The mould is already cast. In due course of time, Sasikala will fit into Amma's shoes.
V.N.K. Murti Pattambi, Pattambi
Cho Ramaswamy’s criticism of society was always clever and often subtle. He invariably managed to escape the censors of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry during the 1975-77 Emergency (Cho Be It. Exeunt, Dec 19). Even otherwise the late journalist-actor never shied away from speaking his mind against the mighty Indira Gandhi and, from his home-state, M. Karunanidhi. Cho drew his courage from spiritual Hinduism—an element that contrasted with his exterior nature, further making his personality complex. Prime Minister Narendra Modi used to look up to him for counsel, addressing him as Raj Guru. With J. Jayalalitha, he shared a friend-turned-foe-turned-friend relation.
J. Akshay, Bangalore
As he was confined to the regional media, Cho was not so well known to the rest of the country. His annual reader meetings, where he answered all questions from the public, drew the admiration of the present PM—he was friendly to Modi’s predecessors such as Chandra Shekhar and Morarji Desai. Both Jayalalitha and Karunanidhi visited Cho at the hospital in his final days.
Ralph Rodrigues, Bangalore
Aatish Taseer’s piece (New York Diary, Nov 16) shows what is wrong with the so-called liberals—their attitude of contempt and self-righteousness. But the writer should exercise care in writing aggressively about a duly-elected president of the US. After all, Donald Trump, just like the Indian Prime Minister, is fighting against Islamic fundamentalism and ideological radicalism. He shouldn’t be targeted just because he doesn’t mince his words.
Rajiv Chopra, Jammu
This refers to your leader comment Killer Hyena (December 5) on the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, which is utterly disappointing, misleading and full of contradictions. You have repeated the same stories that have been told, retold and retold again by the Brahmin-dominated English media. The readers are fed up with the same old story of the LTTE killing Rajiv. New information and doubts should pave the way for expanding the scope of the investigation.
There are questions galore: Why was no Congress leader from Tamil Nadu standing close to Rajiv when the bomb was set off? Why has Subramanian Swamy not been questioned as per the Jain Commission report? In her book, Nalini reveals how the CBI could have apprehended Sivarasan but didn’t. You have to honestly challenge the CBI and the MHA. No one in South Block would dare unravel the conspiracy, although many of them might have known about it. The English media won’t dare point fingers at them and yet, just like you have done in your leader comment, just do some LTTE-bashing and take potshots at Prabhakaran—something you have been doing for years. The English media doesn’t seem interested in getting to the heart of the conspiracy that killed Rajiv.
J.J. Suthanthiraraj, On E-Mail
There is much in common between the recent election of Donald Trump as the US president and that of Narendra Modi as India’s prime minister in 2014. They won despite the ‘liberal’ media hounding them. The liberals, Shiv Visvanathan (With A Liberal Sprinkling of Incomprehension, Nov 28) being one, are not aware of the ground reality—democracy is a game of majority.
Rajiv Gandhi met with a violent death because the former PM ignored repeated warnings about threats to his life (90 days on the run or let loose?, Dec 5). For instance, the Tamil Nadu capital had graffiti saying, “If he comes to Chennai, he will never go back alive’. A former Chennai police officer had written in a national newspaper that he would not have allowed Rajiv’s flight to land in the city if he were the commissioner.
Jugal Kishore, Hyderabad
In the cover story titled Heart for Mart’s Sake, which appeared in the issue dated December 26, Dr Sundeep Mishra was mentioned as having been invited by industry bodies in a meeting by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority on August 23 to represent them. He was actually invited by the NPPA. The error is regretted. However, we stand by the story.
As we go to press, the story stands validated by an order passed (on Dec 21) by the Department of Pharmaceuticals to bring all types of stents under Schedule-I of the NPPA, effectively initiating the process of equitable pricing of all stents.
It appears there were loopholes in the way the special investigation team probed the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case (Mission Complete, Dec 5). But, former CBI director D.R. Karthikeyan rather arrogantly laughed off claims made by Nalini in her book that the main accused Sivarasan “could have been caught alive”. What’s more, he then mockingly said, “Maybe CBI should have appointed her to investigate.”
G.L. Karkal, Pune
This is about the story on organ trade and the rogue doctor Amit Kumar (Two Bean Harvesters, Dec 19). There exist more such inhuman scams in India. Unfortunately, due to widespread poverty, such doctors find it easy to procure human organs in exchange for money. Despite of many safeguards, the illegal trade thrives even in established and reputed hospitals in connivance with the administration. The government, mostly, is a mute spectator.
Lt (Retd) Col Ranjit Sinha, Calcutta
Outlook’s cover story on the unkept promises of the Dravidian movement was interesting (Dravidian Century: A Paradox, Dec 12). It is ironical that Caldwell is quoted as an authority on Dravidian leaders. His thesis, it must be remembered, is the basis for the claim that Dravidians are different from the Aryans because, supposedly, the former are natives while the latter are invaders. But what Caldwell actually said is that both Aryans and Dravidians came from outside. This is an inconvenient fact buried by the forefathers of the DMK.
Akash Verma, Chennai
Glorifying characters who are generally known in the north as the ’villains’ of the anti-Hindi movement in Tamil Nadu is a thing of the past. It seems to be factual statement that in these 100 years, there is nothing for the downtrodden to celebrate. After a century of Dravidian movement, the Tamil poor have the same problem; nor have they been free from caste-based violence. The end result is that AIADMK and DMK have been sharing power for decades.
M.C. Joshi, Lucknow
Apropos Captain Marvel’s Aggro Industry (December 12), the uninhibited on-field aggressiveness of Team India owes much to its mercurial, in-your-face captain. Virat Kohli is having a golden run with his bat and his confidence finds a ready echo among the rest of the team. The easy camaraderie speaks of a cohesive unit in which the individuals work towards the ultimate goal of winning matches. However, Virat’s charismatic leadership and the team’s authoritative play will be truly put to test in the away series.
Vijai Pant, On E-Mail
I write in response to the story on child trafficking prevalent across the country, with reference to the trafficking ring recently uncovered in Bengal (Buying Wombs And Babies, Dec 12) One hopes Mamata Banerjee would take necessary steps to curb the menace of baby trafficking. One wonders why the police did not arrest all the culprits when they raided the places where the crime was taking place and stop this inhuman business from spreading.
Parshuram Gautampurkar, Sawai Madhopur
On reading Fast Track to Cashlessness (Dec 19), I was reminded of the divine feeling of patriotism that overwhelms us when we return cashless after waiting for hours in the bank queue, having done out bit for the country. It’s priceless.
Pradeep Mathur, New Delhi
This refers to When Fraud Goes Online (Dec 19). Cyber security is still in its infancy in India. We need a robust law that defines the role of all stakeholders in any cyber operation such as net banking, from the banker to the customers.
Jayatheertha, On E-Mail
This refers to your leader comment Anthem & My Drink (Dec 12). I remember an incident reported last December when a family was evicted from a theatre allegedly for disrespecting the national anthem. My question: doesn’t the disrespect that family was subjected to speak ill of our patriotism? Is standing up for the anthem a greater mark of patriotism than universal values such as respect for others?
Kamal Kapadia, Mumbai
This refers to The New Kwid on the Block (Dec 12), your story on the Renault Kwid that seems to have relied entirely on inputs provided by the manufacturer. Feedback from users would have highlighted some major flaws. The Kwid gives a mileage of 24-plus km per litre on traffic-free highways but manages only 12 km in city traffic. Halving of the mileage is not acceptable. Also, the noise under the bonnet sounds like that from an old diesel truck. There are reports that Renault had to pay fines for these shortcomings in Japan. I think Indian customers are left to fend for themselves. Your writer should ascertain the facts and publish them so that Renault is forced to rectify these issues.
R. Venkateswaran, On E-Mail
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