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This refers to your cover story Dada vs Didi? (November 11). West Bengal is going through a crucial stage where the students are getting more and more politicised. The prime educational institutions are fully unionised and becoming dens of indiscipline. The civil administration is also getting fully politicised. Political murders are on the increase. A lot of people have been cheated of their hard-earned money by ponji schemes, but no action has been taken so far. That is why it is necessary to appoint a strong and impartial person as the next chief minister. Saurav Ganguly has little experience in the political arena. As BCCI chairman, he is only now getting his first real taste of politics. Top-notch politicians are banking on his popularity, but the concerned people should be on lookout for an experienced, strong and impartial person for the CM’s chair.
Ranjit Sinha, Calcutta
Dada Sourav Ganguly has never acknowledged that he is keen to join active politics. But, as they say, never say never in life. You never know what the future holds. He has donned many hats and proved his credentials as a good administrator. So we should not rule out the possibility that he can take on Didi Mamata Banerjee in the next polls. His present assignment of BCCI head will last until July 2020, so he will have time at his disposal. Having said that, Mamata Banerjee—a true mass leader, one of the last of her kind in Indian politics—won’t be an easy kill. But if Ganguly decides to jump into the fray, then it would be an interesting battle to be keenly watched with bated breath.
Bal Govind, Noida
Every political party, from the CPI(M) to the Trinamool and the BJP, seems to be wooing Saurav Ganguly. Perhaps, the parties have run out of winning candidates and are therefore running after a popular sportsman. It looks like the day is not far when Parliament and the state assemblies will be full of celebrities instead of statesmen and mass leaders.
M.Y. Shariff, Chennai
Sourav Ganguly’s eventful cricketing career has been marked by milestones and controversy. His unflappable spirit saw him never give up even when the going got tough for him. Ganguly is no fatalist to take the blows of fate lying down and he doesn’t throw in the towel. Nothing dampens the former captain’s ever-surging confidence and his belief in himself. The heartening news of Dada being in the saddle as the BCCI head couldn’t have come at a better time. Bongs are genetically inclined towards hero-worship, and with the likes of Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen dead and gone, Ganguly is the only Bengali icon who has currently assumed a larger-than-life image in the state. Can Dada don the hat of a successful politician after his memorable innings as the Indian captain, or will he be all sizzle and steak? Known for his leadership qualities, Ganguly may have the bandwidth to mange things, but politics, as we all know, is a different kettle of fish. And yet it is the art of the possible. Who knows, one day, the venerable Dada of Indian cricket may find himself firmly ensconced in the chief minister’s chair!
Aditya Mukherjee, New Delhi
This refers to your cover story It’s a Local Call (November 4). The Haryana verdict is a clear message to the BJP that it should not get complacent, but focus on the economy and local issues. New entrant JJP, led by Dushyant Chautala, won 10 seats leading to hung assembly after the state polls. It was a setback for the BJP as well as a reminder not to take voters for granted. A dip in seats in Maharashtra and Haryana belied hopes of landslide verdicts in both states and should serve as an eye-opener for the BJP to concentrate on issues troubling the common man—like the economy that has slowed down considerably. All in all, the outcome underlines the need that the BJP has to be more organised and shun rhetoric to stay on top in future polls.
K.R. Srinivasan, Secunderabad
In its article titled How to Lower the Bar, published in issue dated October 1, 2010, Outlook magazine made certain observations about Chief Justice (Retired) Ferdino Inacio Rebello, then Chief Justice of the High Court of Allahabad, in respect to an order by then Chief Justice, acting in his administrative capacity in assigning PIL-related work, without seeking a response from him. We have since realised that the article was based on incorrect facts. We realise that this caused him embarrassment and reputation loss.
Outlook holds Chief Justice Ferdino Inacio Rebello in very high esteem and, in view of the above facts, Outlook has unconditionally withdrawn the article from its website and expresses its sincere regret for unintentionally causing any loss of reputation and embarrassment to Chief Justice Rebello. Outlook further undertakes not to repeat any of these allegations in print or digital in any of its publications.
This refers to your story on the banking crisis (Money for Nothing, Scams for Free, November 11). One of the reasons for the crisis is irresponsible and reckless lending without professional assessment of creditworthiness and adequacy of security. This also reflects on corporate governance when suspicious proposals are cleared by the collective wisdom (or lack of it) of the directors, most of them nominated by the government. In the case of nationalised banks, one of the board directors is a high-ranking officer from the finance ministry. Without his nod, Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi would not have had their loans sanctioned. This official’s responsibility should be fixed in each case of failure to question suspicious loans. NPAs are suppressed through moratorium, rescheduling and restructuring of irrecoverable loans. Unlike all other public-sector undertakings, banks are not subject to super audit by CAG. Nationalised banks are resisting it on the pretext that it would violate the confidentiality of their customers. If audit by statutory auditors do not violate such confidentiality, why audit by CAG would violate it?
Nitin Majmudar, Lucknow
What a change! Outlook has managed to become a timid magazine, just the opposite of what its founding legendary editor, the late Vinod Mehta, wanted it to be. A softer approach towards the ruling party, while being critical of the rest, is the same recipe that all other media houses are following. I would love to see Outlook back in its older version as a truth warrior.
Amitabh Upadhyaya, Gorakhpur
BCCI, They Played Board-Game (November 11) was the most appropriate headline on this subject. It is surprising that the old game of “managing” the cricket board by shrewd leaders and politicians was played under SC-monitored people. Now we must conclude that our vital institutions will be run by better, high-contacted men. So enjoy the flow.
H.C. Pandey, Delhi
This refers to your cover story The Websters (October 28). With the OTT streaming getting to hit the big notes, it no longer is about stardom, box office collections and the multiplex mayhem, but about the definitive change it has ushered in viewing choices, viewing sensibilities and being your own web series critic. The sanctimonious drivel of paid news and fake movie critics with four-star- and five-star-pumping opinion—PR on overdrive—will be replaced by a dynamic that is solely with the viewer at a time and place of his choosing. The OTT quotient is here as a disruptor to the matinee marines.
Kiran Bagade, Bangalore
I am extremely grateful and elated by your kind words for me and my personal wellbeing in Letters to the Editor Diary (November 4). My relationship with Outlook is more than a decade old and extremely satisfying. I am an electrical engineer running 84. In the 1950s, I used to write stories and poems in Hindi, which were published in prominent magazines of the time—Saptahik Hindustan, Dharmyug, Gyanodaya, Kadambini etc. In addition, I wrote stories for children, which were published every month regularly for more than ten years in magazines of Mitra Prakashan Ltd, Allahabad. Unfortunately, some feud engulfed the publishing house founded by Khsitndra Mohan Mitra and it became history. It was a personal loss for me. I was with the UP electricity department and got posted in Pauri Garhwal. I gradually stopped writing. I retired from UP State Electricity Board in 1996. Thereafter, I started writing letters to English newspapers and magazines on the content of their publications, which I am still maintaining.
M.C. Joshi, Lucknow