Letters to the Editor

Print edition : September 13, 2019

Jammu & Kashmir

THE Cover Story (August 30) presented a vivid account of the trampling of the will of the people under the “jackboots” of Hindu supremacism. War clouds are gathering across the Kashmiri sky. And the sky is the limit for the Sangh Parivar’s bravado and brutality even as a stunned populace, not merely of Kashmir and the rest of India but of the whole world, waits with bated breath, shuddering at the thought of impending disaster.

H. Pattabhirama Somayaji

Mangaluru, Karnataka

THE abrogation of Article 370 is the best tribute India can pay to thousands of soldiers, security men and civilians who martyred themselves for the cause of a united India. While B.R. Ambedkar differed with Jawaharlal Nehru and Sheikh Abdullah about giving Kashmir special status, it was surprising that Vallabhbhai Patel succumbed to Nehru’s pressure to sway the members of the Constituent Assembly to get Article 306 (as 370 was then) incorporated into the Constitution. Many members of the Assembly lamented that the article would alienate Kashmiris from Indians.

The international media have reported the use of pellet guns and tear gas to disperse as many as 10,000 protesters in Kashmir. This goes against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s claim that “only a handful of people” in Kashmir wanted the special status.

Kangayam R. Narasimhan


ONE cannot understand why the present leadership is so critical of Nehru and his legacy (“Amit Shah’s ‘history’”, August 30). Like all great leaders, he made some mistakes. To assign to Nehru the entire blame for the Kashmiri crisis or Partition, for that matter, is an oversimplification of history. Vallabhbhai Patel, Acharya Kriplani, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Liaquat Ali, Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar and Sardar Baldev Singh, along with Nehru, were signatories to the plan to partition India. Criticising and denigrating leaders who fought for the freedom of the nation is an unhappy part of present-day politics.

That Nehru spent nearly nine years of his life in jail for the cause of India cannot be overlooked. It is easy to turn public sentiment against Nehru by invoking the Kashmir imbroglio or the humiliating defeat in the 1962 war against China. India’s current leaders may not agree, but the rest of the world has never hesitated to recognise Nehru as a historical figure who left a mark on India and the world.

H.N. Ramakrishna


Sushma Swaraj

WITH the demise of Sushma Swaraj, the nation has lost a prolific orator, an astute parliamentarian, a dynamic leader and a politician with a humane touch (“Compassionate to the core”, August 30). She rose from the grass-roots to emerge as a front-line leader of the BJP. She will be remembered for her simplicity and accessibility to the common man. Sushma Swaraj proved to be an ideal successor to her mentor, L.K. Advani, as Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha.

Her spirited defence of the country’s cause at the 73rd U.N. General Assembly in which she exposed the duplicity of Pakistan in countering terrorism stands out. Earlier this year, she became the first Indian leader to be invited to address a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. The condolences that poured in from leaders across the political spectrum reflect her popularity.

B. Suresh Kumar

Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu


IT is unfortunate that the BJP wants an opposition-free India (“Devious designs”, August 16). In a democracy, the opposition serves as a check on the government. By poaching leaders of the opposition, the BJP is effectively muzzling the voice of the opposition. If the BJP continues with its dubious plans, there are bound to be repercussions. The BJP and the Sangh Parivar should focus on the real issues plaguing the country.

Anish Esteves


THE BJP has become a master in engineering defections and is literally murdering democracy. Last year, when the Congress and JD(S) joined hands to form the government, the BJP termed it “the darkest day in democracy”. But one must remember how the so-called protectors of democracy formed governments in Goa, Manipur and Bihar. As for the Congress, it is in limbo: it does not have a party president or a plan ready for the State elections. So far it has been a smooth ride for the BJP. But one must never predict anything in politics.

Rajyavardhan N. Shetty

Mangaluru, Karnataka

Aijaz Ahmad

THE title of the interview with Aijaz Ahmad, “The state is taken over from within”, was most appropriate and said all there was to say about the present state of the country (Cover Story, August 2). Aijaz Ahmad’s pessimism about the Congress is justified as the oldest national political party is drowning faster than expected after Rahul Gandhi took responsibility for the debacle in the 2019 general election and stepped down as party president. Many members of the party are jumping ship and joining the BJP, which is moving fast to make India “opposition mukt”, not just “Congress mukt”. However, the roots of the Congress are still intact like those of an old banyan tree, and sooner rather than later it may rise like a phoenix.

All constitutional autonomous institutions were hollowed out during the first term of the Modi government. Now draconian laws are getting fortified and citizen’s rights are being diluted or snatched away by the sheer force of the BJP majority in Parliament without any regard for parliamentary process.

M.N. Bhartiya

Altoporvorim, Goa