Nobel laureate Amartya Sen must have very good reasons to be still sceptical about Mr. Narendra Modi’s suitability for the post of Prime Minister (“‘Shedding communal image a challenge’,” April 30) as he has raised serious doubts about the ability of a leader steeped in Hindutva and Hindu nationalism to rise above the Sangh Parivar’s core values and represent all sections of India’s heterogeneous population. As an outspoken opponent of sectarianism, Professor Sen has clearly brought out the vivid distinction between the attempted image makeover by Mr. Modi for a “bigger electoral appeal” and the real stuff he is made of. It is this that we have to watch out for.
G. David Milton,
Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu
Socrates once said that one who is good in one discipline of thought starts believing he is an expert in all disciplines of life. It is a pity the Nobel laureate has glossed over the difference between nationalism and communalism. Can Professor Sen ever match the genius of Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, who never called the RSS communal? Does Professor Sen know that Gandhiji addressed RSS workers at Wardha and Delhi? He never called the RSS communal. The report only shows that western-based and educated intellectuals are the only ones intent on branding Mr. Modi communal.
Kadambattur, Tamil Nadu
Prof. Sen’s statement that “Hindu-Muslim division has played a substantial role” in the RSS’ thinking is not worthy of a person of his stature. I daresay this shows he has not cared to understand what the RSS actually does, and why it was founded. The secular brigade conveniently overlooks the RSS's charitable-voluntary work. Even in the days of untouchability, every RSS member was an absolute equal. The secular brigade forgets that the RSS primarily inculcates discipline and patriotism.
The report, “Polio, AIDS successes bigger than n-deal: Amartya Sen” (April 30) shows Professor Sen’s change in stand in favour of a neo-liberal ideology. Government subsidies are taken away by imposing a huge tax burden, especially on the working class. This in turn is used to sustain an unwieldy bureaucracy and to retire corporate debts.