Letters to the Editor

Print edition : February 28, 2020

Davinder Singh

THE arrest of Davinder Singh along with two hardcore militants has raised eyebrows and sent jitters through the corridors of power (Cover Story, February 14). Many a skeleton may tumble out of cupboards in this matter.

S. Murali

Vellore, Tamil Nadu

Jagdeep Dhankar

THE West Bengal Governor’s statements citing the Hindu epics as proof that ancient India had scientific and technological knowledge, aeroplanes and live telecasts from battlefields reflect less on the Governor’s illiteracy and more on the calibre of the people who appointed him to a high-level constitutional office (“Dhankar’s ‘history’”, February 14).

M.N. Bhartiya

Alto-Porvorim, Goa

Statue of Jesus

Millions of Indians are settled in many countries across the world (“A new front”, February 14). Hindus have built magnificent temples in many of these countries. There are over a thousand Swaminarayan temples spread across five continents, and some of them are outstanding such as the one in New Jersey, U.S. The Balaji temple on top of a hill in Pittsburgh, U.S., is a mini Tirumala. The Prime Minister laid the foundation stone for a temple in Abu Dhabi during his visit there in February 2018. This temple is being built on land donated by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

Christianity, which is India’s third-largest religion, was introduced in the country in 52 A.D. Indians must maintain the tolerant outlook of “sarva dharma sama bhava” (equal respect for all religions).

H.N. Ramakrishna



ONE fails to understand what was so controversial about Rajinikanth’s description of E.V. Ramasamy Periyar’s 1971 rally in Salem (“Flawed script”, February 14). Is there any doubt that during the rally the images of Rama and Sita were beaten with slippers? Does it really matter if they were shown in the nude or dressed in silken robes when the rally’s fundamental purpose was to defile those images and thereby denigrate Hindu customs? But the pity is that in the same decade, Tamils were feeling increasingly marginalised in Sri Lanka, where Buddhist majoritarianism was on the rise. The Tamils there clung to their Hindu roots and fashioned their cultural identity as “Hindus” as against the political identity of Tamils.

Priyadarshi Dutta

New Delhi


Aijaz Ahmad’s article “Post-democratic state” (January 31) touched on an issue that seems to demand a closer and longer scrutiny: the expectation that safeguards against state tyranny are there in law. It appears that there are no longer any safeguards against state tyranny in law. Ruthless repression is taking place under cover of the law, with law-enforcing agencies themselves participating in it and with the courts only intervening sporadically and hesitantly.

Such a trend did not set in abruptly. What we have witnessed is an epochal change in the culture of law and justice, if one may put it thus. The judicial and legal fraternity has undergone some kind of mental makeover like the rest of the Indian elite. From a humanist libertarian outlook, it is swinging over to a less proactive and more grindingly mechanistic one with a patently conservative perspective on things. While there are some expressions of commitment to human rights, there seems to be a general acquiescence in blatant violations of civil rights on the ground.

The law becomes alien and forbidding unless it is constantly replenished by vibrant democratic politics and ideological culture. The basis of Indian law is the democratic ethos of the English, American and French Revolutions. Unfortunately, it also contains the seeds of the British imperialist system of rules that was enforced in India before Independence. In the present climate, that has now mutated into a Hindu chauvinist avatar.

Looking back it appears that the first signs appeared in the accommodating judgment of the Justice J.S. Verma bench that Hindutva is no ideology but a broad way of life. While it passed for a humane and liberal acceptance of a certain orientation of life and values then, in practice it has turned out to be a dreaded and monstrous imposition of rigid ideas and values on other people. The government is getting more and more confused with the state in the current legal rant by passionate adherents of Hindutva.

Hiren Gohain



Relentless warmongering and military interventions have been on the rise in different parts of the world ever since Donald Trump became President (“Suicidal assassination”, January 31). The killing of the Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani is just one example. This provocative act could lead to a full-blown war in the charged atmosphere of West Asia. The act points to the U.S.’ extreme high-handedness. The assassination appears to be an attempt by Trump to remain politically relevant.

The U.S. under Trump finds itself isolated in the international arena where its allies, such as Britain and France, give it the cold shoulder and where it faces heavy resistance from Russia and China. The Trump administration needs to mend its policies and conduct itself with more responsibility in order to avert a war. The U.N. needs to step in and defuse the tensions.

B. Suresh Kumar

Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu