Letters to the editor

Print edition : October 27, 2017

Bullet train

THE bullet train project is no doubt a laudable one (Cover Story, October 13). However, given the current state of the economy, this project does not seem viable. What is apparent is that the BJP is desperate for a smokescreen to hide its failures. It needs to come down from its ivory tower and see the ground realities.

The three train accidents that occurred within a short span of time put the spotlight on the areas in the Railways that need immediate attention. A change of guard in the Ministry will not be reassuring for the public. The urgent priorities of replacing worn-out components and ensuring regular appointments in place of contractual employment are the need of the hour.

C. Chandrasekaran, Madurai, Tamil Nadu

Health care

THE article "Blueprint for privatisation" (October13) revealed the obvious limitations and hidden infirmities of the NITI Aayog’s project proposal and draft model concessionaire agreement for health care. This proposal dilutes the essential responsibility of the government with regard to the health of the people. As public health centres are already found wanting when it comes to treating epidemics and endemic diseases, it is ludicrous to expect them to be able to coordinate with private players for the management of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Even with the participation of the government, it would be difficult for India to cope with heart disease, just one of many NCDs, so leaving it to private players is an abdication of the government’s responsibility.

B. Rajasekaran, Bengaluru


INDIA has a great tradition of spiritual thinkers such as Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Vivekananda and Ramana Maharshi who shunned wealth ("Politics of divine intervention", October 13). The present-day gurus are business savvy and have spiritual empires. They are surrounded by doting devotees who have implicit faith in their gurus and are not fazed by their weird behaviour. The high and the mighty of the land are their followers.

They wield enormous social and political power. It is amazing to see the affluent lifestyles of many of our godmen and swamis who are supposed to have walked away from the temptations of the world to take to the path of vairagya. Except for the saffron that some of them wear and the fact that the product they sell is spirituality, they are no different from any other entrepreneur.

H.N. Ramakrishna, Bengaluru

ONE still remembers with reverence spiritual gurus such as Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Vivekananda, Ramana Maharshi and Shirdi Sai Baba, who led simple lives and never sought power or wealth. They served humanity. Now there are many self-styled godmen who flaunt their wealth, intimidate gullible devotees and exploit women sexually. Their nexus with political leaders and bureaucrats is well known. There is another set of godmen at the moment actively specialising in spiritual marketing. It is embarrassing that many godmen have political patronage, especially under BJP rule.

N.C. Sreedharan, Kannur, Kerala

THE article was timely and put things in the right perspective. We live in a state of fear and few dare to write the truth about our guru gods. Someone said that gurus destroy their followers and followers destroy their gurus. What a truth that is.

S. Dinni, Bengaluru

THE article "Paradox in Tamil Nadu" (October 13) gave complete details of godmen in the State but seemed to have written only about the negative aspects of the issue. Religious faith is a dynamic and constructive force in our lives. People with faith have achieved incredible things and helped those in need, and so have been called godmen. A true godman does not divide but unites and always wants people to do away with their selfishness and to be ready to work for the benefit of the country and humanity. But jealous people often spread stories about godmen, spoiling their names.

A.J. Rangarajan, Chennai

Gauri Lankesh

THE assassination of Gauri Lankesh is a terrible blow to the freedom of the press ("A dissenter silenced", September 29). Her voice of dissent spared no one. A few days before her death, she had in tweets made scathing comments about the Yogi Adityanath government in relation to the deaths of a large number of children at a government hospital in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh. She did not even spare the Prime Minister.

It is not right to name any organisation as being behind the assassination before the investigation is completed. However, there is a similarity between the modus operandi used in the murder of M.M. Kalburgi and that of Gauri Lankesh. The intelligence agencies of both the Central and State governments must conduct a proper investigation to solve the mystery behind both murders.

Buddhadev Nandi, Bishnupur, West Bengal

THE Cover Story on Gauri Lankesh’s murder explained the situation in the country and brought out the real causes of the murders of the journalist and three rationalists.

Muhammed Adil Edayannur, Kannur, Kerala


IT is unfortunate that the Prime Minister is trying to defend demonetisation, which caused people to lose confidence in the promises of the RBI and the Central government with regard to currency notes ("Spinning a web", September 29). Saying that similar conditions existed in the past cannot be a good argument because this plan was forced on the masses, depriving many of them of their jobs and causing some deaths.

S.R. Devaprakash, Tumakuru, Karnataka


I THANK Frontline for the excellent Cover Story on the right to privacy (September 15), which were well researched and educative. Will this judgment bring relief to people who are being forced by banks and telecom companies to link their Aadhaar numbers to their bank accounts and their phones? Banks and telecom companies are purely commercial entities and have no business getting access to Aadhaar-based data. Will there be a specific court directive in this regard for the benefit of the common man?

V. Venkataramanan, Chennai

IN one of the most remarkable judgments in recent years, the Supreme Court has upheld the sanctity of privacy. The concept of equality also needs to be well defined. The interpretation of equality differs from judge to judge qualitatively. It is high time the factors constituting equality were clearly spelt out.

The principle of equality in the NEET case is, in my opinion, flawed for it has not taken into account the socio-economic and cultural factors that have brought out inequality in education.

S.S. Rajagopalan, Chennai

Triple talaq

THE verdict of the five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court that set aside “triple talaq” as a “manifestly arbitrary” practice is historic because such an archaic and unjust practice has no place in a civilised and secular society (“Instant talaq illegal”, September 15). As the judgment brings huge relief to Muslim women, the Central and State governments must ensure its effective implementation.

K.R. Srinivasan, Secunderabad, Telangana

IT was indeed a watershed moment in the history of Indian jurisprudence when the apex court struck down the morally reprehensible practice of triple talaq. How can anyone propound that such an ancient practice be implemented in the enlightened 21st century? As an adherent of secularism and liberty, one must uphold this verdict and denounce triple talaq in all its forms and manifestations.

Mohit Jacob, Ahmedabad, Gujarat

Prasar Bharati

THE article "Sarkar vs Sarkar" (September 15) clearly indicated that except for the Prime Minister no other person, no matter how powerful he is, can be allowed to speak his "mann ki baat" through Prasar Bharati. One wonders whether Prasar Bharati expected the Chief Minister to make a speech praising the Modi government.

Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee, Faridabad, Haryana


IT is really sad that Nawaz Sharif had to resign as Prime Minister of Pakistan over the Panama Papers leak ("The deep state strikes back", September 15). Without strong leaders, countries cannot grow. Nawaz Sharif has been in politics for a long time and contributed to the growth of Pakistan. Neighbouring countries such as India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka should come forward to help Pakistan out of the crisis. It is understandable that the court had to take the action it did, but the growth of the country and the well-being of its people should be taken into consideration.

P. Senthil Saravana Durai, Mumbai

70 years of freedom

THE Special Issue commemorating 70 years of Independence ("How free are Indians?", September 1) covered all aspects of free India and is a valuable treasure. The photographs of the Prime Ministers from Nehru to Modi were thought-provoking.

India has experienced many ups and downs in its seven decades of Independence. Right from the start, it strove for socio-economic equality. Besides science and technology, it made progress in other sectors. India has achieved a lot and rooted out a lot of evils but failed to achieve freedom from corruption and the criminalisation of politics. The Jammu and Kashmir issue is unresolved as is the boundary dispute between India and China, which dares to trespass into Indian territory. Poverty reduction should not be a numbers game. India’s strength lies in its plurality, not in extreme nationalism and aggressive patriotism. The idea of India should never be shattered.

Y. Abhimanya, Nakrekal, Telangana

THE clamour to replace the Constitution with Manusmriti and declare India a theocratic state is coming from the forces whose ideology is inimical to the idea of pluralism and interfaith amity ("Composite culture and its discontents", September 1). While Indians of all religious communities were waging an epic struggle for freedom from foreign domination, these forces were busy sowing the seeds of communal hatred and thus helping the colonial masters. Soon after Independence, they held important positions in government. Their sympathisers in the ruling dispensation ensured that they too enjoyed power.

They keep contradicting themselves now and then. On the one hand, they identify themselves as nationalists, and on the other, they oppose the Constitution. The opponents of the Constitution are indeed fake patriots who detest the equality it guarantees minorities, Dalits and women.

Samiul Hassan Quadri, Bikaner, Rajasthan

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor