal thoughts need to be tempered with pragmatism in order to see something positive happening to India. After all, that's the idea isn't it? To make India better?

Biju Matthew's article refers to soc.culture.indian to point that the 'Hindutva voices' are quite active there. However, he 'forgets' to mention that other voices that too are active there. soc.culture.indian is filled with hate mongerers, and there are hate campaigns in it on virtually every ethnic/racial/religious groups one can think of. Therefore, I think it is wrong on Biju Matthew's part to give an example that's misleading.


Date sent: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 18:18:01 -0500
From: hello <>
Subject: A case for pragmatism

I liked reading this article by Rajeev Srinivasan. It is similar to my views too. I think the present day Indian political parties are very short-sighted as far as gaining power is concerned. Instead of concentrating on what they can provide, and which is feasible, they attack other parties and promise impractical goals (such as the famous Rs 2 per kilo for rice that was promised by the TDP in AP sometime ago).

We can talk a lot about the present state of affairs, but what should we do to overcome it? Nothing in the short-term comes to mind. Of course, we can improve our education to get a more nationalistic generation than at present. But first, I think we need to really communicate to the politicians that their gimmickry is not going to get them power.

We should also try to get them to concentrate on important issues like trade and defence rather than on reservation and the like. I also personally feel there should be some sort of a yearly accounting of the progress of the government (If there is one, I am ignorant of it), and comparison with the manifesto.


Date sent: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 22:27:59 -0400
From: Akshay <>
Subject: Srinivasan's column

Rajeev Srinivasan and Varsha Bhosle think alike. Both are Indian patriots who have in the past one year shown excellent ideas for the country as a whole. Something, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose showed when he with other Indian nationals singlehandedly armed India against the British. Something that brought terror in the British empire.

Varsha is open. She doesn't hesistate in speaking the truth. I can also tell that if someone talks about something that is against her ideas (which is perfectly natural) she might or even does lose temper.

On the other hand, Rajeevji proves his point with fashion. Something very few can deny. Whatever be the case, I find these two absolutely terrific. Their articles are for people like me, who love India, want India to become a dominant force on this planet. I want India to be such a power that whenever the US strikes Iraq or any other country in the future, it looks to India for consolidation.

The advantage India has over China is we are democratic. We need to harvest this. Be more free in the true sense and at the same time crush those terrorists who have taken advantage of our freedom like in the Far East and Kashmir. A common enemy has always united us Indians. Before, it was the British, for a time being it was Pakistan. Today, we need the world to be our enemy. Not to fight wars but to promote Indian nationalism. Only then we can show our power.

Extremely proud to be an Indian


Date sent: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 17:27:38 -0800
From: Narain Attili <>
Subject: Great column

This article by Rajeev Srinivasan is great. Now, if only our MPs read this article...


Date sent: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 14:50:41 -0500
From: Nagasimha Iyengar <>
Subject: A case for pragmatism

Kudos to Rajeev Srinivasan for writing such an excellent article.

I, however, object to your saying that the Hindu right wing is unwilling to abandon casteism and regionalism.

The BJP manifesto clearly says: Devolution of power to states without encouraging regionalism.

And in the RSS, you are asked to introduce yourself only by your first-name.

Nagasimha Iyengar

Date sent: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 11:26:01 -0500
From: Harish Kakde <>
Subject: A case for pragmatism


A beautifully written article. The first I have read that offers a rational solution rather than just state the problem. A must read and practice for everyone.

Harish Kakde

Date sent: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 13:26:56 -0800
From: Daniel Chen <>
Subject: The Sreenivasan Manifesto

What a long and dull article -- pragmatism, dogmatism, neo-liberals, progressives and Nehruvians ...really a big-tent. Perhaps Rajeev Srinivasan should stick to writing about movies -- Adoor, Aravindan, Gavras and Kurosawa etc ... sometimes he can educate and entertain.


Date sent: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 16:29:35 -0500
From: "Ravi Aron" <>
Subject: Rajeev Srinivasan's column

I found some of the ideas in the column interesting and possibly implementable. There is, however, a fairly sharp toothed reef on which the neoliberal ship is likely to be wrecked. The caste issue -- more specifically the capturing of the commanding heights of our polity by the middle castes who have manged to reap almost completely all the benefits of the reservation system and continue to manipulate the interventionist state. Mr Srinivasan does mention the "creamy layer". How exactly can a policy that he proposes -- quote: " is essential that both the so-called upper caste and lower-caste people work hand in hand towards the upliftment of all Indians..." -- be implemented ? The middle castes who were as much beneficiaries of the caste system as were the Brahmins and the Banias, are in power both at the Centre and in the states. Surely the neo-liberal would not like to see the 68% reservation in some southern states and the 50 % reservations elsewhere remain a fact of life.

Exactly, how do the Neo-liberalas hope to persuade the Yadavs and the Kurmis, the Lingayaths and Vokkaligas, the Thevars and the Nadars -- insert your favorite castes here --to relinquish their stranglehold on our polity ? How will the neo liberals persuade these groups to act in a way that is probably going to bring them no tangible rewards in their lifetimes?

I am less than convinced that this Neo Liberal manifesto will work. It will perhaps be better than the Nehruvian socialist quagmire of mediocrity and bureacratic corruption that is India today. But saying that is akin to Russian Jew saying "Communism is better than Nazism as far as the Jew is concerned". Well, may be. But he is a victim under both.  

Ravi Aron

New York

Date sent: Sat, 28 Feb 1998 01:06:48 -0500
From: Kishor Trivedi <>
Subject: Rajeev Srinivasan on neo-liberals

Excellent piece. Thanks very much.

Date sent: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 17:45:56 -0500 From: Subject: Rajeev Srinivasan's article

I found Mr. Srinivasan's article on March 13 to have a good point -- that some individuals have feminism thrust upon them. But the examples and logic he builds to those conclusions have certain factual flaws.

While talking about Rabri Devi's ascent to the post of Bihar's CM, he goes about giving two paragraphs full of examples of nepotism in India's recent political history. And to each of those instances, he adds a phrase like, "no one objected to this, no one objected to that", making it seem like all the "righteous indignation" he complains about didn't exist when those events took place. I disagree with that rhetoric. Righteous people decried each one of those instances of political nepotism, and Rabri Devi's case is not and should not be an exception.

Also, I completely disagree with the suggestion that Nehru somehow anointed Indira Gandhi to be his successor. She took over the party on her own, rather than with any help from her father. Let's be reminded that Indira Gandhi was a relative lightweight in Congress party at the time of Nehru's death. It is hard to be the only daughter of Nehru and be completely isolated from his politics. Let's not blame Nehru for his daughter's ascent. He may have had some flaws, but he was a true patriot and idealist to the core.

Giri Tatavarti

Date sent: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 09:47:08 -0500
From: Anita Molhotra <>
Subject: Speaking of women

The article by Rajeev Srinivasan really echoes some of my thoughts. Very well written article with a balanced view. Keep writing.

Rajeev Srinivasan