TAMIL NADU

Needed, introspection

Sir, — Post-visa denial, Narendra Modi has tried to make a martyr of himself. The UPA Government has also taken the stand that it is not right to deny visa to a democratically elected leader. But somewhere the main issue has been ignored. The same democratically elected leader failed in his basic duty of upholding law and order and safeguarding the lives of his people. The visa issue should provide an opportunity for introspection to our polity.

Ashish S. Thakare, Pune

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Sir, — The election process is but one of the many ways by which a democracy tries to renew its leadership. It is by no means a flawless exercise. Being an elected leader of a State does not exonerate Mr. Modi if his administration was indeed responsible for crimes against humanity. Since the Indian state has not acted decisively in ascertaining his responsibility in the shameful Gujarat riots, one should be quite satisfied that the U.S. has administered a slap in his face.

S. Ramakrishna, Evanston, U.S.

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Sir, — The Gujarat riots were a blot on India's fair face of secularism. So it is distressing that the UPA Government, wedded to secularism, should have taken up the visa issue with the U.S. Government. It should not have ignored the frequent reprimand by the Supreme Court, the media, the NHRC and NGOs at various platforms of Mr. Modi. On another front, the visa denial can also be seen as providing a reprieve to Mr. Modi when dissident activity in the Gujarat BJP was at its peak.

M. Hashim Kidwai, New Delhi

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Sir, — The issue does not concern only two nations. It pertains to all humanity. The argument that the episode is an insult to India is unfounded.

D. Sreeramulu, Kakinada, A.P.

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Sir, — This refers to the report, "Pressure to revoke Modi's visa" (March 24). The Blair administration would do well to remember that it was Britain which partitioned Bengal in 1905 and sowed the seeds of communalism in India. The colonial force did not seek a visa to enter India and violate the human rights of Hindus and Muslims at will. If anything, Britain should apologise to India for its divide and rule policy and Partition of 1947, the forerunner of the 2002 riots.

David Peniel, Tiruchi, T.N.

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Sir, — The article, "Righting a wrong" (March 23), argues that it is hard to justify Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's intervention in Mr. Modi case. Although the circumstances in which Mr. Modi was re-elected are debatable, it is a fact that he is an elected Chief Minister. Denying him a visa amounts to a lack of respect for Indian democracy.

Vamsi Kiran Ganti, Hyderabad

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Sir, — What Dr. Singh did was right. Mr. Modi has been denied visa by a country that is blatantly abetting slaughter of Muslims and suppression of their rights not only in West Asia but also in other parts of the world. What moral right does it have to judge one of our elected leaders?

A.R. Janardhanam, Chennai

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Sir, — The denial of visa by the U.S. to Mr. Modi for the second time is blatant undermining of Indian authority. It is a diplomatic snub.

Ashish Kumar, Ranchi

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Sir, — The denial, despite the request of Dr. Singh, is a reflection on the performance of the Gujarat Government under the stewardship of Mr. Modi. Though he won a democratic mandate, he deviated from democratic norms.

Thadigiri Potha Raju, Karimnagar, A.P.

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