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October - November 2005


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Letters

From: Aline Dobbie
Scotland

Subject: The United Kingdom in the 21st century


Sir
How reassuring to read, after the initial horror and outrage of the London bombings and ongoing terrorist alerts, that journalists and ordinary people alike want Muslims to answer the question that if the UK is so disagreeable to them why do they remain in the country. Having been born and lived as one of a minority race and a Christian on the Indian Subcontinent I find it exasperating that Muslims from Pakistan and the Middle East and North Africa can be given opportunities to live and prosper in our country and practice their faith and be financially, sometimes totally, subsidised. A substantial majority of these people are inward looking and the men seem to feel emasculated if their women become educated and emancipated. Life in our western tolerant culture is about respect, freedom, self discipline and a desire to work for our material success. Medieval forms of male domination through mental and physical subjugation of females and uttering ranting dogma have no place in our modern United Kingdom. Let us urge these disaffected people to go back to their roots in impoverished uneducated,brutal corrupt societies that the rest of us in the developed world shed centuries ago; where incest,rape and dowry death, female foeticide and honour killings appear to be the only boost to insecure egocentric males, who masquerade this very brutality as morality?

India is also turning a blind eye to many atrocities against women, and to maintain her integrity the Government should ensure that secular law is adhered to in these appalling cases. It is no good if your Prime Minister wants to stand shoulder to shoulder with Western leaders to achieve honour and prestige and then turns a blind eye to what is happening to poor hapless defenceless women within India. Shame on you all. You too must enter the 21st century to achieve total respect.

Aline Dobbie
Scotland UK
www.thepeacockscall.co.uk

From Dr Rami Ranger MBE
London


Dear Sir

Re: Those who live by the sword ultimately die by the sword.

News that Pakistan has launched Babur Surface to Air missile with a range of 300km has sent shudders down my spine not because as an Indian I am scared of Pakistan’s might, but because I am scared of the consequences for its people who have suffered since Independence because of the ill judgements of its leaders. Instead of feeding their citizens with food and helping them progress normally, they have been playing toy soldiers.

The question is, will Pakistan ever act according to its size or will it always punch above its weight with the help of super-powers and bring about dire consequences for its people as well as its neighbours?

History shows Pakistani leaders have failed their people right from its inception. A country created with the help of bloodshed has continued to work for more bloodshed. Why does it need to act like a super power? Why does it need so many arms and ammunition? Is it to protect its people from India or is to bully India?

The irony is that having misled its people for 58 years about India, they still continue to do so in order to frighten and control them. Anyone with a little common sense will realize that in 1971 when India helped East Pakistan liberate itself from their West Pakistani colonial masters, India handed the territory back to the people. This was in-spite of the fact that the area captured was a part of India for centuries, yet India showed no interest in holding on to the land.

This should tell everyone what India stands for. It is sad that till today Pakistani leaders have not realized that it is their link with super powers which make them act abnormally in the world instead of living like their neighbours – Nepal. Bangladesh and Sri Lanka who use their limited resources for the development of their countries and the betterment of their people. Only Pakistan cries wolf. Why?

I urge my Pakistani brothers to stop their leaders from squandering their meagre resources on arms as there are no winners in a war. They do not need China or America for protection from their brothers across the border with whom they lived in peace for centuries before the break up in 1947. Since then we have never had peace in the area because of the interference of those who just want to divide and rule. There are more Muslims in India then there are in Pakistan, then why a brother does not keep a cordial relation with another brother for the sake of peace and harmony.

Dr. Rami Ranger



Dr. S. K. Das
FRCP (London and Glasgow)
Retired Consultant Physician
and
Dr. M. S. Kataria
MRCS (London)
Retired Consultant Physician,
Kings Collge Hospital, UK

Dear Sir

“Who is Really Responsible for Mad Cow Disease in Britain

We were surprised to read Professor Colchester’s article in the Lancet, regarding his hypothesis of the origin of ‘mad cow disease’ and variant CJD from cattle feed imported from India.

The Professor forgets that variant CJD is an illness that is caused by the act of feeding animal remains to herbivorous animals such as cows and sheep. He claims that Indian feed manufacturers deliberately introduce human remains when producing high-protein animal feed and that part of this process comes from using scavenged human remains from the banks of the Ganges.

Disposing of the remains of human bodies in the Ganges is known to be an ancient practice in India, relating to the purification of the body and release of the soul after the death of the person.

This method of cremating the dead has been practiced in India for more than the last five thousand years as part of the Hindu religion and Indians take this matter extremely seriously. Prof. Colchester has not disclosed the source of his information on the scavenged human remains, but this is definitely not a common occurrence. Suggesting such things without proper evidence is offensive to Hindus everywhere.

If Professor Colchester’s theory is correct and CJD-exposed feed from India was given to animals in Europe and North America, then the instances of variant CJD since 1981 would be much more evenly dispersed around Europe and America, than it actually is. He also assumes that CJD is common in India. In fact, such diseases are very rare in India and have been for many hundreds of years. Indians are mostly vegetarian and statistically only 2% of the Indian people regularly consume red meat (i.e. beef products). In a recent telegraph article (dated 2nd September 2005) it is even reported that the Indian national CJD register has only logged 69 cases in the thirty years between 1968 and 1997. However such evidence is apparently no deterrent to Prof. Colchester who simply assumes that the number should be more like 150 cases per year, with nothing but circumstantial evidence to back up his claims.

The BSE epidemic that began to be reported in Britain from 1992 onwards resulted in around 180,000 suspected cases of variant CJD being reported, but by 1995 only a handful of those were confirmed as genuine. The underlying cause of this problem was traced back to the use of animal feed contaminated by the remains of other animals. When herbivorous animals such as cows or sheep ate this contaminated feed, they developed diseases such as BSE primarily due to their altered diet. Humans then completed the cycle by choosing to consume parts of the infected animals, such as beef on the bone, which contained the disease. This sort of dish, which is often served medium rare (i.e. deliberately undercooked and garnished in its own blood) is considered a delicacy in Britain but is abhorred in India. It is not culturally acceptable to openly serve such dishes in India, where the cow has a respected status, due to religious concerns.

Again, Prof. Colchester ignores such dietary evidence and focuses solely on blaming India where the allegedly contaminated cow feed originated. It is also interesting that he does not stop to consider Britain’s own standards of quality control for the feed that was being imported for its own consumption.

According to a DTI (Dept. of trade and industry) report as published in a recent newspaper article, the number of reported cases of variant CJD has not decreased significantly since 1981, despite stricter controls on imported animal feed. Therefore it strongly suggests that Prof. Colchester’s hypothesis is flawed as otherwise, India’s population today would be super-saturated with cases of variant CJD and other neurological disorders caused by consuming infected animal remains. Also, certain practices of intensive farming in the UK at that time were proven to be unsafe for the animals’ health, to the point where the government introduced strict guidelines on all farming practices, ensuring that this sort of outbreak would not occur again.

Therefore, it can be surmised that Prof. Colchester’s accusation of infected material originating only in India is not only unproven but also irresponsible and offensive, especially given the evidence against British farming practices in the 1980’s that has already been found in the wake of the BSE ‘epidemic’ in Britain. This opinion is reinforced by Professor James Ironside of the national CJD surveillance unit, who was reported in the Telegraph as saying that Prof. Colchester’s theory was “interesting and theoretically plausible” but required much more evidence before it could be taken seriously.

Prof. Colchester cannot justify laying the blame on India in a pathetic and un-scientific attempt at deflecting the responsibility which should be shouldered by the British farming industry and the Government. Baseless claims such as these only serve to undermine the strict controls that are essential to ensure the continued high quality of British meat.

Regards
Dr. S. K. Das



KUMUDINI D. VALAMBIA
LONDON NW9

Dear Sir

Any one, who has watched the news or read national papers, must be aware of the tragedy that has consumed the Sidhu family.

The various Asian papers, indeed the whole of the Asian Community have the duty to ask the question, “Who will answer for Navjeet and her children’s death?” But I am afraid the answer is not simple, even though it may be staring in our face.

Although we all have our roots in the Indian sub-continent, we are in many ways different from the people of India and Pakistan, especially our younger generation, some times as different as chalk and cheese.

Marriages based on our parent’s desire, sentiment and preferences are statistically more likely to go wrong than the marriages between two people who have been brought up in this country.

It is true that there is no guarantee in marriages, even between two people who have known each other and their families for a long time. But it is of utmost importance that marriages should not be arranged but it should be by introduction.

I am glad to say that such a practice is the norm in our Hindu Gujarati society, East African Asians and perhaps among all Indians, wherever they come from. The parent’s duty is to introduce the boy and the girl.

They may go out several times before they may decide to tie the knot or move on to the next introduction. So often they may go out with a number of potential partners before agreeing to make the union permanent.

One advantage of sucha a marriage is that the couple have a similar background, interest, education and financial ability. A doctor may choose another doctor, a nurse or a pharmacist while a Chartered Accountant may prefer some one who is working in a similar field, in financial environment.

That is, of course, not a guarantee of success on the matrimonial front. In fact marriages are as volatile as weather in this country or indeed throughout the Western world. But if some thing tragically goes wrong, and the marriage breaks up, then both the partners are capable of leading a separate life. They are financially independent and such tragedy that has befallen on Sidhu’s family may not happen that easily.

At one time it was difficult if not impossible to bring one’s partner from the Indian sub-continent. It encouraged the parents to seek a life partner for their children from within our own community here in England.

But due to pressure from parents, UN and European Human Rights Legislation, the government was obliged to change our legislation, liberalize the laws and make it easy for such “International Marriages” to take place. In certain communities this is the norm rather than a novelty or a rarity.
Such marriages are more common in the Midlands where up to three hundred complaints are lodged with the police in various cities every year, mainly by the young girls born and brought up in this country who run away from their families fearing an arranged or even a forced marriage against their wishes.

So often various politicians, MPs from such areas have raised their concern at the forced marriages and the Government is on the verge of introducing a legislation that would make it a criminal offence to force some one to enter into marriage against his or her wishes.
Many social workers feel that this may not be the answer, as children would never lodge a complaint against their parents, families and relations that would criminalise them for life. I am sure your astute and knowledgeable readers will have plenty to write about this very delicate subject that affects lives of our younger generation.

Yours truly,
Kumudini D. Valambia

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