Essence of India
Your cover story on unique festivals of India was filled with so much information, and it made a great read (‘Zest for fests’, July 8). Festivals in India should be marketed well; the world should know about them. After all, they are the essence of India. We should take pride in each of these festivals, irrespective of the place we belong to. No other country celebrates festivals in the manner we, the Indians, do.
I enjoyed reading your cover story. But you missed the famous Bharani festival of Kodungallur Bhagawati Temple in Kerala, which is arguably the most unique and exotic festival in India. The temple was built by a Tamil King—Cheran Chenguttuvan—for the worship of Kannagi, who formed the central character of the Tamil epic Silapathikaram.
Kavutheendal, an event at the temple, is very popular. The atmosphere is electric. Hundreds of devotees, clad in red and overcome by frenzied ardour for the Devi, storm into the temple during the time.
The ritual at the temple shows the diversity of Kerala, and the dialectical nature of our philosophy. The kavutheendal is also an assertion of the dalit identity. The festival belongs to the marginalised communities of Kerala.
The mid-year special was pleasing to the eyes and the mind, owing to its aesthetically refurbished layout and presentation.
By showcasing ten unique festivals of different faiths and sects, the vibrancy of and the diversity in India’s cultural and religious ethos were discernibly brought out. I feel a ringside view elaboration would have been more appealing, rather than a bird’s eye view type constriction.
It was shocking to read that during monsoon lakhs of devotees gather at the Kamakhya Temple in Assam to witness the goddess bleeding; majority of them being the educated elite.
The mid-year special issue on unique festivals was interesting and filled with information. The redesigned issue of THE WEEK was so attractive that I could go through it without feeling bored.
Need more like Chelameswar
With Justice J. Chelameswar retiring, Indian judiciary will miss an upright and honest judge of unquestionable integrity (‘Matter of honour’, July 8). It will be no exaggeration to say that Chelameswar ploughed a lonely furrow and remained a dissenting, yet strident voice.
It is always easier to flow with the tide than to swim against the current. Chelameswar had to pay the price for his rigid stance on issues, and a delay in his elevation ensured that he would never don the mantle of the chief justice. But he does not regret it.
At a time when the independence of the judiciary is being questioned, and the influence of the executive in all spheres has become rampant, the country needs judges like Chelameswar to blunt the blatant moves.
While the implication is that the CJI is biased towards the party in power, it is also possible that the cases are not allotted to judges who are biased against the BJP, to avoid personal views getting involved in passing judgments. Chelameswar should know that when one is pointing finger at someone, four fingers are pointing towards them.
T. Sudhakar Bhat,
Influencing the judiciary’s functioning by external forces is possible only if the judges are vulnerable. Giving exclusive power to judges to appoint their brother judges makes it a closed-circuit affair. I suggest that judges be appointed by a seven-member body, comprising a former chief justice, the sitting chief justice, the cabinet secretary, two MPs (one each from the ruling party and the opposition), the prime minister, and the president, who should have the casting vote.
Saifuddin Soz will be remembered in history as the person who made the government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee fall in 13 days (‘This week’ meet…’ July 8). His lone vote, as the National Conference MP, was the last and decisive nail in the coffin.
Presently in the Congress and out of power, Soz is singing the tune of the separatists. He considers himself as a leader of Jammu and Kashmir. Can he even name five localities in old Jammu?
Good job, THE WEEK
Many compliments on your redesigned appearance. It is original and fresh. THE WEEK shares a unique camaraderie with its readers. Values and neutrality are the hallmark of journalism with human touch. There were some regular features missing in the redesigned issue, like the forecast section.
Redesigning the magazine periodically is a welcome feature. It will certainly beat the monotony. Now, I would request you to have a look at the printing quality. While the font is all right, in some pages the printing seems to be somewhat shoddy. This could cause strain to the readers, especially the elderly. If feasible, please explore the possibility of enhancing the printing quality for subscribers’ copies, and the price be enhanced to that extent if need be.
M. Gopal Rao,
Where is forecast?
I have been reading THE WEEK for many years. I look forward to the forecast section by Nampoothiri. May I know why you have stopped it? Could you please continue with it?
Please let me know why you have stopped the forecast section? Can’t it be continued?