HindutvaTHE Cover Story (October 30) gives a true picture of India today. Although India is often portrayed as unique as it is home to many religions and as a tolerant and a benevolent nation, this is not the case any longer. The harsh reality is that India is a land of hypocrites. The horrific Dadri lynching did not happen because of love for the cow but because of the attempt of the “custodians” of Hindu culture to stamp their authority over another community.
The Prime Minister’s statement that Hindus and Muslims should not be fighting each other comes too late and offers too little. How can India fight external enemies if it cannot control those inside? Why is there no action against those who fan the flames of communal hatred and how are a few allowed to dictate terms and conditions to society as a whole? Whether the cow is holy or not, the lynchers of Dadri are certainly not human beings.
Balasubramaniam Pavani, Secunderabad, Telangana
THE BJP government at the Centre has earned notoriety for duplicity, artful demagogy and non-implementation of promises. It has been implementing the RSS’ agenda of converting India into a Hindu state. It aims to destroy India’s precious composite culture. The BJP’s Ministers and leaders have launched a hate campaign against Muslims. The Dadri tragedy is a glaring example. What is most surprising and lamentable is that the Prime Minister is not doing anything to rein in his Ministers and party leaders.
M. Hashim Kidwai, New Delhi
A CLIMATE of unprecedented religious intolerance prevails in the country, and the lynching at Dadri has aggravated the situation. The Prime Minister’s silence with regard to this grisly affair only leads to the suspicion that the Sangh Parivar outfits have tacit support. India’s religious plurality seems to be in danger.
N.C. Sreedharan, Kannur, Kerala
THE Prime Minister’s call to Hindus and Muslims to fight poverty and not fight among themselves was completely disappointing as it fell short of condemning the Dadri incident in categorical terms. It is a matter of deep concern that the Sangh Parivar is stoking communal passions in many areas of Uttar Pradesh with the clear aim of polarising people.
The habit of letting partymen vitiate the atmosphere with communal vitriol and expressing feeble condemnations later does not befit a responsible ruling party. A tough message from the Prime Minister would have helped normalise the situation. He missed a golden opportunity to rein in elements inimical to India’s secular and pluralistic ethos.
J. Anantha Padmanabhan, Tiruchi, Tamil Nadu
THE Dadri lynching speaks of the complete failure of law and order under the Samajwadi Party’s rule in Uttar Pradesh. It remains to be seen how the State government deals with the guilty and brings normalcy to the area. The Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013 are still fresh in memory. According to reports, the State government’s efforts towards compensation and rehabilitation were inadequate. Within a gap of two years, the Dadri situation has exposed the inefficiency of the State administration. The BJP was voted to power as it promised all-round development of the country in an atmosphere of communal harmony. But currently, one observes that Hindutva elements are bent upon weakening the age-old secular credentials of the country.
Jayant Mukherjee, Kolkata
ALTHOUGH the Dadri lynching might not hurt Modi and the BJP immediately, it is not something which they can ignore. By making controversial statements and showing insensitivity, BJP leaders are forcing people to overlook the positive work of the government and focus on this issue. So the BJP needs to do some course correction before it is too late.
Bal Govind, Noida, Uttar Pradesh
MORE than the articles of the Cover Story, the photograph showing Mohammad Akhlaq’s mother spoke loudly of the brutality with which the mob pounced on this family. The way the nation, the media and distinguished writers and cultural personalities rose up against the crude manoeuvres of the saffron clan gives one hope that the Sangh Parivar will never achieve its ends. The despicable acts of Hindutva fringe elements have made the common man see their true colours and look for the earliest opportunity to pack them off lock, stock and barrel from the national mainstream.
Tharcius S. Fernando, Chennai
IT is heartening that after several years of deliberations, Nepal finally adopted a secular and democratic Constitution (“Himalayan challenge”, October 30). It is unfortunate that not all the country’s elected representatives endorsed the Constitution and that the event was marked by tension and protests by Madhesis and tribal Janjatis. However, this does not mean it is the end of the road for these two minority groups. On the contrary, nothing is lost because India, the big neighbour that has maintained a good relationship with Nepal from time immemorial, has still a good chance of convincing Nepal to uphold the freedom and independence of these groups in the larger interests of the nation.
K.R. Srinivasan, Secunderabad, Telangana
THE solution to the problem in Nepal lies in negotiations between the Madheshis and the Nepali government. There is an argument that India should make an armed intervention in sovereign Nepal, should the crisis persist. The rest of world may not allow India to intervene. The Chinese would undoubtedly react negatively fearing expansionism on the part of India. Such adventurism by India might just give Pakistan the opportunity to strike.
Santhosh Veranani, Puducherry
THE article “Russia in action” (October 30) lucidly evaluated the situation relating to Syria against the politics of Russia and the U.S. The West is finding it difficult to thwart the nefarious activities of the terrorists in this region. Russia’s stand that “a genuinely broad international coalition” alone can annihilate the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq appears to be right. The U.S. has made the mistake of aiming for regime change in Syria. How can West Asia be saved from annihilation? The year-long campaign by the U.S. and its allies did not succeed. International support has strengthened Russia’s attempt to nip terrorism in the bud. Russia will succeed ultimately.
Thomas Edmunds, Chennai
I WAS enthralled by Benoy K. Behl’s three-part feature on Buddhism in Japan (“Hindu deities in Japan”, October 2; “Syllables for gods”, October 16; and “March of Buddhism in Japan”, October 30). The feature revealed the deep cultural link between India and Japan. In fact, one was not aware that besides the Buddha so many Hindu deities are worshipped in Japan and that Sanskrit is still used in religious practices there. In the present atmosphere of religious and cultural intolerance and animosities among nations, it is really heartening to think that it is not impossible for nations to come together to forge a global civilisation without boundaries.
Amiya Kumar Patra, Sambalpur, Odisha
THANKS for giving readers great information on Buddhism in Japan. The feature showed the ingenuity of the rulers of Buddhist times in preserving the religion. I wish Frontline would publish an article on the rise and fall of Buddhism in India.
H.C. Pandey, New Delhi
ALTHOUGH the declassification of 64 secret files pertaining to Subhas Chandra Bose has not met with 100 per cent success, one truth has been revealed: that he did not die in a plane crash in 1945 (“Bose returns”, October 16). The question that arises is why did the then Congress government spread the news of his death? It may be construed from the article that the government and the British feared him. They snooped on his family in Calcutta and were jittery of his comeback. Bose was open about his unhappiness on the formation of a government headed by Nehru. This was also evident from resolution no. 32 of the Pan Asiatic Federation, which reads: “The Pan Asiatic Federation urges the people of India to disown the present incompetent leadership and to prepare India for the reappearance of Netaji and his leadership.” So fearing a coup by Bose and his Indian National Army, the then government played it safe. The Congress leadership owes the public an explanation.
T.S.N. Rao, Bhimavaram, Andhra Pradesh
FOR the past seven decades, Bose’s disappearance has been “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma”. He is an integral part of Indian history, and historical truth should not to be kept buried.
Ayyasseri Raveendranath, Aranmula, Kerala