07 December, 2021
Letters | Jun 07, 2021

Twice Orphaned


Jun 07, 2021

Ruben Banerjee’s ­editorial introduction (Twice Orphaned) to your cover story The Empire of Cruelty (May 24) may not rub off on the Narendra Modi regime, but your readers welcome it as a sort of open letter to the PM.

R.M.S. Kannan, On E-Mail

This refers to The Complete Covid Chargesheet by Shashi Tharoor, who voices the disappointment of ­commoners regarding the manner in which the Centre has been tackling the Covid crisis. True to its working style, the BJP is trying to wrest back the narrative, this time not from the Opposition, but from the suffering masses. Despite the ­resources at the saffron party’s command, this won’t be easy—the ­countless many who have lost their near and dear ones to Covid won’t easily forget the bunglings of the hubristic leadership at the Centre. When it comes to life and death, public memory doesn’t get easily erased.

Vijai Pant, On E-Mail

The truth about the mismanagement of the pandemic by “the PM who cares” is obviously the theme of your cover story, duly ­supported with facts and ­figures. The only exceptions are the “super-truths” ­articulated by Vijay Chauthaiwale (The People’s Prime Minister) in defence of the regime. There is hardly anybody left whose sensitivities were left unhurt by Covid and Ruben Banerjee’s pain in Twice Orphaned would ­resonate with many. True, it’s easy to hurl the sharpest ­criticism at the ruling dispensation when the pandemic is at its peak and causing unimaginable devastation, but that doesn’t mean the criticism is undeserved. When the magnitude of the human tragedy in the offing had become clear, those in power should have taken all their critics, the Opposition and experts into confidence for jointly planning a comprehensive res­ponse to the pandemic’s second wave. It is never too late to correct the course of horrible blunders that led to ­unpardonable shortages and black-marketing of oxygen, hospital beds and vaccines, which made people to die like flies. An honest apology to the people and seeking everyone’s open-hearted cooperation can still salvage the reputation of those responsible for the untold miseries of the faceless multitudes.

M.N. Bhartiya, Alto-Porvorim (Goa)

Yes, this is indeed an “empire of cruelty”, presided over by somebody who once roared in an ­election rally in UP: “If every village has a kabristaan (graveyard), shouldn’t there be a shamshaan (cremation ground)?” The people clapped. The vision has been realised now with corpses flowing down the holy Ganga and the sheer scale of Covid deaths erasing lines separating shamshaan from kabristaan. Meanwhile, loyalists and subordinates are busy ­undercounting the dead, to hide the extent of this ­empire. We, the people, have nothing to complain about as we have finally got what we deserved.

Rakesh Agrawal, Dehradun

This refers to Shashi Tharoor’s The Complete Covid Chargesheet against the ­government. Clearly, for our government, it has been ­politics over pandemic. Its shortsightedness, hubris, poor planning and poorer strategy in dealing with this colossal tragedy is for all of us to see and suffer. However, the chargesheet falls short on two points. One is on the role of the Opposition—its inability to measure up to this extraordinary situation, its utter ­vacuity and lack of purpose. Even though the country is facing its worst disaster, the Opposition lies in stupor—vanquished, without a vision or a plan. The second failure is ours—we, the people, who not only flout rules, but also take pride in doing so. An ­adversary as potent as the virus can’t be fought by a ­nation that prioritises ceremony over calamity. So we are in it together and the chargesheet needs to include us all for abdicating our ­collective responsibility, and the Opposition, in particular, for being in perpetual hibernation. That probably would complete the chargesheet. No doubt, the buck must stop at the government, for the leadership owes us the final answer on why things went so horribly wrong.

Sangeeta Kampani, New Delhi

After it handled the first wave of Covid in a fair and just ­manner, it was expected that the Centre would not rest until we overcome the pande­mic. However, it chose to bask in the glow of its success and failed to take cognisance of warnings from experts, who pointed out as far back as December last year that the pandemic’s second wave would be more severe. This shows that we are high on slogans, but poor in learning to rectify our mistakes. The way the Centre conducted its­elf reveals the deep rot that has set in. The crumbling of medical infrastructure due to lack of oxygen, beds, critical care medicines and facilities, and, above all, shortage of vaccination is due to the Centre utterly miscalculating the extent of the calamity and then failing to take corrective steps on a war-footing. All it needs to do now is to take all stakeholders into confidence for framing an effective long-term policy response that combines best practices for overcoming all the shortcomings and pitfalls.

K.R. Srinivasan, Secunderabad

What Did I Do!

Malabar Red

Jun 07, 2021

This refers to your story on how the Grand Old Party “continues to stumble from one ­electoral defeat to another” (What Did I Do!, May 17). The story is an honest ­appraisal of the great failure of the so-called prince of the oldest party of this country. Rahul Gandhi must introspect on what he has done so far for the Congress. The Left’s victory in Kerala is solely because of the ­positive impact the Pinarayi Vijayan government has made on people’s lives in the state. The Congress-led United Democratic Front finds itself weak and ­clueless. Owing to its ­leadership crisis, the Congress has failed to ­recover its swiftly eroding grassroots footprint.

Ashok Sharma, Patna

Prince Who Finally Became King

Stalin’s Crown

Jun 07, 2021

This refers to your story on M.K. Stalin’s victory in the Tamil Nadu elections Prince Who Finally Became King (May 17). Stalin was a close associate of his father, a giant in Tamil politics, and has been part of the DMK from a young age. This time he led from the front to bring the party back to power. In fact, Stalin has much more experience on the political front compared to his rivals. An important factor in his ­favour is that he has served as deputy CM of the state and also as mayor of Chennai. This experience in governance will prove to be useful in the days ahead. This is a great opportunity for him to ­establish his leadership and become a mass leader.

Dr Ashok, On E-Mail

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