I read your quick edit, “Just drop this case”, Mint, 29 December that referred to the Delhi assembly’s fury over a Times of India report on the few sittings of the body. As a taxpayer I fail to understand why these politicians, feeding on citizens in the name of democracy, are so scared of public scrutiny of their deeds. Are they not aware or is the public not aware of the misdeeds that they are doing outside the assembly? Else why is there the common outcry that politicians are the most hated lot in the society? I’d like to remind you of the ongoing national dialogue that the ballot paper should carry the last option as “none of the above”. From my personal experience, I would like to inform the paper that politicians take pleasure in stopping ongoing work rather than getting it done, obviously for ulterior motives.
A new newspaper has to do something to stand out from the crowd. Your Sixty in Sixty series turned out to be a unique selling point for Mint, as it was able to bring to readers news of developments in diverse fields.
Development news has vanished from mainstream newspapers. The way the stories were structured should go a long way in bringing development news back into the mainstream agenda.
Your story, “Is New Delhi’s air quality really worse off?” Mint, 21 December, has no straight answer. The main reasons for poor air quality are more vehicles on the road and the fact that oil companies have been unable to provide ultra-clean diesel with 10ppm of sulphur. The authorities are thinking of banning diesel vehicles instead.
This is a clear case of the government prescribing higher and higher doses of medicine instead of depending on proper diagnosis.
In the editorial “Losing edge”, Mint, 25 December, you end with philosopher George Santayana’s saying, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” It is applicable to Gujarat today. It’s true the state has seen a lot of development. You have rightly praised it. But, during my recent visit there, I saw that Modi’s “Gujarati pride” and Hindu communalism played a major role in his campaign and the victory.
I am shocked that the media hype on Modi’s victory ignores the fact that Gujarat’s development will remain unfinished until Modi fails to rehabilite the victims of the riots of 2002. Gujarat’s Muslims have seen even their basic rights and freedoms usurped. Also, ordinary Gujaratis will tell you how tough it is to deal with livelihood issues. Frankly, development in Gujarat has not been for the aam aadmi but for the middle and upper classes. If Modi wants to remain in power forever, he must change his mindset and treat all classes and communities as equals.
—Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee
This refers to your front page report “Money laundering cloud over UBS deal”, Mint, 25 December. The way the Reserve Bank of India and the government decide this case—of a big money launderer and a financial institution acting as a conduit of such operations—will be keenly watched by the general public.
It will show whether the regulator and government have only skin-deep anti- money-laundering measures when it comes to big operators.
The strictness with which they use know your customer (KYC) rules for ordinary depositors and the highly authoritarian diktat of the capital markets regulator, freezing nearly 2 million demat accounts, ought to be shown in the case of bigwigs who indulge in money laundering using respectable institutions.
And it is also a test to see whether banks and financial institutions are uniformly ethical and transparent when it comes to KYC and anti-money-laundering rules.
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