Letters

Letters to the Editor — November 7, 2020

America votes

A close finish takes away part of the victor’s joy as the loser comes out as a doughty fighter who defied all dire predictions about a likely debacle. The pollsters and the media failed, as they did in 2016, to sense the sentiments at the grass-root level. Donald Trump may leave the White House but Trumpism will survive as a political idiom and as an aspiration. Media narratives have lost the ability to shape public opinion. The mainstream media that treated Mr. Trump as an usurper of the throne got carried away by its powerful narratives that demonised the American President. For Mr. Trump’s supporters, he created jobs, showed China its place and saved American lives by not waging wars on foreign soil. Mr. Trump may not fit into the traditional mould of a sophisticated statesman sworn to political correctness, but that cannot be the reason to deny him a fair appraisal.

V.N. Mukundarajan,

Thiruvananthapuram

The current occupant of the White House began his campaign for presidency in his first term by circulating the line that the then President, Barack Obama, was not born in America. This pattern of misinformation has now taken a new form in the name of “voter fraud” and it being a “stolen election” without any basis, because there is a huge group of the American voting public that is likely to accept such statements. Mr. Trump is a symptom of the deep malaise of hatred and misconstrued “white victimhood” that is deeply inlaid in the social fabric of the American nation.

G. Parameswaran,

Coimbatore

Though Joe Biden appears to be in the lead to win the race, it looks as if Mr. Trump too is confident of winning by resorting to the legal route. His rushing to nominate Amy Coney Barrett seems to have been done sensing the mood of the electorate and the outcome. With his quixotic behaviour, he has brought disgrace to a country that has only witnessed its former Presidents relinquishing office and handing over charge to the next President-elect gracefully, thereby upholding the cherished traditions of their nation.

Tharcius S. Fernando,

Chennai

Anchor’s arrest

Clearly, the arrest of a well-known television anchor has nothing to do with his profession and has more to do with a case in 2018 on charges of abetment to suicide. This being the case, where and how does the question of calling his detainment as ‘stifling free speech’ arise? If journalists are arrested on charges unrelated to their professional work, then it is difficult to assert that it is linked to ‘freedom of press’. And this is what the Maharashtra government and the police would like us to believe. Though the arrest contains an element of feud, by apprehending the anchor, perhaps the State police would like to believe that it sent a strong message to him. The anchor’s arrest will hardly make any difference to the state of media freedom in India. Rather, the episode sends out a strong message that even journalists with allegedly powerful political backers are not immune.

R. Sivakumar,

Chennai

By protesting the arrest, certain political parties have only confirmed the perception — of indeed patronising the anchor’s channel which is infamous for its jingoism and shrill coverage of what is ‘non-news’. The anchor has not been arrested for the TRP scam or for poor journalism; hence alleging that press freedom is at stake and that the event is a reminder of the Emergency are unwarranted.

M.N. Musaeed,

Mumbai

The anchor himself is guilty of violating his journalistic privileges on several occasions by conducting sham media trials, acting like a supreme arbiter of justice in India and pronouncing people guilty on the basis of dubious material and evidence. Perhaps he is getting a taste of his own medicine.

R. Ravichandran,

Chennai

The case is unrelated to the anchor’s work. Still one cannot help but comment on his style of functioning. A TV anchor should transact the session in a dignified manner. One has to watch how Stephen Sackur, the anchor of ‘Hardtalk’ on BBC conducts his shows. His sangfroid pleases all; his speech is intonated; he is unprovocative; and, above all, there are no histrionics by him while confabulating.

K. Pradeep,

Chennai

 

Marching on

The dominant display by Mumbai Indians has underlined their supremacy (‘Sport’ page, “Ruthless MI batters DC into submission, takes quick route to final”, November 6). Delhi Capitals could not measure up to their brave pre-match predictions and were blown away by a superior outfit. It is also notable that players like Jasprit Bumrah, the Pandya brothers, Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav have performed with distinction for their team to reach the finals.

Thomas Palocaren,

Vellore, Tamil Nadu

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2021 4:50:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/letters-to-the-editor-november-7-2020/article33043489.ece

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