AN era has ended with the passing away of CPI(M) patriarch Jyoti Basu, more fondly known as Jyotibabu (Cover Story, February 12). His death leaves a void.
The articles on the leader with rare black-and-white photographs and the tributes from eminent personalities have made this issue a sort of a biography of Jyotibabu. This issue will remain with me as a collectors item.S. Balakrishnan Jamshedpur Jharkhand
WE have lost a great Indian. Jyoti Basu was a man of high integrity and character. He will best be remembered as a mass leader. His demise leaves a void, which will be difficult to fill.Vinod C. Dixit Ahmedabad
JYOTI BASU neither wavered in his decisions nor encouraged factionalism within the party. His 23 years as Chief Minister are considered to be the best period in the State because he could go to the crux of any problem and come out with a quick solution.
His lifestyle, based on simple living and high thinking, should serve as a model to all present-day politicians, who seem to want to cling to power at any cost. By donating his body for medical research, he proved that he was a humanist to the core.K.R. Srinivasan Secunderabad
THE Cover Story may be the best tribute to a man who was Chief Minister continuously for 23 years and was denied the opportunity to make history when his party was against his accepting the post of Prime Minister in 1996. The fact that it was offered to him showed the confidence other political leaders had in his ability. And in his death they all joined to pay their respects.A. Jacob Sahayam Thiruvananthapuram
FATE denied Jyoti Basu the headline The former Prime Minister passed away. Marxist dogma confined him to being a regional leader. We have lost a leader whose great potential was unutilised.S. Raghunatha Prabhu Alappuzha, Kerala
AMONG Jyoti Basus many achievements, the massive distribution of land among landless peasants and the establishment of the three-tier panchayati raj system will stand high. This was why he was loved by the poor. Religious minorities will never forget his fortitude, which protected them from communal unrest during the anti-Sikh riots and after the Babri Masjid demolition. Perhaps he was the only leader in the country so far to have organised the workers movement while in power.Syed Sultan Mohiddin Kadapa, A.P.
A LIFE of struggle, unprecedented political success, integrity and commitment all the way defined the persona of Jyoti Basu. His two-decade-plus stint as Chief Minister was indeed an example of an alternative way of governance. There are few parallels in India of the land reforms he introduced.
He always believed that communists were destined to play a major role in preserving the countrys secular credentials. He was a genuine leader of the masses.Atul Kumar Thakur Ghaziabad, U.P.
JYOTI BASU has been praised for land reforms and increase in agricultural output in West Bengal during his tenure as Chief Minister. However, the yields from those reforms dwindled after a time. Bengals growth was hampered because of the Left Fronts hostile attitude towards the Centre; the State lost large-scale industrial projects. Simultaneously, the existing infrastructure was slowly dismantled under his leadership. He contributed to the politicisation of education and the police.
History will not be kind to Jyoti Basu, who presided over the transformation of Kolkata from a thriving cosmopolis into a moribund provincial wasteland.M. Meghana Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K.Haiti
THE devastation caused by the earthquake in Haiti reminds one of the vulnerability of life and of the need to work together in times of crisis (Haitis horror and Plan of death, February 12). All nations need to help Haiti in its gigantic task of relief and reconstruction.D. Vinod AhmedabadIndians attacked
THE attacks on the Indian student community in Australia are indeed racially motivated (Hostile host, February 12). Indians are frequently attacked because they are easy targets. The Australian authorities do not seem to be bothered about the safety of Indians.
The Indian government is equally at fault by failing to provide world-class educational facilities in India. Providing better education and eradicating the widespread unemployment may encourage students to remain in the country.Ippili Santhosh Kumar Srikakulam, A.P.Crime
THE verdict awarded in the case of former DGP S.P.S. Rathore after 19 years has raised eyebrows (Delayed justice, January 29). Critics have justifiably lambasted the justice delivery system. There is no denying that the system is far from satisfactory. But the police are the main culprits. They play havoc with the system through their shoddy work.
Therefore, what needs to be addressed in the country is the problem of unprofessionalism of the police. The Indian justice administration system with all its pitfalls is still one of the best in the world.Bichu Muttathara Pune
OUTRAGE erupted over the meagre punishment awarded to Rathore. The problem is with the relevant section of the IPC, which prescribes a maximum of two years imprisonment for outraging the modesty of a woman but does not specify a minimum. Punishment needs to be more severe if the victim is a child.
The State governments decision to have the CBI investigate the fresh cases registered against Rathore seems to signal the governments lack of trust in the working of its police. Now that Rathore is not in service any more, why has the probe not been delegated to States crime branch?Hemant Kumar Ambala City, Haryana
THE Ministry of Home Affairs was absolutely right to strip Rathore of the medal he received for meritorious service. Why can the government not include morality and ethics as criteria when choosing police officers for the award of these kinds of medals?M. Devender Singh New Delhi
A SIMPLE question arises: Who should be blamed? The facts show that a teenage girl was tortured and harassed by a police official and no FIR could be filed for years. The involvement and influence of the higher authorities in safeguarding him was clearly planned.B.P. Pereira Madurai, Tamil Nadu
THE larger issue is how women are treated in India the gap between the realities on the ground and what is delivered in the name of justice (The rot within, January 29). The behaviour of the police towards victims of rape and molestation leaves a lot to be desired. Rathore may have escaped the clutches of the law not only because of politicians but also because of faulty investigation and bad prosecution followed by sham trials and unjust decisions.
One reason for the inconsistency in the investigation of this sensitive case is the low priority accorded to criminal investigation compared with maintenance of law and order.H. Syed Madani Tiruchi, Tamil Nadu
THE culpability of Rathore cannot be measured easily. Not only did he molest a girl young enough to be his daughter but also tried in every possible way to break the will of her family and friends when they protested. His high rank gave him enormous leverage in political circles.
In the highly patriarchal society of Haryana, there is a deep-seated insensitivity towards the genuine concerns of women. This situation prevails throughout the gangetic plain. In fact, in India, ordinary people find it very difficult to register FIRs against those who are highly connected or are powerful.Raj Bahadur Yadav Fatehabad, HaryanaBateshwar
CONGRATULATIONS to the ASI team on its excellent work in restoring the temple complex in Bateshwar, Chambal, Madhya Pradesh (Restored glory, January 29).E.R. Badrinath Buc, FranceCorruption
THE article Enemy within (January 29) is thought-provoking. Fighting corruption is not the duty of the Prime Minister alone; every citizen should be involved in it. Instead of waiting for someone else to do it, let us be honest and straightforward in whatever we do.N.B. Jayalekshmi Tirunelveli, T. N.
THE article hits the nail on its head. As suggested by the writer, something tangible must be done confidentially at the Prime Ministers level. The earlier this is done, the better.K. Nehru Patnaik VisakhapatnamIndian hornbill
THE information provided in the article on the great Indian hornbill was very useful (Cry from the Ghats, January 29). I congratulate the author and the photographer for the information and the photographs. I also wish to convey my compliments to the magazine for its continued efforts to raise awareness about wildlife and biodiversity conservation.
Anil Bhardwaj Wildlife Institute of India, Dehra dunPicasso
IT was delightful to find an article on Picasso in a mainstream Indian magazine (Inspired etching, January 29). He was one of the worlds most celebrated and phenomenal artists and his experimental idea of cubism and his timeless war painting Guernica changed the European art scene radically.Neeraj Kumar Jha Madhubani, BiharSpecial issue
I HAVE been reading Frontline since its first issue. The commemorative issue (January 16) is like an autobiography of the magazine and is a valuable addition to everyones bookshelf. The layout and editorial content were superb.R. Kalyanasundaram Chennai
THIS is with reference to the article The Hindutva Ride (January 16). The RSS is a self-respect movement of Hindus. The Islamic Brotherhood was set up in 1920 in Egypt. The Self-Respect Movement was started by Periyar in the 1920s in southern India.
Similarly, the RSS was set up by concerned Hindus at that time because they had suffered for 1,200 years under the fascist yoke of the slave dynasty and the Mughals before the Britishers set foot on Indian soil. It is natural for a crushed people to organise themselves to regain their self-respect. The rath yatra was carried out to restore the honour of the country.Amrit Lal Rawal New DelhiANNOUNCEMENT
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