Letters to the Editor: Hands dirtied by sanitiser
BJP that always tries to portray opposition politicians as “corrupt” turned the pandemic into an opportunity to hand over ‘urgent’ medical supply orders to companies owned by Assam CM's associates
Hands dirtied by sanitiser
As the nation faced the emergency of Covid pandemic in 2020, the Assam government paid Rs 231 for every 500-ml bottle of hand sanitiser and Rs 100.30 for every 100-ml bottle to a firm linked with the then state health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. The amount assumes significance in the light of the fact that the state government paid just Rs 37 (with GST) to another firm for each 200- ml bottle of sanitiser it ordered, according to an investigative news report published in The Wire. The report lays bare how the ministers of the party (ie BJP) that always tries to portray opposition politicians as “corrupt” turned the pandemic into an opportunity (Aapda me Avsar, as their supreme leader says) to hand over ‘urgent’ medical supply orders to companies owned by Sarma’s wife and his immediate family’s business associates. Will Modi’s CBI and ED investigate this matter?
Anurag Dey, Delhi
History a victim at Bollywood’s altar
Come Celebrate India’s Last Hindu Samrat”, reads an ad of the film Samrat Prithviraj, starring Canadian Kumar. The film tells the story of Prithviraj Chauhan, a 12th century king who ruled over present-day Rajasthan and Delhi and who finally lost to Mohammed Ghori. This is the latest film in a series of medieval sagas, sometimes based on fiction and myth, where valorous Hindu kings defeat crude and cruel Muslim marauders on the screen. The virtuous kings proclaim their Hindu credentials loudly and often they are portrayed as fighting for the religion. It gels well with the new hyper-nationalist, Hindutva agenda of the ruling party. But historical facts are often the sacrificial lamb at the altar of populist cinema. Pray how could Prithviraj Chauhan be the “last” Hindu emperor? What about Shivaji and Peshwa Bajirao II who conquered the greater part of present-day India?Matlab film promotion keliyekuchbhi.
Salil Deshpande, Mumbai
No normalcy in Kashmir
Contrary to claims made by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, things are certainly not “normal” in Kashmir as the unabated target killings of innocent civilians have shown. Shah’s armed to the teeth security forces have failed to stop these killings so much so that Kashmiri Pandits have threatened en masse migration from the Valley. Such a gruesome situation has returned for the first time after the early 1990s. Several prominent politicians, intellectuals and even government interlocuters for Kashmir in the past have always maintained that there is no military solution to the Kashmir problem and that the way forward lies in building trust and confidence between New Delhi and Kashmiri masses. But the BJP and Modi government would have none of it. Sympathy and empathy with poor common people are not virtues this government can boast of. If Kashmir belongs to us, then who do the Kashmiris belong to? Are they not within “us”?
Radhika Mishra, Noida
(This was first published in National Herald on Sunday)