Published : Feb 10, 2012 00:00 IST

President Hugo Chavez.-

President Hugo Chavez.-

VENEZUELA'S performance as a welfare state is impressive (Welfare state, January 27). To be declared the least unequal country in Latin America is certainly a milestone. President Hugo Chavez's decision to open the buildings housing key Ministries for the poor rendered homeless owing to rains and landslides symbolises his firm and undiluted commitment towards the ideology of a true welfare state. Other developing countries, including India, need to learn lessons from this Latin American country.

Neeraj Kumar Jha Madhubani, BiharLokpal Bill

IT is unfortunate that the much hyped Lokpal Bill did not make it in the Rajya Sabha (Lokpal tragedy, January 27). While the Congress blamed the BJP for sabotaging it, the former was accused of having presented a toothless Bill.

The smaller parties also contributed to Parliament's failure to pass the Bill by insisting on the deletion of the provision in the Bill for Lokayuktas on the grounds that it infringed on States' rights. The truth is that all politicians dislike the idea of a Lokpal.

V. Krishnamoorthy Madurai, Tamil Nadu

AFTER dithering for months, the United Progressive Alliance government managed to get the Lokpal Bill passed in the Lok Sabha despite strong objections raised by the opposition. However, the ruckus in the Rajya Sabha, which caused the Bill to be deferred, was unfortunate.

Sadly, Team Anna's stubborn stand on some issues relating to the Bill is also responsible for it ending up on the back burner. One hopes that a solution will be found so that a strong Lokpal comes into existence in 2012.

K.R. Srinivasan Secunderabad

THE theory of diminishing returns is working for Team Anna. Its biggest mistake was singling out the Congress for attack. This discredited the team in the eyes of the public. The allegations of financial irregularities against some of the members of the team have also taken their toll on the popularity of the movement. You cannot sustain a movement through media frenzy alone.

These self-appointed crusaders against corruption first portrayed all politicians as corrupt, and the media did not question them. Later on, Team Anna started courting these very same politicians. It became arrogant and wanted only its version of the Lokpal Bill to be passed by Parliament. Anna Hazare has made fasting a tamasha.

Deendayal M. Lulla Mumbai

AS expected, at midnight on December 29, Indian lawmakers succeeded in inducing abortion of the Lokpal Bill, which they feared would hang over their heads for eternity like the proverbial sword of Damocles.

K.P. Rajan MumbaiRamanujan

THE interview with Robert Kanigel on Srinivasa Ramanujan made for interesting reading (The enigma of Ramanujan, January 27). Kanigel's biography brings out the powerful relationship G.H. Hardy had with the Indian mathematical genius as a mentor, and their historic collaboration led to magnificent results.

Francis Kuriakose Puducherry

RAMANUJAN left behind a treasure trove of his work to be analysed. One wonders what other wonderful things he might have given the world had he lived longer. One feels sad that the lack of financial help and an illness put an early end to Ramanujan's life. Also, it was unfortunate that it required a European mind to recognise Ramanujan's talent. The government should think of including a chapter on Ramanujan in school textbooks.

Ritvik Chaturvedi New DelhiPolitics

THE Assembly elections in five States slated for February-March 2012 will decide the future of the Congress (Close contest, January 27). Although the Congress is trying to stage a comeback in States where it is not in power, its future hangs in the balance mainly because of maladministration, nepotism and rampant corruption. The Congress must realise that its performance has been poor except in Manipur. Had UPA-II followed the Manipur pattern of governance in the country, it would have nothing to fear in the coming Assembly elections.

Jayant Mukherjee KolkataIran

THE hue and cry over Iran's nuclear programme is unwarranted (The last domino, January 27). The nuclear powers have accumulated sufficient nuclear weapons to destroy the world at least 10 times over. Iran has declared that its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes. Even if Iran acquires nuclear bombs, it will not dare to use them against Israel for it knows the U.S. will come down on it ferociously. The eagerness of small countries to acquire nuclear capability is quite understandable. The U.S., the world's policeman, adopts a soft approach towards countries with nuclear bombs and threatens those that do not possess such weapons.

S. Raghunatha Prabhu Alappuzha, KeralaTagore

WHAT prompted me to buy your issue with the Cover Story on Rabindranath Tagore was the nice picture of Tagore on its cover (Remembering Tagore, January 13). The articles on Tagore were very informative, particularly the one by William Radice. Bengalis take every opportunity to drop Tagore's name, but they make little effort to spread the idea of his universalism in the international arena. As Radice rightly said, Tagore's ideas have not had a major impact outside India. For that matter, even in India, his ideas need better publicity amongst students outside Bengal.

Nirupam Haldar Kolkata

WILLIAM RADICE has correctly highlighted Tagore's concepts of unity, internationalism and freedom. Some of his poems reveal the controversial and, in retrospect, prescient nature of his political thought. His opposition to nationalism is evident in the following lines:

Where knowledge is free;

Where the world has not been broken up into fragments

by narrow domestic walls ...

Tagore had strong differences with Gandhi on the direction the freedom struggle should take and he did not support the non-cooperation movement. Tagore's travels abroad gave him an insight into the gross human follies of borders and patriotism. His ideal was Universal Man. He wrote, Patriotism cannot be our final spiritual shelter; my refuge is humanity.

A. Yeshuratnam Thiruvananthapuram

JAWAHARLAL NEHRU as Chancellor of Visva-Bharati from 1951 to 1964 visited Santiniketan regularly for its convocation ceremony. The one for 1957 was held on January 15 at the spacious courtyard of Uttarayan, where Tagore used to live. This was a departure from usual practice. Until then, convocations used to be held in the mango grove at Santiniketan.

Nehru did not appreciate the change, and in his address as the Chancellor said: Let us not go further and further away from the grove. I do wish that we go back to the grove. I was witness to this, and two years later when I received my PhD degree from Nehru at Visva-Bharati's convocation, the venue was the mango grove.

K. John Mammen Thiruvananthapuram

THE special Cover Story on Tagore showed how the world recognised the great poet, and focussed on the many roles he played during his lifetime. Textbooks, both at the school and college level, only mention Tagore's poetic side and the Nobel Prize awarded to him for Geetanjali. Why were Tagore's many initiatives and radical thoughts not properly highlighted by governments both at the Centre and in the States? The present political class, bureaucrats and the business community would do well to learn from the welfare zamindar that Tagore was. The Cover Story was truly a tribute to his memory.

G. Govind Reddy Hyderabad

THANK you for the issue on Tagore. It would be good if Frontline were to carry a separate article on Tagore's contribution to education in India. He was more an educationist than a poet or a writer.

M.Palani Raghuladasan Devakottai, T.N.

THROUGH the various excellent articles on Tagore, Frontline beautifully documented the saga of the Nobel laureate. As I am unable to lay my hands on any of Tagore's works or on any material relating to his life, I am indebted to Frontline.

It is a pity that Indians have forgotten him and that his works have been ignored on the pretext that they are not relevant to modern times. Any work should be judged on the grounds of not just its relevance but also its beauty.

Chandresh Pant New DelhiTelangana

THE Communist Party played a vital role in the liberation of Telangana from the yoke of jagirdars, deshmukhs and inhuman razakar violence. The Communists' role in igniting the spirit of struggle (for soil, food and freedom) among peasants is unparalleled. People were trained in guerilla warfare to face the attacks of the razakars, a symbol of brutality in the Telangana region.

The district of Nalgonda was one of the key centres of this armed struggle and has a strong attachment to communist struggles. Old and young, men and women were all a part of it. Leaders such as Ravi Narayana Reddy, B.N. Reddy, Arutla Ramachandra Reddy, Arutla Kamaladevi and Mallu Swarajyam toured the entire region, formed armed guerilla forces and encouraged people to establish people's rule.

The series of articles by A.G. Noorani in Frontline (December 30, January 13 and January 27) will help the present generation become aware of the facts and the unselfish contribution of communist leaders such as P. Sundarayya.

Y. Abhimanyu Nakreka, Nalgonda district, A.P.CORRECTION

In the article Revisiting a verdict (January 27), P. Jaganmohan Reddy was erroneously referred to as P. Jagannatha Reddy. In the interview with T.R. Andhyarujina in the same issue, again, P. Jaganmohan Reddy was erroneously referred to as P. Jagannatha Reddy. Also, in the interview, it should be [H.M.] Seervai and not [Justice H.M.] Seervai as published.


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