AS one who has read every issue of Frontline from cover to cover since it commenced publication in December 1984, I agree with what the Editor-in-Chief said about what the magazine has achieved (and continues to achieve).
It was through a column in Frontline I learnt that the well-known observation made by Albert Einstein that generations to come, it may be, will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth was not an obituary note but was made in 1939 when Gandhiji turned 70. Again, it was through another piece in the magazine I learnt that the name Pakistan meant the land of the pure.
Frontline is indeed a rewarding and educational read.K. John Mammen ThiruvananthapuramUPA-II
CORRUPTION and parliamentary deadlocks are impediments to a fast-growing economy like India (Cover Story, January 14). The winter session of Parliament was washed away, and the figures on the business conducted are startling. While the public exchequer is getting depleted, India's MPs are demanding a salary hike. The Budget session may be obstructed by the impasse unless the parties find a way out of it.
It is imperative for both the UPA and the Opposition parties to be pragmatic and look at the larger issues such as governance and development.Kiran Shivakumar Bangalore
THE Congress is facing many problems. Its alliances in Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra are in trouble. It has become vulnerable in Andhra Pradesh, too, where it won the highest number of seats as late as 2009. In northern India, its condition is worsening. No decision of the party gives the common man any hope that it is improving.Sushil Kumar Aurangabad, Bihar
THE Congress, which started out more like a movement than a party, played a formidable role in the independence struggle. Idealism remained at its core until 1966, but after that the Congress lost its links with its early principles. The hostile attitude of the Communist parties to socialist parties spoiled any chance of forming an alternative progressive alliance and kept the Congress, with all its faults, afloat. This situation gave the BJP political space at the Centre and in the States. In the past one and a half years, democratic institutions have been devalued by vested interests.
In the absence of a proper opposition, the Congress may still escape the common man's ire.Atul Kumar Thakur Ghaziabad, U.P.
THE 2G spectrum scam is a serious issue. When the government proclaims that it has nothing to hide, why is the Prime Minister, whose integrity has never been questioned, shying away from constituting a JPC? This gives credence to the Opposition's contention that the government is scared to bring the facts before the public. It would be better if Manmohan Singh accepted the Opposition's demand in order to save Parliament's precious time and taxpayers' money.K.R. Srinivasan Secunderabad
CONGRESS general secretary Digvijay Singh says in the interview that it was the Government of India that registered the first information report with the CBI to investigate the 2G scam. The fact is that the government took action only after the media and the opposition created an uproar, and the CBI carried out raids in that connection only after three months, giving those involved in the scam ample time to destroy evidence.
If his claim that BJP leaders changed the policy goalpost in 1999 to suit the licencees after the auction, resulting in a loss of Rs.1,43,000 crore to the exchequer until 2010, is correct, one wonders why the Congress-led UPA government that came into power in 2004 did not discontinue that policy.M.C. Joshi LucknowCorruption
THE article Tackling corruption ( January 14) was timely and went into the issue in depth. It examined the legal background and pointed out the lacunae in enforcing the law in letter and spirit.S.S. Vaidyanathan Sunnyvale, California, U.S.Scavenging
THE partial implementation of the Eradication of Manual Scavenging and Dry Latrines Act speaks volumes about the authorities' lack of commitment to the principles of equality and social justice (Resisting indignity, January 14).
The campaign of the Safai Karmachari Andolan must be supported by other NGOs to ensure that the Balmiki community is completely free of the despicable avocation inflicted upon it for centuries. Concerned administrators should be directed to set a short time frame for the application of the Act across the nation, and defaulters need to be taken to task.B. Rajasekaran BangaloreJudiciary
IT is pertinent to note that the judiciary is also crumbling ('Uncles' on Bench, January 14). The Supreme Court's comments on some of the judges of the Allahabad High Court raise the issue of judicial account- ability. The transfer policy should be applied to those judges whose close relatives are practising in the same court. The judges of the higher judiciary are protectors of the institution, so those of doubtful integrity should be referred to a special committee for impeachment proceedings as per the Constitution.K.V. Ramana Murthy Secunderabad
THE Supreme Court's observations on the uncle judge syndrome is a wake-up call to cleanse the judiciary as the phenomenon exists in all the High Courts and in lower courts. To increase transparency, the names of uncle judges should be put on the websites of both the Supreme Court and the Allahabad High Court.
It is high time the Supreme Court made strong recommendations to the government to abolish the Contempt of Courts Act, and the Judges (Protection) Act so as to empower litigants to report the misdeeds of judges. The Bar Council of India should also debar for life advocates found guilty of misusing their relationship with judges. Such lawyers' legal qualification should also be cancelled.
The proposed Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill should have provisions for action against corrupt judges as mere removal or transfer is not an effective remedy.Deendayal M. Lulla MumbaiWikiLeaks
THE world is debating the effects of the WikiLeaks cables (Empire unmasked, December 31, 2010). Is Assange a prophet, a revolutionary or a misguided person? It is certain that no one can take him lightly and that the world has a new kind of journalism.D.G. Bokare Pune
IS it not surprising that many countries have come out openly against Assange and have even frozen the bank accounts of WikiLeaks? It is ironical that despite India's strong protest and proof against Pakistan, no country so far has openly come out against that country or declared it a terrorist state.Ujagar Singh ChandigarhWildlife
ARTICLES such as Vignettes of the wild (December 31, 2010) need to be brought out more frequently to increase public awareness about our vanishing natural resources and to make citizens participate actively in conservation programmes.Vinod Uniyal Dehradun, UttarakhandKashmir
ARUNDHATI ROY'S view that the dream of a united India came to the mind of Indian leaders only after the Britishers came to India and materialised with their departure comes from a distorted vision (A case of Freedom, December 31).
In the initial stages of the formation of free India, some small kingdoms hesitated to join but later they fell in line. It is clear that Pakistan is behind the trouble in Kashmir. The fight for azaadi is only an eyewash as the majority of the Kashmiris side with India.P.O. Sivasankaran Chittur, KeralaVigyan Prasar
I APPRECIATE your decision to carry two Focus features on science popularisation because science gets very little space in the media though science and technology play such an important role in our day-to-day life today (Focus: Vigyan Prasar, October 22 and November 5, 2010).
The article Technology deficit emphasised some important issues in science. I would like to draw readers' attention to the reductionist epistemology of modern science. The Cartesian method of breaking things into smaller parts and studying them to understand the whole has created the danger of missing a holistic view. Today, science and technology have been hijacked by capital and consumerism. Many discoveries in scientific areas such as genetics are used without understanding their impact on nature and life.
A new kind of society is needed in which science and technology are used for a peaceful, just and simple society.Samar Bagchi Kolkata
DEVELOPING a scientific temper among the masses, motivating youngsters to take up careers in science and technology and fostering in them a spirit of inquiry and creativity are perhaps some of the most difficult challenges facing the nation today. India, with its large illiterate and semi-illiterate population, still has a lot to do to dispel superstitions from the minds of people. Even the media needs to be educated against publicising myths and unscientific articles. The activities of Vigyan Prasar are really commendable. There is a need to give adequate publicity to the rich resource of material available with the organisation.R.S. Khandpur ChandigarhCORRECTION
In the interview with CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat on the 2G affair (December 17), the third sentence in the reply to the last question should read If one side of the 2G spectrum is Raja, on the other side are corporates who try to get favours. The error is regretted.ANNOUNCEMENT
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