Gaming the rules
The IT (Amendment) Rules 2023 is yet another example of the reactive and short-sighted regulatory mechanisms in our country (Cover story, May 5). Lumping video games and RMGs (real money games) into one basket is like attempting a chalk and cheese comparison. The amendment is likely to create more problems than it intends to solve. One would reasonably suspect that it is to give added legitimacy and respectability to RMGs, a case of providing sheepskins to wolves. Tamil Nadu has creditably put its foot down, opting for prohibition of online gambling including rummy instead of unviable regulation.
The inordinate delay in the Governor’s assent on a Bill recommended by the State Assembly was entirely avoidable and invited the wrath of many in political circles (“Journey of a Bill”, May 5) The Governor of Tamil Nadu could have acted diligently without inviting unsolicited comments. His controversial statement that the Governor withholding assent means that the Bill is dead drew widespread criticism in the State and outside. The Bill could have been returned seeking more details or citing insufficient information for the Governor’s approval. His walkout from the State Assembly to show his displeasure was unexpected and uncalled for.
R. V. Baskaran
The Frontline issue dated May 5 pays excellent tribute to Vivan Sundaram and is truly worth preserving for the photo essay alone. Artists like Vivan Sundaram are rare and exceptional. His passion is evident from his works which incorporated the latest technologies. I place my compliments to your magazine for bringing Vivan Sundaram’s works to the reader in all their vividness and eye-catching brilliance. I will preserve my copy, appreciate the brilliance and understand the message unwritten better.
Raging controversies are razing down the State of West Bengal and the common people are forced to bear the brunt of competitive communal politics (“Why is Bengal burning?”, Frontline, May 5). The TMC and the BJP are using their political rivalry to cause untold suffering to the people by introducing new religious events, intensifying them and causing bedlam for unabashed political mileage.
The TMC is losing its credibility by alternating between moves of pacification and toeing the line of soft Hindutva.
The people are forced to bear the cross of hardship. The vote-bank calculus will go wrong once the people take cognisance of it.
While the Assembly election in Karnataka comes as a litmus test for the BJP State government, what is at stake for the beleaguered Congress whose electoral fortunes have continued to nosedive, election after election, is its very existence itself (“Tight contest”, May 5). The presence of the Janata Dal (Secular), led by the veteran war horse and former Prime Minister, H.D. Deve Gowda and his son, H.D. Kumaraswamy, makes the scenario more intriguing.
Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s proclamation that 2023 will be his last Assembly election could strike an emotional chord with voters, propelling the Congress to power. The Janata Dal (Secular) could again turn out to be kingmaker in a hung Assembly. In short, the Karnataka election presents an intriguing picture as D-day approaches.
B. SURESH KUMAR
It is shocking that the perpetrators of a communal massacre could not be brought to justice owing to the abject failure of the state and its agencies to conduct a fair and effective investigation (“Anatomy of a massacre”, May 5). A Special Court in Ahmedabad recently acquitted all 67 accused, including former Gujarat Minister Maya Kodnani, Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi and former BJP leader Jaydeep Patel, in the 2002 Naroda Gam massacre case in which 11 members of the minority community were killed during communal riots.
Maliana and Naroda tell the same story, when rioters and murderers are patronised and protected by the state, covertly or overtly, and the victims can never expect a fair trial or justice. This is a sad reality that militates against our Constitution and the rule of law. It is indeed a shameful state of affairs when the so-called spectre of “Hindu outrage” has silenced the majority of the opposition parties as well. Frontline deserves appreciation for focussing on the undeserving acquittal of the perpetrators of the Maliana massacre.
Purushuttam Roy Barman
Mumbai, India’s financial capital, is crippled and crying for attention on various fronts (“On Overdrive”, April 21). To begin with, the city lacks proper flyovers and foot overbridges, creating traffic and transport problems that pose grave dangers to people.
The rail network, used by a large section of the population, is also in need of overhauling and has not caught the attention of powers that be so far. Besides, the lack of proper footpaths and the scarcity of strong police patrol all add to Mumbai’s woes.
P. SENTHIL SARAVANA DURAI
Nissim Mannathukaren has covered all aspects of the rapid downfall of democracy in India thanks to the rise of majoritarian nationalism by the present government (Cover story, April 21). Interestingly, this phrase was never coined in Congress/Congress coalition Raj which enjoyed brute majority in those times. Let us wait to see if articles like Mannathukaren’s can bring in a favourable climate for opposition leaders like Rahul Gandhi.