Congratulations to AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa, who was sworn in Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on Monday. She dominated the recently concluded Assembly election, thanks to her tireless and persistent efforts. The huge mandate she won was a clear indication of how badly the people of the State wanted a change. Her government should sense the fact that the people of Tamil Nadu are badly in need of basic amenities such as drinking water, electricity, roads and employment.

R. Lenin,


The Tamil Nadu electorate is mature and puts the DMK and the AIADMK in power alternately. National parties have failed to win people's trust in the State and are at the mercy of the two parties. Ms Jayalalithaa should make good use of the huge mandate given to her.

J.P. Reddy,


Tamil Nadu politics has always had an impact on national politics. The AIADMK's victory too will have an impact at the Centre. Although Ms Jayalalithaa is not an ally of the BJP, she invited Narendra Modi for her swearing-in ceremony. At the same time, she reciprocated Congress leader Sonia Gandhi's greetings. Which way she moves in national politics will be significant because the so-called third front is in utter disarray, particularly after the defeat of the Left Front in West Bengal and Kerala.

Karavadi Raghava Rao,


Corruption was the main issue in the Tamil Nadu Assembly election. The DMK should take stock of its performance. At the same time, the AIADMK government should learn from the mistakes the DMK committed when it was in power.

Another noteworthy feature of the election is that an alliance partner of the ruling party has become the principal opposition party in the Assembly. Without taking advantage of this, the ruling party should perform its duties to the satisfaction of people.

V. Anand Kumar,


Karnataka politics

There are enough judicial rulings and legal guidelines for a Governor to handle a situation like the one in Karnataka. Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa has the support of 121 MLAs, including rebels. Instead of sorting out the issue in a democratic way in the Assembly, the Governor's report recommending the dismissal of the government reflects the high-handedness and partisan attitude of the constitutional head. The only recourse open to the Centre is to recall the Governor.

E. Sivasankaran,


H.R. Bhardwaj has brought disrepute to the constitutional post of Governor. He has all along acted like an agent of the Centre, with the single-point agenda of destabilising an elected government. One wonders whether we need a Governor in the first place.

A. Laxminarayana Rao,



The Supreme Court's observation that in cases where a fake encounter is proved against policemen in a trial, they must be given the death sentence (May 15) should be hailed by all. While fake encounters take place in all States, Gujarat and Maharashtra are notorious for them. They even have so-called encounter specialists, who have been rewarded and promoted for their ‘service.'

In this context, the Supreme Court warning is significant. Fake encounters are indeed cold-blooded, brutal murders by those expected to uphold the law. Those found guilty of staging fake encounters deserve the highest punishment under the law.

Atiq Khan,


Satya Sai Baba

The article “The phenomenon of Satya Sai Baba” (Open Page, May 15) was an elixir for rationalists who, time and again, stand up for their convictions without fear. Sai Baba was, no doubt, a great philanthropist and, more so, a good human being. But making him an ‘avatar' of god is certainly ridiculous.

In this context, I would like to mention Periyar EVR's saga against superstition and blind faith. Abraham Kovoor virtually threw a challenge to all godmen to perform miracles in public and materialised sacred ash and articles like chains and tiny lingas in a meeting at IIT, Madras, four decades ago. In the same meeting, he exposed the myth of ‘makara jyothi' in Sabarimala.

P.A.K. Murthy,


I would have genuinely appreciated Satya Sai Baba's welfare activities had he done them without much public ado. Nobody would mind spending money on welfare work if people believe that he or she is god. Sai Baba's claim that he was a reincarnation of god is unacceptable. He should have clarified that he was a social worker, not god.

Ch. Aditya,


Satya Sai Baba began as a common magician. As people started believing him and regarded him as a godman and began to donate money, he had no option other than behaving like a spiritual leader. As money kept pouring in and the number of his devotees increased worldwide, he had no option but to establish service institutions.

Let me narrate a joke. A young boy fell into a well and cried for help. Many people gathered around the well watching the boy but did nothing. Suddenly, a man jumped into the well and rescued the boy. The crowd started appreciating him. The man looked around and asked the crowd: “Who pushed me into the well?” Such is the case of Sai Baba. That said, he deserves to be lauded for his service to society.

M. Firozama,


Pushpa M. Bhargava assumes that the performance of miracles is a pre-requisite for being accepted as god. Many mortals have been spiritual gurus and have performed miracles. Sai Baba never attributed his divinity to miracles.

Divinity is something that needs to be experienced. It is beyond the grasp of scientific laws. His followers, including foreigners, follow him only because they get peace and find solutions to their problems.

N.R. Sathyamurty,


A magician creates objects from existing objects whereas Sai Baba could create anything as per his wish. He lived his life based on human values. And all that he did was meant for the betterment of society. This was the reason he could attract so many devotees all around the world.

C.A. Krishna Murthy,


Is it possible to analyse universal consciousness by negating a few instances? Attempts were made by many to analyse Satya Sai Baba when he was alive. One such person was Samuel H. Sandweiss, an American psychiatrist. He wrote the bookThe Holy Man and the Psychiatristin which he expressed his inability to analyse the phenomenon of Satya Sai Baba. As for Baba's miracles (like materialising objects), he himself asked people not to attach much importance to them. They were perhaps meant for certain types of believers, as his love and compassion extended to all sections.

K. Prabhakar Rao,


I am not a Satya Sai devotee. I saw Sai Baba only once when my friend took me to Whitefield. I never sought his darshan or blessings. I have seen videos and read reports decrying his “miracles.” Let us say, for the moment, that his “miracles” were all a farce.

So what? Did he harm anyone? Did he ask the poor to fund his activities? For all the clout he enjoyed, he remained a silent preacher, providing mental peace to people through his bhajans. He never took sides in politics or religion. He kept a low profile, though immensely popular among his countless devotees.

V. Vedagiri,