B.R. Ambedkar is certainly the tallest icon across the political spectrum; his statues outnumber those of any other political figure in the country (‘Reclaiming the redeemer’, January 29).
The BJP may have benefitted from the dalit outreach, but I doubt if it is merely symbolic, just like what other political parties in the country are doing. At the end of the day, nobody really cares about dalits. Today, all politicians are forced to look at Ambedkar. They rhapsodise about his achievements and appropriate his legacy in the game of one-upmanship. But does that serve any purpose? People should not fall into the trap laid by politicians.
I rate Ambedkar on par with Mahatma Gandhi. I wonder what Ambedkar would have said on the prolongation of discriminations and the rise of a majoritarian government in India today.
Ambedkar is one of the greatest figures in Indian history. In fact, he should have been India’s first prime minister. The Indian Constitution is one of best constitutions in the world, and the full credit for this goes to the chairman of the drafting committee—Ambedkar. He borrowed best practices from around the world. Ambedkar and his team made sure that nobody could tamper with the Constitution that easily. If not for him, we would not have got such a unique Constitution.
Our constitution is sacred to us. An effort to strip it of its values will affect our democracy. Political parties should not appropriate Ambedkar for their selfish deeds. Any such attempt would be sacrilegious.
It is a given that the Narendra Modi-led BJP will win the elections in 2024. As long as Modi is at the helm, the BJP will win the Parliament elections decisively (‘Machine in motion’, January 29). Once Modi leaves, the BJP will go back to square one. Good or bad, everything today has become Modi-centric. Any democracy needs a coherent and strong opposition. No opposition leader has risen to Modi’s stature.
The results of the assembly elections this year will have no bearing whatsoever on the results of the general elections in 2024. It is a pity that there is not a single opposition leader in the country who can counter Modi effectively. Globally, too, Modi’s popularity is on the rise. The latest controversies surrounding Modi are only going to help him.
After the Bharat Jodo Yatra, there is a visible change in Rahul Gandhi. Henceforth, leaders in the BJP are not going to take him lightly. But there is still a long way to go.
R. Prasannan has entertained readers with hilarious but inherently serious warnings (‘Powerdrive’, January 29). The communication gap between the National Disaster Management Authority and Isro seems to be analogous to the doctored replies given by Chinese authorities to the World Health Organization. This, when the WHO team reached Wuhan to investigate Covid-19.
Ghulam Nabi Azad holds sway in many parts of Jammu and Kashmir, and it is not fair to say that defections from his party are going to affect him (Ready, steady… go!’, January 29). Azad is one of the few widely respected politicians in Jammu and Kashmir.
The BJP will bank on Azad’s party for outside support. I doubt whether the National Conference and the People’s Democratic Party carry the clout that they used to have before the abrogation of Article 370.
The Apni Party, the Azad Party and the BJP will rule the Union territory in alliance.
Why the taboo?
Anuja Chauhan’s column was hard-hitting; sex education should be made compulsory in schools (‘Schizo-nation’, January 29). One should not get addicted to porn. Children, below 18, should never watch it. Parents should explain to children that porn viewing is inappropriate and is a misrepresented view of sexuality.
I fail to understand why there is still so much taboo around the word ‘sex’ in India.
‘Last Word’ (January 29) by Navtej Sarna was thought-provoking. It rings true of the two sides to people—one as a nation and the other as society. No doubt, we swell with pride at the great strides India has made over the last few years, and how she has established herself as a power to reckon with. But, where are we heading to when it comes to humanity? We need to hang our head in shame at the barbarism that we have witnessed in recent times. These days even a passerby, who comes forward to help a person in need, is also at risk. In some cases, police officers become victims. So, what to talk of the common man!
It is high time some stern measures are put in place. Or, God save us.
Pelé the great
Your cover story on Pelé was fantastic; it was a great way of knowing Pelé’s character—in and outside the field (‘God’s final whistle’, January 15). Your package was a tribute to the pioneer who brought poetry to the game.
In today’s times one could hardly believe what Pelé was for football. The game of football started flourishing with the magical touch of Pelé’s feet. Before Pelé, football was just a game, a mere prose. Pelé made football so beautiful. Maradona, Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Mbappe are all followers of this beautiful tradition initiated by Pelé.