Manmohan&’s choice theory
SIR, This is with reference to the report “Rahul is Singh&’s PM choice” (8 September). Dr Manmohan Singh cannot be unaware of Sonia Gandhi&’s as yet unstated ambition. And there is nothing wrong if Prime Minister Singh is prepared to project Rahul as the next PM. Mr Singh is also aware of the implications of  dynastic rule. Sonia can rest assured that Mr Singh will not fail to pay his gurudakshina to  her. Hence, his choice cannot be anybody other than Rahul Gandhi. There is nothing wrong in the Congress exercise of scheming. After all. the party has ruled with the support of the CPI-M and in league with the Samajwadi Party and the Trinamul Congress. In the Prime Minister&’s reckoning, Rahul is an “ideal choice” for the post and he is ready to work under him. “I have always maintained that Rahul Gandhi would be an ideal choice for the PM&’s post after the 2014 elections. I will be very happy to work in the Congress under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi,” he said.
He did not rule out an alliance with the erstwhile ally, Trinamul Congress, for the 2014 election. He believes there are no permanent enemies and permanent friends in politics. Miss Banerjee had made the  same remark when she was desperate to capture power in West Bengal. Regretfully, the gullible electorate will again rush to the booths to witness the marriage of two strange bedfellows.
Yours, etc., Gokul Burman,
Chakdaha (Nadia),
 8 September.
SIR, Sections of the national press have again drawn attention to the skewed ratio of 914 girls to 1000 boys. There is an in-built prejudice, among the rich and the poor, against the girl child, for social reasons like marriage expenditure, including dowry, and because of a deep-seated belief that a family&’s heritage, wealth, occupational skills and earning capacity are best safeguarded in the hands of men rather than women, even daughters-in-law. Female foeticide is a crime, common among the upper classes, but I have not come across any case of legal prosecution of its perpetrators.
Yours, etc., Saroj Kumar Mehera,
Bangalore, 8 September.
SIR, Sushmita Banerjee, author of the record-selling book, Kabuliwalar Bangali Bou met a tragic end on 5 September in Afghanistan&’s Paktika province in full view of her husband and helpless in-laws. The incident was not wholly unanticipated given the volatile situation in that country. Sushmita had made herself vulnerable in course of her social work among women. She had tried to change the conservative life-style of the people, particularly the women she came in contact with. The cinematic adaptation of the book, titled Escape from Taliban, was no less a success. This had spurred her to return to Afghanistan, despite her well-wishers’ advice to the contrary. As it has turned out, she was able to escape only once. Her grit and determination  and her missionary zeal to open up a closed society proved to be her nemesis. May her soul rest in peace!
Yours, etc., Prasanta Kumar Bhattacharjee,
Kolkata, 7 September.
SIR, Asaram Bapu, the 72-year-old self-styled godman who has been charged with sexually harassing a 16-year-old girl, is undergoing the real test of his divine pretensions. He was often featured by television channels, sermonising to his disciples and followers to remain calm in times of crises. The audience would nod collectively in agreement.
Now, the godman himself is in the soup. He has been booked under the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act and the Juvenile Justice Act in connection with the alleged assault. He has been remanded in judicial custody for 14 days. Visibly shattered, he ought now to practise what he has preached. His brand of divinity is under serious test.
Yours, etc., Subir Datta,
South 24-Parganas,
 7 September.
SIR, Apropos the article, “Invasion of another kind” (Evolve, 8 September), in order to avoid pesky calls I had registered my mobile phone with DND way back in 2008 by calling the prescribed number 1909. Pesky calls became very infrequent since then. When I got one, I registered my complaint with my phone company in the prescribed format. I was informed by my phone company that the caller had been banned. Nowadays, I hardly get such calls. In your article, I came to know of the number 888-382-1222 for the first time. I tried dialling it. First I was asked to add zero before the number. That done, I was informed that the number was switched off in English and in a south Indian language, probably Kannada. So much for the number.
Yours, etc., PK Sen, Kalyani, 8 September.