Letters: Why do our leaders have jelly in their spine and cannot call for an end to hate speech?
The Indian Prime Minister and the President, and indeed the honourable cabinet ministers have maintained a heroic silence on the cancer of hatred and communal violence spreading in the country
Leaders made of jelly
People look up to leaders for reassurance and hope. Ukraine is a case in point. The country has been devastated by missile attacks and bombs. A substantial part has been occupied by Russia. There is scarcity of food, medicine, electricity and transport. Over five million people have fled the war to seek refuge in rest of Europe. Nobody knows how many have been killed. And yet Ukrainians seem to be rallying round their President Volodymir Zelensky.
Even in the United States, which is almost evenly divided on racism, immigrants, bigotry and gender rights, President Joe Biden, whatever be his popularity, has the courage to say publicly that ‘White supremacists” are a poison, that it is evil and that it has no place in the United States.
In contrast, the Indian Prime Minister and the President, and indeed the honourable cabinet ministers have maintained a heroic silence on the cancer of hatred and communal violence spreading in the country. Is it something to do with our DNA that we seem to lose our voice and indeed our spine? Leaders do not always swim with the tide. They need to swim against the tide as well.
Mridula Sinha, Patna
The curious resignation of Delhi’s Lt General Anil Baijal due to ‘personal reasons’ has largely passed unnoticed. There has been some speculation that the Government wants to appoint one of its favourites, Delhi police commissioner Rakesh Asthana, as the next LG. Some have suggested that a politician from Gujarat is being actively considered for the post. Whoever replaces him, Mr Baijal might have had legitimate reasons to leave. There is no reason to speculate whether they are health reasons or merely a euphemism for unhappiness. But what certainly needs scrutiny is why such resignations are not simultaneously followed by announcement of the fresh appointee? Surely Mr Baijal would have given the Govt adequate notice to find a suitable replacement?
Suresh Jagtap, Mumbai
The son of Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan this week completed his postgraduate studies in Law and was conferred the LLM degree by a college in the United States. The proud father posted a video on social media and lamented that his administrative duties prevented him from being with his son on his big day.
It is safe to assume that most of the children of prominent politicians go to good educational institutions in India and abroad. But one wonders whether Chouhan Junior also attended the RSS shakha, was a member of the ABVP, took part in abusive brawls and processions. Chances are he didn’t. The hypocrisy of these leaders, who want the best for their children while mindlessly destroying the lives of millions of youngsters, is staggering. This is why a High Court had suggested that children of bureaucrats and politicians should also go to government schools so that everybody gets equal opportunity and education.
Bhaskar Chatterjee, Kolkata
(This was first published in National Herald on Sunday)