The country has suffered an irreparable loss with the death of M.S. Subbulakshmi ("Enduring music", December 31). M.S. transcended the constraints of Carnatic music concerts by adding Hindustani music also. She was the cultural ambassador of India. She delighted audiences in India and abroad with her splendid melody and endless repertoire.
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M.S.' talent was peppered with tradition and technique and her appeal was in her humility.
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M.S. may rightly be included in that class of artists who believe that music is the supreme medium to attain communion with God. Her approach came as a breather in an age dominated by commercial gimmicks.
Arvind K. PandeyAllahabad, Uttar Pradesh
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With her music and her donations for philanthropic causes, M.S. reached the peak of popularity, humanity, grace, dignity, elegance and bhakti. The Frontline issue, with its extensive coverage and pictures, was truly a tribute to M.S.
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Kudos to Frontline for the excellent portrayal of M.S. It is really a collector's special with rare photographs. By doing a Cover Story, the magazine has paid rich tribute to the great singer. With M.S.' demise, an era in Carnatic music has come to an end. For almost six decades, she enthralled millions of music lovers all over the globe with her divine voice. She has left behind an indelible mark in the contemporary music world.
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Nehru's comments have not been fully quoted. He had said: "Who am I, a mere Prime Minister, to talk about a queen, the queen of song?"
Rev. Thomas EdmundsChennaiDecentralisation
"Derailing decentralisation" was a thought-provoking article (December 31). All along, we have been showing Kerala and West Bengal as models of decentralisation. The present trend in Kerala, where the United Democratic Front government is hell-bent upon weakening the panchayat institutions, will definitely be a setback.
GaneshMadurai, Tamil NaduFDI in private banks
The 74 per cent foreign direct investment in Indian private sector banks means they will become truly foreign banks ("Privileging FDI in banking", December 31). Foreign banks and enhanced FDI in the banking sector do not improve the quality of banking or customer service in banks.
Enhanced FDI and the taking over of Indian banks by foreign capitalists will create monopolistic structures, enabling banks to dictate terms to customers. Foreign banks would undermine the national economy by financing consumers instead of producers. Increasingly, FDI in banks is no guarantee for the banking sector's global success or its economic strength. The problems faced by the Japanese banking system prove this. As banks deal with the deposits of millions of unorganised, lay people, ownership and control of banks should be in Indian hands.
S. Raghunatha PrabhuAlappuzha, KeralaBJP's crisis
The decline and fall of the Bharatiya Janata Party indicates that it cannot survive the onslaught of coalition tactics ("Rudderless and in steep decline", December 31). Its resort to the `divine', and to rabid communalism and crude nationalism will only accelerate its decline. It now stands demoralised, confused and directionless. The more the party capitalises on the Ayodhya and Sankaracharya issues, the closer it comes to writing its last chapter.
R.R. SamiTiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu
One should not underestimate the situation by saying that the BJP is in deep trouble. The danger has increased, which is evident from the manner in which the allies acted in the arrest of the Kanchi Sankaracharya. The responsibilities of secular-minded people has increased.
HariVirudhunagar, Tamil NaduA job seeker's lament
It is disappointing to note the way some bureaucrats behave when they get the opportunity to taste power ("A job seeker's lament", December 31).
Ansar ElookkaraAluva, KeralaFrontline
Frontline is an excellent magazine. I have always admired it for its consistent quality of material and presentation, and this issue (December 31) is no exception. I am going to tell Mordechai Vanunu that you reprinted Duncan Campbell's article on him. All in all, it is an enviable publication - enviable to me because we have nothing like it here in Israel. Time was when Israel had about a dozen daily papers of different political stripes, as well as good political magazines. Nowadays, there are basically three dailies - the broadsheet Haaretz, and two tabloids.
Yael LotanReceived on e-mailSahitya Akademi at 50
This is to bring to your notice a factual error in the article on the Sahitya Akademi ("Reservoir of Indian literature", December 3). The writer has referred to the appointment of Prof. Gopi Chand Narang as president. The president of the Sahitya Akademi is neither appointed nor nominated but elected by the General Council. The Executive Board of the Sahitya Akademi rejected the proposal of the Haksar Commission to have the President of the Akademi nominated, since that would negatively impact the autonomy of the institution. The other two Akademis, however, accepted the proposal. Their chairmen are nominated by the President of India from a panel of names suggested by the General Council. The Sahitya Akademi chooses its president through direct election every five years.
K. SatchidanandanSecretary, Sahitya Akademi,New Delhi
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