The Cover story offered an excellent analysis of Advani's volte-face ("Battles within", July 1). His controversial utterances were deliberate and there can be no denying that his shock therapy has boomeranged.
M.C. Chagla, who was associated with Jinnah for six years, wrote: "What attached me to Jinnah was the force of his personality and more than that, his sterling nationalism and patriotism. If at that time anyone had told me that Jinnah would one day be responsible for the partition of our country I would have thought him mad." Explaining Jinnah's change of stance, Chagla said: "He had to be a leader, and the prime mover in whatever cause he worked."V.K. Sathyavan Nair Kottayam, Kerala* * *
Advani's attempt to idolise Jinnah, which has few takers in India, shows the larger ideological and leadership crisis within the BJP. The results of the last parliamentary elections haunt the party's leadership. It needs to redefine its ideology for political survival.Dhirendra Mishra Allahabad* * *
Advani tried his best to change his hardliner image, but the Sangh Parivar did not accept it and forced him to toe its line.Akhil Kumar Delhi* * *
Although Jinnah's address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on August 11, 1947, reflected his `secular vision', historical records show that both India and Pakistan were born as a result of the intolerance of our national leaders. Along with Jinnah, the roles of two other leading lights of Indian politics, Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, also need to be highlighted and debated.
Advani had taken his party and the RSS for granted and had to eat humble pie on his return from Pakistan. He forgot the fact that he had risen to fame only by following the RSS ideology.S. Balakrishnan Jamshedpur, Jharkhand* * *
It cannot be denied that Jinnah's attitude was the sole reason for Partition and the creation of Pakistan. Why did the BJP force Advani to take back his resignation? It was a good opportunity for younger leaders in the BJP to take charge and prove their worth.Mahesh Kumar New Delhi* * *
Partition was based on the two-nation theory, which Jinnah instilled in Muslims. His party was named the Muslim League with a view to differentiating Muslims from Hindus and others. Jinnah was unacceptable to the Muslim population in India because he never wanted to accommodate them in his Pakistan. We Muslims in India should be thankful to Gandhi and Nehru for accommodating us and making India a truly secular country.Saif Kashmiri Moscow* * *
The VHP's revolt against Advani's views on Jinnah and his statement that the demolition of the Babri Masjid was the saddest day in his life highlight the divisions in the Sangh Parivar. It is Advani's political stunt to remain in power at the cost his reputation as the "iron man".R.R. Sami TiruvannamalaiMayawati's politics
The efforts of Mayawati to woo the Brahmins of Uttar Pradesh is unlikely to yield results ("A new caste formula", July 1). In a desperate attempt to grab power in U.P., Mayawati has started experimenting with the permutations and combinations of all castes. However, going by the caste structure in the State, if Brahmins move towards her Bahujan Samaj Party, it is certain to alienate the Dalit voters.P.K. Srivastava Ghaziabad, Uttar PradeshPataudi
R.K. Raghavan's column "The `Tiger' and the blackbuck" was informative and thought- provoking (July 1). Irrespective of the personalities involved, such incidents will draw people's attention to the issue of wildlife conservation.Arun B. Ashok Thrissur, KeralaAligarh
As Muslims are educationally and economically backward in India, we congratulate the United Progressive Alliance government for providing 50 per cent reservation in professional courses in the Aligarh Muslim University ("Quota trouble'", July 17.)
In his petition to the President of India, BJP vice-president Muktar Abbas Naqvi's has reportedly said that reservation in AMU "would practically convert the University into a madrassa."Mastak Ahmed Asaduddin Katigorah, AssamSatyajit Ray
Frontline deserves praise for having devoted a lot of space for the legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray's Pather Panchali ("Exploring Apu's world", June 17). Ray's path-breaking films gave a completely different meaning to India. He had a unique understanding of the intricacies implicit in human relationships and behaviour and the course of nature. It was Ray's great passion for detail that enamoured audiences transcending borders and time. This is why his pioneering effort Pather Panchali remains a classic of unfading relevance. The international film fraternity got an indelible and encompassing idea about our cinema through Ray's works of extraordinary brilliance.Neeraj Kumar Madhubani, Bihar
The dissolution of the Bihar Assembly by the UPA government has severely undermined the essence of democracy ("A dissolution at midnight," June 17). Although President's Rule was imposed in the State after no party succeeded in forming a government, the manner in which the Assembly was dissolved proves that it was politically motivated. The involvement of the NDA leaders in the worst kind of horse-trading cannot be ruled out. The UPA government should have observed the developments before going in for dissolution.
What will the Centre do if the next Assembly elections produce another hung verdict?Bishal Das New DelhiWar or terror
This has reference to the articles "Outsourcing torture" and "Anti-terror outrages" (June 17).
The ill-treatment of prisoners of war in Iraq is quite shocking to the civilised world. In Muslim countries there are widespread protests against America's policy. But the protesters seem to have forgotten the fact that only after the World Trade Centre attack that the United States took a stern line against terrorism.
Osama bin Laden and his supporters have not gained anything by their terror tactics. In fact, they have lost their main supporters who were in power in Afghanistan and Iraq.E.V. Mohan Kozhikode, KeralaPollution
The industries in the SIPCOT industrial area have been responsible for the outbreak of several diseases despite repeated complaints by residents ("Poison in the air", June 17).P.S. Subrahmanian Srirangam* * *
It is time the authorities took action against the titanium dioxide factory near Thiruvananthapuram for dumping hazardous wastes into the sea ("A toxic hot spot in Kerala", June 17).S. Prasanna Kumar MysoreAdoption
This has reference to the Cover Story on inter-country adoption (`Adoption market', June 3). While surrendered babies are very few, abandoned babies are more or less drawn from government cradles. Instead of killing a girl child, a mother puts her in the cradle in the hope that the government would take care of her and that she could be re-integrated into the family in future depending on the circumstances. The government is the guardian and protector of the child. If the child is given to adoption centres, the secrecy clauses ensure that the child will never know her real mother, nor will the mother know where she is.S.S. Rajagopalan ChennaiNikahnama
It is shocking that representative Muslim organisations such as the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) could be so orthodox ("Reluctant reforms", June 3). Islam cannot be reformed through external guidelines and models; people must be given the freedom to speak for themselves and bring about changes in the religion.Basir Ahmed New Delhi* * *
The reforms were not unexpected. Being a religiously confined and controlled body, the Board could not cross the limits drawn by the Koran, which declares in the clearest terms that the status of a woman is inferior to that of a man, and she is subordinate to him. The most serious failure on the part of the Board is that it did not interpret the book's verses in a more liberal sense, though there is space for this. Significant reforms in the Muslim community are only possible when educated Muslims take the initiative to interpret the Koran keeping in mind modern conditions.Abdul Haleem Khan BilaspurWitch-hunt
It is a matter of great concern that such barbaric practices are happening in this modern age ("Witch-hunts in Orissa", June 3). Witch-hunt is the result of not only superstition, but the combination of poverty, illiteracy, unemployment and the lack of a public health care system.Subhasish Mohanty CuttackPanchayati Raj
The interview with Mani Shankar Aiyar, Union Minister for Panchayati Raj, was informative ("For participatory development", June 3).Anuj Seema MeerutSouth Pole
Article such as "Astrophysics in polar ice" are the major attraction of Frontline (June 3). The author's writing style is humorous.Raghuram Ekambaram New DelhiSoviet heroism
John Cherian has commendably discussed how the Soviet Union facilitated the victory over fascism ("Celebrating Soviet heroism", June 3). From the Vienna Congress in 1815 to the Berlin Congress in 1878, and the Versailles Settlement, the leaders of Western countries, while undertaking to ensure peace and progress, with their eyes to the promotion of national interests, created problems of terrible magnitude, leading to regional and global wars.Prabhat Kumar Santra Midnapore, West Bengal* * *
The article describing the victory of the Red Army over the Nazis in the Second World War was very informative and interesting.Utpal Sharma Guwahati