Serving as a ‘Foreign Correspondent’ in Colombo must be a taxing job.
04 March 2002
as a ‘foreign correspondent’ in Colombo is a taxing job. This
appears to be so to Nirupama Subramanian, your correspondent with lurid
imaginations. How else can I conclude, after reading the opening
sentence of her Vavuniya visit, datelined March 3 [The Hindu,
March 4, 2002]? Your correspondent has written, “It could have been a
scene out of the Cultural Revolution in China or out of youth parades in
hot air circulating in Colombo seems to have produced an amnesia in your
correspondent who had forgotten about events in India which happened in
the 1930s. She should check with her grandparents and grand uncles
whether they behaved like the children she describes in Vavuniya -
shouting slogans like ‘Vande Matharam’ and chanting
‘Mahatma Gandhi is our leader’. Even if her grandparents were scared
and hidden themselves from such raucous demonstrations which percolated
in the four corners of current India, history records that millions of
empty-bellied, bare-footed children took part in such demonstrations to
support a leader who was ridiculed as a ‘half-naked fakir’ and
‘rabble-rouser’ by the British imperialists.
thing is certain for me. Though living in Japan now, Vavuniya soil is
dear to me, since as a toddler I had played in that soil for a couple of
years. But for the correspondent of Hindu newspaper, the
Vavuniya soil will always be ‘foreign’. Lastly, though the Hindu
correspondent has described her brief visit to Vavuniya, her
descriptions appear insipid, since she has failed to name any of the
participants in her report. I know that a ‘foreign correspondent’
job in Colombo is a taxing job.
Sri Kantha, Ph.D.