A collective effort
With reference to Barkha Dutt’s article Faith accompli (February 2), in a religious discourse, faith is about trusting God. It is a dependence of love like that of a child for his parents. It is the fount of moral endeavour that sustains you while wrestling with the problems of the world. Unfortunately, today’s religious people have moved to blind faith, with its attendant doubt and fear that leads to evil in the world.
Nisha Bala Tyagi, Delhi
Barkha Dutt indirectly attacks the BJP for making Sethusamudram a political issue while praising Jawaharlal Nehru for his secular policies. But she ignores the fact that despite enjoying a majority in Parliament, Nehru never implemented the Directive Principle of Uniform Civil Code. Today, Muslim women are governed by marriage laws that perhaps belong to the 10th century. Will Barkha Dutt write about how much Muslim women suffer due to archaic personal laws? Or is secularism only for Hindus?
Abhay Dang, via e-mail
Barkha Dutt concludes that we need to learn not to see religion as the eternal enemy. Hindu thoughts lay stress on the ultimate purpose of life. Lord Rama, one of the most worshipped deities in Hinduism, is revered for his unending compassion, courage and devotion to religious values and duty.
PL Bakhshi, Delhi
Barkha Dutt misses the facts. Though the Bible talks of unnatural things as Jesus walking on water, the Valmiki Ramayana, the original one, does not talk of anything supernatural. According to the epic, the mass-density of the rocks used to build the Setu were such that they had to be transferred by sea. Second, though the BJP government did talk of building the canal up to Sri Lanka, it never wanted to destroy the Ram-Setu. What it wanted to do was build a canal paralleling the revered Setu. Isn’t that a viable option?
Medha Arya, via e-mail
The Sethusamudram project is bogged down in politics rather than economics. For all we know, the coast guard chief may have been directed to speak on the security aspect of this project.
Som Sharma, Gurgaon
An appeal for clemency
Apropos of Indrajit Hazra’s article Let Sayed Kambakhsh live (February 1), the arrest of and death sentence for 23-year-old Afghan journalist Sayed Perwiz Kambakhsh for downloading an article from the internet referring to the Koranic testament about women is shameful. The cultural history of India-Afghanistan, dating back thousands of years, was immortalised in Rabindranath Tagore’s Kabuliwala. Freedom of expression is crucial for Afghanistan and India should do its best to encourage this. We, friends of Afghanistan, appeal to Karzai to let Sayed Kambakhsh live.
Nayantara Sahgal and others, via e-mail
A collective effort
Apropos of Abhishek Singhvi’s article India in one man (February 6), the foundation for democracy was laid by the collective efforts of freedom fighters. It became a way of life for which no individual could be singled out. Whatever legacy Nehru gave this country was not unquestionably right. Sardar Patel’s contributions were not insignificant, particularly his role in sending troops to Kashmir for saving it from Pakistani invaders and persuading the rulers of many small fiefdoms to merge with India.
Shanti Bhushan, Noida
It is a pleasure to read about our great leader and freedom fighter who laid the strong foundation of modern India. Nobody can refute the fact that Jawaharlal Nehru was an intellectual who had great respect for democracy and democratic institutions.
SUNIL KUMAR GUPTA, via e-mail
Abhishek Singhvi’s article smacks of chamchagiri towards the Nehru clan. It is not a true appreciation of the merits of Nehru’s policies in the formative years of the nation when there was so much national unity and patriotic fervour. But for his timidness, there would have been no Kashmir problem. What’s happening on the economic front now could have been done long ago and today we would have been as good as Japan or Germany.
S.L. Goyal, Delhi
Left choice not right
Sitaram Yechury’s observations in Modi No 2 (February 7) are unacceptable as he feels LK Advani becoming the Prime Minister is fiction. Harping on the attacks on Parliament, Red Fort, Akshardham temple, etc. during the NDA regime does no one any good. Advani’s service to this nation is much more than that of the leaders of the Left parties. Should we condemn the West Bengal CM for his misrule, where the livelihood of many farmers has been deprived and many innocent lives lost in the name of development? If Mayawati wants to become PM, there is nothing wrong in naming Advani as a prime ministerial candidate.
S. Raghavan, via e-mail