Outlook – July 28, 2019

(Axel Boer) #1
foreigners in detention camps is aptly
captured in The Assam Question: Who
Am I (July 15). People of Assam
sincerely want a 100 per cent correct
National Register of Citizens (NRC),
which is being drafted lately. But
vested interests would like to keep
away the names of Bengali Muslims,
Bengali Hindus, Biharis, Nepalis.
Scores of people are shoved into deten-
tion camps as foreigners—many
because of mistaken identities. We
want the NRC updated. But we don’t
want harassment of the commoners.
In today’s Assam, in the name of the
NRC, thousands of Bengali people are
being harassed. The BJP government,
like the Congress, is playing with the
lives of a section of the population.
People can see through the BJP’s
double standards—NRC to harass cer-
tain people and the citizenship amend-
ment bill (CAB) to appease Bengali
Hindus. Such divisive politics will ruin
the lives of Bengalis as a whole.

To No Avail
MUMBAI Anish Esteves: This
refers to your story The Latest
Heir-Bender (July 15). Mayawati’s
move to snap ties with the Samajwadi
Party shows that she expects the BSP
to capture a large chunk of the non-

BJP votes in Uttar Pradesh, which
would enable her to become a domi-
nant force once again in the state. She
will be left disappointed when this
opportunistic behaviour fails to bring
the positive outcome she hopes for.

Twilight Babu
This refers to Vendetta Visions in Ghost
Town (July 15). Former Andhra

Pradesh CM N. Chandrababu Naidu’s
grandiose plans for new state capital
Amaravati hang in a balance just like
his own political career. Now a poor
caricature precariously poised
politically, arrogance, overconfidence,
defying Modi in the company of
opposition Lilliputians and taking the
people of his state for granted were
some of the flaws responsible for his
rapid downfall. His own trusted party
mates are leaving him like rats
deserting a sinking ship. CM
Jaganmohan Reddy is leaving no stone
unturned, smelling a rat in every deal
made by Naidu. Prior to May 23, Naidu
hobnobbed with politicians all over the
country, acting as a kingmaker nursing
a secret desire to be the king himself
should a situation arose similar to
when H.D. Deva Gowda had become
PM. Being hounded by the Centre and
the Andhra Pradesh government now,
Naidu and family have no choice but to
lie low in extended hibernation for five
years. However mighty one may be,
when nemesis catches up, there is a
huge price to pay.

Mind It
HYDERABAD J.N. Bhartiya: This
refers to your story Modi’s Mandarins
(July 1). The taste of the pudding is in the
eating, and the test of the bureau cracy’s

worth is in the government’s function-
ing. If the hoi polloi are not ensured
freedom from want, it is an unw orthy
bureaucracy. It is also unworthy if free-
dom of expression is absent, for that
leads to tyranny as power inevitably
intoxicates and corrupts. The intelli-
gentsia, barring those in authority, are
the watchdogs of democracy, and a
government that is vindictive not against
those who harm the people, but against
those undermining its power, reveals the
substandard quality of its bureaucracy.
Governments come and they go for their
faults. Marie Antoinette of France, the
Czar of Russia and James I of England
will testify to this.

Price of Truth
BANGALORE J. Akshay: This refers
to Good Cop Bad Cop (July 8). Former
Gujarat IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt’s trials
and tribulations raise soul-searching
questions. Under the present regime,
there is no telling when fair turns foul
and foul fair. It can happen in the twin-
kling of an eye. Bhatt has been facing the
music because of his determination to
take the road most people avoid—the
road of truth shown by Mahatma
Gandhi, the father of the nation. He is
being subjected to a severe ordeal beca-
use of his courage in exposing the evils
and hypocrisies of authoritarian rule.

SWEPT OUT BSP supremo Mayawati

Falling Behind?
PALAKKAD M. Sankunny Menon: I sat
bem used, with a newish Outlook (dated May
27) in my hand. It was May 26. On May 23, the
poll results were announced and BJP had swept
to power in one of the most decisive mandates
of recent decades. Yet, Outlook had Rahul
Gandhi on the cover, with a gallery of leaders
from “strong independent parties” on the side!
Was the magazine oblivious to the whole thing?
How could this happen? This disaster would
not have happened if Vinod Mehta—who once
pulled out nude photos of Protima Bedi out of
an issue of Debonair ready for printing at the
insistence of Kabir Bedi—had been at the helm.
A Note: The confusion, dear reader, about the date printed on the masthead isn’t
new. Like many newsmagazines around the world, it’s the date on which the issue
expires; that is, the date till which, at the very latest, it has currency. The May 27
issue actually went on the newsstands on Friday-Monday, May 17-20 (depending
on the location), when the chances of the Congress and the Opposition had rele-
vance! The next issue (June 3, Narendra Modi, Conqueror-in-Chief ) went on sale
at the earliest on May 24 evening, and would have been delivered everywhere in
the next two days. The issue in your hand, Mr Menon, had just run the course of its
seven to ten-day life. Do get your copies of Outlook on time, sir!

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6 OUTLOOK 29 July 2019

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