Daily Kent Stater

‘Pakistan for Dummies’ column is in bad taste

Dear Editor:

I would like to refer to Aman Ali’s column “India and Pakistan for dummies” in the Stater April 22.

I think referring to the Indian prime minister and Pakistani president as “rascals” was in bad taste. Maybe you should look at the men’s educational qualifications and social and political accomplishments before you make remarks like these. I don’t know about Pervez Mussahraf, so I can’t comment on him. I gather you didn’t mean anything by it, but were just trying to express your frustration on the Indo-Pak scenario, which I too believe is pathetic.

More than the religious aspect, you haven’t mentioned the strategic location of Kashmir, which is the most important. The religious bend given to the issue is purely political, and I think it has nothing to do with either India or Pakistan wanting the land. It’s more what the United States and the other “free” states want. Maybe you should have written more about the United States selling F-16’s to Pakistan and promising to sell the technology to India in the near future.

I hope you write something about the United States trying to spread its virtue of “liberty and freedom” by selling ammunition and technology to other countries and banning other countries from acquiring nuclear weapons. I guess people in the United States would really be interested in these issues, if only they had the information, especially when the media here is so “liberal” (pun intended).

Anyway, I appreciate your efforts, it was a good column to read. It’s a good thing that at least someone’s trying to talk about the issue.

Manas Hardas

Graduate research assistant, Computer Science Department


May 4 Task Force hinders progress

Dear Editor:

Thirty-five years later, should the Kent State community continue to commemorate May 4, 1970? If you said yes, why? If you said no, why not? Will you be going to the May 4 commemoration this spring? I conducted an unscientific poll of the student body this fall, and the answers were evenly split between yes and no. The reasons why varied, however. The people who said yes said it was important because four students died here for a purpose — opposing the Vietnam War. It’s one of the university’s true claims to fame. Of course, the opposite side claims that it’s infamy, that the event gives outsiders an unnecessarily negative view of Kent State. Others don’t know or don’t care about May 4. I asked a senior student if we should continue commemorating May 4, and she looked at me and asked, “What happened on May 4?”

The May 4 Task Force claims that its purpose is “to raise the level of awareness of students, faculty and the general public about the May 1970 shootings and the history of subsequent related events.” Close, but maybe it would be more correct if they admitted that the purpose of the task force (and the commemoration) is to make sure that the students and community never forgive the government and the university for May 4. This university is not solely a product of the May 4 tragedy. We can remember the lessons of May 4 without shoving it in the faces of students, staff and visitors, and without using the loss of four students 35 years ago to promote a current political agenda. History is a useful tool, but when you refuse to move beyond it, you become a hindrance to progress instead of an agent for change. For example, the task force has argued about the beautification of the campus because it’s changing the landscape where the tragedy occurred. Shouldn’t the meaning of what the students did here be more important than preserving the ground where one incident happened?

The task force needs to realize that the university, by and large, ignores them. Which explains why, of the 35 students and recent alumni questioned, only one person said he was going to go to the Commemoration, and why the task force averages from 10 to 12 people each meeting. The university’s money is better spent on the student body as a whole than on constant and continuous pacification of a small group.

Christopher Davis

Senior history major