Catching up fast
Sir — Bihar is one of the fastest growing states, second only to Gujarat (“CSO report spurs celebration”, Jan 4). This is because the first thing that Nitish Kumar did after becoming chief minister was to restore law and order in Bihar. If citizens are assured that their earnings will not be snatched away by politically-backed criminals, they will feel enthused to toil harder, leading to greater productivity. Kumar has successfully demonstrated that a state’s government need not be aligned with the Centre’s in order to reach its growth target.
N.K. Das Gupta, Calcutta
Sir — It is interesting that Kurisinkal Sebastian Manoj has chosen god over the communist party (“Marxist puts God above party”, Jan 10). This illustrates how fed up the common people are with the class struggle theory. Manoj’s case also highlights how, in India, several communists with religious leanings act in contradiction to their ideology. A large section of the cadre is known to offer puja, prayer and namaz or fast during Ramazan.
It can be argued that the human race owes more to religion than to Marxism. Figures like Muhammad, Jesus or the Buddha have been responsible for keeping a large section of humanity together for hundreds of years. But just as the teachings of Marx were later distorted by leaders like Mao and Stalin to capture power, the message of these religious leaders has also been twisted by people who run religious institutions.
Subrata Pal, Nadia
Sir — The Communist Party of India (Marxist) seems to have no space for those who believe in god. Innocent believers who happen to have strayed into the party have been surprised by this ideology. K.S. Manoj belongs to this category. Manoj has now given up his party membership, and thereby escaped this dogma. In recent times, Marxist leaders have been silent on whether the cadre should essentially consist of non-believers. This is perhaps because they know that if the party were to strictly adhere to its agnostic stance, it would have no sympathizers left.
The church does not ask its followers not to work with a particular political party. So, why should a political outfit specify whether its members are to believe in the church or not?
K.A. Solaman, Alappuzha, Kerala
Sir — The demise of Moti Nandi on January 3 marked the end of an era in sports journalism. Nandi was a class of his own and never shied away from challenges. As a former sports editor of Anandabazar Patrika, he earned respect from reporters of English newspapers as well as from the foreign media. He was a reservoir of knowledge about the history and rules of most games. His experience in sports journalism also added a unique touch to his literary works. Nandi won the Sahitya Akademi award for his book Sada Kham in 1991. His first literary work, based on the world of sports, Nonida Not Out, was immensely popular. His landmark novels, Koni, Stopper, Striker, Jibon Ananta and Shiba’r Phire Asa, were inspired by real-life struggles of sportspersons. Some of his books were later turned into films. Soumitra Chatterjee’s sterling performance as Khitda in the film, Koni, is still etched in the memory of film buffs. Khitda’s famous line, “Fight, Koni, fight!”, from the film, has not only inspired generations of athletes but also many common people.
Subhayu Saha, Khagra, Murshidabad