Method in madness
INDIA is a great nation and is home to several major religions. Any attempt to fracture the nation needs to be condemned. To call a spade a spade requires courage of a very high order, and Frontline has done precisely that.
AS soon as the BJP came to power, there has been a paradigm shift in government’s actions, which is tailored to suit the RSS agenda in all spheres of public life—a classic case of mixing politics and religion. Whether it is in the field of education, language, history, religion or science, the RSS agenda is clearly visible.
IT is true that since he became Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has been chanting development mantras such as “India First”, “minimum government, maximum governance” and “sabka saath, sabka vikaas”. However, it seems that several of his party and Cabinet colleagues have their own ideas. They think that they are the sole champions of Hinduism and that all other Hindus are either fools or do not understand the meaning of Hinduism. Is this the Hinduism propagated by Swami Ramakrishna Paramahansa and his disciple Swami Vivekananda?
However, it was surprising to find the RSS Sarsangchalak’s photograph on Frontline’s cover with the caption “Method in Madness”, as Mohan Bhagwat is not an “extremist Hindu” nor is the RSS an “extremist Hindu” organisation. Bhagwat has never said that Christians and Muslims are second-class citizens of this great nation but has rightly described Hindutva as the country’s identity.
THE Cover article “Messing with food habits” is too caught up with pointing out the RSS’ Brahminical mindset while missing the general benefits of vegetarianism itself. It fails to appreciate how much tribal people value herbs and plants, their main source of sustenance. It also misses the fact that multinationals such as Kellogg’s are doing a great service in promoting healthy food habits through vegetarianism.
IN the United States, blacks continue to be treated as second-class citizens, and having a black President in office has not made any difference to their lives (“Now, Ferguson”, December 26). It is to the credit of the U.S. legal system that the public is free to hold protests over a court’s verdict.
Deendayal M. Lulla
THE riots in Ferguson clearly reveal the racial divide in the U.S., which is as evident as the caste divide in India.
THE Cover Story “Nehru’s legacy” (December 12) gave a vivid description of how India developed step-by-step under the leadership of its first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.
When the British left, India’s literacy rate was 14 per cent, now it is 74 per cent; Mizoram and Kerala have achieved 100 per cent literacy. Leaders of the past had a vision and always strived to make India self-sufficient in all aspects—food, power, space, technology, to name a few.
The rare black-and-white photographs of Nehru that appeared in Frontline are a treasure. The 1948 photograph of Nehru’s “announcement of Gandhi’s assassination to a crying crowd” by Henri Cartier-Bresson/Magnum captures the mood of the nation vividly.
Harnessing the monsoon
THE article “To harness monsoon” (December 12) was very interesting, and even as a layman I can vouch for the efficacy of the concept visualised in the essay. Having grown up near the Western Ghats in Tirunelveli district, I have seen the interplay of monsoon clouds and the mountain peaks at a very close range since childhood.
We know by experience and observation that the amount of rainfall during a steady monsoon wind (undisturbed) has more to do with the orientation and shape of the mountain than its height.
During the south-west monsoon, the Mahendragiri peak, though not the tallest, is always capped by clouds and the adjacent Nadugani valley gets more rain than its neighbouring valley owing to its shape and orientation. Likewise, during the north-east monsoon, the upper reaches of Kilmanimuthar valley, which faces north and is also encircled by very high ridges on its southern extremes, traps all the moisture and receives steady rain, even as the plains and neighbouring ranges have clear skies.
A scientists’ committee should be formed, as mentioned, to weigh the pros and cons of the project, which will be a great boon to water-starved areas if it comes through.
D.R. Jeremiah Rajanesan
Dohnavur, Tamil Nadu