Letters to the Editor

Print edition : February 20, 2015

Special Issue

I HAVE been an avid reader of Frontline since its inception and teach international affairs to doctoral students using articles from the magazine (Commemorative Issue, February 6). N. Ram’s essay is path-breaking . The historian H.A.L. Fisher’s remark on “the play of the contingent and the unforeseen” reverberates in Frontline. No wonder it is favoured by research scholars of national and international affairs. It has carved a niche for itself, successfully swimming against the current. A Spanish poet once wrote: “Traveller, there is no path, paths are made by walking.”

Thomas Edmunds

Chennai

THE issue was a delightful reading of Frontline’s most outstanding reporting over the last 30 years. I have been enjoying this magazine for three decades right from its inception and consider this as my good fortune.

G. Azeemoddin

Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh

I WAS born the year Frontline was born. I had no access to English print media until college, where I came across Frontline in the library. Frontline’s sustained focus on ideas and ideologies has inculcated in me a critical outlook and has in large measure shaped my own convictions. True journalism should not only educate people about issues and ideas but also shape their outlook for the greater cause of humanity. Frontline does this religiously.

Mahesh Mahadarshee

Anijo, Bhadrak district, Odisha

THE issue took me down memory lane over the events of the last three decades. Frontline has stood the test of time. In these days of 24x7 television, it is magazines like Frontline that have helped sustain the reading habit, which is on the wane. Discoveries, inventions and technological advancement in various fields, Frontline has reported them all.

Balasubramaniam Pavani

Secunderabad, Telangana

SINCE Frontline’s inception, I have found the magazine interesting on various counts such as informative articles on a range of subjects with suitable photographs and fewer pages of advertisements. This Commemorative Issue is a collector’s item. I have many special issues of Frontline, and this will also find a place in our home library. I still possess the inaugural issue.

Going through the issue, one got glimpses of the past 30 years in India and the world. I still remember the day on which N. Ram sent me a special message thanking me for the letter I sent on Fidel Castro’s retirement from government (Cover Story, March 18, 2008). I feel very happy to be a Frontline reader.

B. Jambulingam

Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu

ONE more collector’s issue from Frontline, with excellent coverage of all events and topics. I have been in Chennai since 1984, and this issue made me take a trip down memory lane.

S. Velumani

Chennai

THE issue is indeed a treasure trove of momentous events of the past 30 years. Although every article is unique in its own way for the depth of analysis and clarity, certain articles such as “A year of political upsets” and “Dalit blood on village square” are especially noteworthy. Frontline is at the forefront of projecting the aspirations and anguish of the downtrodden and can rightly be called “the voice of the voiceless”.

N.C. Sreedharan

Kannur, Kerala

THE Editor’s Note was aptly titled “Journey of Memories” for it indeed took readers down memory lane, from the time of Indira Gandhi’s assassination to the present. The fantastic cover reminded me of many other special issues. Unlike other magazines that mostly deal with politics, Frontline has always taken care to publish articles relating to subjects such as art, science, and wildlife, backed by splendid photographs. It would have been a real delight if the issue had included a selection of letters to the editor from different parts of India and the world.

S. Balakrishnan

Jamshedpur, Jharkhand

Fascist connection

THE Cover Story (January 23) articles were an eye-opener. Reading the Constitution and understanding it are two different things. It is ironic that hardliners are able to pervert such a carefully drafted document to their advantage. As the articles stated, the Constitution is under attack and that is a threat to the very fabric of India. One hopes the flames of fascism do not consume the country.

V. Jaya Rao

Hyderabad

IT seems that it is not easy for the BJP to leave the tight grip of the Hindutva fringe. Narendra Modi in his election campaign pushed his Mr Development image. But it has now been established that the metamorphosis of the BJP and Modi’s effort to separate his party from Hindutva were nothing but a ploy to woo voters. Issues such as corruption, unemployment and dynastic politics were cleverly used to gain power at the Centre. Now, not only Yogi Adityanath, Sadhvi Jyoti Niranjana, Sakshi Maharaj and Satish Goutam but Modi is also implicitly advocating Hindutva. He is indebted to the RSS and the VHP for their role in making him the prime ministerial candidate. He can neither go back on his election promises nor deny his Hindutva links. He has perhaps elevated Amit Shah as the party president to keep up his Hindutva agenda in the guise of election manifesto. In fact, Amit Shah is Modi's communal face. But this kind of dualism cannot be sustained for long.

Buddhadev Nandi

Bishnupur, West Bengal

AFTER Modi took office, the activities of his cronies, including the passing of derogatory remarks against minority communities, have increased. They forget the fundamental fact that the majority of the population is made up of young people who are attracted to all aspects of Western culture. They can never be lured by the Hindutva culture. The film “PK” is a box office hit throughout India, which only proves that the “soldiers of the swastika” are not to be taken seriously.

Ramesh Kotian

Uchila, Udupi district, Karnataka

JOSEPH GOEBBELS said: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” In my opinion, the saying is more than apt in the context of Hindutva. Negative propaganda against it over the years has made Hindutva a pejorative term with a fascist connotation. As a consequence, people instantly presume the RSS to be a fascist body. It may be true that the RSS drew inspiration from movements in Italy, but it is facile and prejudiced to say that the RSS itself practises fascism in the form of Hindutva. Fascism includes racial nationalism as a major doctrine, while Hindutva emphasises cultural nationalism. The leading principle of fascism does not hold in the case of the RSS as it has disavowed any desire to seize state power . Therefore, it is preposterous to say that the RSS is fascist.

Anoop Suri

New Delhi

JUXTAPOSING images of the RSS and the Nazis is an exaggeration. Their situations are vastly different and the RSS’ ability to mobilise opinion is grossly overrated. The agitation over the issue of the change in policy relating to the teaching of German in CBSE schools is a case in point, and overt right-wing policies will lead to a socialist reflux that will make the government change tack.

At best, the RSS can win a few more recruits but the majority do not have the energy and patience to go on an extremist Hindutva binge.

Anoop Hosmath

Mysore, Karnataka

IN its zeal to draw parallels between the RSS and Mussolini’s and Hitler’s fascist organisations, the Cover Story articles overlooked the RSS’ invaluable contributions made towards nation-building. Hitler and Mussolini thrust their parochial and authoritarian views on the citizens of their respective countries, causing death, destruction and misery. The primary objective of the RSS has been to set right caste-based discrimination and eradicate the evil of untouchability. The RSS, unlike other extremist organisations, has never been involved in the ethnic cleansing of minorities or in hate propaganda against them.

B. Suresh Kumar

Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu

THE increasing stridency of right-wing elements since the BJP government assumed office is indeed ominous (“Now, the real agenda”, December 26). For the people who expected the new government to address the pressing issues faced by the country, the focus on communal mobilisation is hugely disappointing.

The hate-mongering and atmosphere of intimidation will do the country no good. The communal vitriol of Union Minister Niranjan Jyoti and the likes of Sakshi Maharaj and Yogi Adityanath has only received feeble condemnation from top BJP leaders, including Modi.

The desperation to impose a certain educational agenda on the country is another serious development. Curiously, there has been little reaction to all these developments from the highest echelons of the BJP government, which should bear in mind that only an atmosphere of harmony will ensure growth and prosperity.

J. Anantha Padmanabhan

Tiruchi, Tamil Nadu

North Korea

IT is good that Sony decided to release its movie “The Interview” (“Taunts and threats”, January 23). However, the hacking of its company websites is a serious issue and should serve as a wake-up call for the corporate sector, including in India, to beef up its cybersecurity.

Deendayal M. Lulla

Mumbai

JUST as the U.S. has lifted its sanctions on Cuba, after 50 years, it should lift sanctions against other countries too. Sanctions do not work at all.

Santhosh Mathew

Puducherry

Assembly elections

I AGREE that the fractured verdict in Jammu and Kashmir, which was along communal lines, has made government formation difficult (“Result of polarisation”, January 23). Even if a government is formed, it is unlikely to last long since the support of ideologically opposite parties cannot be relied upon as was seen in Delhi. Now, Governor’s rule has been imposed in the State. The best way out is to call for fresh elections as these may be decisive.

N.R. Ramachandran

Udhagamandalam, Tamil Nadu

Subhas Chandra Bose

THE article “Two heroes” (January 9) gave an excellent insight into a wonderful book by Rudrangshu Mukherjee. However the reviewer’s statement “...and the terrible air accident at Taipei took Bose...” is difficult to digest. Many vested interests, especially in the Indian National Congress, seem to be bent upon imposing the “plane crash theory”, which the Justice Manoj Mukherjee Commission disproved.

G. Anupal

Bangalore

Clean India

THERE is no doubt that the Clean India campaign has the potential to change India (“‘Cleaning up’ India”, November 28). But the project will face many hurdles. It will have to contend with people who consider roads dustbins. Then there is the issue of hazardous wastes and e-waste, which is becoming a real concern. And, as the article said, it is important to better the living standards of those who clean our spaces and homes.

Bal Govind

Noida, Uttar Pradesh

HAD we been conscious of the cleanliness of our rivers, streets and public places they would not be in such a pathetic state today, derided by tourists from across the world (“Beneath the hype”, October 31). Since throwing garbage around has become an Indian habit, I doubt whether even Modi will succeed in his attempt to keep India clean. Indians use public spaces as the natural receptacle for all their filth and garbage. Even former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who proved that nations could be built upon the ethic of cleanliness, failed to keep “Little India”, the area where ethnic Indians have a dominant presence, as clean as rest of Singapore!

K.P. Rajan

Mumbai

A letter from the Editor


Dear reader,

The COVID-19-induced lockdown and the absolute necessity for human beings to maintain a physical distance from one another in order to contain the pandemic has changed our lives in unimaginable ways. The print medium all over the world is no exception.

As the distribution of printed copies is unlikely to resume any time soon, Frontline will come to you only through the digital platform until the return of normality. The resources needed to keep up the good work that Frontline has been doing for the past 35 years and more are immense. It is a long journey indeed. Readers who have been part of this journey are our source of strength.

Subscribing to the online edition, I am confident, will make it mutually beneficial.

Sincerely,

R. Vijaya Sankar

Editor, Frontline

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