regular-article-logo Wednesday, 17 April 2024

Letters to the Editor: A petty thief who is an avid reader

Readers write in from Calcutta, Barnala, Bengaluru, Hooghly, Kochi, Chennai, Faridabad and Secunderabad

The Editorial Board Published 22.02.24, 08:05 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. File Photo

Treasured tomes

Sir — Henry David Thoreau had called books the “treasured wealth of the world”. Some people seem to have taken his words literally. A thief who recently broke into a Calcutta apartment allegedly made off with several items wrought from gold, some cash and — this is rare — books. Although the books were not mentioned in the official complaint — clearly the owner did not treasure them — a police raid on the thief’s abode yielded a few books along with the loot. The thief claimed that he liked to read after pulling off a successful burglary. The incident shows that there are no restrictions on being a man of letters. After all, if the dacoit, Ratnakar, could gradually transform into the learned sage, Valmiki, why can a petty thief not be an avid reader?


Jagadish Sinha, Calcutta

Democracy revived

Sir — One wonders whe­ther ‘Satya­meva Jayate’ still prevails in India’s so-called amrit kaal. Fortunately, the Supreme Court seems to uphold this principle. It has provided hope to common citizens by overturning the result of the Chandigarh mayoral polls which were stage-managed by the returning officer, Anil Masih (“SC calls out mayor poll ‘subterfuge’”, Feb 21). The court has also declared the INDIA candidate, Kuldeep Kumar, as the winner. The straightforward, no-holds-barred censure of the polling official by the Chief Justice of India will go some way towards reinforcing people’s trust in the electoral process. It will also reassure those who have questioned the independence of the judiciary.

The apex court’s intervention against the transgression should serve as a warning for the Bharatiya Janata Party that it cannot overturn the democratic process by trickery. It should also alert Opposition parties like the Aam Aadmi Party to be wary of attempts by the BJP to influence their politicians.

P.K. Sharma, Barnala, Punjab

Sir — Close on the heels of scrapping the electoral bonds scheme, the Supreme Court order declaring the INDIA contestant, Kuldeep Kumar, as the mayor of Chandigarh is a terrible blow to the BJP’s reputation. The court justifiably took exception to the attempts by Anil Masih, the polling official with links to the saffron party, to tamper with the ballot papers. Masih should be given exemplary punishment. It is also gratifying that the court refused to order a fresh poll as three AAP councillors have already changed sides in recent days and it would have allowed the BJP to validate its underhanded means. The brazen manipulation of a minor mayoral election also illustrates the BJP’s moral bankruptcy; it only wants to stay in power, by hook or by crook.

S.K. Choudhury, Bengaluru

Sir — Since the video clips presented to the apex court clearly showed the manipulation of the counting process by Anil Masih, the verdict has rightly gone in favour of the AAP-Congress-backed candidate, Kuldeep Kumar. It is shameful that Masih tried to tamper with the democratic process to favour the party he has ties to. The court must be lauded for taking strict action. It must keep a close watch on the upcoming general elections as well.

M.N. Gupta, Hooghly

Sir — The judicial intervention, setting aside the result of the Chandigarh mayoral election and reprimanding the presiding officer, is a silver lining in an otherwise gloomy picture of Indian democracy.

S. Padmanabhan, Kochi

Sir — By quashing the result of the Chandigarh mayoral election, the Supreme Court has restored people’s faith in the democratic process. Considering the seriousness of the foul play by the presiding officer, the apex court rightly directed the registrar to issue a showcause notice to Anil Masih.

Arun Gupta, Calcutta

Sir — The Supreme Court’s verdict in the Chandigarh mayoral polls case is a victory for democracy. The BJP already enjoys massive support across the nation; it should not have indulged in such malpractice just to secure a mayor’s post. Only stringent action against corrupt officials can deter such chicanery.

N. Mahadevan, Chennai

Big win

Sir — The Indian men’s cricket team deserves plaudits for its biggest-ever Test victory in terms of runs (“India sink Bazballers in spin whirl”, Feb 19). Despite the absence of some star players, India managed to pull off a sensational 434-run win and now lead the five-Test series 2-1. Outstanding performances by Yashasvi Jaiswal and Sarfaraz Khan and an inspired spell from Ravindra Jadeja contributed to the team’s success. England’s ‘Bazball’ strategy failed horribly in this case.

Ranganathan Sivakumar, Chennai

Sir — India have beaten England by a record 434 runs in the third Test. Facing a mammoth target of 557 runs, England collapsed under pressure. Despite it being his landmark 100th Test, Ben Stokes will surely not want to remember this match.

Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee, Faridabad

Sir — The highlight of India’s magnificent Test win against England was the superlative double-century in the second innings by Yashasvi Jaiswal that silenced all. Ravindra Jadeja’s 2/51 in just 10 overs sealed the deal.

P.V. Srinivas Sreelekha, Secunderabad

Spotlight on science

Sir — It was heartening to spot an article on quasars and black holes on the front page of The Telegraph (“Galaxy gobbler feasting on Sun-size stars”, Feb 20). It was a happy deviation from the usual news about corrupt politicians, economic turmoil and war that greets us every morning. It is important to highlight scientific developments as they can inspire the younger generation and promote rational thinking.

Anwar Saeed, Calcutta

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