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Letters

Andhra Divided
Annapoorna Andhra Pradesh Divided; Telugu Talli Hacked To Pieces; Undeclared Emergency And Self-Censorship!?
In an obvious match fixing Congress and BJP colluded in Rajya Sabha also, and amidst all din and noise and protests the person in chair Kurian fully cooperated with the corrupt and cruel Union Government to pass the T-Bill. And Annapoorna Andhra Pradesh is broken up with Telugu ‘Talli’ hacked into two parts. Only the rubber stamp of President of India is necessary and from the date of notification there will be two states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh in the now united State of AP.

But what is most worrying is only the celebrations by T-supporters and T-people are reported but the news from Seemandhra seems to be completely blacked out. Even TV9 which was giving so much coverage, perhaps even out of proportion, to the Sarnaikyandhra movement in Seemandhra has kept totally mum. Not even one person from Vijayawada or Tirupati or Vizag or Kurnool has been interviewed. Not one scene from Seemandhra towns or cities shown. Not one news from Seemandhra in Deccan Chronicle today even. Is it that entire Seemandhra has become dead and mum? Or that they are also celebrating the bifurcation. Or else if they are protesting or mourning what is the dimension and scale of it? Nothing is shown. This is worse than in Emergency. At least the Tamil Nadu Government under DMK was then bold enough to cover unpalatable news and the papers in Tamil Nadu published and condemned all evil deeds done by Indira Gandhi then [and for that in a short time that govt was dismissed]. But now it seems to be a sort of self-censorship or cowering down under some potent threats, etc.? What Happened? Can Anybody Clarify?

Jagan Is Not Heard Nor Vijaya-lakshmi Nor Any Mia Or Leader Of Ysrc Even. What Happened. Where Is Chandrababu Naidu And What Is He Doing? Where Is Payyavula Keshav And Devineni? Have All These People Ditched Seemandhra? Are All Of Them Dead Too?
I Mallikarjuna Sharma, Hyderabad

Not Mudslinging, A Critical Tribute
This is in response to I Mallikarjuna Sharma's (hereafter Sharma) letter (Frontier, March 9-15, 2014). I am responding in my capacity as the translator of the article on which Sharma made some irresponsible and ignorant comments.

(1)   Sharma's irresponsibility and ignorance are evident from the very first sentence when he said, "....I don't know why they sent it for publication in English, that too in Frontier, some four years after Balagopal's death." It is obvious that Sharma closed his eyes while reading the article. It may be recalled that the very first sentence in the translator's note reads as follows: "The immediate impetus to this translation is Biswajit Roy's reflections, on Gautam Nawlakha's book, published in Frontier, Autumn Number 2013." When I made so amply clear the immediate reason for sending the article now, Sharma pretends innocence.

(2)  For Sharma, it is a 'mudslinging' article. For us, it is a 'critical tribute' as stated in the translator's note.

(3)  While referring to the death of Balagopal, Ranganayakamma (hereafter RN),writer of the article observed that 'different people are giving different versions of what happened on that day....Which means none knew the actual details'. Sharma proved RN's observation when he attributed the cause of Balagopal's death to 'some unforeseen reaction from normally self-administered medicines or so' (emphasis added).

(4)  Sharma insists that 'first of all we are human beings" and he found fault with RN's comment that Balagopal's death made bourgeois persons too feel sorry since Balagopal concluded Communism was useless. What Sharma ignores is the fact that we are not abstract human beings but class human beings. It follows that a bourgeois human being would not lament on the death of a communist human being if that communist human being is consistent in his theory and practice. In this context Sharma claimed that 'avowed and reputed communists of various streams' like Sundarayya, Chandra Rajeswararao and Kondapally Sitaramayya had also received lot of sympathy from all classes and parties. A careful reading of the tributes paid to the said communist leaders by the bourgeois individuals and parties would reveal that they do not have sympathy for the 'revolutionary' contributions of those leaders but have praise for their subsequent 'revisionism' of various streams.

(5)  For Sharma, 'Balagopal's transformation into a non-Marxist...from his earlier rigid Marxist stand' is not degrading. For us, it is degrading because Balagopal had never offered any self-critical explanation as to why he ran after 'revolutionary' communist movement when it was a fashion for some intellectuals and later withdrew from it, started finding gaps in Marxism and embraced bourgeois concept of human rights. Lack of self-criticism on the part of Balagopal disproves Sharma's claim that Balagopal 'never hid his views'.
B R Bapuji, Hyderabad

Pre-2005 Currency Notes
It refers to suspicious announcement of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) by extending deadline for changing pre-2005 currency till December 2014. Move seems to be timed to suit politicians and political parties who were in big trouble by earlier RBI decision to discontinue pre-2005 currency by March 2014 because of forthcoming Lok Sabha polls in April-May 2014. Everyone including decision-takers in RBI are well aware of bitter reality of use of black money in Indian poll-process. Rather RBI should make discontinuing old currency after every five years, simultaneously by changing design and colour of currency after every five years. With notes of rupees 1, 2 and 5 already discontinued to be printed, RBI should save high printing-cost of currency by reducing sizes of notes which were last reduced half-a-century back.

Since property-deals practically have larger share of unaccounted money than that disclosed on papers, tax-laws should be simplified by providing a permanent voluntary-declaration scheme to declare as much income as possible from 'undisclosed sources' on payment of maximum tax-slab of 30-percent. This will catch hold of those purchasing property from unaccounted cash when tax-persons will find 'income from undisclosed sources' in tax-returns of those selling the property. Circle-rates should be somewhat higher than prevailing market-rates and should be reviewed and fixed after every three months. Stamp-duty should be charged at just two-percent of such fixed circle-rates irrespective of the deal shown on papers. Capital-gain should be reduced to ten percent instead of present twenty percent. Idea should be to have such low rates of stamp-duty and capital-gain so that people may volunteer themselves for clean fully accounted property-deals which in turn will give much-much more revenue than at present.
S C Agarwal,
Chandni Chowk, Delhi

IT Revolution
A parcel with the identifier RD031392465IN, meant for an address in Japan, was booked at the Mayur Vihar 1 post office in Delhi on 4 February. At 9 pm on 6 February the India Post tracking system did not show that it had left that post office; while the Japan Post tracking system showed it as having left "Delhi Air" a full day earlier. The India Post screen says "For International Mails related queries call our Toll Free number 1800-11-2011." When that number is called, a pleasant and even cheerful female voice says, "Sorry, you cannot call this number." There is also a link, "Not satisifed? Click here to register complaint." Well, if you do click there you only wait endlessly for who knows what. Information Technology has indeed wrought a revolution, as Bharat Sarkar keeps telling day in and day out.
Mukul Dube, Delhi

Frontier
Vol. 46, No. 42, Apr 27 - May 3, 2014