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They have designs on you

Sir — Why are the people of Tamil Nadu so taken up with filmstars (“Larger than life”, Aug, 24)' All Indians love films and there have been a few actors like Uttam Kumar in Bengal who have enjoyed near-cult status in their lifetime. But only a handful has tried to translate their popularity into electoral gains. And of these, even fewer have succeeded. So what is it about Tamil Nadu that has seen a steady procession of film personalities occupying seats of political power' One could understand M.G. Ramachandran’s and even J. Jayalalithaa’s ascension to chief ministership — they came before the rise of television journalism, when people were naïve. But that can not explain the Rajnikanth phenomenon or the fuss over the film, Baba. The film seems deliberately designed to prop up Rajnikanth as a leader of the people. It has stirred enough trouble all over the state as it is. If the people of Tamil Nadu do not see through the machinations even now, they deserve all they get.

Yours faithfully,
Malini Basu, Calcutta


Freedom song
Diptimoy Ghosh, Calcutta


Yours faithfully,
Srinivasan Balakrishnan,


Jamshedpur


Iftakhar Latif, Guwahati


Yours faithfully,
Mohammed Asif Iqbal, Calcutta


The big picture
Ranjan Circar, Jalpaiguri


This question brings us to a broader issue. Over the years the “unputdownable” daily, The Telegraph, has gradually become a colourful journal, full of news of Hollywood-Bollywood celebrities and other features appealing to the taste of the upwardly mobile. Since few readers today depend on newspapers alone to get news, the “news” content of newspapers takes second place to exclusive interviews, glamorous photographs and advertisements. Of course, this does not mean that The Telegraph has turned itself into a tabloid. Maybe, the splash of colour is its effort to keep pace with the times.

Yours faithfully,
Smarajit Chakrabarti, Ranchi


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