Press and self-indulgence

Press and self-indulgence

I congratulate P.N. Vasanti for being objective, an exception in these times of cowboy journalism. (“How effective is PCI’s moral authority", Mint, 31 October). I come from advertising, a not so ethically correct profession. At a party organized by journalists, my boss and I were the only non-journalists. The journalists took off on advertising and how it misrepresents facts. I dared not argue much on it. But my boss, who’s an enlightened person, said something that shut them up. He said that if advertising misrepresents facts, the brand is bound to suffer. As in Bhagvad Gita, “retribution is swift". But there seems to be no such retributive mechanism for the press, especially when the entire media industry is self-indulgent. I’m sure you would agree.

— Vijayasimha Vellanki

I agree with Mrinal Pande (“Demographic anorexia of Aamchi Mumbai", Mint, 4 November) on the undesirable method adopted by Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS). It’s time Thackeray was questioned as to the Navnirman he has in mind, apart from the destruction he has caused so far. It’s also time to take decisive measures to arrest such tactics, be it Thackeray’s or anybody else’s.

Even if the issue is handled as a simple law and order problem, most of the mess will be cleared. But it will be too much to expect this from rulers such as the present chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh who has proved to be incompetent. It’s an open secret that there’s a game plan to divide the voters’ base of the Shiv Sena by discreetly encouraging MNS and being soft on it. But we must note that people who are incompetent can be expected to go bankrupt in terms of ideas and skills to handle political challenges and then go about playing such poor games. You’ve mentioned in your column the wrong selection by the senior Thackeray and its consequences. Similarly, wrong selection and continuation by the Congress has caused the present problems.

Last, but not the least, Maharashtra’s contribution towards India’s independence, integrity and such things about today’s India are well known. Similarly, the intention of the Marathi Manus need not be doubted. We must note that had it not been for the accommodative nature of the Maharashtrian, so much population originally belonging to other states wouldn’t have settled easily in that state. But one family, the Thackerays’, has been allowed to disorient the real Marathi character, without a challenge. It’s a big political failure on the part of the biggest political party in the country, the Congress.

— Pulind Samant

On the 7.27 from Srinagar", Mint, 1 November, was a good piece on the working of the railway system in Jammu and Kashmir. The railway line will spur development in an area badly impacted by terror, militancy and the politics of destruction practised by some elements. The separatist leaders must realize that frequent agitations, strikes and other disorderly activities are putting fetters on furthering development in their state. The recent report by the European parliament has appreciated the devolved democratic structures at all levels in Jammu and Kashmir. The report has also been very critical of the conditions that prevail in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.Separatists should join the political mainstream and participate in elections and establish their credentials as representatives of people.

— M.M. Gurbaxani

I agree with your view that we can dump Air India/Indian Airlines (“Does India need the Maharaja?", Mint, 28 October). But the issue has political overtones. Who will carry the Haj pilgrims to Mecca every year on state subsidy? What will our politicians do at the time of elections? Easier said than done.

— Chandrashekar Rammohan