Your cover story has covered well the proliferation of shell companies, that are byproducts of a rotten system involving an orthodox officialdom, and a conservative-yet-dominant bureaucracy that is hand in glove with the ruling dispensation (‘The maze runners’, February 3). The streamlining of legitimate companies, to separate them from shell companies, is a commendable measure undertaken by the Union government. This will put a check on further mushrooming of shell companies.
Your cover story was a brilliant study class on the messy maze in which shell companies operate. The common man will be shell-shocked to learn about the shell companies that sap the nation’s economic health. The nexus between avaricious businessmen and unscrupulous politicians is fertile ground for the growth of such companies.
Why target Sonia?
Sanjaya Baru in his column (‘Primed for power’, February 3) referred to the Indian National Congress as the Sonia Congress. That was unfortunate. A cynical writeup, it was an insult to the grand old party of Indian politics, and to Sonia Gandhi. This is not how one gives vent to one’s anger towards any political party or individual.
For Hindu consolidation
There are protests against the Citizenship Amendment Bill, but the BJP, it seems to me, will not give up on it (‘Hill hell for bill’, February 3). It is wrong to divide an infiltrator into Hindu or Muslim. It is clear that the BJP wants to consolidate Hindu votes in the northeast, and it will go to any extent for it.
Can she deliver?
The jury is out on whether the newest entrant into the Congress fold, Priyanka Gandhi, could be a game-changer and a lucky mascot, or whether her entry will be a damp squib and do little to enhance the party’s electoral fortunes (‘Brother calls for backup’, February 3). Priyanka is no stranger to politics as she had been an active campaigner for her mother, Sonia Gandhi, and brother, Rahul Gandhi.
All said, Priyanka comes with an extra baggage in the form of her husband Robert Vadra, who has been repeatedly targeted by enforcement agencies, obviously at the behest of the ruling dispensation.
The Congress will be banking heavily on Priyanka’s charisma to make a difference at the hustings, but it remains to be seen whether she can deliver.
Next to Sachin
M.S. Dhoni is one of the greatest cricketers that India has seen. He is next to the legendary Sachin Tendulkar and is only getting better (‘Last word’, February 3). Dhoni is closing in on 38, and I feel he will hang his boots after the World Cup this year, leaving on a high.
Dhoni’s journey as the captain of the Indian cricket team has been phenomenal. Team India became confident under Dhoni. During his captaincy, he treated his seniors and juniors in the same manner, with equal respect. It is good to see Dhoni in form these days. He has a long way to go. I want him to win the World Cup for India one more time, this year.
No takers for chess
Kudos to D. Gukesh, who triumphed over the formidable Dinesh Sharma in the final round of the Delhi International Open Grandmasters chess tournament to become the world’s second youngest grandmaster of all time (‘Check mates’, February 3).
It is a matter of pride for India. In our country, there are a number of grandmasters and international masters who have brought us laurels. But, it is sad that games likes chess are not getting importance like football, hockey and cricket, where huge amounts of money are paid to the players, irrespective of their performance. These games are well supported and sponsored by big corporate houses.
It is a sorry state of affairs that chess has hardly any sponsorship or support.
Whatever be the allegations against Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, one should not forget that Naidu is the chief architect of modern Andhra Pradesh (‘Jagan Mohan ready’, January 27). There can be no second opinion that Naidu is a real visionary whose personal efforts and dynamic approach to foreign direct investments helped the state reap maximum benefits. We know how the IT sector thrived in the state, with their order books overflowing, thanks to Naidu’s personal efforts and enviable knowledge. In these aspects, YSR Congress president Jagan Mohan Reddy is nowhere close to Naidu.
The charges against Kanhaiya Kumar are politically motivated. The BJP government at the Centre wants to put Kumar behind bars ahead of the elections, and hence, has asked the Delhi Police to file a charge-sheet (‘This week, meet’, January 27). Kanhaiya would most likely contest the general elections, and the BJP, come what may, wants to prevent it. Such a move on its part could backfire.
Portraying Bal Thackeray in his biopic is certainly a role that no actor would want to refuse (‘Portraying the patriarch’, February 3). A Muslim [Nawazuddin Siddiqui] playing this role with such perfection is commendable. Siddiqui has displayed utmost courage and dedication to make the film even better. He has done full justice to the role, and has given us insights into Bala saheb’s life.