Letters to the Editor

Print edition : February 02, 2018

2G verdict

THIS is in response to your excellent Cover Story “The Great Telecom Swindle” (January 19). Just a few years ago, the nation was made to think of the 2G spectrum allocation scam as a historic corruption case involving the astronomical figure of Rs.1.76 lakh crore. Today, the nation is made to believe that there was no corruption. The 2G scam and the verdict in the case have brought into question the credibility of many institutions. It destroyed reputations of individuals, sent many to jail, dragged many retired officers to court as witnesses and created fear of taking independent decisions in many who are still serving. It created panic among investors, caused a stock market crash, and almost destroyed the telecom sector.

Even if the CBI appeals against the verdict in a High Court, no one knows whether the story will play out differently. It may become another Bofors, where the ghost is resurrected from the grave from time to time.

Shovanlal Chakraborty, Kolkata

THE seeds of the telecom imbroglio were sown when the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led National Democratic Alliance government was in power at the Centre (1998-2004), and it “bloomed” under the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government after it assumed office in 2004.

Irrespective of which alliance was in power at the centre, the prescription was the same. With respect to Wireless in Local Loop (WiLL) technology, the rules were bent to favour Reliance and the Tatas. While BSNL, the public sector telecom behemoth, was deliberately made to suffer huge losses by the government, Reliance got away with a relatively minor punishment. The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) claims of making India scam-mukt (scam-free) sound hollow as there are no signs that those responsible for the 2G spectrum scandal will be brought to justice. The argument that the mobile telephone revolution in India would not have been possible but for the telecom policy pursued by the successive governments for two decades is not convincing.

S. Murali, Vellore, Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu

THE article “Byelection shocks” (January 19) was a dispassionate portrayal of the sordid drama that played out in the R.K. Nagar byelection. The questionable actions of the political parties and the result mark a new low in democratic values, political decorum and electoral ethics. Both the print and the electronic media continuously exposed the large-scale distribution of money to woo voters. The studied silence of the Election Commission (E.C.) in the face of the crude display of money and muscle power is incomprehensible. The officials and special observers of the E.C. failed in their responsibilities although they had platoons of police and paramilitary forces at their command.

This byelection made a mockery of electoral procedures, and voters had to watch political parties wash their dirty linen in public. The post-byelection scenario in Tamil Nadu has become murky and indecipherably chaotic.

B. Rajasekaran, Bengaluru

U.S. & China

CAN the mighty United States military be used to “Make America Great Again” under the Trump regime? (“The military route”, January19). It is doubtful. With the rise of China and Russia, U.S. influence in global affairs is waning. Chinese e-commerce companies are giving their U.S. counterparts tough competition. The U.S. dollar is still a hegemonic currency in the global economy, but it is under threat from the Chinese currency. In technology too, China has developed indigenous social media platforms such as Sina Weibo. Students from across the globe are studying medical and engineering courses in Chinese universities. Militarily, China is a power to reckon with. Its navy is increasing its global footprint. China is also a space power. The 21st century cannot be an American century.

Deendayal M. Lulla, Mumbai

Gujarat election

THE BJP’s win in Gujarat is a warning to the party, given the close margins of victory and loss and the urban-rural divide in the voting pattern (“Close call”, January 5). The number of seats it won was in double digits and not the 150+ it was hoping for. What the election results show is that the Congress is on a come-back trail and will hopefully regain its credibility. The revival of the Congress as an effective opposition is important in the current context. We cannot afford to become a one-party nation.

H.N. Ramakrishna, Bengaluru

October Revolution

I CONGRATULATE you for the Special Issue on 100 years of the October Revolution (December 22, 2017). Some articles were very good, particularly the ones by Tariq Ali, Aijaz Ahmad, R. Vijaya Sankar and Rashmi Doraiswamy.

I was inspired by Comrade P. Jeevanandham’s oratory and joined the communist movement. Later, in 1970, I started the Madurai Kamaraj, Manonmaniam Sundaranar, Mother Teresa and Alagappa University Teachers’ Association (MUTA), the private college teachers’ association. New Century Book House selected me to work as a translator in the Tamil section of Progress Publishers, Moscow. I lived in Moscow from September 1980 to April 1988. I translated Marx, Engels, Tolstoy, Gorky and Pushkin.

In recent years, I translated “Anna Karenina” and J.M. Coetzee’s “Life & Times of Michael K”. I have received several awards for my translations.

N. Dharmarajan, Sivaganga, Tamil Nadu