The bonhomie between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and United States President Barack Obama during the latter’s visit to India seemed superficial as there were no significant gains for either country (Cover Story, February 6). While the U.S. wants easing of the provisions of the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act, 2010, for its companies to build nuclear reactors in India, U.S. manufacturers are, however, reluctant to part with their technologies to support the “Make in India” campaign of the Modi government.
It is pertinent to note that during his town hall speech in New Delhi, Obama said that countries that practised religious intolerance never progressed. A few days later, he reiterated this in Washington, saying Mahatma Gandhi would have been shocked by the religious intolerance in India.
N.C. Sreedharan, Kannur Kerala
The Modi-Obama meeting provided a platform for both India and the U.S. to sort out their differences and strengthen bilateral ties. The two countries must work together to tackle the menace of terrorism. There should be cooperation between the two countries in important areas such as defence, industry and education.
P. Senthil Saravana Durai, Vazhavallan, Tamil Nadu
The legendary cartoonist R.K. Laxman once said: “I wouldn’t say politicians represent the country. I don’t think they do. They have forgotten the common man, they think the common man belongs to them, to serve them” (“King of cartoon”, February 20). In politicians he saw absurdity, greed, a power-hungry mentality and inability to understand satire or wit. His common man was the omnipresent conscience-keeper, silent but always observing everything.
Uttam K. Bhowmik, Dhalhara, Tamluk, West Bengal
Laxman was a legend, a phenomenon, an institution and a genius all rolled into one. He was an unassuming, private person whose cartoons were devastating without being offensive. His death leaves a vacuum.
G. Azeemoddin, Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh
Laxman's cartoons, especially those of his favourite politician, Morarji Desai, exemplified his mastery of the craft. They kept India’s conscience alive for over 60 years. His death is a big loss to the Indian cartoonist fraternity and to the common man because each of his cartoons was inspiring and conveyed a message. Though the voice of the voiceless has gone, the legacy remains.
K.R. Srinivasan, Secunderabad, Telangana
The attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris is a dastardly act and should be condemned (“Shocking in Paris”, February 20). Revenge killing is barbaric and inhuman. There are avenues like courts to express one’s response to contrary points of view. At the same time, it should be borne in mind that the freedom of speech and expression too has limits.
Sravana Ramachandran, Chennai
By taking recourse to the ordinance route when things do not go its way, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seems to be heading the same way as the Congress was (“Ordinance raj”, February 20). Since coming to power, the BJP has taken the ordinance route 11 times; the latest one was to amend the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013. Politicians amend laws according to their wishes. They use Parliament to circumvent court rulings. This is a dangerous trend.
Mahesh Kumar, New Delhi
Perumal Murugan's decision to quit writing after his novel “Madhorubhagan” came under attack from religious and casteist outfits is highly saddening (“The rest is silence”, February 20). Through this decision, Murugan has exposed the shallowness of our avowed commitment to protect freedom of speech and expression.
Religious and casteist bigotry has emerged victorious, which is certainly not a good sign in a State ruled by the followers of rationalists such as Periyar and Anna. The silence of the major political parties in Tamil Nadu on the issue adds insult to injury. The author’s Facebook post gives a clear indication of his wounded feelings. This attack is no different from the attack on Charlie Hebdo.
J. Anantha Padmanabhan, Tiruchi, Tamil Nadu
It is good that the efforts to unionise information technology employees have failed (“Layoffs & lessons”, February 20). The IT industry is knowledge-based and is different from the traditional manufacturing industry. Our labour laws talk about employees and employers but they are silent on customers, the end-users. Why should the end-users suffer during any strike? In the IT industry, timely delivery of services is vital and any threat of strike proves detrimental to employees themselves.
Moreover, employees in the IT industry are well educated. Another crucial factor is that plenty of job opportunities are available in the IT sector with foreign postings, attractive perks and stock options, which are absent in traditional industries.
Deendayal M. Lulla, Mumbai
The special issue commemorating 30 years of Frontline offered me a parallel travel into my own past 30 years. My reaction to the news of Indira Gandhi’s assassination, my horror over the Bhopal gas tragedy, my disbelief of the news that the that Babri Masjid was razed to the ground—all came rushing back. The excitement is beyond description. Very well done, Frontline, the chronicler of our times.
S.V. Venugopalan, Chennai
RSS and fascism
This is with reference to the Cover Story article “Soldiers of the Swastika” (January 23) by A.G. Noorani. By tracing its origins and history, the article exposed the dubious designs of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh-BJP combine. With Modi at the Centre, the fascist forces have awoken from dormancy. India is a pluralistic nation. Any attempt to rewrite Indian history to suit the convenience of the RSS will not succeed.
R. Singaravelu, Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu
Frontline has exposed Hindutva’s fascist connection, which is now trying to shake the very roots of the democratic fabric of India.
The results of the Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir clearly show polarisation of voters along communal lines (“Victory of sorts”, January 23). One hoped that a massive voter turnout could change the scenario, but the situation now is complicated. The verdict clearly indicates the reservations of Kashmiris about the BJP, which has emerged strongly in the rest of the country.
Balasubramaniam Pavani, Secunderabad, Telangana
President Obama’s plans to end the U.S.’ half-a-century-long senseless isolation of Cuba is laudable (“Rethink on blockade”, December 26). Obama’s gesture in following the Biblical message “Love Thy Neighbour”, might earn him the medal for breaking the “Berlin Wall” between the U.S. and its tiny neighbour, which after the break-up of the Soviet Union has been finding itself without a good ally and benefactor.
If Uncle Sam had no problem doing business with former enemies like China, Vietnam and Myanmar, I don’t think it should continue with its confrontationist attitude towards Cuba, which too has been changing with Raul Castro at the helm.
K.P. Rajan, Mumbai
Attack in Peshawar
There are not enough words to condemn the Pakistani Taliban’s act of killing children and teachers (“Hounds of hell”, Cover Story, January 9). The Tehreek-e-Taliban is working in tandem with the Haqqani network and the Afghan Taliban in order to destabilise both Afghanistan and Pakistan.
These militants, who want to impose the Sharia in Pakistan, should first read the Quran, the Hadith and the Sharia and tell the Muslim community whether Islam allows children to be massacred and teachers to be burnt to death.
S. Balakrishnan, Jamshedpur, Jharkhand
V.R. Krishna Iyer
With the passing away of Justice Krishna Iyer, India has lost a doyen of justice and a towering philanthropist (“Justice at heart” and “Constitutional nationalist”, January 9).
He was part of the Supreme Court bench that first considered public interest litigations and justice reaching the grass-roots level in India. He contributed significantly to national debates on public policy. He should get the credit for widening the ambit of Article 21 (the right to life) of the Constitution. Moreover, the Land Reforms Act, which paved the way for modern Kerala, was his brainchild. Justice Krishna Iyer’s demise is an irreparable loss to humanity.
Jayan P.A., Kochi, Kerala