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This refers to your cover story The Great Media Divide (March 2). Kudos to you for bringing out an unparalleled edition in the history of journalism. All wings of the State are expected to function for the welfare and benefit of the masses, who are supposed to be the masters in a democracy. But the media, controlled by corporations and governments, is brainwashing people and making them lose their capacity for independent thinking. In the recent past, the media has been continuously showing manufactured news to keep people confused and does not address day-to-day issues that concern ordinary people, such as inflation and unemployment.
M.N. Bhartiya, Goa
The cover story is relatively nice and highlights important issues. Finally, Outlook is dishing out balanced views and good journalism in a space dominated by ‘godi’ media, paid media etc. It has come a long way from the cocktail parties and foreign jaunts of the pre-2014 era that the media was addicted to.
Raghav P., Mumbai
For 12 years, the media hauled Modi over coals for the killings of Muslims in Gujarat, but did not hold Rajiv Gandhi and the Congress directly responsible for the massacre of Sikhs in 1984. Similarly, the media did not highlight the plight of Kashmiri Pandits. I have never seen a media house conduct a full-length interview of top Congress leaders about their hits and misses in the post-Rajiv era. The media has a responsibility to shape the narrative of this nation. As citizens, we expect a lot from the fourth estate.
Rangarajan T.S., Bangalore
Outlook’s cover story on the polarisation of the media elicited a sense of deja vu. The halcyon days of robust cerebral jousting and journalism, with Vinod Mehta’s edgy nuance, was on display yet again. After some time—and it has taken some time—Outlook is back to presenting perspectives with characteristic forcefulness that provoke and educate readers. The great media divide clearly exposes the transformation of news anchors into dubious newsmakers. The unabashed pseudo-liberalism of Lutyens high priests taking the moral high ground clashes with the shrillness of jingoistic sound merchants peddling stories of incoherence. The media, either way, has been in a flux and can well be accused of insider trading vis-a-vis political intrigue. Moralising comes easy to media evangelists, as does pandering to political bosses. But this cover story compels me to renew my subscription, convinced that there is hope amid the vestiges of media grandstanding.
Kiran Bagade, Bangalore
Ruben Banerjee has done a commendable job in his editorial Pressing Issue. He tries to calm down tempers, but he too accepts that much damage has been done. What I find refreshing is that Outlook is showing flashes of good, balanced journalism, which is a rare commodity these days. I congratulate you on publishing letters conveying the pulse of the people as well as a vast range of divergent opinion readers in your periodical. However, I am yet to see anything approaching the journalism from the ’60s to the ’80s, led as it was by Ramnath Goenka of The Indian Express and Jagat Narain of Punjab Kesari, who could take up cudgels against the system.
Harish Pandey, Delhi
Your special issue on the judiciary (February 3) was an eye-opener. One important conclusion was the overwhelming need for additional infrastructure like courts before hiring of judges can take place to reduce pendency of cases. In my view, the present infrastructure is grossly under-utilised—only from 9 am to 5 pm, five days a week, that is, a total of 40 hours. That is a utilisation of less than 25 per cent. If we take into account summer vacations and holidays, the utilisation rate falls even further. Why can’t additional judges be hired and a roster maintained so that courtrooms are used at night as well. If the military, police, government doctors, fire service personnel and other bureaucrats can work round the clock, why can’t judges? Also, selection and promotion of judges should be based more on the speed of justice delivery rather than the quality of judgments as respondents have an option to go in for an appeal and another judge will check its quality.
L.J. John, On E-Mail
I was disgusted to read your one-sided and prejudiced cover story The Muslims (February 17). Did you question who funded and fed the women of Shaheen Bagh? Why are women and children there, not men? Have they read the Constitution or CAA/NRC, which they are opposing? Also, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam is a hero—not just mine, but of the whole nation. To say that he is not a hero shows the emptiness of the author’s brain.
Arun Bhadri, On E-Mail
This refers to To Be His Own Man (March 2). In overlooking senior political leaders and making Prashant Kishor vice president of the JD(U) in the hope that the political analyst would infuse ideas to rejuvenate the party, Nitish Kumar was sadly misguided. Now that he has been shown the door, and knowing that the fragmented Opposition in Bihar holds no promise for political advancement, Kishor has decided to fight it out on his own in the upcoming assembly polls. However, Nitish Kumar and JD(U) leaders keeping a distance and not responding to Kishor’s criticism suggest that he will have a tough time countering NDA.
Srinivasan Ramswamy, Secunderabad
The story on the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transport Project (Act-East Inaction, March 2) deserved more space to explain the complexities of the project and its long-term gains. I hope the last 109-km stretch is completed in the next two years as planned.
G.V. Subramanyam, On E-Mail
I strongly condemn the utterances of Hemanth Pai from Bangalore (Letters, March 2). He seems to harbour frustration with democracy and secularism. He blamed the media and accused Outlook of all sorts of ridiculous things. This letter, in the first instance, should not have been published. Publishing such irresponsible letters will in no way prove that Outlook is secular as fanatic people have no common sense and close their eyes and ears. Outlook, in particular, and other media, in general, need not prove that they are secular. Their act over a period of time will make the reader understand. We, the so-called Hindus, should not call our fellow Indians as Muslims, Christian etc. We must learn to live in a free and democratic India instead of branding non-followers of a particular sect as “gaddar/anti-national”. All Indians have equal right over the country. When people are moving towards a global village, these people are pushing India towards the Stone Age.
Kiran Kumar Misra, On E-Mail
This refers to On the Right to the Centre, AK Goes 2.0 (February 24). The BJP changed gears and shifted to polarising the public for the Delhi assembly election with a saffron blitzkrieg, rabble-rousing and hate speech. However, it could not undo the strong track record of Kejriwal. The muffler man’s robust win in Delhi holds two lessons for the BJP: one, no memory of violence is easy to bury or heal; and two, communal politics is not a sureshot way to win an election.
Uzair Ahmed, Muzaffarnagar
I returned to India four years ago after two decades of staying abroad. It’s a mixed feeling to witness the country closely again. I came across your editorial Us and Them (February 17) and found it a fascinating read. On a different note, I feel that we celebrate festivals inappropriately—we block roads, pollute rivers and air, play music late into the night and so on.
Bharat Rawat, Indore
This refers to Who Fanned the Flames (March 9). We are a women student’s collective and our organising work is limited to the university. We have been going to various neighbourhoods in our city as students in solidarity with the initiatives being taken by women in their respective localities and communities against CAA. The small marches, day-long sit-ins, dharnas and other programmes were organised by the women of Seelampur on their own initiative, and we joined in solidarity. Also, we have not participated at all in the protest at Khajuri Khas.
Sudeeti, Pinjra Tod, On E-Mail
Coming To Town John F. Kennedy’s response to a girl asking him to protect Santa Claus