This week Feedback highlights your thoughts and opinions on Indian Republic Day, microfinance, our Bible and Koran dossier and how to find us in French.
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Radio Netherlands Worldwide
Not to blow our own horn, at least not too much, we here at RNW are blessed with many messages of thanks for what we do, and to say thank you for taking the time to write to us and say it, Feedback likes to share them. The following thank you came from G. Varadharajan, who wrote:
“I am a regular listener by air, and now I am also reading your all articles through internet
and enjoying your videos. They are very interesting and educative, and brings social culture to our door. Thanks everybody.”
We here at RNW are happy to hear that our readers/listeners are enjoying the multimedia nature of the station, as we have enjoyed broadening the media we use to bring you our news, features and programmes.
The following message, sadly, came in after the day itself, but the reflections included mirrored a lot of the ideas and some of the debate around our focus on Microfinance, that you many have seen or heard over the past few weeks throughout many of our programmes. Mukesh Kumar wrote [edited for space]:
“Republic Day is India's important national event celebrated on January 26th every year. On this day, in 1950 the constitution of India came into force and India became a truly Sovereign, Democratic and Republic state. The patriotic fervor of the Indian people on this day brings the whole country together, even in her embedded diversity.
“We have had our share of ups and downs, successes and failures during all these years, and we certainly have a long long way to go. Amidst the celebrations, let us give a thought (and more) for the millions of our unfortunate fellow Indians who live in abject poverty, day in and day out.”
It is a fitting thought, especially around the debate on microfinance, five years after
the 'Year of Microcredit'. A recent The State We're In, called Growing up Right, included the feature Microfinance: the promise and the pitfalls. According to the intro:
“When Muhammad Yunus won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006, microfinance was heralded as the cure-all solution for poverty. But Malcolm Harper has a sobering view of how microfinance can actually make some lives worse.”
One of our listeners, was outraged by what he heard. John Bradfield sent us the following mail, signed: a middle-class white American guy from California [edited for space]:
“Mr. Harper's presentation of his book was extremely offensive to me. His attitude on the matter came across as that of what you would expect from a 19th-century English lord who was tasked with dealing with those, known to be, inferior brown people in south Asia. His presentation was outrageously racist and sexist. I mean, how dare those brown women in charge of loans at the Grameen Bank look him straight in the eye? What an outrage for him.
If he wanted to point out that in some cases these loan officers become overly aggressive in their practices, he would not be remiss in pointing out the facts sans the classism, racism and sexism. Does Mr. Harper have anything good to say about micro lending? I won't know the answer to that due to my disgust with his presentation which, needless to say, has miserably failed to entice me to buy his book.”
What do you think? Check out our Microfinance Dossier and let us know.
Now, a few weeks ago we printed a mail we had received that suggested we should not discuss, debate or report on anything to do with Islam. Last week we received the following mail on another dossier: Bible and Koran Project, with the opposite opinion, from Yusuf Abdullah:
“Let me introduce myself as an Indian Muslim Youth involved in comparative religious studies. I was thrilled and overjoyed after finding your marvelous site. I was able to further my knowledge of Bible as well and proceed with inter-faith dialogue. I would recommend this site to one and all. Thank You Radio Netherlands, you took a brave initiative in this conflict driven world. Hope the dialogue loving tribe increase to hundreds of millions.
Your courage in standing up to mould people's thought is commendable.”
RNW loves “the dialogue loving tribe”, and we love to hear from you. Now, of course, none of this dialogue would be possible without the large range of languages that help the flow of dialogue across language barriers. Marie-Therese Miller wrote:
“I would like to know if you have a French radio version? I see RNW is in several other languages, but not in French. Can you please suggest where I can get a French version?”
Yes, Marie-Therese, it is true that when you look at the languages available, they include English, Dutch, Spanish, Indonesian, Portuguese and Papiamento, but no French. However, if you go to the “Afrique” choice, you will find programmes in French.
Keep the dialogue going, drop us a line at: