Hungry for a Front
Vir Sanghvi’s article Third Front’s a crowd (Counterpoint, March 15) made for interesting reading. The Third Front is nothing but a group of opportunists without any agenda or vision. The leaders of these parties are being rejected by the voter time and again and are coming together for their political survival. The fact is that the Front leaders have failed in the past and have not given any stable government at the Centre. The voter must reject these power-hungry and selfish people.
Bhagwan Thadani, via email
Today, everyone’s anger is directed at the politics pursued in India. For some, it may be an instance of evolving democracy, but the emerging Third Front reflects more a cosmetic gesture than a genuine alternative in governance. The idea of democracy in India has been tarnished over time and a seat in Parliament is seen as an achievement in itself rather than as a duty. Every party leader seems hell-bent on proving himself the best candidate for prime ministership.
Ashwani Sharma, Ghaziabad
Vir Sanghvi has painted a true picture of the so-called Third Front. It is not even an opportunistic alliance but a set of politicians with no integrity or commitment to anything. It is unfortunate that there are many aspirants for the PM’s post but hardly anyone who deserves it. Both the Congress and the BJP must review their approach towards each other and examine the possibility of providing a stable government at the Centre.
S.K. Wasan, Noida
Spinning wheels must go round
The articles on the compact disc (Sunday HT, March 15) by Indrajit Hazra (Disc Deewane) and Sanjoy Narayan (A stomping welcome) give a definitive history of the CD. It is interesting to know that purists sneered at the clear sound of the CD. Like Narayan, cassettes are a part of my nostalgia and I have still kept a select few of my trunkful in my car. Nothing beats the finiteness in the playing time of the cassettes that had to be clickety clacketted to change sides. Hazra points to the ‘new enemy’ of the CD: MP3s. They, however, can’t give the same fidelity as a CD format can.
Rajeev Tivari, via email
Where is the North-east?
Indrajit Hazra’s article Not on the Atkins diet (Red Herring, March 15) has put Irom Sharmila Chanu’s seven-year-running fast in protest against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (1958) in Manipur in the right perspective. Turmoil-ridden Manipur has been neglected by most of the national media. I hope such columns will bring more attention to the plight of the North-east region, both at the social as well as the political level.
Jyaneswar Laishram, Delhi
I’ve come across a handful of articles discussing how Irom Sharmila’s fast has been concealed from the public eye for years. India being a democracy, we can’t let the issue of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act be tucked under the carpet. The ‘pink chaddi’ campaign against the Ram Sene in Mangalore was an excellent case of involving the public in a powerful protest. Such a campaign should be organised to raise awareness about the political situation in Manipur.
Esha Banerjee, via email
Manas Chakravarty’s idea in A few days at the races (Loose Canon, March 15) is valid. The government spends crores of rupees on worthless candidates who, in turn, add crores to their kitty. Betting on them seems to be a truly democratic way of participating in elections and a source of income for people hit by the recession. Chakravarty is right advocating bets on “the winning horse ... er... candidate”. But the word ‘horse’ is not appropriate as horses are hardworking.
G.K. Arora, Delhi
Face the truth (or not)
Karan Thapar’s article General knowledge (Sunday Sentiments, March 15) hit the nail on the head. Our politicians never come forward to engage in any debate on issues that involve them. One cannot imagine Sonia Gandhi, who seldom gives interviews, or Manmohan Singh inviting questions the way Pervez Musharraf did recently.
Ankita Kanwar, Gurgaon
Varghese K. George’s article In Camera (March 15) and the photographs by K. Natarajan of India’s leaders were inspiring and nostalgic. This ‘unsung hero’ captured many luminaries on camera but was faceless himself for the last over 60 years. Kudos to HT for publishing these remarkable photographs
Y.S. Bhaskar, Delhi