As pointed out in the editorial “Power and prejudice” (April 4), the Congress and the BJP have found themselves on the wrong side of l’affaire Tikait, which is a distressing symptom of the deep-rooted malaise of untouchability. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minster Mayawati was right in questioning the silence of Buta Singh, Chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, in the episode. A low 15.71 per cent conviction rate under the SC/ST (POA) Act is a shameful indicator of a disinterested prosecution that handles cases of atrocities against Dalits.

Y. Jagannatham,

Vijayawada

Mr. Tikait’s casteist remark against Ms Mayawati speaks volumes about his chauvinistic and feudal nature. The manner in which the Chief Minister handled the issue was a pleasant surprise. By observing restraint in the face of grave provocation, she has demonstrated the difference between having power and using it.

M. Koti Rajasekhar,

Secunderabad

If such a derogatory comment can be made against a Chief Minister who has all the resources at her command, one can imagine the plight of ordinary Dalits living in villages and small towns.

Praveen Kalash,

Noida