IN Maharashtra, the BJP once again successfully orchestrated its “Operation Lotus” formula with clinical precision, resulting in the downfall of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (“The toppling game”, July 29). That the BJP was able to install a new government, led by Eknath Shinde, sent shock waves through Thackeray’s Shiv Sena faction. Although, the coup or putsch in Maharashtra was part of a long-drawn-out strategy, it is the timing that matters the most. The BJP’s toppling agenda in Maharashtra has similarities to what happened in Goa, Manipur, and Karnataka and involved transgressions of all canons of the democratic ethos. With the backing of the RSS, the BJP is capable of initiating splits, mergers, and defections in opposition-ruled States, and installing a Hindutva style of governance there.
Vellore, Tamil Nadu
IT is a bitter truth that no political party in Darjeeling, either in the past or now, is really honest when it comes to the Gorkhaland statehood issue (“A chance for peace”, July 29). The long-standing aspirations of the Gorkha populace for self-rule are now buried under the sands of time owing to the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration civic election and the new-found chemistry between West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee and Anit Thapa, the head of the Bharatiya Gorkha Prajatantrik Morcha. Maintaining peace and boosting infrastructure as a temporary appeasement measure is better than the Centre’s saying that it would bring about a permanent solution to the problem just to win votes by toying with people’s emotions. The State’s and Centre’s apathy and the gross neglect of the hills people have come at the cost of Gorkhaland, which is still far from a reality for the Gorkha populace in Darjeeling.
Janga Bahadur Sunuwar
Bagrakote, West Bengal
THE Supreme Court verdict in the Gulberg Society case has shattered the common man’s faith in the judiciary (“A verdict and three arrests”, July 29). It has not only turned the complainant into the accused but also accused the petitioners, Zakia Jafri and Teesta Setalvad, of fabricating the entire case. This being a serious charge, one would have expected counsel representing the petitioners in the court to have been grilled over the issue during the proceedings. However, nothing of the kind seems to have happened, and the Gujarat Police arrested Setalvad within a day of the judgment. This sends a chilling message to civil society about the fate awaiting those “audacious” enough to question the integrity of government functionaries over any human rights violation.
Madurai, Tamil Nadu
THE article “Misplaced pride” (July 29) brings to light the bias shown by those in power. It makes one wonder just how much resources and time are wasted because of politics. Is this yet another favouring of the “foreign brand” over a “local brand”? It does seem so, and it is disheartening to learn that it exists even in conservation projects.
Jack D. Sparrow
THE article covers the acute problem of politics interfering with basic human values and responsibilities, the most important one being the preservation of our planet. Our future is doomed if we do not immediately repair what can still be repaired. We all know how many species have already become extinct because of egocentric and thoughtless human behaviour, which exploits the earth to get the immediate benefits. The current Indian nature conservation project does not take into account how important it is to first relocate the lions; the official decision that was made years ago has been neglected, and the consequences will be dramatic if we all continue to keep silent. The question that comes to mind is, what is really going on and who benefits from it?
WHOEVER takes charge in Sri Lanka to solve the economic crisis should be dauntless about fighting religious bigots and ensuring the safety of ethnic minorities (“The unmaking of a President”, June 3). Sri Lanka is a classic example of a failed state, and it will not be the last one in the region. The problem is that the colonial powers created several independent countries that are not viable. Unfortunately, power-hungry leaders have focussed on geopolitics instead of economic stability and growth. Sri Lanka fancied itself a key player and took sides when it came to choosing between China and the West or China and India. So gullible was Sri Lanka that it sacrificed its sovereignty and crippled its economy to such a degree that now the country is bankrupt and unable to ensure basic necessities for its citizens.
Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh