Letters to the Editor

Print edition : October 17, 2014

BJP’s game plan

THE attempts to project India as a Hindu rashtra by the Hindutvawadis are not isolated incidents (Cover Story, October 3). They come in the wake of a series of incidents and utterances by hard-core Hindu right-wing elements. It shows a sinister design to hijack India.

India’s international icon Sania Mirza “is Pakistan’s daughter-in-law”, they derisively declare. Goa’s Cooperation Minister Deepak Dhavalikar commented that India would become a Hindu nation if everyone supported Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Goa’s Deputy Chief Minister Francis D’Souza, throwing all values and principles of secularism to the winds, declared brazenly: “India is a Hindu country. It is Hindustan. All Indians in Hindustan are Hindus, including me; I am a Christian Hindu.”

In Maharashtra, Shiv Sena MP Rajan Vichare insulted Islam, by force-feeding a Muslim youth during the month of Ramdan.

Such acts and utterances cannot be dismissed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders as the views of individuals or stray incidents. The real agenda of the BJP and its saffron brigade stands exposed. If this sinister design is not stopped in its tracks, the right-wing forces will make India a Hindu banana republic.

P.A. Chacko

Barharwa, Jharkhand

THE sense of insecurity among the minorities was palpable following the aggressive communal postures and actions of Yogi Adityanath, a BJP MP from Uttar Pradesh, and others in the Sangh Parivar. Modi professing that he is carrying out Swami Vivekanada’s message of universal brotherhood is farcical.

The huge victory in the 2014 general elections has facilitated the nefarious designs of the Parivar in advancing its Hindutva agenda. It targets innocent Muslims by creating fears over the so-called “love jehad”.

It is worrying that the Parivar has even made inroads into States where it is only a marginal player.

S. Murali

Vellore, Tamil Nadu

THE Cover Story presents the true picture of things to come under the BJP regime. Recently, Modi came out with a statement eulogising the true patriotic spirit of Indian Muslims. It will be better if the BJP acknowledges that Modi’s opinion does reflect the stand of the party.

S.S. Rajagopalan


THIS is with reference to the Cover Story article, “In a cleft stick”. In the matter of reservation for Jats, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government contended that the Centre had acted in the public interest after considering the ground realities. I do not agree with this view. I wait for the day when politicians stop playing reservation politics. Reservation is against the welfare of the nation and undermines merit. It is only a politically convenient way of taking care of the backward classes.

Mahesh Kapasi

New Delhi

Financial inclusion

IT is difficult to see how the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), a financial inclusion project, can be a panacea for the ills of poverty and debt in the country given the lack of planning and the kind of pressure under which people are enrolled for the scheme (“Mirage of inclusion”, October 3).

Financial inclusion is specifically meant for the poorer sections of society living in rural and unbanked areas. Automatic coverage of all accounts with a RuPay debit card, a Rs.1 lakh accident insurance cover, an additional Rs.30,000 life insurance cover, and an overdraft facility without taking into account the eligibility criteria will prove to be a definite drain on the exchequer. That public sector banks faced immense pressure from the government to “somehow” show results within a week speaks volumes about the efficacy of this exercise. The January 26, 2015, deadline to accomplish this mammoth task will only mean that the poor of the country will once again be left in the lurch.

The averment by some that the government is serious about preserving the public sector character of banks is quixotic given the BJP government’s thrust on privatisation of the public sector and its move to raise the foreign direct investment cap in the insurance sector. A lot of groundwork involving all the stakeholders is needed if the ambitious scheme is to gain some sort of credibility. Pushing forward such a massive exercise with deadlines will do the poor more harm than good.

J. Anantha Padmanabhan

Tiruchi, Tamil Nadu

Bipan Chandra

THOUGH not in anyway a student of history, I get a sense of history from the literature that I read and teach (“Historian of courage”, October 3). In the early 1990s, I stumbled upon Bipan Chandra’s book “India’s struggle for independence: 1857-1947”. It has been my bible ever since. I spent a day with him at Mangalore and found the intellectual giant a simple and affable man. Prabhat Patnaik’s obituary of Bipan Chandra was incisive.

H. Pattabhirama Somayaji

Mangalore, Karnataka

HE left an indelible mark on Indian history writing. His contribution to society is immense. His books are indispensable for civil services aspirants.

Santhosh Veranani


Bear tale

THE article on bears was very informative and touching (“Bears facts”, October 3). It showcased well the brutality against the endangered species. It helped me understand their behaviour, food habits and life cycle. Even though it is very late, let us at least now join hands to ensure that bears live comfortably in their natural habitats. We should understand that even animals have the right to live on this planet.

Supriya Dayanand


Justice as Governor

IT is surprising that objections are raised by various quarters against the appointment of former Chief Justice of India P. Sathasivam, a man of integrity and honesty, as Governor of Kerala (“Justice as Governor?”, October 3). A Governor with a judicial background will discharge his/her constitutional duties smoothly and correctly without depending on legal experts for advice while handling a constitutional crisis.

K.R. Srinivasan

Secunderabad, Telangana

THE insinuation that Justice Sathasivam was appointed as Governor of Kerala as reward for quashing the second charge sheet against BJP president Amit Shah in the Sohrabuddin encounter case cannot be brushed aside altogether. Although the appointment is constitutionally valid, it lacks moral propriety.

As the post of the Chief Justice of India is perceived as no less important than that of the President of India, the erudite Justice Sathasivam should have declined the offer of governorship.

N.C. Sreedharan

Kannur, Kerala


ALTHOUGH a teetotaller, I do not approve of the Kerala government’s new liquor policy (“Old wine, new bottle”, September 19). Those who want to drink should have the freedom to do so.

Closing of bars will lead to illicit brewing of liquor, resulting in tragedies. Vested interests will spin money thanks to this partial prohibition. The evils of drinking are very often exaggerated.

S. Raghunatha Prabhu

Alappuzha, Kerala

CHIEF MINISTER Oommen Chandy is skating on thin ice. Also, is it not a paradox that while the world is marching forward, Goa (which does not want bikini-clad tourists on its beaches) and Kerala, two well-known tourist destinations, are taking regressive steps?

K.P. Rajan


OOMMEN CHANDY should take a look at Gujarat, the only State where prohibition exists. During weekends, some people from Gujarat go to party in Daman, where alcohol is freely available. They smuggle in a few bottles with the full knowledge of the State police. Brewing of illicit liquor is rampant in the slums of the State. There are many cases of deaths caused by consuming such dangerous stuff.

Ramesh Kotian

Udupi, Karnataka


IN the letters column of Frontline (October 3), V. Ramnarayan refers to Chennai as the Tamil name. It is doubtful whether we can say that it was Tamil in origin, but it certainly became Tamil by adoption and use. By the same token, Madras (of doubtful origin) was also Tamil by adoption and long use. It simply cannot be argued that one was a local name and the other a foreign name.

He says further that there was no renaming but the dropping of one of two names that were both in use. Granted that it was not a “renaming”, my point is: why drop one out of two names of equal vintage and equal usage? Why not retain both?

Ramaswamy R. Iyer

New Delhi

THE article “Malayalee's dream city” (September 5) aroused one’s nostalgia for the Madras of the 20th century. Many a Malayalee youngster migrated to the city to earn a livelihood and assert his/her identity.

The film world played a major role in the association of Keralites with “Madirasi”—it was the capital of the Malayalam film industry thanks to its well-equipped sets and studios. Many actors of the Tamil film industry were popular in Kerala too.

T.V. Jayaprakash

Palakkad, Kerala