Registered with the Registrar of Newspapers for India under R.N.I 53640/91

Vol. XXIX No. 22, March 1-15, 2020

Our Readers Write

Setting the record straight

I notice my Nadkarni piece last fortnight has drawn a lot of comment in the latest issue of MM. However there are factual errors in Mr. Arumugham’s letter. The incident that is referred to – about several English players not in a position to take the field because of illness – happened in the next test at Bombay. He refers to Kripal Singh as a substitute fielder which obviously he could not have been at Madras since he was in the playing eleven. At Bombay, Kripal did, in fact, field for England as they did not have even eleven players for fielding, but did not take a catch to dismiss an Indian batsman. Just to set the record right.

Partab Ramchand


The Palkhiwala I Know

I met Mr. Palkhiwala on quite a few occasions to consult him on income tax matters when I was in practice as a Chartered Accountant. I shall send my experiences with him separately.

After going through the first instalment from Mr. T.S. Gopal’s book, I would like to add something as to what happened in the meeting when Cho presided. Cho started his speech stating that every one in the audience knew Mr Palkhiwala but many of them may not know Cho. It was a great honour for him to preside over the meeting. Having said that, he shared his views expressed by many great leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and others to the effect that private enter prise should be put down and only public enterprise should be encouraged. There were many puzzled faces in the audience but nobody said anything. After waiting for about 30 seconds Cho stated that none of the great leaders ever said anything like that. He asked, “Why is it no one objected to what I stated and did not get up to say, Cho you are talking drivel?” He explained that it is because of the fact that he is stating something from the dias. After apologising for the demonstration, he said that if educated persons like us do not object to such statements, how can we blame the general public consisting of many illiterates for believing whatever is stated by politicians, especially during election time? There was a total silence among the audience for a few seconds which was followed by a thunderous applause.

Even today after four-decades politicians do get away with lot of untruth in their speeches.

G.V. Raman
Executive Chairman
Shriram Group


Taxing times

This refers to the report Time to end the property tax mess (MM, Feb 16-29).
While it is true that the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) has not revised the property tax for the past 20 years, it doesn’t mean that it can effect a steep revision. It is like force-feeding a person who had not eaten for days together. No doubt, periodical revision is must; but to compensate for its inaction, GCC cannot resort to steep increase.

Whilst on this, besides the general revision in the tax effected for the period 2018-19, which has since been withheld by the government, a revision was effected for the period 2017-18, in respect of properties which was based on the usage of the property from that of owner-occupied to tenanted. The GCC stated that it conducted a survey to ascertain the details on a pilot basis in two zones. It was a mystery because no owner had any clue about the same. The survey was full of errors in that even the properties occupied by owners had been classified as tenanted much to their chagrin, and tax revised. Thus, it was a double whammy for some of the property owners.

Though tax is revised to make available various facilities to the public, in effect, we don’t get the same. One does not have to dwell at length as to the condition of the storm water drains. The GCC’s way of relaying the roads is equally questionable. Most of the apartments in various streets face inundation during rainy season in view of the road level going up each time the road is re-laid.

Notwithstanding the reason stated as above, no one faults the need to revise. What, however, is to be noted, is that the change effected, should not make a big dent in the pocket.

V.S. Jayaraman
31, Motilal Street
Chennai 600 017


Vertical Horizontal

(In these troubled times, this poem by Geeta is most apt – The Editor)
We Hindus wear our stripes and spots on our bodies, foreheads, arms;
Clearly visible to alert other peoples tribes and castes not to bother knocking. We won’t offer that glass of water.

We Jains on the other hand cover our mouths and noses to ward off bird hits, insects smells and impious words; Remove each body hair from crown and crevice
by hand, diligently leaving it to others to clean and clear our marbled citadels of purity.

We Muslims blend and weave ourselves; hide our thoughts under caps of felt or fur from the unborn fetuses of Karakul lambs. Take refuge behind word and book; Bend our heads five times to touch the ground;
Wield our piety in blackon our foreheads, the backs of women.

We Christians bend the rules; Command others to give up their multi-armed gods
while we taste the wafer of love, drink from his blood; Making it a civilizational mission to torch ancient histories and ivoried city walls
holding a Cross that is both vertical and horizontal.

Nobody wins.

Note: Inspired by a remark made by a Hindu friend explaining how different he was from an equally Hindu friend: “I am vertical. He is horizontal”.

– Geeta Doctor

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