Letters to the Editor — November 19, 2020

Biden and diplomacy

In the last few years, India has laid unusual emphasis on ‘personality driven’ foreign policy. Personalities have a role, but that cannot be the fulcrum on which the engagement between two nations can evolve. There must be a look at values and policies. The purported endorsement of Trump government by the Indian leadership was a by-product of that approach. It is worth quoting President Kennedy who said: “Domestic policy can only defeat us, but foreign policy can kill us.” It is pretty obvious that Barack Obama will have a direct or indirect role in the new administration, and an emphasis on core constitutional values such as liberty, individual freedom, human rights will find a place. India will have no choice but to engage with such opinions (Editorial page, “Under Biden, security empathy, liberal antipathy”, November 18).

Tony Augustine,


There is no doubt that the dynamics of trade and political underpinnings in the changed power equations brought in by the U.S. elections will matter now. However, empirically, the U.S. is not known to compromise its interests, however bitter its internal political slugfest back home may be, in favour of a nation or the world at large.

J. Vijayavel Jaganathan,

Adirampattinam, Tamil Nadu


The Obama book

After former U.S. President Barack Obama’s rather unflattering remarks in his book, A Promised Land, it is clear that the Hamlet in waiting in the Congress party is not cut out for any kind of leadership. This must prove extremely galling for the grand old party, and a perception that has only been strengthened after the results of the Bihar election.

The veterans within could well be aware that the family may be incapable of reversing the party’s misfortunes, but may not have the nerve to confront them. Voters may have also realised that the party may never reclaim its glory.




The best course for the party would have been to simply ignore Mr. Obama’s impressions. The more they come to the defence of Mr. Gandhi, the more likely it is the comments will stick. Mr. Gandhi could in fact gain from the comments if he is willing to make a no-holds-barred introspection. But as Congresspersons are prone to thrust greatness upon the family, unashamed sycophancy and abject servility will prevail.

C.G. Kuriakose,

Malippara, Kothamangalam, Kerala


Soumitra Chatterjee

The passing of the legendary Bengali actor, Soumitra Chatterjee, is a great loss. In one of his films, Sakha Prosakha, directed by Satyajit Ray, the performance of Soumitra Chatterjee as the mentally challenged son of a landlord is so exemplary that one cannot believe how such a natural performance could be delivered by an actor.

R. Sekar,


Who can forget his acting in Satyajit Ray’s iconic movie, Apur Sansar, which made him unique. He was also interested in sport, especially cricket and football.

N. Mahadevan,


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Printable version | Jan 28, 2021 5:54:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/letters-to-the-editor-november-19-2020/article33127592.ece

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