Eloquent arguments, flat on facts
With reference to Karan Thapar’s article Ours to question why (Sunday Sentiments, August 21), telecom minister Kapil Sibal, an advocate by profession, is an expert at arguing for or against any issue. At a time when the UPA is in a soup, he wants to be interviewed by every TV channel to convince people that the loss in the sale of the 2G spectrum was notional. But this not true.
SB Singh, via email
Set up the top order now
With reference to the article Our box-office flops (Chanakya, August 21), India can’t afford another Manmohan Singh as its prime minister. While the BJP should project either Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi or Bihar CM Nitish Kumar as its prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 general elections, the Congress should capitalise on the popularity of defence minister AK Antony or the party’s general secretary Rahul Gandhi among the masses.
Bhartendu Sood, Chandigarh
A weathervane for our mood
This refers to Indrajit Hazra’s article Anna horribilis (Red Herring, August 21). The massive support to Anna Hazare’s crusade confirms that the aam aadmi is fed up with corrupt politicians. Hazare has given people the hope of a better future. The failure to be sensitive to people’s resentment will jeopardise the UPA’s future.
Sudhakar Shenoy, Mumbai
Hazra makes a few important points on Anna’s movement against corruption. First, the huge public support to Hazare is not only unexpected but also astounding. Second, the common man realises that the Jan Lokpal Bill enjoys more powers than the government’s version of the bill. Third, unlike the uprisings in countries like Egypt and Libya, Hazare’s protest is not aimed at bringing down the government. The Jan Lokpal Bill, if implemented, will improve governance in India irrespective of which party comes to power at the Centre.
M Ratan, Delhi
I must remind Hazra that
some of the most significant mass movements in the past were
not led by either left-wing loonies or right-wing nutcases. Take the case of Bengal in 1966-67,
the anti-Vietnam protests in the 1960s or the Prague Spring in 1968. Hazra should not mince words and clearly express his views on the Lokpal Bill. As a columnist, he should realise that expression is as important as views.
Rita Datta, via email
Reservations on reservations
With reference to Aasheesh Sharma’s article Aarakshan
agitation, a blast from the past (People and Journeys, August 21), one can argue that the beneficiaries of the Mandal Commission no longer remember or acknowledge former Prime Minister VP Singh for the efforts he put into implementing it. Students in the general category have lost more than those in the SC/ST categories have gained from reservations in educational institutions.
GK Arora, Delhi II
Prakash Jha’s movie Aarakshan effectively examines the advantages and shortcomings of reservations. It is true that the quota system breeds inefficiency. One can’t deny that votebank politics continue to dictate policy-making event in the 21st century. Instead of reserving seats in schools and colleges, the government should create more job opportunities for people with varied skill sets.
Mahesh Kapasi, via email
Make a mental note of it
With reference to Manas Chakravarty’s article Mad tea partymen (Loose Canon, August 21), Anna Hazare’s comment that those opposing his movement should be admitted to mental hospitals is demeaning for millions of patients of mental disorders. In a democracy, everyone is free to have an opinion. But Hazare doesn’t enjoy the right to stigmatise the mentally ill by making unnecessary comments.
Nandita Pillai, via email
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