Sunetra Choudhury has made a detailed study of Anna Hazare’s movement since last year, when he broke his fast at the hands of a Muslim and a Dalit girl with the indications that the movement would go political. It is too early to say whether Anna’s decision to join politics is the right one, but once the movement strays from its initial objective and becomes political, it will lose the moral strength to fight for the causes for which it was initiated. Becoming part of the establishment, as a political party, Anna’s people will also be considered by the masses in the same way as the other ‘netas’.
—AG Ramasubramanian via e-mail
The decision of Team Anna to end its fast and enter the political field has only resulted in a loss of focus on the mission with which it started. To me, this decision shows that Team Anna lacks adequate perseverance to achieve the task of bringing about an effective Jan Lokpal Bill. In fact, Mahatma Gandhi , on whom Anna modeled his approach, fought relentlessly until he succeeded in what he set out to do. I therefore fail to understand how Anna, being a true Gandhian follower, lost faith in this Gandhian approach.
–R Sridhar, Bengaluru
It is unfortunate that Anna Hazare and his team have fallen prey to ‘political ambitions’! To float a party and fight elections is highly
inappropriate for someone who has been claiming to be a Gandhian. Mahatma Gandhi never stood for elections, neither did Jayaprakash Narayan nor for that matter Vinobha Bhave. One does not become a Gandhian by wearing a Gandhi cap!
–MV Nahushraj, Bengaluru
Ms Patil reconsider
‘Irregular’ by Manjul (August 4) draws the readers’ attention to the actions of our ex-president Ms Patil. It is obvious that as a part of diplomatic protocol, foreign dignitaries visiting our country will present gifts to the President as the country’s ‘first citizen’ which have to be deposited in the government treasury. Under no circumstances should they be treated as ‘personal gifts’ by the person occupying this office. Ms Patil’s desire to take the various gifts received during her tenure with the excuse that they are a loan is an eyewash. It is well known that once the case is out of public memory, no one is likely to recall these articles. Let us hope that wisdom will prevail upon Ms Patil and she will drop this highly objectionable idea.
–Kishorkumar J Ved, via email
The recent Cabinet reshuffle (‘Finance for PC, Shinde gets home ministry”, August 1) has been disappointing. It cannot be called a major reshuffle by any standards and looks like a game of musical chairs. What is intriguing is the elevation of a person like Sushil Shinde when the portfolio of power he was holding came in for great criticism due to blackout twice in two days. And after all this, he gets rewarded with an important portfolio like the Home Ministry. By doing this, the PM seems to have given the wrong impression.
–Yash P Verma, Pune
The news story “UIDAI bites dust as resident ID card gets nod” (August 4) made for distressing reading. With great fanfare and hype Nandan Nilekani’s UIDAI project was launched by the government last year. More than Rs1,500 crores were earmarked for the project covering the over-a-billion population of the country.
It was then claimed that the Aadhaar, as the UIDAI card was called, would be equivalent to the Social Security Card provided to the citizens in the developed countries. Now we are told that the Union Home Ministry will bring out its own Resident Identity Card, with a capital outlay of a staggering Rs5,500 crores , for off line usage of applications in targeted welfare schemes such as MNREGA. Aadhaar was touted as the answer to precisely such applications of social welfare schemes.
–Arun Chandra, Mumbai
Save the trees
At a time when environmentalists the world over are campaigning for saving and planting more trees the news item , “481 trees to be axed for homes” (August 4) came as a shock. Cutting down trees affects adversely affects the rainwater cycle and at the moment Maharashtra is facing below normal rainfall. What is the use of constructing more buildings when there is no water for the residents? Activists should file a PIL to stop this criminal act.
–Indira Satyanarayan via e-mail
This refers to “Help Vrindavan widows, SC tells UP” (August 4). The pitiable condition in which the distraught and hapless widows are housed in Vrindavan with no proper food and a lack of basic amenities is distressing. Having such homes to take care of the uncared widows is not enough but it is also incumbent on the part of those concerned to fulfill the obligations without allowing them to suffer. Once again, it is the Supreme Court that has had to step in to bring the concerned authorities to act swiftly.
–HP Murali, Bengaluru
The lesser lights in the Indian Olympic contingent have managed to pull off a few pleasant surprises much to the delight of Indian sports buffs. While marksman Gagan Narang managed to bag a bronze in the men’s 10m air rifle, another shooter, Vijay Kumar grabbed the silver in the men’s 25m rapid fire pistol shooting event. The Leander Paes-Vishnu Vardhan combine and Parupalli Kashyap deserve kudos for giving their more formidable rivals a run for their money before bowing out. India’s best bet should clearly be in the boxing category. Let’s hope that there are more surprises in store before the Games end!
–NJ Ravi Chander, Bengaluru
This is with reference to ‘BMC starts restoring statues of yore’ (August 4). BMC’s decision to give a face-lift to the existing statues in the city is commendable. Instead of spending hundreds of crores erecting new statues in the midst of the sea it would be wise maintaining the statues already there. By seeing their statues students can visualise and imbibe moral values from these freedom fighters and philanthropists which would otherwise have been scripted only in history textbooks.
–Deepak Chikramane, Mumbai