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This refers to the cover story Hero Or Hype (March 23). Nowadays, Opposition leaders try to become famous by criticising the Prime Minister and his decisions. They relentlessly endeavour to create a third front or fourth front to defeat BJP. Same is the case with Kanhaiya Kumar. After the collapse of communist states across the world, the people of India too have rejected the ideology. The defeat of Kanhaiya in Begusarai against the BJP candidate by a margin of more than four lakh votes instantiates this. Moreover, the charges of sedition are often difficult to substantiate, that is why Kanhaiya is confident of his acquittal. Sometimes, the media exaggerates—this reflects in this cover story too. The media should maintain a balance while reporting about any movement or tenderfoot like Kanhaiya.
Indu Shankar Dube, Varanasi
I was a scholar for years in the vibrant JNU campus and witnessed the seeds of debate, discussion and dissent being sown, growing into a tree of democracy that provides shade to the deprived and disenfranchised. Kanhaiya Kumar is the product of that culture, giving voice to the voiceless.
Rakesh Agrawal, Dehradun
There have been so many presidents of JNU Students’ Union and Kanhaiya was just one of them till he shot to fame for the wrong reasons. After the row at the event on Afzal Guru in February 2016, he started speaking against Modi and his policies. As happens in the case of Modi-baiters, he became the hero of Opposition parties and leftists. For others, he is just a rabble-rouser. It is surprising that Outlook took Kanhaiya to be a leader of such calibre that you dedicated a cover story to him and discussed whether he would be able to prevent a seasoned leader like Nitish Kumar from winning a fourth consecutive election.
M.C. Joshi, Lucknow
The cover story on Kanhaiya was a waste of space. There were so many important stories that week and you chose one not worth the time and effort.
Harish S., On E-Mail
Kanhaiya is neither hero nor hype; the perception is that he is a great leader in the making. Kanhaiya very aptly said in his interview: “Democracy has been reduced to elections. How to democratise society—what is the process?” No politician thinks of democatising society. The present state of affairs suits them better. The reason is simple, as Osho points out: “The majority consists of fools, utter fools. Beware of the majority. If many people are following a thing, that is enough proof that something is wrong. Truth happens to individuals, not to crowds.” The present majoritarian governments are proof enough of who they are representing—damn fools.
M.N. Bhartiya, Goa
Kanhaiya does not deserve to be on a magazine cover. It looks like you are leaning towards leftist ideas. Mr Banerjee, have you buried the principles with which Outlook was founded?
Vishwanath Dhotre, On E-Mail
The name Kanhaiya instantly evokes a strong spiritual feeling among millions in our nation because Lord Krishna is fondly called by that name. After JNU, Kanhaiya Kumar is now trying to make himself relevant in politics. JNU has become a paradise for so-called deprived students who, on the pretext of getting a degree, enjoy a highly subsidised life. Biharis who vote later this year won’t take much time to choose between a seasoned administrator like Nitish and a novice like Kanhaiya.
Rangarajan T.S., Bangalore
This refers to Royal Shift Ruffles The Middle Kingdom (March 23). Congress seems to be doing everything to make itself extinct. If the plan is to die, there is no better way to kill it than the course being followed in the past few months. The Congress is not devoid of good leaders, but they simply cannot muster the courage to think beyond the Gandhi family. Whatever its other failings, BJP allows for a degree of internal discussion and dissent. Congress is living in its own cocoon. This is a sad situation for a party once associated with India’s freedom struggle.
Padmini Raghavendra, Secunderabad
Will Jyotiraditya Scindia’s exit lead to a revolt in Congress? Will more leaders emulate him and leave the sinking ship? That will be the case if the party does not correct its style of functioning. It must first resolve the leadership crisis. This decision has to be taken within the family. Then comes the reorganisation and restructuring of the party. The Congress has to fight not only national parties, but also regional forces emerging in many states.
K.S. Jayatheertha, Bangalore
The defection of Jyotiraditya Sinha to BJP shows not only the hunger for trappings of power, but also sends out a clarion call to ‘the grand old party’, which refuses to let go of the Gandhis. That once formidable power centre that has lost relevance and become redundant in India’s radically changed political milieu.
George Jacob, Kochi
There have been no serious attempts by party leaders to break away from the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty’s leadership. Whenever the question of leading the party comes up, why is the focus only on the first family when there is no dearth of talent among the younger generation?
L.J.S. Panesar, On E-Mail
This refers to Curse Of The Coronavirus (March 16). Whispers in political corridors as well as the international media say that the pandemic might have been the result of a failed experiment to create a biological weapon of mass destruction. Unconfirmed reports are pointing fingers to a secret collusion between the ruling clique of a theocratic country and the governments of a couple of nations professing the doctrine of atheism.
Arun Malankar, Mumbai
This refers to Yes, You Are In Queue (March 23). So deep-rooted is the rot in the country’s financial system, there is no knowing when the best in the business would collapse like a house of cards. Till only the other day, Yes Bank was considered one of the better private sector lenders, enjoying enormous goodwill among the public and the financial community. P. Chidambaram says that the mismanagement of financial institutions under the BJP government is responsible. The Congress leader would do well to remember that during his tenure as finance minister, UPA was was embroiled in several scandals. At that time, the Opposition had been proactive in pointing them out. The pot should cease calling the kettle black.
J. Akshobhya, Mysore
Hope above all Excerpts of last letter from Isaac K., a Jewish man, during the Holocaust