SPOTLIGHT

Letters

Published : Apr 18, 2024 11:00 IST - 3 MINS READ

Readers respond to Frontline’s coverage.

Electoral bonds

What we have seen so far is only the tip of the electoral bond iceberg (Cover Story, April 19). What shocked people more was the disinclination of the nation’s largest bank to follow the Supreme Court orders. SBI disclosed details of the data to the Election Commission only when the court reprimanded it for its easy-going attitude.

Reports also state that there are several disparities in the scheme, what with newly incorporated firms making donations before the stipulated three-year period, loss-making companies making huge donations, and much more. All these raise many questions, and only a thorough investigation will help the real picture emerge.

Ajay S. Kumar

Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

I was dismayed to note the allegations made by Mitali Mukherjee about Pratik Chaudhuri, a former Chairman of SBI, without caring to go into the details of the bizarre case against him (Cover Story, April 19). Suffice it to say that the current SBI Chairman, in spite of restrictions placed on public sector employees making public statements, came out in support of the former Chairman. Two of his predecessors came out with far stronger statements in Chaudhuri’s support. The heads of several other PSUs and the Indian Banks’ Association also expressed solidarity with Chaudhuri—a rare occurrence indeed.

Anjan Sen

Mumbai

Carnatic wars

Lakshmi Sreeram’s article has rightly exposed the entrenched casteism that prevails in the community of Carnatic musicians (“The Carnatic Wars”, April 19). The decision of a few reputed singers to boycott The Music Academy’s 2024 conference in protest against the award of the Sangita Kalanidhi to T.M. Krishna is most unfortunate and in bad taste. The award is a fitting recognition of Krishna’s invaluable contributions to the field of classical music.

As the author rightly opines, in awarding T.M. Krishna its highest honour, The Music Academy has cast its vote for the art of Carnatic music. The article highlights, yet again, Frontline’scommitment to social issues in keeping with the highest norms of journalistic ethics.

B. Suresh Kumar

Coimbatore

T.M. Krishna is as entitled to his convictions on political, economic, and social issues as any other professional. His achievements as a singer and researcher of Carnatic music are outstanding and his attempts to take music beyond the confines of the sabhas praiseworthy. While the traditionalists have a right to voice their opposition to Krishna, how many of them have even attempted to look into music as an art that goes beyond caste?

Growing up, I have always questioned why no Brahmin ever played the thavil, the nadaswaram, or the clarinet. I remember how only Navithars (barbers) were trained to be thavil, nadaswaram, and clarinet players.

Music is universal and has never been part of any community’s ownership. The traditionalists would do well to open their minds, and look to Hindustani music which continues to grow with top-class Muslim musicians.

K.S. Ramamurthy

Yelagiri, Tamil Nadu

Forest Conservation Act

It is a matter of great concern that the recently amended Act (known as FCAA) has a provision that discards the need to obtain consent from gram sabhas before the final forest clearance

(“The great forest conundrum”, April 5). The sheer violation of the FCAA disregarding forest dwellers and gram sabhas as statutory protectors of the forest and its wildlife and biodiversity is unacceptable.

No doubt, infrastructural development requires a great deal of land for expansion but not at the cost of mindless encroachment and abuse of forest land. The only hope we have is the Supreme Court’s final hearing in July 2024 on the FCAA,

on which rests the future of several communities living near forest areas.

R.V. Baskaran

Chennai

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