Letters to the Editor

Print edition : September 01, 2017

Nitish Kumar

SINCE demonetisation, Nitish Kumar had just been waiting for an excuse to switch to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) (Cover Story, August 18). This was made clear when he was quick to support the BJP’s candidate for President.

Corruption charges against Lalu Prasad and his family members are nothing new, and Nitish Kumar was well aware of them when the Mahagathbandhan was formed. He protested against Narendra Modi’s selection as the prime ministerial candidate because of Modi’s communal politics. Then he tried to project himself as a secular leader. But he has joined the NDA under Modi’s leadership at a time when cow vigilantes sponsored by the Hindutva organisations of the BJP have become active. Nitish Kumar’s dream of becoming Prime Minister has been shattered with the BJP’s gaining political strength.

Buddhadev Nandi, Bishnupur, West Bengal

NITISH KUMAR’s decision to side with the BJP unnerved those who believe in democratic values and secularism. Although he took the right decision to resign over a corruption issue, his joining the BJP surprised everyone because he had given a clarion call for a “Sangh-mukt Bharat”.

Instead of joining hands with the BJP, he should have advised the Governor to dissolve the Assembly and called for midterm elections because that would have enhanced his image of being clean and secular. His act of treachery will hurt the sentiments of the minority communities and backward classes as they have voted Nitish Kumar back to power because of his honesty and his good performance and because they believed he was non-communal.

Jayant Mukherjee, Kolkata

WHILE Lalu Prasad is accused of fine-tuning corruption on a massive scale, Nitish Kumar has displayed his obsession with power by embracing the BJP or other parties at opportune moments, although both leaders claim the legacy of Jayaprakash Narayan’s concept of socialism.

Once Nitish Kumar realised that his ambition of becoming Prime Minister would not fructify because of the BJP juggernaut, he started working against the grand alliance and hobnobbing with Modi and Amit Shah, beginning with demonetisation. Today, Nitish Kumar has become an absolute political opportunist, throwing away all the political ethics he seemed to exhibit in the past just so that he can remain in power.

N.C. Sreedharan, Kannur, Kerala

THE ways of Indian politics are admittedly inscrutable. But, Nitish Kumar’s change of horses in midstream raises the benchmark of inscrutability to an absurd level. Political realignment is nothing unusual, but when it happens like it did in Bihar, it mocks the electorate that voted Nitish Kumar to power.

Ayyasseri Raveendranath, Aranmula, Kerala

WHEN Nitish Kumar had to choose between corruption and Hindutva, he chose the latter. Those who suggested that he should dissolve the Assembly and go for fresh mandate did not give that advice when the Janata Dal (United) broke its alliance with the NDA in 2013. Under the guise of secularism, Lalu Prasad has practised only caste- and minority-vote-bank politics.

Sushil Kumar, Bijoi, Aurangabad, Bihar

IN the Cover Story, Nitish Kumar’s breaking of the Mahagathbandhan was described as a somersault and murder of the mandate of the Bihar voters. However, when the same Nitish Kumar broke away from the NDA in 2013 even though the 2010 mandate was for ruling the State with BJP support, the media called it a political masterstroke. On both occasions, it was opportunistic politics so that he could keep his Chief Minister’s chair.

Duggaraju Srinivasa Rao, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh

CONSIDERING that Lalu Prasad and family are facing probes in myriad cases of corruption, it was a masterstroke on the part of Nitish Kumar to have snapped ties with the grand alliance on moral grounds. While his action reinforces the fact that there can be no compromise on corruption, it is also a reminder to the Congress that Rahul Gandhi’s leadership capability is questionable.

K.R. Srinivasan, Secunderabad, Telangana

Goondas Act

THE unjustified invocation of the Goondas Act upon social activists on frivolous grounds shows the Tamil Nadu administration in a poor light (“Act of suppression”, August 18). The State should not lose sight of the fact that it could arouse the ire of the public if it tries to silence the struggles against the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and other issues using the Goondas Act. It is reassuring that all opposition parties in the State condemned the police oppression of social activists and women.

C. Chandrasekaran, Madurai, Tamil Nadu


ONE thought that censorship was a thing of the past (“Bleeping out Amartya Sen”, August 18). It is amazing that it has come back in the form of “bleeping”.

It may not be out of place to quote Voltaire: “As you have it in your power, sir, to do some service to letters, I implore you not to clip the wings of our writers so closely, nor to turn into barn-door fowls those who, allowed a start, might become eagles; reasonable liberty permits the mind to soar—slavery makes it creep.”

H.N. Ramakrishna, Bengaluru

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