Sir — It is no secret that many government officials in India engage in corrupt practices. Most of us have experienced subtle messaging from policemen and bureaucratic officers to grease their palms to get work done. A sub-inspector of the Haryana Police was recently caught red-handed by the vigilance bureau with the money paid to him as a bribe. He adopted a novel approach to the situation — he quickly stuffed the bank notes into his mouth in an effort to gulp them down. In a scene that would not have been out of place in a Bollywood movie, the policeman proved that truth can be as strange as fiction.
Srijita Basu, Faridabad
Sir — It was not surprising to read about the consternation among Bharatiya Janata Party leaders after the former governor of the Reserve Bank of India, Raghuram Rajan, joined the Bharat Jodo Yatra alongside Rahul Gandhi (“Rajan in Yatra, BJP hurls ‘next Manmohan’ taunt”, Dec 15). With the former prime minister, Manmohan Singh, at the helm, Rajan had introduced necessary reforms in India’s banking sector and successfully controlled retail inflation without harming India’s economic growth. It is unfortunate that his criticism of the slipshod economic policies of the current dispensation has made him a target of the BJP.
A.K. Chakraborty, Guwahati
Sir — Citizens will decide the merit of Raghuram Rajan’s comments, not Amit Malviya, the BJP’s IT cell chief. Moreover, the jibe directed at Manmohan Singh about India remaining stagnant for ten years under his leadership falls flat when one considers the monumental failures of the current dispensation — be it the high rate of unemployment, the rising inflation, or the fatal mismanagement of the Covid-19 crisis, India is beleaguered on all fronts.
Kajal Chatterjee, Calcutta
Sir — The Bharat Jodo Yatra led by Rahul Gandhi has received a boost with Raghuram Rajan endorsing the former’s message of inclusion (“Rajan walks the talk”, Dec 15).
Debjani Gupta, Calcutta
Sir — A report prepared by the Association for Democratic Reforms shows that 151 of the 182 members of the legislative assembly in Gujarat and 63 of the 68 MLAs in Himachal Pradesh declared assets worth more than a crore, while 40 MLAs from Gujarat and 41 MLAs from the hill state had criminal cases pending against them. The data were derived from the self-sworn affidavits submitted by electoral candidates. This alarming pattern holds true across India, with more than 50% of the current legislators in both Uttar Pradesh and Punjab having criminal charges to their name. The Election Commission should stop such disreputable individuals from contesting elections, although such a move seems unlikely.
S. Kamat, Alto Santa Cruz, Goa
Sir — The elevation of Udhayanidhi Stalin to the rank of a cabinet minister in Tamil Nadu is not a surprise given his impressive performance in the election campaign that brought the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam to power. He has come across as a seasoned politician, choosing to highlight the problems faced by his electorate instead of indulging in offensive rhetoric.
Tharcius S. Fernando, Chennai
Sir — The final of the Fifa World Cup will witness a clash between two maestros of the game — Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe. One hopes that both teams give us a night to remember at the climax of the month-long football extravaganza.
M. Pradyu, Kannur, Kerala