Letters to the Editor

Published : Aug 29, 2018 12:30 IST

M. Karunanidhi

THE Cover Story (August 31) was an unputdownable compendium of Kalaignar and his times and was a rich tribute to the departed leader. A simple lad from a remote village came up in life relying only on his own talents and metamorphosed into a legendary leader whom learned scholars followed. His experiences and achievements can be an inspiration to youngsters.

B. Rajasekaran


THE death of the DMK patriarch Karunanidhi saddened the nation. It is heartening that he was laid to rest at Marina beach near the Anna Samadhi. Now it is time for his son M.K. Stalin to take over the affairs of the DMK and carry forward Karunanidhi’s rich legacy and nurture the party.

Jayant Mukherjee


IT is noteworthy that Karunanidhi penned the script for a TV serial on the life of the Vaishnavite philosopher-saint Ramanuja when he was 93. When many people in the country are celebrating the 1,000th year of the saint in different ways, Karunanidhi’s choice of a TV serial was extraordinary.

When I was working in the Town and Country Planning Department, I opted to work as a planner in the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board. Karunanidhi had set up the board to help the slum-dwellers of Chennai and ensure that they have proper structures to live in. Annadurai’s words “God we shall see in the smile of the poor” is the board’s tag line. He tried to lead the State in a progressive, scientific and secular way. He inspired many followers.

A.J. Rangarajan


THE demise of Karunanidhi, one of Tamil Nadu’s tallest leaders, has left the State orphaned. Dravidian politics may never be the same again with the loss of both Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi. The million-dollar question is whether the legacy of the DMK patriarch will be carried forward with the same zeal and spirit in the face of the bitter dispute in the family.

Although Karunanidhi’s contribution to the literary landscape is noteworthy, his relentless fight for the cause of social justice and the oppressed is what gave a fillip to his political career and endeared him to the masses, who remained loyal to him until his last breath. Despite his weaknesses on certain fronts, he will be remembered by present and future generations.

K.R. Srinivasan

Secunderabad, Telangana


Karunanidhi played multifaceted roles in public life for a long time. His script for the famous classic Tamil movie “Parasakthi” had a tremendous impact in the world of Tamil cinema. His hard work and the path he traversed are ample proof of the love he had for Tamil and the Tamil community. The huge emotional response from Tamils and the peaceful funeral function sent positive vibes across the nation. Karunanidhi’s political career and Tamil writing will live on forever and inspire many people.

P. Senthil Saravana Durai


THE s pecial issue is a worthy tribute to the former Chief Minister. Tamil Nadu is beholden to him for the many reforms he brought about in all sectors of administration. As a teacher, I can vouchsafe to his deep commitment to improve the status of teachers. There were three different scales of pay for teachers. Government schoolteachers were paid higher than their counterparts in local bodies and in private schools. Kalaignar brought in a uniform pay structure for all teachers in 1971 in spite of the huge financial commitment involved.

Similarly, the retirement benefits of government servants were extended to teachers and employees in private schools and local bodies. This paved the way for teachers getting the concessions or benefits granted to government servants. He was easily accessible and never refused to meet any representative of unions.

One black mark in Kalaignar’s relationship with teachers was when he sent more than 25,000 graduate teachers to jail for protesting against pay anomalies. When I met him to plead their cause, he expressed great displeasure at their agitation when he had granted several concessions. He ordered their release only after they gave unconditional letters of apology. He was under the mistaken impression that the Kamaraj faction of the Congress was behind the agitation.

S.S. Rajagopalan


KUDOS to Frontline for its excellent commemorative issue covering the whole gamut of Karunanidhi’s life. He was indeed a great scriptwriter, orator and astute politician. He took the Dravidian ideology to the masses. His schemes for the poor and the needy and his efforts towards ensuring property rights for women and 69 per cent reservation for the backward classes mark him out as a social reformer. However, one should try not to avoid Karunanidhi’s flip side.

Kangayam R. Narasimhan




THE fate of the nearly 40 lakh people excluded from the draft list of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is a huge humanitarian problem waiting to be resolved (“Assam’s anxiety”, August 31). It is possible that all these people are not “illegal” immigrants but had their names excluded only because they did not submit the right papers. It remains to be seen how many of them will get into the NRC finally after submitting their papers again.

The authorities may find it difficult to brand those left behind as illegal Bangladeshi citizens. How Bangladesh will approach the matter of taking back some citizens as its own is also a matter of speculation. So far, Bangladesh has not commented on this issue. India needs to give a serious thought to the possible future of those who end up not getting into the NRC.

D.B.N. Murthy




THE Security Council must intervene on behalf of Palestinians because Israel’s Nation-State Law reduces them and other minorities to second-class citizens (“Legalising racism”, August 17). Full democratic rights to all citizens of Israel regardless of their race or religion must be constitutionally assured. Jewish and Arab ethnic groups must live peacefully in Israel. A viable Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital, must be set up before a terrible war breaks out in this volatile region.

Thomas Edmunds




FIFA World Cup 2018 witnessed the emergence of new teams that humbled established teams (“A cupful of surprises”, August 17). The crowning of France as champion was the culmination of the team’s month-long stellar all-round performance. The finale proved to be a battle of equals and was a visual treat for football lovers.

While the ignominious exit of Germany together with the heartbreaks for Brazil and Argentina will be talked about for a long time, this World Cup will be remembered for the spirited performance of the Japanese team, which won many hearts with its outstanding conduct both on and off the field.

Kudos to Frontline for its in-depth coverage and analysis.

B. Suresh Kumar

Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu


Seymour Hersh


A journalist like Seymour Hersh can flourish in the U.S. only because of media freedom (“America’s reporter”, August 3).This is a must for true journalism and strengthens democracy. Credit should also go to the newspapers and editors who carried his reports. One cannot imagine the head of a state being criticised by the media, and the public, in any other nation but the U.S., where the First Amendment of its Constitution guarantees free speech.

There are bright journalists who are dedicated to the profession and whose efforts go unsung. Such journalists, who work for small publications, should also be written about. The plus point for journalists in the U.S. is that they do not have to face income tax raids or lynch mobs. One has seen what can happen to journalists in Pakistan, where they can get killed or have their computers and phones taken away by armed men and where they have to get themselves relocated to a liberal nation for their own safety.

Deendayal M. Lulla


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