Barkha Dutt’s article Dangerous politics (Third Eye, January 22) exposes the irony of the BJP’s ‘Ekta Yatra’ in Jammu and Kashmir. The party made sincere efforts to establish peace in the Valley when it was in power at the Centre under the leadership of AB Vajpayee. But it is doing just the opposite now with its insistence on hoisting the flag in Srinagar. Instead of creating more problems for the nation, the BJP should focus on keeping a check on the UPA government’s performance.
Marcia Rodrigues, via email
Let us not go into what the BJP leaders said in the past. Instead, let’s look at the issue at hand. Should we condemn the BJP’s attempt to hoist the national flag in Srinagar only because some hardliners are opposing it? Aren’t we giving the separatists more importance than they deserve? The more we concede their demands, the more they will expect from the government. Have 60 years not been enough to give peace a chance? How long are we going to live in fear in our own country?
Som Nath Sharma, Gurgaon
Dutt, on the one hand, seems to suggest that the BJP’s ‘Tiranga Yatra’ is unethical but, on the other, she mentions that patriotism is at its peak in Srinagar on every Republic Day. When the tricolour is hoisted across India on January 26 every year, then why not in Srinagar? It is up to the people of the Valley to decide if they want Kashmir to stay a part of India and celebrate the Republic Day with the entire nation or not.
Tanvi Chaudhary, Gurgaon
Reaching out to the stars
Namita Bhandare’s article No country for old artistes (Another Day, January 22) is very informative. It’s sad to learn about AK Hangal, who was bed-ridden following multiple ailments, and could not afford treatment. It is good that Amitabh Bachchan has come forward to help the senior actor. But such one-off gestures will be insufficient. A permanent fund should be instituted with contribution from all actors to help senior actors.
K Venkataraman, Delhi
Bhandare’s article, about the miserable conditions of veteran Bollywood artistes, is touching. I think the time has come for the film industry to come together to help senior members of their community. Playback singer Hemlata of the ‘Akhiyon ke jharoke se’ fame survives on a meagre monthly allowance from other actors. Even Mubarak Begum, who sang the famous song ‘Kabhi tanhaiyon main hamari yaad’, lived in penury before Kiran Shantaram, son of V Shantaram, and Nana Patekar offered her financial assistance. Now she is leading a dignified life.
Suresh Bhatia, Delhi
Adding fuel to the fire
With reference to the editorial A wake-up call for everyone (Our Take, January 27), the immolation of additional collector Yashwant Sonawane by the oil mafia in Maharashtra is a terrible incident. Is this what an honest officer deserves? Such incidents will discourage other honest and sincere officials from doing their duties. At a time when corruption is on the rise, it is a pity that the government is not taking strict measures against the guilty.
NR Ramachandran, Ooty
Sonawane’s murder should be an eye-opener for the authorities. The need of the hour is to amend our laws so that the guilty are punished and a precedent is set. The Maharashtra government should try to break the nexus between the oil mafias and the police.
Rajan Kalia, via email