the fully loaded magazine
It’s unfortunate that an event which changed the religious balance of India is being treated as just a one-off affair (Pseudocrat’s Tale, Dec 7). I hope we as a civilisation can gather enough courage and determination to create a just and free society. Till then no amount of growth can put a shine on our utterly ineffectual democracy—where a commission takes 17 years to complete such a general report.
Somshankar Bose, Madison, US
The key accused in the Babri Masjid demolition should be Rajiv Gandhi who thought he needed to pander to the Hindu votebank by opening the gates of the disputed structure after the Shah Bano case fiasco.
L.K. Advani, M.M. Joshi et al couldn’t have asked for more from Liberhan. Just the fact that Vajpayee too has been indicted makes them practically innocent by association.
Rakesh Babu G.R., Bangalore
Vajpayee is more dangerous than Advani, who at least is an open enemy of Muslims.
Jameel M. Ali, Madina
It is part of Atal Behari Vajpayee’s mystique that even Outlook can’t bring itself to judge him harshly.
Ashok Lal, Mumbai
Despite trying its dmnedest to rake up muck on Vajpayee, Outlook couldn’t produce even a shred of evidence to prove that he was a chaddiwala in a white dhoti. We love him for what he is and no Liberhan or Outlook can change that.
B.V. Shenoy, Bangalore
Vajpayee might be an enigma, but in hindsight his actions do defy the definition of a moderate, whether it was the Babri Masjid demolition or the Gujarat riots a decade later. The tempering down of the Hindutva agenda during his time was nothing but a compulsion of coalition politics.
Bazeed Mirza, Edinburgh, UK
The sketch of Vajpayee on the front cover was in bad taste. The cover story too failed miserably to prove anything.
V.L. Lokre, Pune
Your cover illustration of Vajpayee was brilliant. You may have left it to your readers to decide if he was villain or victim, but the split personality was all too evident.
Jatinder Sethi, on e-mail
It’s a strange irony that Vajpayee and Advani are being held responsible for the Babri demolition at a time when the kar sevaks—once their own footsoldiers—have become their most stringent critics. Advani’s fallen between two stools. Attacked by the pseudo-secularists for unleashing communalism, he is now being vociferously attacked by kar sevaks as a follower of pseudo-Hindutva. Those kar sevaks, who used to be his staunchest supporters and were ready to come out on the streets at one call of his, no longer take him seriously. His decision to crack down on kar sevaks as home minister during 2003 earned him the name of Maulvi Advani. His failure to become the prime minister, despite everything seemingly going well for him, is probably due to the curse of the kar sevaks.
Sameer C. Mohindru, Singapore
Vajpayee did a lot of good for the country, let’s not colour him as a fundamentalist in his last days.
Rajesh Chary, Mumbai
Despite the Babri demolition, the Gujarat carnage and other such divisive events, India still stands strong, united and rock solid. Salute the plurality and unity of India and boo the vanar sena, which will never succeed in dividing us Indians.
Savitri Devi, Abu Dhabi
Charge him with doublespeak, charge him for not taking any strong stance, charge him with speaking for both religious and secular India, but don’t label Vajpayee as a pseudo-moderate. He was just a master politician.
D.C., New York
All politicians are opportunists who take advantage of the prevailing mood among people. Vajpayee was no exception. If Indira Gandhi could go to Jammu and support Hindu nationalism, prop up Bhindranwale for her own ends and yet be seen as secular and moderate, why not Vajpayee?
G. Niranjan Rao, Hyderabad