In saying that the central government has no role in the Dadri lynching and the cancellation of Ghulam Ali's concert in Mumbai, Modi was trying to be too clever by half. No one expected the central government to do anything What all wanted was for Modi, the head of that government, to unequivocally condemn violence by people of his own ideological persuas on as a means of reining them in. Does he not incessantly give directions to the people?
Mukul Dube, Delhi
‘‘Intolerance’’ inadequate to describe fear among minorities : Arundhati Roy.
She has a point. Targeted attacks should not be called ‘Intolerance’. Intolerance is a reaction, while these attacks are clearly deliberate.
Mukul Dube, Delhi
War Against Mahabharata
The article ‘War Against Mahabharata’ by J U B V Prasad in Autumn Number 2015 of Frontier made interesting reading, but is not Ranganayakamma's comment that the Pandavas were "justified in seeking the share of their father in the kingdom" wide of the mark? The Kauravas’ case is presented convincingly in Mahabharatam Suyodhana-parvam, a Malayalam novel by K P Vijayan. In Vijayan's pro-Kaurava, anti-brahminist version of the great epic, Suyodhana (Duryodhana) rightly points out that Pandu was not the father of Yudhishtira and his brothers. How could the children sired by various gods stake claim to a share of the kingdom to which Pandu was heir, asks Suyodhana. Again, as the Kaurava prince argues, the very term 'Pandavas' is a misnomer; he consistently refers to Yudhishtira and brothers as 'Kounteyar', meaning Kunti's sons.
In Vijayan's novel, Dhritarashtra's eldest son is the hero and Yudhishtira and his brothers, and Sri Krishna, the villains. Suyodhana is portrayed as a rationalist who has sworn to fight chaturvarnya, brahminism and empty religious rituals, a disciple of Charvaka. He was committed to monogamy and gender equality—at a time when Kshatriyas were permitted to have many wives, he was fiercely loyal to his spouse, Bhanumati.
A V Sakhitdharan, New Delhi
Vol. 48, No. 22, Dec 6 - 12, 2015