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The language of criticism

The language of criticism
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First Published: Wed, Dec 02 2009. 08 59 PM IST
Updated: Wed, Dec 02 2009. 08 59 PM IST
The article on exit polls (“Best-sellers and exit poll bans”, Mint, 27 November) contains the word “curmudgeons”. Since this is a somewhat uncommon expression, I referred to two dictionaries. The Concise Oxford English Dictionary gives the meaning as “a bad-tempered or miserly person”. The Penguin English Dictionary gives the meaning as a “crusty, ill- tempered person, especially an old man”. Though I am a supporter of exit polls, I do not know whether it is right to call critics of exit polls “ill-tempered, miserly or old”. Criticism of exit polls should be welcomed, even though one may not agree with it. Anyhow, I am an old person of 75 and enjoy being a subscriber of Mint.
— M.C. Jayaraman
Like most free markets, there is a price to pay for a great driver—and I mean a cash cost (“In the market for a driver?” Vidya Mahambare, Mint, 2 December). If you ask around in Bangalore, folks will tell you that the monthly wage rate for a driver is in the range of Rs6,000.
Now, if you want the driver of your dreams, and they do exist, you need to pay a premium of around 60% over this “normal” wage rate. In my calculus, this so-called inflated wage rate is the “normal” wage rate.
From an economic perspective, consider the pure cash costs first: fewer accidents (lower insurance premium), less abuse of the vehicle and better mileage. More importantly consider the non-cash costs: A dream driver doubles as a courier for important errands, saves your time by being resourceful about traffic routes and most importantly, gives you the peace of mind that any urban commuter can do with. For everything else, there’s MasterCard.
— Siddharth Mangharam
I read Mint regularly, and I have read your view on countering the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena threat (“Countering the MNS threat”, Mint, 16 November). I do agree with your view on this issue, and I also agree with the view of Sachin Tendulkar. And Mohan Bhagwat, too, sounds logically correct on this. It is high time the supporters of MNS understood the politics that is occurring around them. They should walk towards the stage of maturity. The majority of MNS supporters are from the middle class or the lower middle class. Also, many of them are from the working class. Not many of them are very well educated. And finally, even if they are well educated, they want secure jobs to be served to them on a platter. They are not willing to accept the challenges of the highly competitive market. MNS publicly puts across certain grievances, which directly hit its supporters’ sentiments. And if its supporters agree and respond positively, then it’s a bullseye hit by the MNS. And in return, the MNS again gets an opportunity to come into the limelight.
But our nation as a whole should take a good stand against this. I, too, wish welfare of all Maharashtrians, but I do not fully sympathize. There should be some sort of awareness among the MNS on the need for self-development. One should understand that if he is unable to succeed in his career, then it is only himself who should be blamed.
In short, what I suggest is that the government of India run some awareness programmes so that the virus of regionalism doesn’t spread, and citizens start taking their own responsibilities. This doesn’t mean the government has no responsibility, but it’s high time educated Indians stopped this blame game. They shouldn’t encourage it. We are in the 21st century of globalization, and people here are still stuck on regional differences within the nation. This should be put to an end, and the government should take the responsibility.
— Parind Ankleshwaria
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First Published: Wed, Dec 02 2009. 08 59 PM IST