‘It’s improper for the Congress to link court summons with the functioning of Parliament’

'It's improper for the Congress to link court summons with the functioning of Parliament'
Photo Credit: Prakash Singh/AFP
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Heralding trouble
It is pathetic that a so-called national party is behaving in such an illogical manner (“Why the BJP may not be happy that Rahul and Sonia could go behind bars”). How can summons by a court of law in the National Herald case be called political vendetta? This is beyond the comprehension of ordinary citizens of this country.

The Congress’ stand is all the more baffling considering the case is being fought by a battery of high-profile lawyers.

The Congress has also let the issue spill over to Parliament by not allowing the House to function. Important bills like the Goods and Services Tax remain pending. The finance minister has called for a debate on the issue of political vendetta, but there has been no response from the Congress.

It’s improper for the Congress to link the court summons with the functioning of Parliament. Citizens of the country are closely watching the behaviour of these Congress leaders. Do these leaders think that the law of the land does not apply to them because they are from the Gandhi family?  Vijay Dabade


Extremely shoddy analysis. Sounds more like utterly immoral wishful thinking to scratch Rahul and Sonia Gandhi’s backs.

Ordinary citizens are enraged by the mother-son duo mortgaging important bills pending in Parliament to save them from the consequences of their actions.  R Seshan


Besides having different ideologies, there is some personal animosity between the leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress. Every successive government has been misusing the Central Bureau of Investigation and other such agencies to malign others by instituting and withdrawing cases.  Kewal Khanna


An absolutely correct analysis. The Congress has prevented Parliament from functioning just because two people are being taken to task. Important bills which could boost the economy are being held ransom by Congress MPs just for the sake of protecting their two leaders.

Important matters pertaining to defence such as modernisation and procurement through Make in India are also being held up because of Parliament not functioning.  Mohit Uppal

Music and misery
Big, established artistes can afford to cancel their performances, but there are people who depend on this season for their livelihood – the accompanists in particular (“Music in the time of misery: Chennai festival faces a moral dilemma”). Also, many of the artistes would have suffered during the floods and may have even lost their instruments. They also depend on the performances of the big musicians.

So instead of cancelling the programme, why can’t it be postponed so that the artistes can showcase their skills at a later date and the public will also benefit? Moreover, many won’t be hurt and turn antagonistic if such a step is taken. Kala


Is it fair to hold such an event when people still do not have shelter, and water and power has not been restored in many areas?  Uma Venkat


I feel that the festival should be postponed to mid-January in all the sabhas. A great tragedy has taken place in the city, with so many people losing their homes, near and dear ones, their life’s savings and possessions. People are still searching for food and shelter.

Most of the top musicians are in no mood to perform. Is it worth conducting a festival in such a grim atmosphere? Can the festival not wait a month longer? By then, the affected musicians would have come to grips with the situation and audiences would be in a better frame of mind.  Malini

Cynicism about charity
This cynical piece by Carlo Pizzati truly misses the point by many miles (“As Chennai sinks, the difference between genuine charity and corporate storytelling becomes clear”).

I’m not an apologist for any of the brands that he has trashed, but they all did the best they could. What is his rant on BSNL even supposed to mean? Should they not have given free calling/recharges? What if the network was working? What if it started working? Did he really try and speak to someone at Zomato?

I’m not one to express outrage easily. I’ve probably written only two stinkers in my life to editors, but this piece deserves the third.  Siddharth Mangharam


The beneficiary does not pay as the cost has been paid by someone else. Isn’t that the definition of charity and isn’t that exactly what Zomato did? As a consumer, I paid for a product to be consumed by the underprivileged at that point of time. I could not do it myself so Zomato did it for me.

Someone stood up to help and then you criticise him – how unnecessary. Why are you so cynical?  Ashish

Pinning the blame
Please educate the masses if you wish to do away with regional parties (“Who ruined Chennai? We, the residents, did”). Each one makes tonnes of money when in power and vie with each other when it comes to corruption. They are unable to implement basic traffic regulations. Serious efforts must be undertaken to rid the state of these parties.  N Chandrasekhar


A very well written article. However, Chennai residents will forget about all this in six months and more and more “lake view apartments” will come up based on the assumption that the city won’t witness such a deluge for the next hundred years.

Permission should not be granted to build on water bodies, no matter how dry they are. But what about the existing buildings? Severe action should be taken against those who allowed the construction. – Mridula

Humanity first
It’s sad to hear that students of a historic and legendary university have stooped to the level of hosting beef and pork festivals (“Beyond beef and pork festivals: The fight for public space in the Osmania University campus”). They care little about the suffering of the poor voiceless animals.

Where is the humanism that we constantly strive for in our so-called civilised society?

If only the students realise that there is more to their agenda of freedom of expression and try to understand the value of life, irrespective of whether it belongs to an animal, human plant or any creature.

I am not asking anyone to avoid beef or pork, but merely want the students to understand humanism. When one sees divinity in every form of life manifested on this planet, then we start caring for the less privileged. That’s when greed vanishes.

You can kill to eat and survive, but let there be a need, consideration and perhaps a justification for it. Let’s learn to be humane.  Dhruva

Intolerance debate
One more thinker of the right needs to be cited: Deendayal Upadhyaya (“Why the ‘intolerance debate’ is far from over”). His thoughts on how Indian society was structured and how it should be organised in future include the basic premise that every nation has a social consciousness. According to him, India’s social consciousness is based not on equality, but harmony in inequality. This means society should be built on inequality. Is not surprising that the BJP has not discussed this openly? Or is it only to be discussed in internal meetings of the party?  Ashok Kulkarni


A very good article that puts to rest a lot of dust that has gathered around his debate of Indianness based on Hindutva, as opposed to Hinduism, the beautiful religion.

I applaud the writer’s courage. It’s refreshing to find an article like this in an age of subconscious self-censorship. No doubt it will be ridiculed and belittled in the foreseeable future. It will, however, set the tone for debates to come.  Kurian CK


All three articles by Tony Joseph on the intolerance debate have the right perspective, with the issue being viewed as part of a bigger problem. I really liked the way the issue was attributed to efforts to impose “legislated and monolithic history”. Kudos on these splendid articles.  Pooja Solanki

Name game
I condemn the Goa government’s move to rename Vasco as Sambhaji Nagar (“From Vasco da Gama to Sambhaji: Goans accuse BJP of a sneaky plot to rename a town”). It would be more appropriate for citizens to be consulted before such decisions are taken. Neither the chief minister nor the deputy chief minister are from the port town. The Speaker also contested from a different place; perhaps he too had no say in the renaming decision.

I humbly request the three legislators from Vasco, Marmagao and Dabolim to voice their concerns on the issue. I hope the government understands that there are better things to do than renaming a town.  Agnel

Root cause
Gender bias is rooted in our society and manifests in forms such as Free and Open Source Software (“The trouble with being a woman in the world of Free Open Software”). Replacing it is not the solution. They are trying to put some checks in the traditional organisational structure. Not surprisingly, the same cannot be done in the FOSS community.

While this unusually long story does highlight a real issue, it focuses too much on singling out FOSS. Shyamanuja Das

Librarian crisis
I don’t know how the author could write such a long article. In my experience, the answer i simple (“We have the books and the libraries, but what’s wrong with our librarians?”). Many librarians don’t do their job because they don’t need to (it’s a government job). Doing their job increases their actual work. If they are helpful, then people will actually visit the library. If nobody visits the library in the knowledge that the librarian is of no help, then he/she can read the newspaper, browse the Internet or not even show up to work.  triphala108 on email

Apologising for the past
Pakistan has a lot to apologise for to a lot of countries around the world (“Should Pakistanis apologise to Bangladeshis? An online appeal reopens old wounds”). Bangladesh tops this list, with an apology long overdue. However, I would take the apology with a pinch of salt. A country that has been declared a rogue state has much to answer for. Its reputation is redeemable but requires a lot of work.  Nalini Savara

A dictator’s doing
Very precise writing. One general created this mess and another is religiously struggling to undo the harm (“How General Zia created a military-mullah nexus in 1980s Pakistan”). This is the need of the hour and of the nation. Hats off to General Raheel Sharif for his commitment to the cause.  Akthar Durrani

Breathing easy in Delhi
One effective solution would be to spray all trees and plants on dividers using water tankers (“Dear Arvind Kejriwal, here are ten other ways to help ease Delhi’s pollution woes”). The hose should use a nozzle that ensures minimum water is used. The tankers can ply early morning and late at night. This will improve the ambience as trees and plants will look green instead of grey or brown. It will also help generate more oxygen and settle the dust.  Dr Rajeshwari

Television today
The article on Fauji had an interesting opening line about cinema’s lowest hour being television’s finest (“The DD Files: When Shah Rukh Khan stole hearts and the show in ‘Fauji’”). I never really thought of it that way despite living through most of the television favourites of that era.

Has the evolution of Indian cinema caused Indian television to deteriorate? Regressive storylines and characterisations, over-the-top acting, costumes and reactions, coupled with unabashed voyeurism, currently rule the roost. Or can we say that quality is just for critics and commercial success should be the only criteria for evaluation?  Arjun Siva

Ram temple resolution
The time has come for the Ram temple issue to be amicably resolved out of court with no political or cultural organisation reaping the benefits (“Sudheendra Kulkarni: Why Somnath cannot be a template for Ayodhya”). The outcome should be a triumph for Hindu-Muslim integration and amity, strengthening national character currently subdued by the shrill shrieks of fringe elements. Naiyer


I must first express my great sense of reverence for the thoughts and ideals that motivated Sudheendra Kulkarni to write this article.

We, the people, can realise the author’s to reclaim the somewhat destabilising core of our way of life. This would be the real India, a complete blissful sense which comes to mind when one thinks of our country. It comes from our ingrained understanding of equality of everything from lifestyle to religion, and of being truly democratic.  Akash Ekka