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Jayalalithaa

IT was good to learn that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa was convicted after a long-drawn-out legal battle (Cover Story, October 17). The fact that she cannot contest elections for 10 years will be a near-fatal blow to her political career. While some people are of the opinion that Jayalalithaa has the ability to fight back and regain her lost glory, it does not seem likely this time. Even the Karnataka High Court did not give her any respite and rejected her bail application.

Judgments that have convicted political heavyweights like Lalu Prasad and Jayalalithaa are sending a clear message to corrupt people who occupy positions of power. The Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar wrote in the Thirukkural: “The fruits of evil deeds follow their doer even as his shadow follows him wherever he goes.”

S. Balakrishnan

Jamshedpur, Jharkhand

NEITHER Jayalalithaa nor the present Chief Minister nor any senior party official tried to rein in those who agitated after the verdict against her became known. It may be presumed that the agitations had the leaders’ blessings. The attempt to depict the verdict as revenge for Jayalalithaa’s stand on the Cauvery water issue is dangerous.

S.S. Rajagopalan

Chennai

JAYALALITHAA is a victim of an illegitimate prosecution case. Some disgruntled elements that had an axe to grind made her the scapegoat. The investigating officer acted on the basis of preconceived notions. The special court’s judgment was based on conjectures and surmises. The lower court forgot the golden principle of the apex court: that any judgment pronounced by the Supreme Court becomes the law of the land. The bail order it gave Lalu Prasad should have been implemented in this case too.

V.R. Manoharan

Melur, Tamil Nadu

Kashmir floods

PERHAPS, disasters are the price to be paid for the devil-may-care attitude towards nature, which resulted in the unprecedented destruction in Srinagar and many parts of the Kashmir Valley (“Deluge & death”, October 17). The tragedy also highlights the reality that lessons were never learnt from last year’s disaster in Uttarakhand. Despite repeated warnings from ecologists and experts, the State government, in order to appease the corporate tourism lobby, cleared the way for unregulated settlements and urbanisation in the Valley.

Krishna Hatote-Pachegaonkar

Aurangabad, Maharashtra

Assembly elections

AS the first step towards ending social evils such as caste discrimination, the political class should stop playing the caste card (“Shock losses”, October 17). At least now, politicians should shed their vote-bank politics and instead reshape their policies in the larger interests of the people.

P. Senthil Saravana Durai

Vazhavallan, Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu

I THINK the media is unnecessarily exaggerating the Bharatiya Janata Party’s defeat in the recent round of byelections. If the Modi wave is on the wane, as the media claim, then why did the BJP win a seat in West Bengal and come so close to winning another; this is a State where BJP for all practical purposes does not have a presence. Yes, it did not do as well as expected in Uttar Pradesh. But there is no point linking this defeat with Modi’s or the BJP’s popularity. Rather, one should wait for the next round of State elections. Those results can give one a clearer picture.

Bal Govind

Noida, Uttar Pradesh

Karnataka

EVERY time Karnataka takes up the cause of Kannada as the language of the State or the medium of instruction or proposes to implement the recommendations of the three-decade-old Sarojini Mahishi report, hackles are raised (“Sons of the soil”, October 17). The article’s reference to the Cantonment part of Bangalore (the Civil and Military Station, or CMS) as being part of Madras Presidency is historically inaccurate. The CMS was under perpetual lease from the Maharaja of Mysore to the British for the establishments connected with British interests. It was not part of the British Empire but a station in sovereign territory and was to be administered by civil officers of the British. Efforts by the then Madras government in 1811 and thereafter to transfer the CMS to the presidency were not successful. In 1881, arrangements were made to obtain the CMS from Sri Chamaraja Wodeyar, the then Maharaja of Mysore. It remained under the direct control of the Government of India until after Independence, when it was merged with Bangalore Corporation.

H.N. Ramakrishna

Bangalore

The BJP

MODI praising Muslims and calling them patriots in a recent interview is nothing but doublespeak as he has not said a word of condemnation against the inflammatory, biased and vitriolic anti-Muslim speeches of leaders of his party and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (“In communal overdrive”, October 17). The unforgettable sacrifices of Indian Muslims in the freedom struggle, in which Modi’s party had no role, is the established and lasting proof of their patriotism. In fact, Modi borrowed the idea that Muslims are patriots from the Congress, which is the standard-bearer of secularism and India’s composite national culture.

M. Hashim Kidwai

New Delhi

STOP criticising Modi and the BJP for everything bad that happens in the country. He is a much better Prime Minister than Rahul Gandhi would have been. There are many positive developments.

Aman Mittal

Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh

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