Letters to the Editor

Print edition : April 15, 2016

The Budget

THE government was forced to roll back its Budget proposal to tax withdrawals from the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF), but the struggle of the salaried class is far from over (Cover Story, “Double whammy”, April 1). The government has cut the interest rates for small savings schemes. The rationale for these unkind interest cuts is that it will help the economy move to an overall interest rate regime.

The corporate sector gets a plethora of concessions, subsidised power and water, and it need not pay sales tax initially when a new factory is set up. Wilful defaulters on bank loans get away with it. But the middle class, which is the backbone of the economy, has to bear interest cuts on its savings and cannot even enjoy the freedom to use its savings.

Deendayal M. Lulla, Mumbai

THE government’s proposal to tax 60 per cent of EPF withdrawals was criticised, but one needs to understand that only employees who get over and above the statutory wage limit of Rs.15,000 a month would have been affected. The intent behind the proposal was to ensure that people did not use up their pension accruals immediately after retirement. India does not have the strong social security schemes that the U.S. and other developed countries have, so people here need to be disciplined about their financial investments and savings.

Bal Govind, Noida, Uttar Pradesh

EVEN though many people were disappointed with the railway budge , I feel that the Railway Minister presented a well-thought-out and balanced budget (Cover Story “Off the rails”, April 1). He rightly avoided presenting a populist budget and focussed on the fact that the Railways is already in the red and needs a major overhaul. The budget was primarily aimed at meeting the aspirations of the common man by focussing on safety, punctuality, cleanliness and passenger amenities and by not increasing passenger fares. A novel aspect of this budget is the proposal to introduce a long-distance fully unreserved train for the benefit of the aam aadmi. It is unfortunate that as usual many political parties made scathing remarks about the budget just for the sake of opposing it.

K.R. Srinivasan, Secunderabad, Telangana

Domestic violence

IN India, any violence perpetrated within the four walls of a house is not a cognisable offence unless someone reports it to the police (“Law and limitations”, April 1). For too long women have been subjected to harassment and violence by their families. The time has come to make women aware that they have rights even after marriage and that they need not put up with violence. Family courts should be more sympathetic to the plight of married women facing violence as they often stand alone in their fight against injustice.

D.B.N. Murthy, Bengaluru

Art of living

IT was disquieting to note that a spiritual guru of the stature of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar chose the fragile floodplains of the Yamuna as the venue of his Art of Living Foundation’s mega cultural event (“Against all norms”, April 1). It seems ridiculous that a spiritual guru, who is supposed to guide his followers to a path of peace and tranquillity, was trying to enter the Guinness World Records for mundane reasons.

N.C. Sreedharan, Kannur, Kerala

Umberto Eco

UMBERTO ECO was a classic example of what the Italians call a “tuttologo”, that is someone who knows something important about practically everything (“Interpreter of cultures”, April 1). He has been ranked with Benedetto Croce, the great Italian thinker, in terms of his enormous influence on 20th century cultural life in Italy and beyond. His treatment of such iconic fictional characters as James Bond, Superman and Peanuts inspired Italians to examine the roots of their own popular culture. One of the consequences of this new perspective on culture studies was to remove the traditional prejudice of the custodians of “high culture” to products of mass culture.

His novels were never far removed from his philosophical musings derived from linguistics and semiotics. Although they are not easy to read, Eco’s inimitable style, enlivened by his sublime wit and exquisite sense of humour, keeps readers enthralled.

Mostafa Murshid Pasa, Hariharpara, West Bengal

JNU

ONE felt that the Cover Story (March 18) could have presented a more balanced view of the February 9 event at JNU. To raise slogans against a government is a democratic act. Here the prime question is whether the slogans were anti-government or anti-state. Only an impartial probe can unravel the truth. These days, political parties of all hues are fighting to impose their ideology on university students.

Even after six decades of Independence, India has not been able to build an egalitarian society where Dalits and the backward classes are treated on a par with others. For these people real freedom is yet to come.

Shajimon P., Cherthala, Kerala

THE government under Narendra Modi is desperate to saffronise all universities, including JNU (Cover Story, “The nation according to Hindutva”, March 18). All democratic rights are sought to be suppressed.

G. Azeemoddin, Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh

IN the article “The new nationalism (Cover Story, March 18), it was stated that “Gandhiji described the Hindu and the Muslim as the two luscious eyes of India”. In fact, it was Sir Syed Ahmed Khan who said: “… India is like a newly wedded bride whose two beautiful and luscious eyes are the Hindus and the Mussalmans; if the two exist in mutual concord, the bride will remain forever resplendent and becoming…”.

Sushil Prasad, Hyderabad

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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