Big Capital

Print edition : October 19, 2012

P.V. SIVAKUMAR

A COUNTRYS Prime Minister should be an active politician, one who has a finger on the pulse of the nation, not an economist, however eminent he may be (Cover Story, October 5). A country cannot be run purely on sound economic principles; some populist and poor-friendly policies are needed.

Manmohan Singh became a Finance Minister because he was an eminent economist and he became the Prime Minister owing to his closeness to the Nehru- Gandhi family. He took for granted the support of his UPA allies and had no scruples in implementing anti-people economic policies such as increasing fuel prices, capping the number of LPG cylinders a household can use in a year, and allowing FDI in multi-brand retail.

Now that UPA II has lost the majority in the Lok Sabha, the Prime Minister should resign, and either a new coalition should be formed or the country should have a midterm general election. Every political party and alliance should declare its economic policies before the election.

S. Raghunatha Prabhu Alappuzha, Kerala

THE Cover Story was timely and apt. The word socialist mentioned in the Constitution has lost all its significance in a time when capitalists, including those from abroad, are the preferred and pampered lot. With all the problems that free India faced, its socialist principles and policy of a mixed economywith its emphasis on public sector undertakings, which employed the depressed classes, the handicapped, women and othershad made it a power to reckon with.

The present leaders seem to be giving our hard-earned political freedom back to foreign business powers in the name of economic reforms. The confidence of the foreign investor seems to be the governments main concern at the expense of the well-being of ordinary Indian citizens, most of whom do not have any social security benefits unlike the citizens of the major capitalist nations such as the U.S. and the U.K.

G. Anuplal Bangalore

THE Cover Story was very disturbing. For many decades I used to think that the present Indian democracy was one of the politician-bureaucrat, by the politician and bureaucrat, for the politician and bureaucrat. Now, I have had to change my definition to of the politician, the bureaucrat, the rich; by the politician, the bureaucrat, the rich; for the politician, the bureaucrat, the rich. I cannot understand where Nobel laureates in economics have led the people of the world, given the growing economic inequalities in a globalised world. Poverty, someone said, is better for a nation than inequalities among its citizens. I agree with that.

Dr Araveeti Rama Yogaiah Hyderabad

IN the informative article In the service of Capital, Prabhat Patnaik lucidly gave all the points against the governments pro-capitalist policy, which will ruin the poor and the middle classes. However, he was unable to furnish a credible alternative. He did not suggest how an alternative, more egalitarian trajectory of development than the current neoliberal one could be achieved. Kudos to him for narrating various aspects of primitive accumulation vis-a-vis annihilation of our age-old agricultural system, which is at present driving farmers to suicide. I wish you could give more publicity to this article through vernacular newspapers so as to educate the helpless agricultural people.

H.C. Pandey New Delhi

THE concept of growth and development envisaged in the Constitution is inclusive growth through providing equal opportunities to all without any social or economic discrimination. Its objective was to reduce the socioeconomic economic divide in a phased manner. While the profit-making PSUs stood as the pillar of strength in the pre-liberalisation era, the decisions taken by the government in the name of development and inclusive growth under neoliberalisation is meant only for the growth of the elite.

The major scams in the country involving politicians, bureaucrats, and corporations in the post-liberalisation period is an indication that without robust systems, expeditious court work, sound policing, an honest bureaucracy and transparent procedures in place any economic reform is bound to lead to scams. A government that is reluctant to spend money on the social sectors calls for austerity measures and taking harsh decisions even while indulging in unnecessary spending has not bothered to contain the ever-growing revenue forgone owing to various concessions to the corporate sector. When emerging economies such as China have recognised their own vulnerability and are now ruefully examining the economys structural imbalances, it is unfortunate that India is still obsessed with neoliberal policies.

Ettirankandath Krishnadas Palakkad, Kerala Ambedkar

GREAT icons such as Dr B.R. Ambedkar must not be targeted under the pretext of caste prejudices (Rescuing Ambedkar, October 5). Even his worst critics need to keep in mind his enormous contributions to the making of the Constitution. People and political parties should respect his ideologies and vision.

Neeraj Kumar Jha Madhubani, Bihar Savarkar

THE HINDU ARCHIVES

THOUSANDS of people believe that though Nathuram Godse was hanged for Mahatma Gandhis murder V.D. Savarkar was complicit in the crime but got away with it (Savarkar and Gandhis murder, October 5). I was shocked to read about former Prime Minister Morarji Desai, a Gandhi follower, who was Home Minister in the Province of Bombay at the time and who had once stated on oath: [I] kept myself in touch with the investigation that was going on in Bombay Province. When Nagarvala asked Morarji Desai permission to arrest Savarkar on the basis of Madanlals visit to him the week before, Morarji Desai refused. Political compulsions may have played a big role in the murder of the Father of the Nation. But it is more painful that though L.K. Advani, fully aware that Savarkar was complicit in Gandhis murder, still wanted to build a memorial to him.

Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee Faridabad

WHEN reading A.G. Nooranis essay, I felt I was in the middle of a gripping mystery book. The essay shed light on the many things that went on behind the scenes during the Red Fort trial. One wonders what the reason was behind Morarji Desais reticence and why Judge Atma Charan did not ask him during his cross-examination. All this happened even as Deputy Commissioner of Police Jamshed Nagarvala knew very well that Savarkar was involved in the Mahatmas murder. It would have been interesting to see how Judge Charan and Morarji Desai would have reacted had Appa Ramachandra Kasar and Gajanar Vishnu Damle given their statements in Savarkars lifetime.

Although the essay gives some incriminating facts, it seems to be biased against Savarkar and along with an earlier essay by Noorani (Frontline, April 8, 2005), show Savarkars mercy petitions, which he submitted when he was imprisoned in the Cellular Jail in the Andamans, in a bad light. Nobody can deny the credit Savarkar earned through his role in the Independence struggle. How can one ignore the fact that he was subjected to the most inhuman form of punishment in the Andamans and that he used to write poems and his ideas on the walls of his cell?

Ritvik Chaturvedi New Delhi

THE essay ends by saying that those who laud Savarkar value his doctrine. This brings to mind the theory of ends and means that was so dear to Gandhi. Those involved in his assassination believed that any means could be adopted to achieve their ends. This was quite contrary to Gandhis belief.

S. Vidyadhar Hyderabad Hinglish

ACCORDING to recent reports, even the Ministry of Home Affairs allows the use of Hinglish in official work (Indianising English, October 5). Also, according to press reports Hinglish is acceptable now. It is neither English nor Hindi. How can one accept it as a language?

Convenience is another thing but it must not become an acceptable form of formal communication. Hindi as a language has its charm; sometimes the best expressions come only in chaste Hindi, which explains the presence of several Hindi words in English dictionaries too. Also, it is the only language in India which the majority understands. The readership of Hindi newspapers and magazines is higher than that of English publications. The advent of SMS, and so on, has spoiled English as a language. I hope the original charm of Hindi will remain and not be disturbed by Hinglish.

Mahesh Kapasi New Delhi DRDO

THE successful launch of AgniV, the intercontinental ballistic missile, has put India in an exclusive club of nations (Versatile, world class, October 5). And the credit goes to the versatile DRDO. Unfortunately, a section of the media has unfairly criticised the DRDO for delays in developing new technologies for Indias defence forces. Incidentally, the DRDO is also developing a drone that can be fitted with missiles.

Deendayal M. Lulla Mumbai

THE feature rightly highlighted the versatility of the DRDO in providing those defending our borders a technological backbone. The rare photograph of D.S. Kothari with Prof P.M.S. Blacket, who gave the world the great decision-making tool of operations research, made one feel nostalgic.

From its small beginning in 1958, the DRDO has grown into a mammoth research organisation that delivers world-class defence systems. I would like to include in its list of achievements the Shivalik modular grenade developed by the Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory, Chandigarh. Versatility in defence is a necessity and is by no means a waste of effort as some people believe it to be

Air Cmdr Raghubir Singh (Retd) Pune, Maharashtra

ISRO

THE successful launch of a PSLV on September 9 from Sriharikota in the presence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was neither the 100th mission of the Indian Space Research Organisation nor a historic one (Mission 100, October 5). One has to be a rocket scientist to understand how ISRO scored a centum with its the 20th launch of the PSLV. The ISROs chief spokesman tried to explain to the assembled mediapersons how 37 missions became 100.

S.R. RAGHUNATHAN

Indias first satellite, Aryabhata, was launched from the Soviet Union in 1975 by a Russian rocket. The countrys own space mission began in 1980 with the successful launch of a satellite by an SLV-3 rocket. There has been steady progress since then, with the ASLV and the PSLV together putting 62 Indian satellites into orbit in 37 missions.

A successful GSLV launch would have assured India a place in the exclusive space club comprising Russia, the U.S., France, China and Japan. ISRO tried to launch a GSLV-powered by a Russian cryogenic engine in 2010. It failed. In April 2011, it made another attempt with an indigenously developed cryogenic engine with communication satellite GSAT-4 on board. It plunged into the Bay of Bengal within seconds of its launch.

J. Akshobhya Mysore Verghese Kurien

V. SREENIVASA MURTHY

THE demise of Verghese Kurien marks the end of an era (Cooperatives man, October ,5). Although Kuriens detractors accuse him of taking all the credit for the success at Anand, facts show otherwise. He gave one of his colleagues all the credit for coining the brand name Amul and this fact is mentioned in his autobiography.

N.C. Sreedharan Kannur, Kerala

KURIEN will always be remembered for not only making India the largest producer of milk but for making milk processing a profitable enterprise.

K.R. Srinivasan Secunderabad

THE obituary was a fitting tribute to the life and work of Kurien. His remarkable invention of the process of making milk powder and condensed milk from buffalo milk enabled Amul to compete successfully with the Swiss multinational Nestle, which used only cows milk for those purposes.

The Institute of Rural Management founded by Kurien is a testimony to his foresight and it provides competent people to work on rural development in the country today.

V. Krishnamoorthy Madurai, Tamil Nadu

KURIEN made a milk-deficient nation the worlds top producer of the universal symbol of nutrition, with the country even overtaking the once milk-abundant Netherlands. It is thanks to him that India today contributes almost 17 per cent to the total milk production in the world. Architect, engineer, entrepreneur, revolutionary or visionaryhe was all in one. But most of all, Kurien was a fighter, a daring and determined man who almost always delivered what he set his mind to.

J.S.Acharya Hyderabad

KURIEN instilled a great amount of self-confidence among farmers. He transformed the lives of more than 10 million farmers through his sheer dedication. He was a true genius and started entrepreneurship in the real sense. India has lost a true visionary who showed farmers that they could be independent and change their lives for the better on their own. Anand will always be indebted to him.

Bal Govind Noida, Uttar Pradesh Casteism

I FEEL sorry for the likes of Sundaravanitha, a cook in Tamil Nadus Salem district (Unpalatable truth, October 5). E.V. Ramasami Periyar postulated that once Brahmin hegemony was destroyed, justice would prevail and everyone would enjoy self-respect. Events have proved him wrong. Social injustice prevails and self-respect too remains a distant dream. Caste differences have become more acute. Now the clash is no longer between high and low castes but among backward castes. In Tamil Nadu, Dalits, Vanniars and Thevars (Backward Classes) are seen to be ill-treating and fighting each other.

K.S. Jayatheertha Bangalore Frontline

I WAS very happy to see the redesigned Frontline (October 5). I am sure many readers felt the same. The issue has new items that will attract more readers. The additional photographs in some of the articles increase their readability. Having the name, dateline and page number at the bottom of every page makes it easier for readers. The use of colour bands and colour in some headlines gives the magazine an international feel. I have cited just a few of the eye-catching features in the new look.

Kudos to Frontline.

MY best wishes to Frontline for its present design and on its evolution since 1984. It has accommodated various changes in accordance with the needs of the time. The magazine has gained a reputation for being necessary resource material for current affairs and contemporary Indian history for those who seek intellectual understanding or are studying for competitive examinations.

The inclusion of an editorial in every issue would go a long way towards underscoring the important issues for discerning readers.

B. Rajasekaran Bangalore

I AM shocked at the way the price of Frontline has been increased to Rs.40 from Rs.25 and earlier Rs.15. This will be difficult to afford.

Sushil Bijawat Ajmer, Rajasthan

I CONGRATULATE you on relaunching Frontline. Yes, the change is only in style, and I enjoyed, as before, those wonderful photographs on Buddhist legacy.

Vani A. Hyderabad

I HAVE been subscribing to Frontline since its first issue and have kept them all. The issue of the magazine after relaunch was priced at Rs.40. In Agartala, I have to pay Rs.7 extra as air charge. The price will be beyond the reach of many readers. One has to keep in mind that people from lower-income groups also subscribe to Frontline. The magazine itself stands as proof to the popular demand for long-form, serious journalism. In the name of making rich and serious content more engaging, accessible, readable and popular, there is a danger of the substance getting diluted. I hope and wish that Frontline will continue to stand apart from the general media trend and continue to focus on issues concerning the common man. The letters page is difficult to read because of the small font used.

Purushuttam Roy Barman Agartala

Frontline has been an inseparable part of my life for the past eight years. Today, I can call myself an ardent fan and I never to fail to share my opinions on various topics through the letters column. I had some apprehensions when I saw the news that the magazine was going to be relaunched. But now all my fears have been allayed as the existing content has not been altered.

Janakiraman Ramalingam Madurai, Tamil Nadu

I HAVE always appreciated Frontlines in-depth coverage of issues that concern the common man and its articles on literature, art and history. I am an avid reader of Benoy K. Behls photo essays. The photographs in Frontline are in a class of their own so far as Indian magazines are concerned. In the relaunch issue, I noticed subtle changes in style and overall get-up, which give the magazine a more sleek and elegant look.

Amiya Kumar Patra Sambalpur, Odisha CORRECTION

In the Cover Story article Social leveller (September 21) on page 16, the following sentence (last column, ninth line from the top) should read as given below: While more than Rs.2,600 crore was disbursed as wages in 2010-11, only Rs.1,000 crore was spent in 2011-12 until January.

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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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