This refers to ‘The grand old lady of Indian cinema who never ages’ (IE, July 11). It is a coincidence that Zohra Sehgal was born a year before the birth of Indian cinema and she has passed away a year after it turned a hundred. She is a lucky one. She lived for cinema and theatre. We are all familiar with her multifaceted, vivacious and vibrant artistic attributes. But perhaps many may not be aware that she was also a choreographer par-excellence. She choreographed that great Indian film, Awara, featuring the legendary Nargis and Raj Kapoor. The best ever dream sequence was choreographed by her for the song “Ghar Aaya Mera Pardesi”. Maybe that sequence is now being played out in heaven.
Mehar Singh Bajwa
Spared bitter pills
Apropos of the editorial ‘The first step forward’ (IE, July 11), the Narendra Modi government’s first budget could not possibly have done more for growth, job creation, reform and to counter inflation, given the difficult economic conditions it has inherited from the preceding government. The budget is growth-oriented and will facilitate the creation of jobs in rural and urban areas. It takes care of various sectors including farming, industry, housing, infrastructure, education, health, defence, etc. It caters to the disparate needs of the country. As expected, opposition leaders have found fault with the budget, but the people are relieved, having been spared “bitter pills”.
The NDA’s budget for the year 2014-15 benefits all sections of society. Income tax exemption has been raised from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh. This is good, but I suspect people were hoping for more on this front. The exemption for senior citizens has been raised to Rs 3 lakh. This is very welcome. The budget is also industry friendly. It is good that smokers will have to pay more as the excise duty on cigarettes has been raised. But I doubt this will stop smokers from nursing their habit. Providing for more IITs and IIMs is commendable, but the budget is silent on how to improve the quality of education in schools, something that is urgently needed to be done. Mostly, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has copied the UPA’s style. On the whole, it’s not as good a budget as people had expected.
By Anointing Amit Shah as BJP president, the party and Narendra Modi have sent a strong message that they want proven performers at the helm. With Shah in charge of the party, Modi can focus on governance.