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Letters to the editor

Print edition : Nov 23, 2018 T+T-

Jamal Khashoggi

BOTH in the Arab world and elsewhere, Saudis are isolated and in trouble as the killing of Jamal Khashoggi has proved to be a political embarrassment for them (“Journalist silenced”, November 9). This incident will severely damage Saudi Arabia’s reputation.


The President of Turkey, despite pressure from King Salman, was steadfast in his stand that the journalist was tortured, killed and his body dismembered in the Saudi consulate. As a result, Saudi Arabia was forced to accept the journalist’s death.

Santhosh Mathew, Puducherry


THE desire for fame and fortune can act as a powerful incentive for aspiring young women to keep mum when their modesty is outraged (“Day of reckoning”, November 9). It is hardly surprising therefore that it took so long for women to tell the world about the producer Harvey Weinstein. However, the new breed of young women in the media, entertainment or the arts is speaking out and does not hesitate to expose men who demand sexual favours in the workplace.

It is hardly surprising that the #MeToo movement has now spread to Bollyhood and Kollywood. If Chinmayi Sripaada has kept quiet all this while, it is simply because Kollywood is dominated by men and she could in no way have prevailed against an influential man like Vairamuthu.

However, the observation by the writer that the #MeToo campaign will ruin normal behavioural relations between men and women is noteworthy.

Kangayam R. Narasimhan, Chennai

Aadhaar case

THE Supreme Court’s judgment on September 26 in the Aadhaar case validated the constitutionality of the Aadhaar scheme and Act and exposed the damage that has been caused to citizens’ rights to privacy, dignity and civil liberties (Cover Story, October 26).


In a way the judgment was beyond the comprehension of the common man; no wonder, there was no reaction to it of the magnitude it warranted. Instead of bringing a sense of finality to the crucial issues involved, the judgment has opened the floodgates for the executive and the legislature to further meddle with citizens’ rights. In a model democracy, the state is accountable to its citizens, and they should have the scope to exercise surveillance on the state.

The judgment makes the state more powerful, and more power in the hands of power-hungry politicians may make the state tyrannical. The only ray of hope left now is that in due course a larger bench of the Supreme Court may resurrect the dissenting views of Justice D.Y. Chandrachud.

M.N. Bhartiya, Alto-Porvorim, Goa

AS the Aadhaar number is a unique ID and contains the biometric data of all residents of India, it is essential that the government protect its database from private parties and hackers.

It is also important to ensure that the moment a holder of an Aadhaar number dies it is blocked to prevent misuse either by relatives of the deceased holder or fraudsters. And for this it will be necessary for the administration to ensure that the necessary link is provided to all municipalities, gram panchayats and other local-level authorities and also for them to keep a close watch on the working system.

Ashok K. Nihalani, Pune, Maharashtra

I strongly disagree that the Aadhaar number violates one’s right to privacy as guaranteed by the Constitution. By restricting its use to public welfare schemes, the Supreme Court has ensured that Aadhaar serves the purpose for which it was created. A lot of taxpayers’ money has been spent on this project, and striking it down would mean a waste of all that money.

India now has the dubious distinction of being the first country in the world to have a national-level biometrics database. It is the duty of the government to protect the data from intruders and put in place checks and balances to ensure that data are used properly.

Vidhya B. Ragunath, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu



I WAS saddened to read the news of the cancellation of the dialogue process between India and Pakistan (“War of words”, October 26). There has been loss of lives on both sides, and India and Pakistan have traversed a hard path.


My request to the media is publish/show only the genuine and relevant reports relating to the two countries, underplaying unnecessary things and rumours. More importantly, India and Pakistan should take bold action to restore peace. Finally, all Asian countries should end long-standing conflicts so that they can witness robust growth on a par with the West.

P. Senthil Saravana Durai, Mumbai

Mahatma Gandhi


TRIDIP SUHRUD'S work on M.K. Gandhi’s “An Autobiography...” is as much a beautifully crafted creation by a fine scholar as it is a magisterial labour of love (“Alternative rendering”, October 26). The annotations and footnotes metaphorically render a special service to Gandhi in these troubled times: it is a continuation of a Gandhian experiment with truth. If, as Gopalkrishna Gandhi put it, Tridip was Mahadev Desai’s Boswell, then Gopalkrishna Gandhi was Suhrud’s Boswell. This review ranks as the best I have read, so my special thanks to Frontline.

H. Pattabhirama Somayaji, Mangaluru, Karnataka


IT is time for the U.S. to realise geopolitical realities and adopt a peaceful policy with regard to Iran (“The Iran obsession”, October 26). Iran has the longest history of self-rule in the world. Its contribution to the world’s oil supply must not be disturbed.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has not found any violation by Iran of the terms of the 2015 nuclear accord. The U.S. must withdraw its nefarious proposal to impose sanctions on Iran. The E.U. must tell the U.S. that international law does not support these sanctions. China defends the Iran nuclear deal and will continue to trade with Iran. China, Russia, the U.S. and Israel must work together for world peace.

Thomas Edmunds, Chennai

The economy


THE Cover Story (October 12) was a grim reflection of the state of the economy. The price of petroleum products shooting up daily and the plummeting rupee should ring alarm bells for a government that rode to power on account of the resentment of the people against the previous government for the same thing. It is a matter of concern that the National Democratic Alliance government is treading the same path as its predecessor. Petroleum products need to be brought under Goods and Services Tax so that the plethora of Central and State taxes currently being levied can be done away with.

If periodic hikes in the prices of petrol/diesel are going to be a permanent feature of the economy, the perennial solution for the problem lies in restricting one’s use of these fuels. It may be wise to promote the use of electric vehicles.

B. Suresh Kumar, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu

Nambi Narayanan

IT is shocking that the case relating to the former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan being wrongly accused of espionage dragged on for about 25 years (“Long trek to justice”, October 12). The police, the CBI or any other investigative agency should carry out their duties without ill will. It is a sorry state of affairs when honesty, sincerity and truthfulness are punished.

A.J. Rangarajan, Chennai

Expressway project


THE Salem-Chennai eight-lane project that has kicked up so much dust in recent months was exhaustively covered in the article “Road and ruin” (September 28). Contrary to what the public was led to believe, it has now been revealed that it was only at the request of the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu that the project was sanctioned. Markers were placed on fields under cultivation and at farms without even adhering to the normal procedure of giving landowners advance notice.

It is not clear why the government is in a hurry to execute the project. It is a euphemism to call the project a “green corridor” when it will wipe out large tracts of fertile land, several thousand trees, forest land and waterbodies.

Can any government sensitive to the sufferings of people who stand to lose their livelihood embark on this project to decongest existing highways between the cities?

K. Natarajan, Madurai, Tamil Nadu