ANTI-MUSLIM RHETORIC

Regarding the letters published in the March 2005 issue of India Currents, it appears that Nirmala was the only sensible person writing to your magazine. (“Do a handful of fanatics destroy an entire faith?”)

We hear so much anti-Muslim brainwashing rhetoric on talk radio that you would think Islam was a fairly new religion. In fact, the majority of Muslims are friendly people with no grudges against anybody. A few, who happen to be Muslim but are preaching violence, do not represent the true values represented within Islam.

I expect such diatribe from someone with limited knowledge of the world’s diversity but not in a magazine with South Asian circulation.

Javed Raja, via email

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VEDIC MATH: SOMETHING MISSING?

I am missing something here (“No Calculators Needed,” IC, March 2005).
Following the example that Nikhil Vijaykar cites, if I want to find the square of 119, then I would square the last digit (9 x 9 = 81), and precede that with the product of 11 (the former part of 119) and the number greater than that by one (12), which gives me 11 x 12 = 132. This yields the answer 13281, which is incorrect. The correct answer is 14161.

Similarly, 123 x 134 = 16482, but according to this article it should be 123 + 4 = 127 for the first three digits (take the first number and add to it the last digit of the second number) and 3 x 4 = 12 (product of the last digits of the initial numbers) for the last two digits, thus yielding 12712, which is again incorrect.

Haritha Naqvi, via the Internet

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VEDIC MATH CLARIFICATION

Good article by Nikhil Vijaykar (“No Calculators Needed,” IC, March 2005). I have some comments about the two examples Vijaykar cites. The procedure for multiplying two numbers (e.g. 103 x 102) works only if both the numbers are between 101 and 109. The procedure of squaring a number (e.g. 105) works for a number of any size if the last digit is 5.

Pratap Patel, Irvine, Calif.

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THERE’S NOTHING PRETTY ABOUT SMUT

Neelanjana Banerjee has written very unclearly on smut and sexuality (“Smut on Cell Phones,” IC, March 2005). Watching the porno clip with “disgusted fascination” is a testimony to the incredible power of sexuality and the inherent realization of the wrongness and ugliness of its abuse. This very month I have been counseling a young couple devastated by the husband’s addiction to pornography. There is nothing pretty about that situation.

Banerjee admits to the confusion of her “split personality” over the sexual expression she wanted and the repression expected of her by others. She thinks that mere “openness” would have solved that. But the openness she wants seems to mean simply permissiveness. Then she waffles again, realizing that the permissiveness of pornography watching is frightening and destructive.

Does “acceptance and validation of sexuality” through that video clip mean that admission of our human sexuality should result in allowing its free expression in any form? Banerjee’s bottom line is vague: “… men and women [should] learn to communicate in a positive way about sex.” But there’s nothing positive about ugly abuse, broken hearts, confusion, STDs, exploitation, shame, and remorse about choices that can never be undone.

I propose that we should indeed communicate positively about sexuality. But not everything that is possible is positive. Robbery is a misuse of money and should not be spoken of positively. Our talk about sexuality should be first and foremost based on the clear understanding of its very limited positive application: faithful monogamy between a man and a woman. This is the way our Creator has made things to work for our greatest harmony and health individually and collectively in our societies. All other uses tend toward destructiveness.

Cathy Douglass, Irvine, Calif.

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AWAY FROM HOME

Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers skillfully brings out the nuances of living in Chennai (“Found in Translation, IC, March 2005), giving an accurate picture of an expat family experience, and retains his humor throughout the article! His conclusion (“Sometimes, it seems, you can see your own home so much more clearly from the other side of the world.”) is delightful!

CC, via the Internet

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