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We reserve the right to edit Letters to the Editor
We live in a world of political tensions, economic crises, environmental degradation, and religious hate. In the
midst of all this there are billions of people who go about
their routine chores and millions too who are engaged in art
and music, in sports and science. Now and again their significant achievements hit the headlines all over the world.
One such event of enormous import was the successful
entry of a spacecraft into the Mars orbit September 23. It
was launched by India’s space scientists November 5, 2013.
This milestone in space science should be a matter of great
pride for the people of India, reflecting as it does not only the
sophisticated technology that is now within India’s reach, but
also the advances in the worldview of the Indian people some
of whom wondered publicly in 1969 if America’s man on the
moon was perhaps no more than a Hollywood stunt.
In less than half a century India has come a long way from
regarding Mangal (Mars) as the God of War and as a planet
of astrological significance endowing its beneficiaries with
bravery and self-confidence to a planet out there that is to be
explored through scientific means.
In the new era of human history where globalization is a
buzz word, it is not just in trade and commerce that nations
interact. We do many things, good and bad together.
In this matter India has been contributing significantly to
the world at large: Hundreds of thousands of her sons and
daughters serve as doctors and engineers, scientists and
advisers on every continent.
This is a matter, not for self-glorification, but for rejoicing
that India’s abilities and energies are channeled in productive and constructive rather than in threatening and destructive ways.
What India has achieved by this Mars mission should be
regarded as a matter of pride for the human spirit, as yet
another step in humanity’s stride forward in our quest for
Viewed thus, India deserves to be congratulated by all who
stand for science and civilization.
V V Raman Pittsford, New York
Stop the hate
Aziz Haniffa has done a great job of informing readers about the hate crimes in great detail ( Cover Story, India
Abroad, September 19). However, suggestions for dealing
with this big issue — two documented hate crimes per week
— need to be given further thought.
People from South East Asia have done well in America in
business, education, and to some extent, politics. We have to
get these people’s attention to get a good action plan.
Without their involvement, hate crimes are not going to
Satinder Mullick Corning, New York
It’s not about anti-Semitism
Yes, there is growing anti-Semitism in Europe and else- where as S Raju’s letter says (‘Anti-Semitism is back in
fashion’, India Abroad, September 26), but it is important to
distinguish that from legitimate criticism of Israeli actions.
To say that the latter amounts to anti-Semitism would be
like saying that all criticism of President Barack Obama is
People who want justice for Palestinians don’t expect Jews
to return to Europe. Actually, Palestinians and their supporters are asking for a return to pre-1967 borders, something
that is not acceptable to the Israeli government.
Yes, the Jews are an ingenious and industrious people who
suffered unimaginably during the Holocaust, but that doesn’t
give them a right to keep encroaching on Palestinian land,
and oppress the Palestinians.
The issue isn’t about deserving a ‘tiny place on this good
earth’ as Raju says, but how and why it was done.
Israel claimed the land based on historical and religious
antecedents — something that isn’t, or shouldn’t be, done in
modern times. US evangelicals support Israel for religious
reasons. And US foreign policy in this issue is based, at least
partly, on this reason and on the strong influence of Jewish-American organizations.
Further, Israel has thrived but not without external aid, as
Raju says. It has been receiving an astounding amount of
unconditional aid ($3 billion annually) from the US since
1949, for a total of $233 billion (according to the Israeli
Lastly, while ISIS is a growing threat as is Islamic radical-ization, it is important to look at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on its own merits. It fuels a lot of anti-American sentiments and generates terrorism against us.
Above all, it is simply an issue of right versus wrong.
Saritha Prabhu Clarksville, Tennessee
Iwas fascinated by your piece, ‘To believe or not to believe’ (People, India Abroad, September 26). I was appalled
when I read, ‘While Bobby Jindal conceded that human
activity has something to do with climate change, but
declined to agree that there is now widespread scientific con-
sensus on the severity and urgency of the problem.’
Oh, yeah? Really now?
It is Bobby Jindal who is a ‘science denier’, not the Obama
Pradeep Srivastava Detroit
Thanks for publishing an interesting article about the
nomination of Rahul ‘Richard’ Verma as ambassador to
India. As an Indian American I am proud of that.
The article states that the only other Indian-American US ambassador was Vinay Thummalapally to
Belize, but it forgot to mention Ambassador Geeta Pasi,
who served recently in Djibouti (2011-2014).
I know her personally since I work for the
Department of State.
Jagdish Pathela By e-mail
Ambassador Geeta Pasi C O U R T