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Published : Aug 24, 2023 11:00 IST - 6 MINS READ

Mrinal Sen

THE life and achievements of Mrinal Sen are extraordinary (Cover story, August 25). With limited resources, he came up with amazing ideas in filmmaking and produced unlimited ideas and insights through his films. Today, the industry is modernised yet the scope that Sen had is nowhere to be seen. Most of today’s films focus more on mere action rather than on a message for viewers.

Vivek Clitus



WITH the communal violence in Nuh, Haryana, flaring up while Manipur is in strife, one wonders whether the ulterior motive of the ruling political party is to polarise society to win elections without having policies that benefit the people (“The Nuh game in Haryana”, August 25). Perhaps, the motive is to declare a state of emergency and postpone all elections indefinitely or even refrain from holding them. The main task of the opposition’s Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance is to defeat Narendra Modi with a progressive, creative, and secular agenda rather than let him succeed in making India a Hindu theocratic and autocratic state.

Peter Castellino


INDIA is a pluralistic country, but the continued violence in Haryana and Manipur could damage its diversity. The BJP is in power in both States, and it is apparently the main cause of the violence. They have to try to create peace across India, develop it, and take action against the culprits without destroying innocent people’s homes; this is justice.

Shaikh Husain

Chemmad, Kerala


THIS is in reference to the article “A coup that rewrote global politics” (August 25). It is incredible that in 50 years Afghanistan has seen untrammelled turbulence under various governments, which has destroyed the country’s social structure and robbed it of peace and stability. This has led to chaos, civil strife, and grinding poverty. Now the economy is in a grave peril. The Taliban should abolish misogyny and free civilians from the restrictions imposed on them by radicalism.

Ubaida Abul Hasanat

Basirhat, West Bengal

Gig workers

Swiggy workers between calls, at Royapettah in Chennai during the lockdown in 2020.

Swiggy workers between calls, at Royapettah in Chennai during the lockdown in 2020. | Photo Credit: S. R. RAGHUNATHAN

IT was painful reading about how gig workers suffer (“The shifting sands of gig work”, August 25). It is hard to digest the fact that the companies that employ them suck away nearly 25 per cent of their earnings by way of fees and commissions. In these times when ordering essentials, food, and services online is the norm, it would be difficult to manage without gig workers. The Centre must take steps to bring platform companies under the purview of labour laws.

R.V. Baskaran


Uniform civil code

UNIFORMITY is well and good, but the problem arises when it is equated with unity (Cover Story, August 11). This is what prompted secular people to oppose a uniform civil code as perceived by the present dispensation. The minority communities see it as a game plan of the BJP to interfere with their unique identity. The framers of the Constitution included the issue of a common civil code under the directive principles and meant for the matter to be broached at conducive time. The present social and political ecosystem is far from being appropriate for such a venture. The need of the hour, as the 21st Law Commission pointed out, is to consider “guaranteeing equality within communities, rather than equality between communities”.

Ayyasseri Raveendranath

Aranmula, Kerala

The violin

A violin accompanist at a Carnatic music concert in Chennai.

A violin accompanist at a Carnatic music concert in Chennai. | Photo Credit: V. Ganesan

THIS is with reference to the article “Debatable string in Carnatic concerts” (August 11). On the basis of a rendition without a violin accompaniment that the author heard, she proceeds to give the violin a bad name and hang it. She makes the case for “violin-mukt” Carnatic music concerts. The reality is that the voice and the violin belong together in the best tradition of Carnatic music. GNB and Madurai Mani are revered not only as outstanding vocalists but also as artists who combined with Chowdiah and Lalgudi to give us sublime music.

Very few rasikas may attend a violin-less concert, but many will throng to vocal-violin combos of their choice. This is because the violin support pushes the envelope of creative music to the delight of all concerned: the singer, the violinist, the percussionist, and the audience. A free-ranging debate on the future of Carnatic music concerts is a good idea. But it has to be done without rubbishing one instrument.

S. Krishna Kumar


M.T. Vasudevan Nair

THE article “Master storyteller “ (August 11) was a fitting commendation to MT. He has been a mentor to many a modern writer in Malayalam. Randaamoozham, his magnum opus, is the retelling of the Mahabharata from the perspective of Bhima, the most sidelined character among the Pandavas. He created history in filmdom with his award-winning movie Oru Vadakkan Veerragatha through the sensational portrayal of Chandu, long considered a cheat in folklore, as an empathetic, kind, and loving person. Most of his novels talk about the disintegration of the once ubiquitous joint family and the matriarchal lineage in Kerala society.

T.N. Venugopalan

Kochi, Kerala

Political Islam

“THE retreat of political Islam” (July 28) was one of the best articles I have read on the subject. In recent decades, political Islam has had a huge impact on people, mostly in the form of extreme violence against those of other faiths. Politics mixed with religion appears to always progress to violence and the violation of the rights of people of other religions. South Asia has seen the change from an Islam that was able to largely coexist with other faiths to the new more hard-line form. This change was from external sources, the same way Hollywood impacts fashion, hairstyles, and clothing.

Prabal Kar


THE history of the world is sadly full of instances of the fallout of religious fanaticism. The tendency of a faith to degenerate into a war tool often arises from the desire of certain political factions to ascend to power. For instance, the Spanish Inquisition (1478-1834) was seemingly an attempt to stamp out heresy, while what lay at its root was the permission granted by Queen Isabella II and King Ferdinand I, i.e. the state actors, to Pope Sixtus IV to form a church-controlled tribunal as an independent interrogation body to carry out state-sponsored coercion. There was mass torture and killing in the name of religion.

Political hostility, however, does not occur only between one religion and another and may exist within one religion as politics drives wedges between different sects of the same religion. The Indian subcontinent too has witnessed such events at different points in history. Hence, every religion must be constitutionally reined in to a certain limit to ensure coexistence within its own sphere, and it should be ensured that religious politicisation does not militate against the ethos of a free, vibrant, secular and pluralistic society.

Vinay Saroha

New Delhi


READERS have no objection to advertisements in Frontline because they are essential for the survival of a periodical. However, the cover spread is folded right to left, which makes it difficult for readers to handle it comfortably. Also, the left corners tend to fold up, even on the news stand.

My only request is that the first sheet of the spread be folded the other way around so that the corner of the first sheet comes inside. Please retain the originality of the periodical and stick to free, fair, and frank reporting as before, which is the speciality of Frontline.

M.Y. Shariff


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