Back to the body
Sir — The more the information and broadcasting ministry tries to orient the tastes of the satellite television-viewing public towards things it considers morally unobjectionable, the more will be the resistance against it (“Trendz TV gives govt the blushes”, Dec6). If the ministry thought it had done its job by stopping FTV from showing topless models, then it must have realized by now that it is easy to say, easier to imagine, but almost impossible to carry out. Not only is FTV back with its “Midnight Hot” section (albeit in the wee hours of the morning: the die-hard viewers will watch it at any hour), Trendz airs a similar show at midnight, and a few other channels have also launched programmes which show a lot of female flesh. Unless the government makes channels catering specifically to adults available to interested individuals at a price, the resistance and defiance will only take new dimensions, making it impossible for the information and broadcasting ministry to handle.
G.M. Auddy, Calcutta
Sir — Money, particularly of the unclean kind, has become such an important driving force in Indian politics that it is downright shameful. There is every reason to believe that Ajit Jogi had tried to engineer a split in the Bharatiya Janata Party by offering money to the BJP member of parliament, Baliram Kashyap (“High five after tape tit-for-tat”, Dec 8). But how could Arun Jaitley, a lawyer and shrewd politician himself, place his case on such a shaky ground' He has only three pieces of evidence against Jogi — an audiotape, currency notes and the letter of support addressed to the governor. Are these sufficient to pin down Jogi' Audiotape is not admissible in the court, there is no way to prove that the currency notes displayed before journalists belonged to Jogi or were given by him, and the letter addressed to the governor merely stated that the Congress would support the faction led by Baliram Kashyap. In fact, Jogi may well say now that Kashyap, pretending to be a disgruntled BJP leader, approached him with the request for his support, which Jogi agreed to lend.
The BJP’s double standards are also matchless. One morning, it claims that videotapes can be doctored at will (in Dilip Singh Judeo’s case), and the very next morning, it presents an audiotape as proof. Moreover, since Kashyap mentioned that he had asked Jogi to come with the money the day after they finalized the deal, it means that Kashyap and his allies had enough time to inform any law-enforcing agency to catch Jogi red-handed when he turned up with the money. And what right did Kashyap have to “seize” the money' In fact, it is quite possible that he has pocketed a portion of the total amount and disclosed only Rs 45 lakh: this amount seems too little as the market value of 17 legislators.
This probably indicates that Jaitley, and the BJP, had no intention of sending Jogi to prison. They wanted to end Jogi’s political career, and to augment its own bargaining power in the Judeo case. But the Congress has gone one-up on the BJP again, by suspending Jogi within minutes of Jaitley’s press conference, while the BJP is yet to take any action against Judeo.
Govind Das Dujari, Calcutta
Sir — Ajit Jogi has not only got a drubbing at the hustings, but he has had to leave in a fair amount of disgrace, after being implicated in an identical scandal that had felled Dilip Singh Judeo just before the elections. This round of assembly elections has been marked by the propensity of rival politicians to unmask one another’s corrupt faces. This may turn out to be blessing in disguise in the long run.
Since currency is the basic tool of operation in such cases of corruption, the Union government must immediately announce drastic measures to modify currency circulation in banking transactions. All expenses above Rs 1,000 may be allowed only by cheque. Cash withdrawals exceeding Rs 20,000 from a bank-account in a single day may be on special forms to be reported to income tax authorities and auditors, specifying reasons. Drafts/ pay-orders must have names and addresses/account-numbers of purchasers with a reduced validity period of 45 days to check their misuse as carriers of black money. All bills of necessary items like telephone and electricity above Rs 1,000 must be paid in cheques/drafts. But will these ever be implemented, given that the law-makers are themselves neck-deep in corruption'
Subhash Chandra Agrawal, Dariba, Delhi
Sir — After enjoying power, first as a bureaucrat and then as a Congress leader, for over three decades, Ajit Jogi has been caught out time and again during his tenure as the chief minister of Chhattisgarh. His plight proves the truth in the saying, “You can fool some people for some time, but you can’t fool all people all the time”.
B.S. Ganesh, Bangalore
Sir — However much the Congress’s front team tries to downplay Ajit Jogi’s audiotape scandal, the episode will haunt the Congress and Congressmen for a long time to come, especially in the coming general elections.
The increasing popularity of this modus operandi in the Indian political scene is quite alarming. Will it be possible to believe such exposés in future, given the political parties’ expertise in “staging” such shows'
L.Y. Rao, via email
Sir — “Upon reading Amit Chaudhuri in The Telegraph”:
Calluses don’t heal pal
They kind of fade away
Calluses are not wounds
they are a friend.
Like the farmer’s hoe
A bookmark, or shoe horn.
I know a man
with a soul
that roams the villages
mixes in the dust
and southern heat.
He has calluses on his feet.
He played the guitar and sang —
of love and pain and struggle and that.
Then one day, he stopped:
Guitar' In my India'
Happily, he is sorted now,
He sings again and plays.
I don’t know if his calluses ever healed,
If they did, they are back on again
Hell, he’s bending those strings ever so sweetly
How can I make you love calluses'
Think of that little dent that forms
on the middle finger
From writing long and hard
Through the night
With a fat fountain pen.
Dipankar De Sarkar, via email