Sir — Last year, the government decided to merge six banks with the State Bank of India. Now even before problems arising out of that move have been ironed out, the Centre has proposed a merger of three more public sector banks — Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank. The decision appears to be a tack to save Dena Bank, which is riddled with non-performing assets.
However, the other two banks might not be too happy with the proposal. The shares of BoB tanked 16 per cent soon after the government disclosed its intention. Another likely fallout of the proposed merger could be the loss of morale among the bank staff, which, in turn, will affect the quality of service. This would then have a cascading effect, and customers would increasingly shift to private banks. One feels that the Centre will not mind if such a thing does happen.
Almost all decisions taken by the ruling dispensation relating to financial matters have been detrimental to the interest of the common man. In due course, this merger spree will turn out to be no different.
Tharcius S. Fernando,
Sir — The Supreme Court of India recently decriminalized homosexuality between consenting adults by declaring Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code as “manifestly arbitrary” (“A taste of judgment”, Sept 19). The apex court very rightly observed, “Majoritarian views and popular morality cannot dictate constitutional rights.”
Homosexuality exists in all cultures and in many species of the animal kingdom; therefore, there is little logic in labelling it as unnatural. Even then, detractors often argue that same-sex partners cannot procreate and such matches are thus against the order of nature. This, however, is a weak argument. Many old, straight single men and women tie the knot to get a companion and not to become a parent. Should these marriages then also be termed as unnatural?
We know that birth of twin babies is a normal phenomenon, but since it is not common, it is viewed with fear and suspicion in several parts of the world. The Akha tribes inhabiting China and Southeast Asia think of twins as a bad omen. The attitude of the majority towards LGBTQ people is somewhat similar, as most people are unable to accept a less common phenomenon like homosexuality as normal.
It is better to not intervene in matters concerning two consenting adults as long as they do not infringe upon the rights of others.
Sir — The chief of the Bahujan Samaj Party, Mayavati, in a recent press conference, threatened to go solo in the Lok Sabha elections unless given a respectable number of seats in the Mahagathbandhan.
It seems that one will never be able to read the mind of the BSP supremo. On the one hand, she took on the Bharatiya Janata Party by stating that it has worsened the condition of the people. But on the other hand, she appears to be imperilling the chances of the formation of a broad anti-BJP coalition.
Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee,
Sir — India completely dominated Pakistan in their first encounter in the ongoing Asia Cup (“Improved India maul Pak by eight wickets”, Sept 20). The performance of the bowling unit helped India win easily. Sadly, for Pakistan, only Babar Azam and Shoaib Malik showed some resistance. The rest of the Pakistani batting order fell like a house of cards.
The stand-in captain for India, Rohit Sharma, and Shikhar Dhawan played impressive knocks. If India continue to play this way, the team would not have any trouble in reaching the final. However, the Men in Blue should guard against complacency. In the recently-concluded tour of England, India lost quite a few matches owing to their complacent attitude.
Sir — I got nervous while watching India play Hong Kong in the Asia Cup. At one time, the minnows were 170/0 while chasing a target of 286 runs. It almost seemed as if they would pull off an upset. The performance of Indian bowlers was not up to the mark. However, our bowlers redeemed themselves in the very next match against Pakistan. They bowled out the arch-rivals for a paltry total and the Indian batsmen had little trouble in going past Pakistan’s score. One hopes that India will play well in the remaining matches too.