ALAN RUSBRIDGER has been a genuine and positive influence on the media in this brave new connected world. One hopes his successor at The Guardian can continue with his solid principles of fairness and inclusiveness for there is still much work to be done.
ALTHOUGH the Government of Madhya Pradesh appears to have been aware of the illegal process followed in the selection of candidates for medical seats and in job recruitments from as early as 2007, it turned a blind eye to the goings-on until there was a public outcry in 2013 (“Scam country”, August 7).
This suggests that this mother of all scams was institutionalised by Ministers, bureaucrats and middlemen with meticulous planning. Chief Minister Shivaraj Singh Chouhan should resign and pave the way for an impartial investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
ALTHOUGH scams are often part of examination and recruitment processes, the sheer magnitude of the VYAPAM scam takes one by surprise. Normally, anyone who was denied a place because of a scam would have brought the malpractices to light. It is surprising that people have been quiet for years. It will be interesting to know how those who benefited from the scam, especially doctors, are performing their official duties. Some of them may have opened their own clinics and hospitals.
THE Chief Minister’s statement that the reports of deaths were fabricated and that the deaths were in no way connected with the scam is baffling. The Prime Minister’s silence is even more puzzling. When it is a fact that the recruitment and admission process was manipulated to select undeserving candidates, the opposition is justified in demanding nothing less than a CBI probe to expose the powerful and influential persons involved in this multi-crore scam.
THE VYAPAM scam is one of biggest unearthed. Thousands of students got admissions through fraudulent means and hundreds suspected of involvement are on the run. The brains behind such scams take advantage of the tardiness of the law machinery in the country. In most cases, evidence is destroyed. Let us hope the Narendra Modi government brings a change in the way the country’s legal system functions.
OMAR SHARIF, a wonderful thespian, was in a class by himself and never failed to give a rare touch of reality to the roles he played on the silver screen (“Star, undimmed”, August 7). In the movie “Mackenna’s Gold” (1969), Sharif gave an outstanding performance and outperformed Gregory Peck, the film’s hero.
Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh
THE Great Barrier Reef is truly a World Natural Heritage site (“Miles to go”, August 7). A tour of the reef in a glass-bottomed boat is thrilling because one gets to see at close range colourful seaweed, fish and other sea creatures. The coral supports marine life.
The coral can be damaged by oil spills anywhere near the coastline, dredging and dumping, among other man-made problems. This natural wonder needs to be preserved for future generations. The steps the Australian government has taken to do this are worthy of replication elsewhere to preserve other natural heritage sites.
THE article “The sound of silence” (July 24) gave a vivid picture of the various allegations the BJP are facing. The worst part of the allegations is that the Prime Minister has not bothered to address these issues.
Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee
THE passing away of Sister Nirmala is a loss to the Missionaries of Charity (“Service with a smile”, July 24). She devoted her life to the cause of the poor and the suffering. Although she is no more, she will remain the true inheritor of Mother Teresa, who had deep faith in her, and she will always be held in high esteem because of her service.
THE essay “Godmen and libel” (July 10) reminded one of the fake godmen that existed in the 19th century. The situation is the same today. There are the same fake godmen, the same allegations of rape and murder against them and the same kinds of court cases.
But now the cases drag on for years together, weakening the prosecution’s case. The cases brought against fake godmen represent just the tip of the iceberg. The sexual exploitation of devotees and servants at ashrams happens with impunity across India, with much of the misdeeds going unnoticed and unchecked.
The onus of keeping tabs on godmen and corrupt politicians and bureaucrats falls on the fourth estate. Democracy will thrive in India and elsewhere only if the media is responsible, fearless and independent