Now for the deluge
Sir — “Eye on poll, CM salutes seer for rain” (Oct 10), shows the ridiculous extent to which Digvijay Singh is willing to carry politics, that is provided it helps him pull the rug from under the feet of the saffron gang in his state. If his anti-cow-slaughter campaign was not enough to humble a particularly disruptive sanyasin, his playing cosy with Sri Sri 108, the alleged rainmaker, assures him a complete coup. But does Singh realize that his attempt at painting Madhya Pradesh a deeper shade of saffron bears dangerous portents for the future of Indian politics'
Jyoti Haldar, Calcutta
Sir — Now that the dates for the assembly elections in five states have been announced by the Election Commission, political parties are gearing up to battle it out (“Poll dates”, Oct 7). The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party have already started muscle-flexing, as the recent byelections at Sholapur and Ernakulam showed. Once again irrational statements, the usual mudslinging and other boorish behaviour will dominate the campaignings. Yet the elections should have been fought on core issues like transport, road, electricity, water, employment, development and other contentious problems. Why cannot politicians set an example this time by changing their mode of campaign' Let them show how sensitive they are towards the concerns of the people.
Danish Anwar, New Delhi
Sir — It is only days before the political parties get back to their usual game of doublespeak. Given the communalizing of politics in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, the corruption in Chhattisgarh and Delhi, the issues in the elections are far more serious than the electorate would be willing to think. Since the fallouts of these elections are bound to be significant for the general elections next year, perhaps the Election Commission should keep a stricter vigilance than normal.
B.S. Ganesh, Bangalore
Sir — In the background of the forthcoming assembly elections in five states, the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, should keep her antenna up about how her chief ministers are trying to keep hard facts under wraps to protect their flock. The Sholapur defeat should be viewed in the broader context of the disenchantment of Muslim voters, who were probably reacting against police highhandedness and persecution following the communal flare-up in Sholapur. Though the English media is shamelessly hiding facts, Urdu dailies from Mumbai have openly cited police atrocities on Muslims as the singlemost important factor behind the defeat. These reports cannot be brushed aside by the so-called “secular” political front constituents if they wish to keep Maharashtra from falling into the lap of Hindu right.
Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai
Sir — Dev Anand knows how to court publicity (“Norah voices Shankar outrage”, Oct 7). If one puts onself in Norah Jones’s shoes, one would be able to see why she is so justified in her anger against Anand. He may think that he is “flattering” the Shankars by making a movie on their “lives”, but the family members, and quite rightly, think he is making a fool of himself. The problem is when will Dev Anand realize this fact for himself' Even if he does, will he be able to save Jones from public humiliation'
Bijoy Ranjan Dey,Tinsukia
Sir — The outburst of Norah Jones, can be understood. Someone who was denied her due rights as a daughter and made a success of her life by her own determination and perseverance has been unnecessarily dragged into a controversy. We agree entirely that what transpired between her and her father is totally a private affair and no one has any right to interfere with the relationship she shares with her father.
Vicky Malhotra,New Delhi