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Letters

Print edition : Jun 12, 2022 T+T-

Letters

Turtles

IT made me so happy to see the article “Tracking turtles from the sky” (June 17), which focussed on the efforts taken for the conservation of Olive Ridley turtles on India’s west coast. As someone who lives in the region where these activities have been successfully carried out with the active involvement of the local population, I am glad they are getting more coverage on a platform like yours. These past few years have seen a surge of tourism centred around the nesting procedures of the turtles. Raising awareness about such projects will hopefully benefit the community here in the long run.

Priyanka Bhosle

Ratnagiri, Maharashtra

Ukraine conflict

THERE was a time when I enjoyed reading Frontline’s coverage of international issues because it offered a perspective on world events that was often in contrast to how the Western press covered them. This is still true of how the magazine continues to write about the Israel-Palestine conflict or most parts of the Global South. However, I am distressed by some of the recent articles on the Ukraine war, which have lacked any new insights or analyses and have served as mere summaries of the events over the preceding fortnight. There is not even a semblance of a balanced approach, and the sense of history in the articles often comes across as warped. Of course, there are intelligent arguments to be made from the Russian side in this proxy war being waged by NATO; the only problem is that Frontline is not making them.

Vallabh Gupta

Udaipur, Rajasthan

National language

THAT there had to be a discussion on language imperialism in the 72nd year of our republic does not do us any credit (Cover Story, June 3). Governmental interventions have not resulted in promoting harmony among people who speak different languages. Southern India has to keep an eternal vigil to safeguard its languages and to arrest efforts to have Hindi foisted on it.

I have been a member of several educational committees, and there was not a single occasion when Hindi chauvinists did not try to make Hindi a common language. Once when the entire proceedings were being conducted in Hindi and I pointed out that I did not know the language, a member immediately asked me whether I was an Indian. I replied that if knowing Hindi was an essential attribute of an Indian, I would prefer to be a Tamilian. The eminent educationist D.S. Kothari, who was presiding over the meeting, intervened and pacified me. On another occasion K.C. Pant, who was representing P.V. Narasimha Rao when he was Minister for Human Resource Development, said that not knowing Hindi did not make any one less of an Indian.

S.S. Rajagopalan

Chennai

Congratulations to the new editor for picking a subject of topical importance for the Cover Story. As per the 2011 census, India is home to more than 121 languages. One must be proud of this heritage of linguistic diversity, which is the warp and woof that together weave India’s cultural kaleidoscope. The country has witnessed many a struggle in the post-independent era on the contentious issue of language. In the late 1970s, when the Centre attempted to impose Hindi in non-Hindi-speaking States employing Doordarshan as a tool, the move was vehemently opposed by the south Indian States. But the scenario has changed of late mainly because of migration. These days, even in the southernmost parts of Kerala, laymen speak Hindi thanks to the influence of a sizeable influx of migrant workers from the north. The spurt in industrialisation, urbanisation, and the growth of the travel and tourism sector in the new century has helped shape a linguistically pluralistic Indian society; no particular organisation can be given credit for this.

T.N. Venugopalan

Cochin, Kerala

Sedition law

Even though Gandhiji famously said of the sedition law that it was “the prince among the political sections of the Indian Penal Code [Section 124A] designed to suppress the liberty of the citizen”, no government since Independence has found it loathsome enough to remove it from the statute books (“Landmark order”, June 3). Viewed against this background, the Supreme Court’s directive putting the law on hold cannot be underplayed as “weak”. In fact, the Central government was forced to take a positive step because it sensed which way the judicial wind was blowing.

Ayyasseri Raveendranath

Aranmula, Kerala

Bihar

In Bihar, the BJP needs Chief Minister Nitish Kumar more than he needs the party, but BJP leaders in the State, perhaps at the instigation of the central leadership, began saying that the chief ministership should be handed over to the BJP (“Twists and turns”, June 3). However, Nitish Kumar made clear his anti-BJP stand and thwarted “Operation Remove Nitish”.

S. Murali

Vellore, Tamil Nadu

Bulldozer politics

Kudos for the “Bulldozing the idea of India” Cover Story (May 20). It rightly put the focus on the grave danger the country has been pushed into by bulldozer fascism. Just as the editor’s note said that “dissent, like water, find its way”, India, too, will find its way to deliverance from the present darkness. Today, minorities are under attack; tomorrow no one will be spared. Before it is too late, let us rise in unison to save the republic.

Purushuttam Roy Barman

Agartala

Frontline

This is to place on record my deep appreciation for the contributions of R. Vijaya Sankar as the editor of  Frontline and my gratitude to him for his encouragement. I never met him, but the few times I communicated with him, his editorial acumen, generosity, and concern for both his magazine and the writer came across. Thanks to him and his team for maintaining standards and allowing Frontline to be a world-class journal in this difficult time of ideological chauvinism, phony journalism, and commercialisation. I hope Frontline will reach greater heights with the new editor.

J.N. Sinha

New Delhi

Before 1969, The Illustrated Weekly of India was on the verge of closure. With the late Khushwant Singh as editor, the weekly became readable and was liked by many readers for the wide range of content it covered. It sold over four lakh copies every week. Its special issues on cricket, compiled by the late Raju Bharatan, sold more copies than the sports weeklies of that era. I suggest that Frontline be completely revamped: convert it into a weekly and publish readable and interesting articles. Please keep the price of the weekly at Rs.50-60/copy, which will be possible if you reduce production costs and switch over to normal magazine newsprint instead of the costly art paper being used at present.

I know these suggestions will be vetoed. I hope that the magazine will take an entirely different direction now and stop being a propaganda vehicle. Only then can it become a profitable product.

V.S. Raghavan

Navi Mumbai  

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Slideshow

Fishing boats in Pasikuda, stationed owing to a shortage of fuel, on May 6. That was the day Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared an Emergency, for the second time in little over a month.

Sri Lanka: The stranded state

Sri Lanka has faced a series of misfortunes—the wrath of a 26-year-long civil war, a devastating tsunami, the Easter bombings of 2018, the spread of