* This refers to ‘Two interviews’ by Shailaja Bajpai (IE, April 17). I completely agree with the writer. I believe that the interview conducted by Rajat Sharma was just another exercise in Narendra Modi’s publicity campaign. Modi was not asked any direct questions on his role in or accountability for the 2002 riots. Sharma did not question him on the “paanch ke pachchees” speech that he delivered soon after the riots. What about all the talk terming relief camps children factories? Sharma was silent on the fact that the Supreme Court had to intervene in some riot cases, move them out of Gujarat. On one hand, Modi and Rajnath Singh are trying to woo Muslim voters. On the other, they can’t even tame Amit Shah. If it really wants Muslim votes, the BJP will have to shed its rightwing image and transform into an inclusive party. The fact of the matter is that the riots of 2002 and Modi’s continuation as chief minister of Gujarat were the main reasons that the NDA didn’t come back to power in 2004.
* While lamenting the chill that has descended on India-US ties, Pratap Bhanu Mehta expresses deep apprehensions that the moribund strategic dialogue may not be revived even if Narendra Modi comes to power because there is a resolution in the US Congress on “including religious freedom in the strategic dialogue” (‘Cold friends’, IE, April 17). But surely India doesn’t need to worry about this? Instead of adopting a needlessly defensive attitude, India should welcome the inclusion of religious freedom in the India-US strategic dialogue. In fact, it should proactively monitor the US’s track record in this regard, which isn’t gleaming, to say the least. The American Civil Liberties Union has reported how a unit of the New York police used to conduct a Muslim surveillance programme, which has now been disbanded.
— R.P. Subramanian
* This refers to ‘The Modi chill’ (IE, April 17). The unbiased and well-informed among the electorate will concur with the view that the 2014 election is the most shrill we have ever witnessed. Instead of engaging on policies and programmes, parties are busy launching personal attacks.
— Chandramohan V.
* This refers to ‘Righting a wrong’ (IE, April 16). The Supreme Court judgment is something to be proud of. The court has strengthened democracy and set an example for the rest of the world. The judgment also entrusts us with a grave responsibility. We must make it a point to change our behaviour towards transgender individuals.
— Anurag Sharma