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Amartya Sen has a right to his views

The editorial 'Sen and insane: Criticise Modi, lose award?' (July 27) echoes the feelings and ideas of countless people of this country. We all feel proud of Dr Amartya Sen, who has the ethical courage to speak out his mind in a fearless manner. In a democratic country like ours, if Sen refuses to share the hypothetical belief that Narendra Modi is going to be the next Prime Minister of the country, nobody ought to mind it as he is entitled to hold on to his specific ideas about Indian politics. Some of the top BJP leaders have rightly distanced themselves from their own party MP's rigid and graceless viewpoint that Sen should be stripped of Bharat Ratna for not liking Modi's candidature for the top job.

The editorial has underlined the obvious truth in a very effective manner by saying "Dr Sen perhaps did not realise that these days there is a scramble among the BJP's middle-rung leaders and spokespersons to defend Modi and sing his praises at every available platform." BJP leaders should cultivate the culture of tolerance towards those who do not think like them as India happens to be a big country where common people follow different religions, speak different dialects and have diverse ethnic backgrounds. They cannot be expected to think alike. We must learn to tolerate one another and survive as cultured citizens.


Telangana issue

The decision to carve out a new state, namely Telangana, out of Andhra Pradesh is not a good step at all. With its creation, the government will have to face similar demands. Hyderabad will serve as the capital of two states for the time being. We all know that the issue of Chandigarh as the capital of either Punjab or Haryana could not be solved even after 46 years. So the bone of contention between Andhra and Telangana will remain there. Moreover, the UPA-led Congress government is taking all such pending issues at a time when the elections are a few months away.

I P S ANAND, Chandigarh

Insane remarks

The editorial 'Sen & insane' (July 27) makes an interesting reading. It is true that Narendra Modi does not need enemies outside his party. There are enough of them in the BJP to pull him down as and when such an opportunity arises. To ask Amartya Sen to return Bharat Ratna for his remarks against Modi could dent Modi's rising popularity.

On the other hand, the Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has taken a wise step by asking his party spokespersons to stop making irresponsible statements which belittle the party's image. The BJP should also ask Narendra Modi and other spokespersons of the party to refrain from making unfortunate and shameful remarks/statements so that they do not have to eat their words and feel repentant. A wise enemy is less dangerous than a foolish friend. It is high time all leaders of the Congress and the BJP refrained from making frivolous remarks because these can cost them dear in the elections.

M S Tandan, Ambala Cantt

Next master blaster

Virat Kohli, who scored a ton against Zimbabwe at the Harare Cricket Club last Tuesday, has now become the youngest cricketer in the world to score 15 ODI hundreds. It was his 109th ODI match. He seems to have the potential to score more centuries than Sachin Tendulkar in One Day International matches. The 24-year-old middle order batsman has established himself as a vital player in the Indian cricket team due to his dazzling performance since his debut in 2008 against Sri Lanka. Given his constant excellent performance, he can be the next master blaster of India.


Mid-day meals

This has reference to the editorial 'Food for thought' (July 23). The mid-day meal tragedy has exposed the carelessness and negligence on the part of the school management. The mid-day meal programme was seen as a good strategy to fight hunger, malnourishment and illiteracy. But the fundamental guidelines of the world's largest feeding programme were violated.

To save other innocent lives, we must make food sampling mandatory as well as a routine affair. Quality and hygiene are two important aspects of the scheme which must be ensured while preparing the food. The storage of food grains at a safe and hygienic place is the need of the hour. The guilty must be given severe punishment.


Langar, a way out

A repeat of the mid-day meal tragedy can be avoided if cues are taken from the Sikh sangat which runs free kitchens in gurdwaras across the country and even abroad. It goes to the credit of the Sikh sangat that langar has been run for ages without any tragedy or loss of life. The only difference between mid-day meals and langar is that langar is organised with dedication and selfless service.


Confer Bharat Ratna on Rafi

On the 33rd death anniversary of legendary singer Mohammad Rafi (July 31), an Urdu couplet “Jab bhee main jalata hoon teri yaadon ke chirag, husan kuch suhani raat ka aur nikhar jata hai” aptly sums up the still prevalent intoxicating effect of the songs of Rafi on the hearts and minds of listeners.

The golden voice of Rafi was truly divine which always topped the popularity charts from 1944 to 1980. Rafi sang 26,000 songs in his illustrious singing career with 4,516 film songs sung in 1,960 films in 36 languages and dialects. He had many qualities like he would go to Haj frequently, never smoke or drink and never charged fee for singing religious songs. It is a long overdue demand of millions of fans of Rafi to honour him with the Bharat Ratna.

J S PURI, Chandigarh



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