* Khushwant Singh’s passing marks the end of an era of journalism that is unparallelled in our country’s history. An ace journalist, writer and columnist, Singh was an institution in himself. He is perhaps the most popular writer our country has ever produced. What separated Singh from the rest were his witty comments and frank writing. He took on the establishment in his own style, called a spade a spade. The grand old man of Indian journalism lived his life to the full and would have completed a century next February. A Rajya Sabha MP from 1980 to 1986, he bravely returned his Padma Bhushan, which was awarded to him in 1974, in protest against Operation Bluestar.
— S.N. Kabra
Foot in mouth
* This refers to ‘Khurshid calls Modi “nursery child” over clean chit claim in 2002 riots’ (IE, March 20). One feels sorry for External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, who continues to suffer from foot-in-mouth disease. After attacking constitutional institutions like the Supreme Court and Election Commission in his arrogant style, he ridiculed Narendra Modi, who may become the next prime minister of India, in utterly undignified language. Khurshid doesn’t seem to recall Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s reprimand. With such loose cannons in its fold, the Congress doesn’t need any other enemies.
— M. Ratan
* This refers to the editorial ‘Reworking the pact’ (IE, March 20). It is quite true that the Russian annexation of Crimea is not likely to start a new Cold War in Europe. Crimea is too small and far away for the West to make a bigger issue out of it. Of course, the US and Western Europe are bound to make the customary noises. But they won’t have the gumption to impose any meaningful sanctions against Russia. It was rightly mentioned that the US cannot do without Russia’s support on a wide range of global issues. And Western Europe is too dependent on Russian energy supplies. But the annexation may encourage China to flex its muscles. China has several territorial disputes with many countries in the region, including India. At a time when India’s defence preparedness and capabilities are quite dismal, we may just be sitting ducks.
— Chandramohan V.
Change of guard
* L.K. Advani’s sulking has become intolerable. He had his chance to rescue and resuscitate the party. But he failed to do so. He has no right to sulk now, when the party is trying to win an election. Let the younger generation take charge.
— Sadashiv S. Apte