* MEHDI HASSAN is no more. Ghazal lovers will feel the loss even more keenly because that other legend,Jagjit Singh,also passed away recently. Hassan,in spite of his humble beginnings,ruled the ghazal world through sheer dint of hard work. The 1960s and 70s indisputably belonged to Hassan as a ghazal and playback singer. Masterpieces such as Main nazar se pi raha hoon and Tab bhi aati hai teri yaad are unforgettable.
Talking it over
* APROPOS The Siachen jinx (IE,June 13),India and Pakistan should first convince each other of their sincerity and commitment to resolving the issue before holding talks. What is more,talks should only be undertaken for mutual benefit,they should not become opportunities for the two countries to compete for strategic advantages. Indias vacillation is understandable to some extent,given the history between the two countries. In 1999,peace talks had started between then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and his Pakistani counterpart,Nawaz Sharif. But Pakistan undermined this process through incursions into Kargil,which led to yet another war. Pakistan should meet India more than halfway if the trust deficit between the two countries is to be made up.
* SETTING up a memorial for terrorists killed in Operation Blue Star is not in the interests of the Sikhs or the country (In Punjabs peace,a disturbing reminder,IE,June 11). This may become an opportunity for some leaders to whip up anger against the Congress-led government. Terrorism in Punjab cast a shadow on the state,even though the then government could be faulted for its methods of dealing with it. Memorials,if any,should be made in the honour of former Punjab CM Beant Singh,who helped restore peace and put Punjab on the path to progress.
Divide and rule
* IT IS shocking to note that,very frequently,the Congress party tries to divide Indians along caste and community lines by talking about quotas and subquotas (Govt gives in to demand,works on quota for Jats,IE,June 10). It would be much more productive of the party to concentrate on controlling inflation,corruption,terrorism and population growth. These are the root causes of the problems that India faces today.
Hand that rocks
* THIS refers to Anna junks foreign hand charge (IE,June 13). Minister of State in the PMO V. Narayanasamys rather uncharitable comments on Anna Hazare defy reason. Hazare is perhaps justified in asking for a probe on serving ministers based on the evidence submitted by his team.
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