an ugly mix
Sir: You are absolutely right when you say that the NDA government
would not have come into being if it had not put the Ayodhya
issue on the backburner (‘Speak up, PM’,IE, August 28). There
are many pressing issues like education, employment, healthcare
and the like, which need to be addressed on a war footing.
In this context, Ayodhya is a non-issue. Bhukhe pet na
bhajan Gopala (an empty stomach cannot sing bhajans).
Religion is the food of fundamentalists. Unfortunately, in
our country, religion and politics have become so mixed together
that its exploitation through politics no longer raises eyebrows.
— C.P. CHINDA
Sir: The column, ‘Letter & Spirit’ (IE, August 23) makes
intriguing reading. The columnist, Manoj Mitta, agrees that
there was much validity in Arundhati Roy’s critique of the
Supreme Court judgment on Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP). He
agrees that Roy may be justified in taking part in a demonstration
against the judgment. He agrees that the Supreme Court erred
in making elaborate remarks against her in its order in an
earlier case of alleged contempt. And yet he goes on to find
her erring. Because Roy objected to being given notice by
the apex court on a matter that even a local police station
refused to accept. Even the Supreme Court agrees (as was apparent
in its hearing on August 2) that the contempt petition does
not seem to have substance! The notice in the matter was thus
Mitta achieves this rather contradictory stance by refusing
to see why Roy objects to the Court giving her notice. And
his blinding faith in what he calls ‘‘routine incident of
judicial process’’ without really going into the reasons as
to when really the routine process should be invoked in fact
takes him to even suspect the motives behind Roy’s remarks
against the court! One would wish Mitta had made better use
of the space in the newspaper in highlighting other substantive
matters in the SSP, where even as the court wastes its precious
time in deliberating some imaginary contempt, thousands of
Adivasis in the Narmada Valley are facing the repercussions
of the Court’s orders. A more clear case of contempt of people
would be difficult find.
— HIMANSHU THAKKAR
Sir: This refers to your editorial, ‘Degrees of entrapment’
(IE, August 23}. Wine, women and money have always been used
by dubious characters to collect highly classified information
information or to influence business deals.
Tehelka has only exposed how easily some of our people in
authority, which includes defence officers, bureaucrats and
politicians, could be purchased by interested parties.
Tehelka’s defence ‘‘that extraordinary circumstance demands
extraordinary methods’’ deserves to endorsed by all right-thinking
persons. Tehelka could not have achieved its objective without
employing the same methods that are used by ‘‘the dubious
characters peddling dubious wares’’ for the defence forces.
There is nothing wrong in the deployment of women in the sting
operation by Tehelka as it is one of the important methods,
besides wine and money, to influence business deals with the
— DALIP SINGH GHUMAN
Sir: Your editorial, ‘A sacking as a sop’ (IE, August 13)
has shown the dismissed energy minister of UP, Naresh Agarwal,
in bad a light. You seem to be obsessed with his rise in politics.
He comes from an affluent family. Politics runs in his veins.
His grandfather and father have had the privilege of sitting
in Parliament House and the UP Assembly.
Who introduced Naresh Agarwal to corruption? Is it not a fact
that he was lured to desert the Congress party, along with
his 19 fellow MLAs, through offers of ministerial berths and
other blandishments. Once he perceived the advantages derived
from unethical practices, he freely indulged in them. It’s
a pity that an honest and promising leader has been spoilt
by bad company.
— SHARIQ ALAVI