Our politicos’ motto: Give us your votes but keep your distance
Barkha Dutt in her article The human factor (Third Eye, August 21) succinctly discusses the problem of a vast disconnect between politicians and the common man. The number of politicos who regularly interact with the masses is plummeting by the day. They prefer TV studios to public rallies to express opinions on the government’s policies and discuss their plans for the nation’s development. Though it helps them to reach out to millions of people at a time, the medium doesn’t always allow people to participate in the debates.
Rishi Anand, Patna
Dutt’s analysis on the chasm between self-styled elite politicians and the hapless aam aadmi is praiseworthy. The only time netas make a public appearance is before elections, when they make false promises and beg people for votes. As Dutt rightly states, the other problem is that even when our politicians speak, they either speak in multiple voices or take digs at each other.
Aprajita Malhotra, via email
No name and no fame
I agree with Namita Bhandare’s views, as expressed in Will our real heroes stand up? (Another Day, August 21), that there is no dearth of role models in India. But they rarely get their due partly because public memory is shortlived and partly because the media highlights the achievements of only a handful of successful people.
Ranadeep Sain, via email
Hundreds of NSG commandos and Mumbai police personnel risked their lives to save others’ during the 26/11 terror attack. Yet, they did not get their due. The only time ordinary people are honoured for their extraordinary achievements is on the Republic Day when a select few are given bravery awards. The truth is that real heroes, who dedicate their lives for the welfare of others, do not work for recognition. The reason why they go unnoticed is because for them contributing to society is more important than making a name for themselves.
Indira Satyanarayan, Mumbai
Wrong notions of nationality
With reference to the editorial Degrees of parochialism (Our Take, August 26), it is shameful that chess champion Vishwanathan Anand, who has made India proud on more than one occasion, was asked to prove his nationality. Anand’s decision of initially declining the honorary doctorate will, hopefully, teach a lesson to our bureaucrats who are adept in stirring unnecessary controversies.
HN Ramakrishna, Michigan
The Viswanathan Anand episode brings to light the pettiness of our babus who have mastered the art of making politicians pay the price for their mistakes. Raising an objection over Anand’s citizenship was irrelevant. Recognising an individual’s achievements has nothing to do with his/her nationality. It’s doubtful if anyone would have questioned Anand’s credentials if he were either a parliamentarian or an influential industrialist.
JM Manchanda, Delhi
Pay tribute to diversity
Ashok Malik’s article A strange crusade (August 24) made for interesting reading. To resolve the controversy over the proposed plan of building a mosque at Ground Zero, the American government should instead build a ‘multi-religious’ centre that comprises a mosque, a church, a synagogue and temples for Hindus and Buddhists. It will also be the ideal way to pay tribute to the millions, from various religious backgrounds, who died in the 9/11 terror attack.
JN Mahanty, Puri