Sir — Most fans desire a personal interaction with the celebrities they admire. A handshake or, in recent times, a selfie with their beloved stars delights them. In the past, celebrities have often participated in meet-and-greet events or photo sessions with their most ardent fans. But advancements in technology have brought stars even closer to their followers. Roger Federer lending his voice to the driving application, Waze, is a perfect example of this. Instead of the robotic monotone of Siri or Alexa, drivers will be directed by the Swiss maestro himself. Perhaps tennis fans who had always dreamt of taking lessons from Federer on how to drive the ball across the tennis court will be happy to make do with instructions on which way to drive their car.
Sir — I fully agree with the sentiments of the headline, “Devilish disconnect: Missing general travellers and Modi’s ‘achievements’”, (Jun 6). For an authoritarian regime, the loss of human lives has no value and winning elections by any means necessary is the priority. It is unfortunate that the centralisation of power into a few hands in the Bharatiya Janata Party has led to so many disasters in the past nine years, resulting in considerable loss of lives — demonetisation, the migrant crisis during the pandemic, and the unilateral passage of the three draconian farm laws are a few examples. A government should be transparent, objective and accountable to the people.
P.K. Sharma,Barnala, Punjab
Sir — The BJP president, J.P. Nadda, recently met several retired military personnel to launch a book that commemorates nine years of governance by the prime minister, Narendra Modi (“Nadda can’t wait to brief & post”, Jun 6). While he graced an event to publicise the BJP government’s achievements, Nadda did not mention its failure in handling the protests by the wrestlers in Delhi or the train accident in Odisha. The government’s first priority should be to lend all possible support to the bereaved families trying to bring back their loved ones, both dead and alive.
Aayman Anwar Ali,Calcutta
Sir — The protest by the wrestlers against the chief of the Wrestling Federation of India, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, is proving to be a millstone around the BJP’s neck after nine years of ruling with a brute majority (“Tough bout”, Jun 7). Singh has avoided censure from his own party so far as he wields considerable clout in Uttar Pradesh, a key state for the BJP in the upcoming general elections. However, by staying tight-lipped about the allegations of sexual misconduct, the Centre has invited severe criticism from all quarters. Narendra Modi should be mindful of the optics of his inaction.
Sir — During one of his speeches in the United States of America, the Congress leader, Rahul Gandhi, mentioned that Narendra Modi always looks into the rear-view mirror while running his government. While Rahul Gandhi’s criticism is not without merit, Modi’s governance, which is in its ninth year, has another aspect. He is perpetually geared towards winning elections in the future. The needs of the citizenry in the present are thus neglected.
M.C. Vijay Shankar,Chennai
Sir — On November 22, 2022, Saudi Arabia pulled off one of the greatest upsets in the history of the Football World Cup by beating the much-feted Argentinian side led by Lionel Messi. Now, that same country seems to have become football’s hottest new destination. The Portuguese star, Cristiano Ronaldo, made headlines when he moved to the Saudi club, Al-Nassr, from Manchester United a few months ago. Big names in European football — like Karim Benzema and N’Golo Kanté — seem to be following suit. While it may be true that money cannot buy happiness, it certainly seems to have tilted the scales of global footballing entertainment towards the Middle East.
Jang Bahadur Singh,Jamshedpur
Sir — The Australian prime minister, Anthony Albanese, seems to have joined the growing fan club of the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi. Albanese’s proclamation to an adoring crowd at the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney that Modi got a welcome that eluded even Bruce Springsteen reeked of flattery. Modi, too, seemed to revel in the adulation instead of playing it down. It is ironic that Albanese compared Modi to Springsteen, who is well-known for his anti-Establishment songs. The column, “Not the Boss” (May 30), rightly states that the only ‘bosses’ in a democracy should be the voters.
Sir — The decision by the Enforcement Directorate to stop Rujira Banerjee, the wife of the Trinamul Congress leader, Abhishek Banerjee, from leaving the country to visit her ailing mother seems illogical and retributive (“Rujira’s Dubai trip stopped”, Jun 6). If it is true that she obtained permission for this trip from the Supreme Court and also informed the ED some time prior to her journey, then the move is simply an example of the ruling dispensation’s petty vendetta politics against the Opposition.
Sir — After the end of the Indian Premier League, the focus has now shifted to the World Test Championship final at the Oval in London. While the condition of the pitch may play a role, India’s chances of winning will rest heavily on its bowling attack. It could help India’s cause that apart from being expert spinners, players like Ravindra Jadeja are also handy with the bat and can contribute immensely to a victorious performance.