Sir — Everyday art forms — alpona and kolam, for instance — are rarely given a seat at the high table of fine arts. But this might be a blessing in disguise. Fine arts is vulnerable to commercialisation, which can alter the harmonious relationship that these indigenous practices share with nature. Kolams and alponas are traditionally made with ground rice, which is not just environmentally safe but also served as food for small critters and insects. But with the growing popularity of kolam and alpona on social media, people are increasingly using plastic paint and synthetic brushes for them. This might make for a finer visual but the synergy with nature is lost.
S. Gurumurthy, Chennai
Sir — The abuses hurled by the Bharatiya Janata Party member of Parliament, Ramesh Bidhuri, against a Muslim legislator are disgusting and do not bear repeating (“Stain of shame”, Sept 24). The obscene words targeted the Muslim community at large. Abusing Muslims has become an integral part of the BJP’s culture — several ministers have done it, though not in the words used by Bidhuri.
It is most unfortunate that this happened during the inaugural session of the new Parliament building. It is even worse that the prime minister, Narendra Modi, has not uttered a word against Bidhuri. Hate speeches that were once made at campaign rallies have now entered Parliament. This is a dangerous trend.
Zakir Hussain, Kazipet, Telangana
Sir — The communal slurs by Ramesh Bidhuri against the Bahujan Samaj Party MP, Kunwar Danish Ali, in the hallowed halls of the newly inaugurated Parliament building are appalling. It reflected Bidhuri’s degeneration. He should be booked and arrested for hate speech.
There is no valour in being consumed by the poison of religious hatred. Bidhuri’s invective was an inevitable fallout of the communal politics that the BJP pursues. The BJP is a party in which Islamophobia and hatemongers prosper. The smiles on the faces of BJP MPs like Harsh Vardhan and Ravi Shankar Prasad when Bidhuri was hurling abuses said it all. Mainstreaming communal hate and polarising society along religious lines cannot be construed as patriotic acts.
G.David Milton, Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu
Sir — The shameful behaviour of the BJP leader, Ramesh Bidhuri, will forever be a black day in the history of Indian democracy. Bidhuri’s shocking words notwithstanding, the ruling party seems loathe to take immediate action against him. This is unacceptable.
K. Nehru Patnaik, Visakhapatnam
Sir — Instead of being known for the passage of the women’s reservation bill, the inaugural session of the new Parliament building will now be known for Ramesh Bidhuri’s communal abuses. It was painful to witness but not surprising since he is a member of the same party that harbours Niranjan Jyoti of the ‘Ramzade/Ha*****de’ fame and Pragya Singh Thakur who defends Nathuram Godse. If Bidhuri, too, is allowed to get away with his tirade with a mere warning, it would make a travesty of democracy. After all, Opposition MPs have been suspended for far smaller indiscretions.
Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee, Faridabad
Sir — The five-day special session of Parliament in the new premises was historic for passing the women’s reservation bill. But the same session was spoiled by Ramesh Bidhuri’s shocking verbal assault on Kunwar Danish Ali, an MP from Amroha, Uttar Pradesh. The kind of words Bidhuri uttered have no place in civilised society. Despite instructions from the Supreme Court, law enforcement agencies have either been lax in registering suo motu complaints in incidents involving hate speech or have simply looked the other way. Giving free rein to communal hate speech will ruin India’s reputation.
Mohammad Taukir, West Champaran
Sir — The prime minister recently made an impressive speech highlighting how MPs should conduct parliamentary business (“Old ways”, Sept 22). It is now time for him to walk the talk and expel Ramesh Bidhuri from his party. But the nation is used to silence and inaction from Narendra Modi — be it during the wrestlers’ protest or regarding the crisis in Manipur.
The wayward conduct of political leaders has the potential to trigger violence, mistrust and hatred in society. It is for this reason that the fire lit by Ramesh Bidhuri in Parliament needs to be doused quickly.
Avinash Godboley, Dewas, Madhya Pradesh
Sir — News of old buildings collapsing and injuring or killing people has become commonplace in Calcutta. Yet, hundreds of such old houses continue to exist in the worst state of disrepair. Old and helpless owners of such houses are in no position to make repairs as rents are paltry. Nor can they dispose of the property because legal cases for eviction drag on for years. Such houses must be demolished by the municipality and proceeds distributed among owners and tenants.
Amit Brahmo, Calcutta