- Published 21.02.15
Sir - Arvind Kejriwal's decision not to hold any portfolios as chief minister must have stunned India's greedy politicians. Perhaps Kejriwal is the only chief minister not to have a single portfolio. Usually, ministries are distributed among ministers who act like supreme commanders of the departments they head. Even the chief minister does not dare question them. A chief minister should only monitor other ministries and suggest changes. Kejriwal's act is thus quite remarkable.
Sir -The chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, must be thanked for her decision to bestow Kabir Suman with the Sangeet Mahasamman. The singer has been labelled as mercurial and unpredictable by a section of the people. Suman, an outstanding artist, has put up with these allegations for sometime.
Forthright, suave and intelligent, Suman's brilliance cannot be gauged adequately. He ushered in a new genre - that of the modern Bengali song - that continues to reverberate across the popularity chart. Yet, a section of the population has continued to hurl criticisms against the singer. It is unfortunate that people have repeatedly tried to knock Suman off his perch. As an artist, Suman is ahead of his time. Perhaps that explains the people's lack of comprehension of his art.
Samir Chakraborty, Howrah
Sir - Kabir Suman is synonymous with modern Bengali songs. The chief minister has a lot of respect for Suman as a singer. Initially, Suman, too, reciprocated the chief minister's affections. Suman's fans had been puzzled by the fact that the singer had not been selected for this award for so long. But this time, Mamata Banerjee has taken the correct decision and conferred the honour upon Suman.
Suman's long absence from the Trinamul Congress and party activities had shocked the people. It also led the people to wonder whether Suman's ideology was compatible with that of the TMC. Suman has been accused of inconsistent behaviour. But his critics must know that no amount of criticism can dent his image in the eyes of his fans and the people.
Mousumi Chakraborty, Howrah
Sir - Ever since it came to power, the government led by Narendra Modi has been busy applauding itself for bringing about achche din. As proof, it cited the launch of several initiatives like the Clean India campaign. But nothing much has been seen on the ground, apart from the prime minister parading his expensive suit with his name knitted over it.
The 'Modi wave' had helped the Bharatiya Janata Party secure victories in several state elections. However, the biggest blow came when the party lost miserably in the Delhi polls. The BJP had invested all its resources to win the elections but the verdict must have come as a shock to Modi and other leaders of the party.
The Delhi poll results were an answer to the arrogance of Modi and his chief lieutenant, Amit Shah. Neither of the leaders was gracious in defeat. The last few months have shown that achche din is nothing but a pipe dream. The better days are also only meant for India's affluent sections. Modi's slogans would lose steam over time in the face of relentless scrutiny.
Mohd Zeyaullah Khan, Nagpur
Sir - The prevailing political turmoil in Bihar has completely exposed Nitish Kumar. He had earlier resigned as the chief minister, taking moral responsibility for the severe drubbing that the Janata Dal (United) suffered at the hands of the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Lok Sabha elections. He chose Jitan Ram Manjhi as his successor who has now resigned and recommended the dissolution of the House. One wonders what has suddenly prompted Kumar to try and make a comeback as the chief minister.
Kumar claims to have pioneered a turnaround in Bihar's fortunes through his development work. He is also said to have harboured dreams of becoming the prime minister of the country. So why is he now again scrambling for the post of chief minister?
Kumar severed the 17-year-long political bond with the BJP just before Narendra Modi was projected as the latter's prime ministerial candidate. He has now joined forces with Lalu Prasad, who was his bête noire. But more than that, what intrigued the citizenry was his desperation to take over the reins from Manjhi. Kumar had apparently appointed Manjhi as the chief minister to send out the message of empowerment. Manjhi hails from the backward Mahadalit community. It is time Kumar provided some explanations for his implausible ways.
Sir - India extended their record of never losing to Pakistan in a cricket World Cup encounter ("A complete game for all of us, says Dhoni", Feb 16). India beat Pakistan by a comfortable margin of 76 runs. Fans of Indian cricket celebrated the victory like it was Diwali. Any contest between the two teams has always been a riveting one. It evokes tremendous response from both sides. On some occasions, the excitement gets the better of them. After India beat Pakistan, their sixth victory against the latter in as many World Cup encounters, a brawl broke out between the supporters of the rival teams at a club in Sydney. Four people suffered serious injuries in the clash and were admitted to hospital for treatment. Fans should not be swayed by emotions. Both victory and defeat should be accepted with grace and in the right spirit.
The social networking sites got flooded with congratulatory messages for the Indian team. I wish India continues to play well in the remaining matches. We should not get complacent after winning a single match. It is just the beginning of a long journey.
I hope that Dhoni and his men would do an encore and bring back the World Cup. The members of the team are young and energetic; they can do wonders. Every member should contribute to the best of his ability. At the same time, we should also respect the rival teams. There would be no easy games in this tournament.
Bhavesh Kumar Upadhyay, Patna
Sir - I read in the report, "Dutee back with laurels" (Feb 15), that the sprinter who had been banned from the Commonwealth Games squad last year apparently because of high androgen levels, has won a gold and a bronze at the just-concluded 35th National Games. This will encourage other sportspersons from the state. It is often alleged that sportspersons from Odisha are moving out of the state due to the apathy of the government. The fact that Odisha managed to finish at the 16th position in the medals' tally should encourage the government to bolster the sports infrastructure in the state.
Sir - It is good that women are bringing laurels to the state in the field of sports. Earlier, the focus was on male sportspersons. The performance of the women sportspersons in National Games will encourage girls, who often stop pursuing sporting activities due to pressure from family members and society. While our state has several women talents in the rural pockets, poor infrastructure has often been a major hindrance for them. The state government should adopt a proactive attitude to ensure maximum participation of women in sports. This can be achieved by selecting women starting from the block level and providing them with proper training.
Sir - Odisha performed well at the National Games this time. What is more important is that Odia girls outshone their male counterparts. This is an interesting development for a state in which gender disparity is growing, to become almost the same as in states like Haryana and Punjab. The state government should be credited for its attempt to empower women. It should keep up its good work and provide more facilities to women in the state who are ready to excel in the field of sports.
Sir - We doff our hats to Dutee Chand, who has shown what will power and determination can achieve. After bringing accolades for the state and the country, she was humiliated because of an incident over which she had no control. Still, she kept her head high, fought against injustice and won the battle, to compete again. Indian filmmakers probably did not find her story interesting enough for them. But the American television channel, HBO, has started making a documentary on her life that will be telecast in April. If the controversy over her androgen levels is sorted out Chand gets a chance to represent India in international events, she will no doubt make the country proud. Her story will inspire athletes and common people who lose in the daily battles of life. Besides, women in the state will be inspired by her story to follow in on her footsteps.