Letters to the Editor

Print edition : February 16, 2018

Dalit resistance

DALIT resistance in the country has metamorphosed into no-holds-barred defiance, and the Bhima Koregaon incident and its aftermath have shown that Dalits can no longer be taken for granted (Cover Story, February 2). Jignesh Mevani and a host of young leaders have been able to rekindle hope and confidence in Dalit minds unlike other Dalit politicians. Their ideology-based political approach and the conviction that the Left movement is their natural ally are sure to rejuvenate the Dalit psyche.

Ayyasseri Raveendranath, Aranmula, Kerala

THE opening paragraph in the Cover Story article “Memory and meaning” by Gopal Guru captivated me so much that I memorised it and shared it. It made such an impact on me that I read it again and again.

N. Chandramohan Naidu, Chennai

THE violence in Bhima Koregaon and elsewhere clearly shows how Indian society is functioning now and how the authorities often fail to maintain law and order in disturbed areas. I believe that the police force is not strong enough to control the perpetrators of violence.

P. Senthil Saravana Durai, Mumbai


IN the 1970s, Iran was key to the balance of power in the Persian Gulf region (“Surprise protest”, February 2). The U.S.’ friendship with Iran mirrored geopolitical realities. Iran was a strong nation along the Strait of Hormuz, through which over 40 per cent of the oil imported by the West passed. When the Shah of Iran was overthrown in 1979, it caused a global economic crisis.

The supreme leader of Iran and the President of Iran now have to solve the problem of unemployment and social restrictions. Iran signing the nuclear deal with the U.S. in 2015 did not result in an economic boom. Billions of dollars have been spent on the military and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Iran finds it difficult to reinvigorate its economy. Donald Trump’s strong anti-Iran stand may weaken Iran’s economy.

As long as the U.S., Britain, Israel and Saudi Arabia continue to interfere in Iran’s affairs, its problems will only multiply, and that will affect the region.

Thomas Edmunds, Chennai


RAJINIKANTH announced his entry into politics after more than two decades of speculation on the subject (“Waiting for the script”, February 2). The political scenario in Tamil Nadu today is conducive to his beginning his political journey. The people of Tamil Nadu have always accepted film personalities as political leaders, and Rajinikanth’s entry was much anticipated.

He should remember that a political role will not be as easy as an actor’s. He has to live up to people’s expectations. There is not much time before the next Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, and Rajinikanth will have to roll up his sleeves and put on his thinking cap to chalk out strategies that will enable him to walk the talk.

K. Chidanand Kumar, Bengaluru

The media

THE article “Devious designs” (February 2) exposed the vulnerability of the media at the hands of the BJP government. Parties in power have been using various means to stifle the media since Independence. The Central government’s suppression of the independent functioning of the Press Trust of India and promotion of the questionable Hindustan Samachar are just new dimensions of old tricks. So-called democratic leaders have invoked the archaic clause of sedition and the obtuse section of the Indian Penal Code relating to defamation against journalists, but eventually the objective media in India have survived the intimidation and suppression.

Richard Nixon’s blatant actions against journalists of The New York Times and The Washington Post for revealing the secrets of successive U.S. Presidents and exposing U.S. military atrocities cost him his political future.

Prohibition of fact-checked news and forcing mediapersons to dance to the tune of Hindutva will ruin the powers that be. If the BJP government expects journalists to fall in line with its malicious propaganda and forces them to endorse its tutored messages, falsified news and prejudiced ideas, it will be writing the script for its own downfall.

B. Rajasekaran, Bengaluru

Jammu & Kashmir

THE appointment of Dineshwar Sharma as a special representative for Jammu and Kashmir has brought about little visible progress so far, though he has been on the job for a few months now (“Mission without mandate”, January 19). He has visited the State several times, but nothing is known about the outcome. The task is no doubt tough, and high-level delegations of politicians have gone through a similar exercise in the past with little to show for it.

It is not that there is not enough information on what people and political parties want. It is the lack of will on the part of the State government and the Centre to act on the demands put forward by the stakeholders in Kashmir. Whether the Centre accepts it or not, Pakistan needs to be involved in the talks for there to be any useful outcome.

Since the Centre always claims that the Jammu and Kashmir problem is an internal matter, it will be difficult to officially invite Pakistan for talks. There is always the back channel and quiet diplomacy to involve Pakistan without compromising the Centre’s stand. For this to happen, the Centre should take political parties into its confidence before initiating talks. Peace is necessary before much-needed development can take place in Jammu and Kashmir.

D.B.N. Murthy, Bengaluru

Narendra Modi

IT is too naive to expect Narendra Modi to condemn or apologise for failing to prevent the Gujarat pogrom of 2002 (“Our Swadeshi McCarthy”, January 19). Far from it, it was Modi’s comment “Ek miyan, paanch biwiyan, pacchees bachey” (One man, five wives, 25 children) that ignited the already simmering communal hatred and led to the death of thousands in the streets of Gujarat. It is an unprecedented misfortune for Indians that the BJP’s communally divisive politics and hateful rhetoric propelled Modi to become Chief Minister of Gujarat and later Prime Minister of the nation.

Under him, the Union Cabinet is conspicuous by its absence. The Prime Minister verges on the dictatorial in his political decisions and actions.

N. Jagannathan, Thane West, Maharashtra

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