Drama over a conflict of interests
SIR, ~ Apropos your editorial, ‘Reduced to ridicule’ (13 June), Mr LK Advani&’s resignation from all party posts  and the withdrawal of the  letter within 24 hours was a stagemanaged drama to draw the people&’s sympathy and attention. He has rightly pointed out in his letter that few BJP leaders really feel for the country; fewer still may be able to claim the stature of  Shyama Prasad Mookerjee, Din Dayal Upadhaya and Atal Behari Vajpayee in terms of integrity and selfless service.
Mr Advani belongs to a class of politicians who are mature and sensitive to the burning issues of the day. He has played a long innings in politics and has been trying to fulfil his supreme ambition ~ to become the Prime Minister of India. He strongly resented the anointment of Narendra Modi as the head of the BJP&’s campaign committee for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. He had once protected Modi when Vajpayee, as Prime Minister, had called for strong action against the Gujarat Chief Minister for the 2002 pogrom. Apparently, Advani  is upset because Modi might scuttle his prospects.
Essentially, therefore, the drama within the BJP is over a conflict of interests. Politics has been vitiated by self-centred politicians who seek power without caring for the welfare of people, let alone the nation. Vajpayee commanded respect as a Jan Sangh/BJP leader, as a parliamentarian, and as Prime Minister. He is held in high esteem even today. Advani had alienated the Muslims when the Babari Masjid was demolished.
yours, etc., jayant mukherjee, kolkata,13 june.
Pulse of the people
SIR, ~  It is obvious that  LK  Advani has failed to understand the mood of the country. The people are tired of  corruption in governance and are looking forward to a head of government who will be able to achieve industrial and economic growth with commitment and character. The people will prefer a  younger and energetic person, with a proven track-record. By disowning Modi at this stage, Advani  has conveyed the impression that he is not able to think beyond himself.   With a stroke of the pen with which he signed his resignation letter, he has tarnished his image that he had built up over several decades.
yours, etc., n. s. venkataraman, chennai, 13 june.
National government
SIR, ~ One needs to be sufficiently bold  to bell the cat. And I would like to congratulate Mr Ranjit Kar for his letter, “A Cong-BJP national govt” in today&’s edition. On 15 May 2004, I had written to Sonia Gandhi, urging her  not to be complacent by winning only 27 per cent of the 539 seats in the Lok Sabha, and be realistic enough.  The BJP had won another 25.6 per cent of the seats and a national government could well have been formed nine years ago.
  The  DMK. NCP and Akali Dal could also have been  invited to join. No attempt was made to form a national government. The value of the rupee has declined to Rs 58 to the dollar over the past nine years. A statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel is to be installed in Gujarat of the BJP. Is Narendra Modi a pseudo-communalist or a nationalist? Not that the ideologies of the Congress and the BJP are wholly incompatible. It is the personality cult that impedes the fusion of parties towards a national government.
yours, etc., samir das gupta, kolkata, 13 june.
Miss Banerjee&’s dreamworld
SIR, ~ Nitish Kumar and Naveen Patnaik are reported to have responded to Mamata Banerjee&’s call for a federal front. The Bihar chief minister appears to have responded in view of the Congress defeat in the Maharajgunj parliamentary by-election. With LK  Advani having withdrawn his resignation, the BJP doesn’t appear  to be as vulnerable as some parties might imagine. Naveen Patnaik is not much of a politician and doesn’t really count in national  politics. The regional parties are acutely aware that West Bengal is now under a thoroughly  discredited government, headed by a  temperamental and mercurial leader. Hoodlums and dubious characters  are predominant in the party. Miss Banerjee is in a dream world
yours, etc., anil kumar choudhury, kalyani, 13 june.
Jibansmriti errata
SIR, ~   Further to Mr  Subrata Ghosh&’s letter (10 May),  there are several inaccuracies in Tagore&’s Jibansmriti, the one relating to Nishikanta Chatterjee being the most glaring. The poet wrote that Nishikanta got his Ph.D from Germany by writing a small book on Indian lyrics in which he praised the poet, Bhanu Singha Thakur. Prof Somnath Ray, an eminent historian, wrote an article, “Kabir Abhighat”, in the Puja edition of Desh, in which he exposed the error of Tagore and even  questioned the propriety of disrespect shown to an extraordinary scholar. Neither  Visva-Bharati nor any other publisher of Jibansmriti  has corrected the error.
yours, etc., manoj chakraborty, santiniketan, 13 may.