Our privacy is at stake

This refers to ‘That trusty family retainer’ (February 12). I’m surprised at satire by the great M V Kamath. Isn’t the Devyani episode, an ‘engineered row in US-India relations, attention diversion tactics of big brother?’ It looks like it’s a motivated act, ahead of the US court verdict pointing out the unconstitutionality of the NSA programme of collecting electronic data indiscriminately – read ‘Aadhaar.’

In the context of the Khobragade row, did our President and the Prime Minister wonder how US companies like Accenture, which have been awarded the contract for so-called de-duplication of  ‘big data’ by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) can use the data to our disadvantage?

What the media fails to see is that it is an engineered rift to create a miasma, wherein the new disclosures about the 5-Eyes alliance of the five English-speaking countries (US, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand) for the purpose of sharing intelligence does not occupy centrestage. These disclosures of classified information were made by Edward Snowden, a former contractor at the US National Security Agency (NSA).

The row might be aimed at taking this expose off public memory. It is information warfare of sort. This alliance is directed against countries like India. Let’s note that companies like Ernst & Young (E&Y), UK and Safran Group (of France) who have got UIDAI contracts are from the countries which are part of this alliance. The core question is that if our President and Prime Minister appear seemingly unperturbed in the face of glaring evidence, having been the subject of surveillance, how they can be trusted to safeguard the right to privacy of citizens?

Subrahmanian S H

No noise over this NPA

Wednesday’s IPL players’ auction, fetching a record bid of Rs 14 crore for Yuvraj Singh from the Royal Challengers, Bangalore, was a real surprise, considering his present form of batting and bowling.  One wonders how Vijay Mallya can spend lavishly on his ‘hobbies’ and not remember the plight of his Kingfisher employees, whom he owes more than Rs 350 crore in salary arrears since August 2012. Furthermore, the TDS amount deducted from his employees is yet to be deposited into the government treasury.

Nationalised banks, which have extended huge loans to Kingfisher Airlines, have a reputation of aggressively following up with defaulters, but the same eagerness is missing when it comes to defaulters from corporate sectors. Why are the finance minister and his department silent on this serious matter?  Why hasn’t a single MP raised this issue in Parliament?

S K Venkateshan

Name this genocide

If Salman Khurshid compares the Godhra riots with the Holocaust, then which parameter would he would like to use to describe the mass slaughter and genocide of Hindus directly ordered by the Nizam of Hyderabad, who were his own subjects, in the post-Independence era; in 1948, to be precise?

 Vineet Phadtare

Always spiffily turned out

It is surprising that among the various styles of current leaders, the famous half-sleeved kurta style of Narendra Modi has been missed!(“What today’s vote-seeker is wearing’, February 13). So colourful and dignified, despite being an elderly leader. Not the same always, but apt for every situation. A traditional ‘pagdi’ at some times, or a sporty western attire on some occassions. Always neatly ironed. This reflects both his Indian traditional side as well as the catalyst of growth and development side. A true style icon for all, today’s youth as well as seniors!

Rajeshwari K Ashar

Certainly not leading by example

It is a sad commentary on our democracy that the Speaker has to call for sandbags,fire-fighting equipment, blankets and additional security to run the proceedings in Parliament and that bills with far-reaching  effects as Telangana are sought to be introduced under the bayonet.

The behaviour of the MPs has touched a new low, with mikes being snatched, pepper sprays being used and protests with fist fights are condemnable.  An SRC should have been considered to take up contentious issues like Telangana.

Elected representatives and ministers must do some soul-searching on the damage they are causing the system. It is the absence of even basic responsibilty and arrogance in abundance that is generating a lot of disturbance and fostering intolerance in society.

V N Ramachandran

Love through thick and thin

Valentine’s Day celebrates love in all its forms and is not just restricted to romantic love. People therefore exchange Valentine’s Day greetings with their parents, teachers, siblings, friends, sweethearts or anyone special or close to them.  While many see this as an opportunity to show their love through romantic remembrances, I want to tell them to do something more. True love extends beyond romance. It means standing by your spouse or near and dear ones in good times and in bad, in sickness, and in health, just as you’ve promised your spouse at the time of getting married.

 Jubel D’Cruz

The activist in office

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is a self-confessed anti-corruption crusader. But the way he has been going hammer and tongs at ministers and officials suspected of corruption makes one wonder whether he is taking his role too seriously

(February12). Is he a chief minister or an activist? Instead of flooding his Anti-Corruption Bureau with a deluge of cases, he should ask the central government to speed up the process of appointing the Lok Pal. It will also make his fight against corruption in high places appear more credible.

Valli S Rajan

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