* This refers to the report Congress hiding behind burqa of secularism: Modi (IE,July 15) and the editorial That familiar feeling (IE,July 16). I do not think religious identity has lost relevance in todays India. For all the talk of development and the apparently modern lifestyle of a young electorate,religion remains a dangerous cornerstone of identity. It does not take much to prod this sleeping giant awake. Our major political parties should understand the very real dangers of playing the religious-versus-secular card. They should refrain from doing so.
* There is a futile debate going on about secularism,nationalism and communalism,triggered by Narendra Modis recent remarks. Six decades of parliamentary democracy have left Indians sharply and dangerously divided on the lines of religion,caste,community,region and state.For this,more or less all our politicians and political parties are responsible. Give them any issue and our politicians will communalise it or bring in regional agendas. What is secular in our country is poverty,exploitation,illiteracy,malnutrition and disease these are found among people from all castes,religions and regions. Secular is corruption,selfishness and nepotism,found in politicians across the spectrum. If the debate is to be meaningful,learned and apolitical personalities from different walks of life should share their point of view. Debates involving the present crop of politicians generate only heat and no light.
The final stop
* Telegrams were once considered an effective mode of communication,used to send important messages to near and dear ones (163-yr-old telegram service is history,IE,July 15). But the advent of technology like mobile phones and the internet has made the telegram redundant. The use of of landlines has also seen a sharp fall in the last few years,and PSUs like BSNL and MTNL have suffered. One of the reasons for the decline of these companies is their inability to provide efficient service.
Ketan R. Meher
* The passing of veteran actor Pran was a great shock to Indian cinema and millions of fans the world over. He was cinemas best loved villain and a thorough gentleman in real life. Any film starring Pran as the villain would be a box-office hit. So intense was his dedication that he breathed life into whatever character he played. Though his career started with a Punjabi film,Yamala Jat in 1940,his roles in Hindi films like Azaad,Halaku,Chori Chori,Dil Tera Deewana,Dil Hi Toh Hai,Pooja Ke Phool,Raj Kumar,Ram Aur Shyam,Dil Diya Dard Liya,Kashmir Ki Kali,Waqt,Zanjeer and Victoria No. 203 are still fresh in my mind.