* This refers to ‘Delhi’s shame’ (IE, February 3). Most people seem pathologically prejudiced against outsiders. I was born and educated in Burma in the local medium but had to leave because I was a foreigner. In Bengal, my pronunciation earned me some snide remarks for being a “Baangaal” (East Bengali).
At a reputed company, a Bengali colleague, who was a communist, considered south Indians “crazy” because they add their father’s and village’s name to their given names. I pointed out that the Russians and Chinese have the same system and that he should check what Lenin and Mao Zedong’s names mean. In Gujarat, a Punjabi colleague was surprised that a Bengali (referring to me) could work so hard. In Bihar, I committed a double crime by being a Bengali officer.
Anti-outsider feelings exist, and will continue to, in every part of the world. It is sickening and dangerous when politicians use this as a weapon. Today it is Raj Thackeray and Somnath Bharti. Earlier, it was Adolf Hitler and Enoch Powell.
— Awrkayan Das
* Apropos of ‘UPA’s “eminent jurist” on lokpal selection panel is “party loyalist”’ (IE, February 5), Sushma Swaraj’s recorded dissent to the inclusion of P.P. Rao in the selection committee, which will choose the chairperson and members of the lokpal, is unfortunate. By a majority of three to one, Rao has been appointed to the panel. But the larger issue remains.
If, in every collegium, the will of the majority prevails, then the inclusion of the leader of the opposition is only symbolic. It would have been better if due consideration had been given to Swaraj’s reasons for objecting to Rao’s inclusion. One must remember that even the Supreme Court, while quashing the appointment of P.J. Thomas as CVC in March 2011, conceded the importance of the views of the leader of the opposition in such collegiums.
— Hemant Kumar
Our social contract
* This refers to ‘Slipping and sliding’ (IE, February 3). Subsidies constitute a major portion of government expenditure. But there is nothing wrong with this. As a socialist republic, the primary objective of the state is to ensure the growth and development of its citizens. Any cutback in subsidies would be detrimental to the interests of the downtrodden. It would be a recipe for social unrest. Rather than cutting subsidies, the government should aim to revamp the delivery system.
— Romesh Marwaha
All front, no plan
* This refers to ‘Back to third’ (IE, February 4). The Third Front doesn’t have a concrete roadmap for the country. It cannot lure voters by only projecting itself as secular.
— Ganapathi Bhat