Sir — The advancement of technology in the 21st century seems to be turning spy novels featuring the likes of Jason Bourne and James Bond into reality. Military intelligence agencies in the United Kingdom are now offering sizeable research grants to scientists who can create minuscule surveillance robots and brain implants which “augment intelligence” and improve human physical capabilities. While concerns about the misuse of this technology are completely valid — particularly if it falls into the wrong hands — perhaps advanced gadgets like neural implants could be better used to nip patriarchal mindsets in the bud and alter the womanising ways of spies like Bond through cognitive manipulation.
Sangeeta Dey, Calcutta
Sir — Recent political developments in Tamil Nadu are interesting. The breakdown in the relationship between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam will benefit the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam before the Lok Sabha polls in 2024 (“Provoked, AIADMK dumps ravenous BJP”, Sept 26). The state BJP’s derogatory comments against Dravidian icons like C.N. Annadurai proved to be the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. At such a time, the DMK’s stance against sanatana dharma will endear it to the Dravidian vote bank and further draw voters away from the AIADMK.
D.V.G. Sankara Rao, Vizianagaram
Sir — At a time when the BJP is trying to expand its presence in South India, one of its allies in Tamil Nadu has severed ties with it. This development is a result of the BJP’s greed for power which leads it to attack even its allies. The BJP must learn to accommodate its allies if it wants to achieve electoral success in the South.
Hassan Khan, Mumbai
Sir — It is unclear whether the AIADMK’s acrimonious exit from the National Democratic Alliance is a real split or simply a political ploy to divide the Dravidian vote bank ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in 2024. If the AIADMK was indeed angered by the diatribe of BJP leaders against the former chief minister of Tamil Nadu, J. Jayalalithaa, then it could have abandoned the alliance long back. The split seems to be an attempt to recapture some votes from the DMK as the BJP-led NDA is concerned about the recent electoral successes of the INDIA bloc.
Tamil Nadu’s voters are well aware of the evil designs of the saffron brigade. They will surely not be fooled by such opportunistic politics.
Tharcius S. Fernando, Chennai
Sir — The AIADMK’s decision to snap ties with the NDA has rightly been seen as a jolt for the BJP, which was banking on the electoral strength of the former in the southern state (“South wind”, Sept 27). The BJP had apparently also been working on bringing expelled AIADMK leaders like O. Panneerselvam, T.T.V. Dhinakaran and V.K. Sasikala into the NDA fold, which further angered the Dravidian party’s leadership. The BJP’s vaulting ambition of expanding its footprint in Tamil Nadu has led to the break-up.
S.S. Paul, Nadia
Sir — The bonhomie between the BJP and the AIADMK is over. J. Jayalalithaa had kept the two parties united as long as she had been at the helm, but the growing influence of K. Annamalai, the president of the Tamil Nadu unit of the BJP, and his insulting remarks about AIADMK stalwarts ruffled many feathers. It remains to be seen if this split will increase the vote shares of the two parties. Annamalai has his work cut out for him to provide an electoral edge to the BJP.
A.J. Subramaniam, Chennai
Sir — The dream of the Union home minister, Amit Shah, to increase the BJP’s footprint in Tamil Nadu has been shattered with the AIADMK going the way of the Janata Dal (United), the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray).
Murtaza Ahmad, Calcutta
Sir — The Indian women’s cricket team deserve to be congratulated for winning the gold medal at the Asian Games 2023 (“Talent glitters on tricky pitch”, Sept 26). After being bundled out for 116 runs, the bowlers put up a stellar performance to restrict Sri Lanka to 97 with Titas Sadhu’s spell choking the opposition’s run flow.
M.N. Gupta, Hooghly
Sir — Divyansh Singh Panwar, Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar and Rudrankksh Patil set a world record for the 10m air rifle event and won India its first gold medal at the 2023 Asian Games (“Bullseye & record for rifle shooters”, Sept 26). This was followed by the women’s cricket team winning gold against Sri Lanka. Let us hope the efforts of these athletes will galvanise other Indians in the fray to achieve the nation’s largest medal tally at the Asian Games.
Bal Govind, Noida
Sir — It was a proud moment for Indian sports when the women’s cricket team defeated Sri Lanka to clinch the gold medal at the Asian Games in their inaugural appearance. Titas Sadhu demonstrated her prowess in her first two-over spell itself, taking three wickets to disrupt the Sri Lankan batting order. This medal is another feather in her cap after her team brought home the U-19 Cricket World Cup earlier this year.
Jayanta Datta, Hooghly
Sir — The victory of the Harmanpreet Kaur-led women’s cricket team at the ongoing Asian Games is a praiseworthy achievement. The team was able to defend a modest total of 116 with the help of bowlers like Titas Sadhu. The Women in Blue should be felicitated.
Mahajan Rohan, Jammu