Rise of the AAP

WITH the success of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the Delhi Assembly elections, it seems like the Congress’ vote-catching slogan “Aam Aadmi ke sath” has been appropriated by the AAP (Cover Story, January 24). The people of Delhi have shown the way by choosing a party that can cure the prevailing ills of society.

People want a corruption-free, secular state. The AAP’s victory offers the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party a tough lesson. Although, the AAP has begun its political journey with the support of the Congress, it has to be seen how the party tackles corruption, checks price rise and, more importantly, provides e-governance.

Jayant Mukherjee

Kolkata

THERE is no doubt that Arvind Kejriwal has come as a much-needed change in Indian politics. And the way people are enrolling themselves in the AAP, in even Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the BJP and the Congress have reason to be worried.

Bal Govind

Noida, Uttar Pradesh

PEOPLE certainly perceived the AAP as a game changer, but that party is faltering, with its leaders going into unnecessary issues even before settling in. The first blunder was accepting the Congress’ support to form the government. Voters are known to dump new parties even for the slightest deviation from their stated positions and the AAP should know that.

Duggaraju Srinivasa Rao

Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh

Adarsh scam

THE Adarsh society case is murkier than the case of the Campa Cola compound (“A scheme for scandal”, January 24). While only the upper floors of Campa Cola are earmarked for razing by the Supreme Court for floor space index (FSI) violations, the entire Adarsh tower is a monument of all sorts of irregularities and illegalities.

K.P. Rajan

Mumbai

Idol theft

IT is a matter of serious concern that unscrupulous art dealers and agents have easy access to priceless Indian artefacts (“The great Indian idol robbery”, January 24). That at times agencies such as the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Board of Tamil Nadu are not even aware of theft of idols point to their apathy, indifference and lack of knowledge about the treasures supposedly in their safekeeping. The situation is no different in other parts of the country. The departments that are vested with the responsibility of historical sites are severely understaffed and have insufficient budgets to carry out their mandate.

P. Prasand Thampy

Thiruvalla, Kerala

Khobragade affair

PTI

THE article “Diplomatic storm” (January 24) throws light on the circumstances leading to the arrest of Devyani Khobragade, the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer serving in the United States and India’s strong response to it. Although the U.S. officials overreacted by arresting her and doing a strip search, it is also a fact that Devyani acted in a manner unbecoming of her status.

B. Suresh Kumar

Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu

Nammalvar

THE death of Govindasamy Nammalvar is indeed an irreparable loss to environmentalists and the farming community in Tamil Nadu (“Soldier of nature”, January 24). Nammalvar’s was a lifelong crusade for organic farming. He was against indiscriminate sand mining and genetically modified crops.

J. Anantha Padmanabhan

Tiruchi, Tamil Nadu

Gujarat

IN Narendra Modi’s Gujarat, civil liberties are at risk (“Snooping in Modi land”, January 10). The “snoopgate” reminds me of the notorious days of Emergency. Politicians, police officers or journalists who do not toe Modi’s line of “development” are hunted, hounded or persecuted in Gujarat. If Modi becomes the Prime Minister and Amit Shah his Home Minister, we could be in for Emergency-like days.

Kannur Rajan

Mumbai

Nelson Mandela

AIJAZ AHMAD, in his tribute to Nelson Mandela, had to walk the thin line between hype and truth (“The Mandela Years: Of liberation & betrayal”, January 10). With so much of a feel-good factor crowding the mainstream press, it must have been difficult for him to speak plainly without hurting the reader’s sentiments. The fact remains that Mandela helped preserve the white man’s last great colony in the tip of Africa.

The Anglo-French-Dutch axis of colonisation to exploit the riches of the continent is preserved in the South Africa of today. Mandela was the black hero to the white man’s legacy.

His role was decisive in stabilising the new dispensation. His popularity was utilised not for the cause for which he had struggled but to re-establish the old order. While the vast majority of black South Africans today live the same miserable lives on the fringes of society that they did earlier, the power brokers of the apartheid era remain intact.

During his later years, Mandela could have used his image and stature to correct the glaring failures of ANC. Sadly, he did not.

Aniruddha Dam

Kolkata

Announcement

Letters, whether by surface mail or e-mail, must carry the full postal address and the full name, or the name with initials.