Letters to the editor

Print edition : October 12, 2018

Dissent

MOUNTING a witch-hunt against social activists to camouflage the BJP government’s failure to fulfil its promises is part of a ploy used by the Sangh Parivar to distract the attention of the people (Cover Story, September 28). The people who dissent against the BJP’s hegemony are victimised by it.

Dissent is a fundamental right in a vibrant democracy like India’s and is the hallmark of a mature society. Ethical dissent promotes harmony and peace in society. But the ruling party is bent on depriving people of the freedom to dissent. A mature society should thwart those who act autocratically to free itself from the tentacles of the medieval Hindutva philosophy.

N.C. Sreedharan, Kannur, Kerala

THE Cover Story articles were uncharitable to the ruling dispensation and the RSS. It is an undisputed fact that dissent is an inalienable part of a vibrant democracy and stimulates and nourishes it. However, dissent that promotes ill will and violence is antithetical to a democratic country. In the instant case, the arrests of the supposed human rights activists were undertaken on the basis of evidence unearthed by the Maharashtra Police.

Those who resort to violence, threats and coercive tactics to fulfil their objectives need to realise that this is totally unacceptable in a democracy.

B. Suresh Kumar, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu

SOCIAL media platforms have overblown the reaction of Tamilisai Soundararajan, president of the Tamil Nadu unit of the BJP, to the research student Lois Sofia’s unruly conduct aboard an aircraft. Had the target of her ire been a senior functionary of a Dravidian party, its members would have reacted violently.

True, dissent is the hallmark of democracy, but we are not governed by the laws of the jungle.“Your fist ends where my nose starts” is the principle that Lois Sofia should have applied before she vented her anger. The opposition’s outcry that it was yet another instance of saffron intolerance is laughable because the young woman had no right to disrupt the peace inside an aircraft.

Kangayam R. Narasimhan, Chennai

Assam

THE crime rate in Assam has increased owing to illegal immigrants, mainly those from Bangladesh (“Migrants and beyond”, September 28). This has led to several other problems in Assam as well. The politicians who allowed immigrants to cross the border must share the blame for the turmoil.

The fact that the infiltrators have been allowed to stay in the country simply because they form a formidable vote bank is a reflection of the deplorable state of Indian democracy. Illegal immigrants have an adverse effect on the economy and even pose a threat to national security. The government must send them back not only from Assam but also other parts of the country.

M. Kumar, New Delhi

Majerhat bridge

THE collapse of the Majerhat bridge in Kolkata because of negligence is condemnable (“This Fortnight”, “Flyover collapse and many questions”, September 28). After 27 people were killed two years ago after a flyover under construction collapsed, the authorities should have taken every precaution to avoid another tragedy. The contractors described this as an act of God.

Construction activities are being carried out in many areas by those without the right qualifications or expertise. The strict monitoring of the quality of structures under construction will prevent such calamities.

A.J. Rangarajan, Chennai

Sanauli

IT is amazing to note that the ancient civilisation dating to the period of the copper hoard culture during about 2000 BCE had such sophisticated burial rituals (“Royal burial in Sanauli”, September 28). This reminds one of Egypt during the time of the Pharaohs when an elaborate technique was followed for burials, especially of royals. The objects found in burial chambers are an indication of the level of sophistication of the ancient people. Xi’an in China is famed for its terracotta soldiers and thousands of other objects that were buried as a tribute to Emperor Qin Shi Huang and his wife.

That the ASI team in Sanauli found the graves of ordinary people and animals indicates that burial was the mode of disposal of the dead. Since the burial sites were found, perhaps human settlements might not be too far from them. When the excavations are complete, the area could be turned into a tourist spot.

D.B.N. Murthy, Bengaluru

Somnath Chatterjee

SOMNATH CHATTERJEE was a widely respected MP (“People’s Speaker”, September 14). He was known for his erudition and eloquent language, rare attributes nowadays. He was rightly honoured with the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award in 1996. He firmly believed that it was dangerous to mix religion with politics. It was the saddest day for him when he was expelled from the CPI(M). The family was right in declining the party’s offer to drape his body with its red flag and have it lie in state at the party headquarters. True to his convictions, he donated his body to the advancement of science. India has lost an able parliamentarian.

H.N. Ramakrishna, Bengaluru

A letter from the Editor


Dear reader,

The COVID-19-induced lockdown and the absolute necessity for human beings to maintain a physical distance from one another in order to contain the pandemic has changed our lives in unimaginable ways. The print medium all over the world is no exception.

As the distribution of printed copies is unlikely to resume any time soon, Frontline will come to you only through the digital platform until the return of normality. The resources needed to keep up the good work that Frontline has been doing for the past 35 years and more are immense. It is a long journey indeed. Readers who have been part of this journey are our source of strength.

Subscribing to the online edition, I am confident, will make it mutually beneficial.

Sincerely,

R. Vijaya Sankar

Editor, Frontline

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