Readers write

Letters to the Editor

Print edition : February 21, 2014


THE unintentional and negligible mistakes of Arvind Kejriwal are being viewed through a magnifying glass (“Fuzzy start”, February 7). Administration is nothing but common sense, and Kejriwal, who has lots of it, will soon learn the nuances of it. His meteoric rise seems to have turned not only conventional politicians green with envy but a section of the media too.

Today, the whole of India is keenly watching the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) activities in Delhi. Kejriwal’s demonstration on the streets has won the hearts of the common people in India.

B.B.C. Chandrasekar

Madurai, Tamil Nadu

KEJRIWAL will have to understand that though he won the election, running the government requires administrative skill, financial capability and a high level of statesmanship. If he wants to sustain his party for the long run, he should give up the idea of fighting the general election in 2014 and focus only on the Delhi administration.

Sushil Kumar

Aurangabad, Bihar

THE frenzied mood prevailing among leaders of the AAP is evident in the words of its own supporters and party members. The shock wave of the AAP’s electoral victory in Delhi has now become less important to the media. The AAP’s move to offer subsidised water and power supply to the Delhi middle class is now in a stalemate. The AAP lacks any substantial political ideology that can help it address the many issues of the poor, of the victims of bureaucratic apathy and of the destructive nature of development.

The time is ripe for the AAP to join hands with political sections that are closer to the people who are struggling for their right to live with dignity and for a democratic space in society. In the coming election, voters will not choose either the Congress or the BJP. There is scope for a third alternative, so the AAP should try its best to fulfil the promises it made to the people.

Rajeevan A.K.

Deodhara, Madhya Pradesh

THE AAP is appealing to people’s “moral sense” and not pursuing an ideological course to mobilise them (“A disturbing phenomenon”, January 24). Just before every election, the left approaches Mulayam Singh Yadav, the biggest champion of secularism in India, with an offer to lead a “third front”. People are disgusted by this. They should join hands with the AAP wholeheartedly and oppose it when it deviates from the people’s cause.

Satya Veer Singh

Faridabad, Haryana

Rahul Gandhi

RAHUL GANDHI’S reluctance to take the plunge as the Congress’ prime ministerial candidate is part of the party’s tactical game plan to shield him from or absolve him of all responsibility and repercussions in the event of a rout in the coming general election (“Reluctant Rahul”, February 7).

Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s statement that the party did not have a tradition of announcing its prime ministerial candidate was amusing and hypocritical. Her statement attacking the BJP for its “divisive” ideology, terming it the “biggest threat” to the nation, is yet another instance of BJP-bashing.

B . Suresh Kumar

Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu

THE article predicted what the Congress party will have to face in the parliamentary election if Rahul Gandhi does not take on the responsibility of being the UPA’s prime ministerial candidate.

Riyas M.

Kumaramputhur, Kerala

THERE is a definite reluctance on Rahul Gandhi’s part to take up the responsibility of leading the nation. In sharp contrast, Narendra Modi, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, with his tireless campaigning, is able to connect with people in many parts of the country. While Rahul Gandhi’s inability to match his words with action is glaring, the doomsday prediction for the Congress is not helping matters either. As an aspiring leader, Rahul Gandhi ought to display strong willpower and determination in decision-making.

J. Anantha Padmanabhan

Tiruchi, Tamil Nadu

Moths & butterflies

THE article “Bow out, butterfly” (February 7) was outstanding. The butterfly, nature’s most magnificent gift, is now threatened by the indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in modern agriculture. How to overcome this threat is the biggest challenge faced by those who want to protect the environment.

G. Azeemoddin

Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh

Cycle yatra

THE interview of Dr Unni Krishnan Karunakara was inspiring (“Where there is a wheel, there is a way”, February 7). All health functionaries across the world need to learn from the noble work of Medecins Sans Frontieres. I founded a body called the Organisation For Promotion of Social Dimensions of Health (OPSDH) to work towards the change of health practices of individuals and communities and to try and influence the state in policymaking.

I am an avid cyclist. The OPSDH is planning a “cycle yatra” in the last quarter of 2014 to sensitise people and the state on health issues and to study the ground realities. The yatra will consist of promoting health messages, studying local health issues and visiting health facilities, medical colleges, nursing schools and paramedical schools. The yatra will conduct meetings at the place of night halt so that the day’s experience can be shared with the government agencies concerned on the same day itself. The early phase will be confined to Andhra Pradesh and will expand across the nation depending on progress. The OPSDH invites citizens to offer suggestions and to join the yatra, either fully or for part of it.

Araveeti Ramayogaiah


Oral cancer

ALTHOUGH there is awareness about oral cancer, there is not much focus in the media on oesophageal cancer, that is, cancer of the food pipe (“Tracing the drivers of oral cancer”, February 7).

Deendayal M. Lulla


Suchitra Sen

THE article “Reclusive legend” (February 7) was a great tribute to Bengali cinema’s Suchitra Sen. I still remember how she formed an unbeatable romantic pair with Bengali cinema legend Uttam Kumar. Although as Paru in “Devdas” opposite Dilip Kumar she won the hearts of millions, who can forget her role in “Aandhi” opposite Sanjeev Kumar, a film over which there was some controversy owing to similarities between her character and Indira Gandhi during the Emergency. During Durga Puja, idols of Lakshmi and Saraswati were known to have been modelled on her face.

Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee

Faridabad, Haryana

SUCHITRA made her debut in 1952 in “Shesh Kothaay”, but it was not a success. She did not lose heart and subsequently paired with Uttam Kumar, in “Sharey Chuattor”, which paved the way for her entry into the film world. After that she never looked back. Her career began at a time when there was value-based cinema with standard classics by eminent writers. Sensing the environment and the appreciative audience, she utilised her talents and experimented successfully with cinema, with her performances in most of her films highlighting the joys and pathos of human life. Her role in “Aandhi” made Indira Gandhi see the film and she greatly appreciated Suchitra’s performance.

Jayant Mukherjee


Rape victims

THE article “Rape victims & justice” (February 7) was not only interesting but crystallised a thought that has been troubling me for a long time with respect to child abuse. It is quite strange that no one has ever thought to clearly specify the ages of the victims. Young children cannot be expected to be able to clearly report rape (or an attempt to rape) to their parents or others.

It is therefore essential that a proper demarcation of age groups be enunciated, and particularly in the case of babies and little children, rape or an attempt to rape should be treated with extreme harshness as the victims have been abused when they are incapable of even knowing what is being perpetrated on them.

R. Krishnan


Coal scam

THE way the UPA neglected the letters of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik regarding coal block allocations shows its autocratic nature (“Vassal States?”, January 24). Constitutional laws need to be strengthened and the UPA must learn to be transparent in its dealings.

Alokananda Bisoyi


Street children

NOW that ActionAid and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences have done the difficult task of getting the details of thousands of children sheltering on the streets of Mumbai, the government of Maharashtra should consider implementation of a Supreme Court directive that stated that night shelters should be provided for those who live on the streets (“Salaam Mumbai!”, January 24). No one who has experienced life in Mumbai can deny that on the whole it is the most cosmopolitan, tolerant and peace-loving city of India and I hope the Chief Minister takes the initiative to set things right.

Ramesh Kotian Hosamane

Uchila, Karnataka

Silk route

THE three-part feature on the expedition from Kazakhstan to Uzbekistan gave readers an excellent opportunity to learn about the rich and varied landscape, cultural history and traditions of that region. (“The land of Babur”, January 24; “In a haven of verdure”, January 10; and “On the roof of the world”, December 27).

The articles were interspersed with exquisite photographs and maps. It was interesting to learn about Ferghana, the birthplace of the legendary Babur, who shaped the destiny of India, and about Babur’s unique lineage to Timur and Genghis Khan. These issues are collectors’ copies.

N.C. Sreedharan

Kannur, Kerala