24 Letters

posted Nov 1, 2018, 3:12 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 1, 2018, 3:13 AM ]

East Indians demand an apology

Sir, With reference to the letter titled 'East Indian culture is dying' in The Examiner (dated Oct. 13-19, 2018) written by Mr Anthony Henriques, I, being first and foremost a Catholic, and also very honoured to belong to the East Indian community, would like to mention here that the East Indian culture is not a dying culture, but very much alive and thriving, whether in the past or in the present, and I will go further to say, even in the future, this rich culture will never die.

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Sir, We have sent a e-mail to the Editor of The Examiner in context to the derogatory letter on the East Indian Community. As of now, there is no reply. I hereby state we give The Examiner seven days time to issue an apology by the writer of this derogatory letter, as well as by the Editorial team. If not, personally I will be on "Hunger strike" in front of The Examiner office as a protest to this derogatory letter. >>>

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Sir, I refer to the Editorial note in The Examiner (Oct 27- Nov 2, 2018). It is appreciable that the publication has provided a forum for healthy debate and free exchange of opinions on a topic, provided it does not cross the legitimate limits of propriety by indulging in defamation, slander or calumny. Freedom of the press is the fourth pillar of democracy, and much needed in present times.

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WDP 2018 plans at Mahim

Sir, Pope Francis has announced THE SECOND WORLD DAY OF THE POOR on November 18, 2018. St Michael Church, Mahim is organising the following programmes:

A Blood Donation camp on Wednesday, October 31 with the specific intention that the blood collected with be used and given free to all poor patients.

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Letter from the Editor

We regret to learn from some individuals and a representative of a group from the East Indian Community that the Letter to the Editor 'East Indian Culture is Dying' (Oct. 13-19 issue) has conveyed an impression, as they perceive, that the writer has indulged in a derogatory remark about the East Indian community and its rich traditions and culture. Hence, we express our apology to those who perceive that the sentiments of the community have been hurt.

The apology has not been forthcoming, only because the first vehement feedback and other such letters to the 'letter in question', received before the last deadline of going to the press for printing did not contain any other view or reasons why they differed from the contents of the controversial letter, except demanding an apology and casting aspersions on the identity of the writer, while calling him an anonymous ghost writer who had denigrated the community and its traditions. The writer of the 'letter in question' is an occasional contributor of such avant-garde, thought-provoking missives to The Examiner and other mainstream press. This is the reason and explanation of the note that had appeared in The Examiner dated October 27, stating the conventional norms followed by journalistic standards.

In fact, the reading of the letter conveyed to the members of the Editorial Board that the author was showing concern for the fast disappearing practice of the traditions and customs of the community. His personal assessment of the problem was that it would not suffice to restrict ourselves to just host sporadic token acknowledgements of the rich culture of the East Indians. His was an expression of an apprehension that rapid urbanization will have adverse consequences on the longevity of the cultural practices. It appeared that using strong punch words was his personal style to drive home an urgent truth which he felt strongly about. He had not per se said anything to hurt the sentiments of the community. His admiration for 'families and groups that live and practise the rich traditions of the East Indian community would be the best way to uphold the glorious traditions of the community' only manifest his good will to the East Indian community, being an East Indian himself.

Surely, the vitality, vibrancy and resilience of the East Indian culture cannot be blown away by a single opinion, and above all, the community itself would not like to be found intolerant, now becoming the order of the day.