| PICTURE SPEAK |
|"Has the General Really Changed?", May 2 |
"Pervez Musharraf's visit set the right note for peace in the region. All differences can be resolved if leaders of both India and Pakistan are sincere in their efforts."
R.R. Sami, Tiruvannamalai
Changing constantly is surely a sign of being unreliable and politician-like and Pervez Musharraf has proved it ("Has the General Really Changed?", May 2). If he said something yesterday and changed his mind today there is no guarantee that he will stick to his words tomorrow, in spite of the fact that all his statements are on record. In the case of India-Pakistan relations what matters is trust and reliability. But can we trust Musharraf as his visits yield nothing but changing statements?
Krupa Trivedi, Ahmedabad
Relations between India and Pakistan depend more on the personal equations between their respective leaders. If they had taken the opinion of the masses, who matter more in the real sense, into account the Kashmir problem or cross-border terrorism could never have taken the shape they have today.
Ashok Gupta, Delhi
Musharraf is the world's most cunning political conman. All his smiles may be intended more for America than India, just to assure the US that he is trying his best to settle matters with its neighbour.
G. Dwarkanath, on e-mail
We all know that Pakistan can never be at peace with India, as it can never be at peace internally. We shall continue to fight a covert war against militants supported and abetted by Pakistan. Then why hold futile talks, invite a dictator President and shower our hospitality on him when he is most likely to stab us in the back?
Sudhir K. Bhave, Mumbai
The General is actually in a great dilemma. On the one hand he has to show that he is supporting the war against terrorism and on the other he has to pander to several terrorist outfits so that they do not topple his regime. He is a confused man.
Somik Bhattacharya, on e-mail
Musharraf may or may not have changed but he definitely seems to be transforming India-Pakistan relations. He should carry forward the goodwill gestures from India and highlight Pakistan's commitment to peace.
P.K. Srivastava, Ghaziabad
Although Musharraf's recent sojourn gave some impetus to the peace process it is difficult to say how far the Karwan-e-Aman will carry both countries in the future. The terrorist infrastructure is still intact and there is no trace of democracy in Pakistan. It would be futile to talk of peace unless the General ensures that there is no more terrorist activity from his soil against India.
Partha Sarathi Banerjee, Kolkata
The biggest mistake India could make at this juncture would be to let down its guard. If Pakistan pulls off another Kargil in Siachen, it will be next to impossible to dislodge the intruders and India will lose a strategic point in Kashmir.
Mihir Shah, on e-mail
Musharraf has changed his role but not his goal, which is to separate Kashmir from India. It has been a deep-rooted obsession of all military rulers in Pakistan to avenge the loss of Bangladesh. So let us not be carried away by Musharraf's change of face. Nothing will change unless there is change of intent.
Group Captain (Retd) H. Rajagopal, Mysore
The upsurge of violence in the 1990s was spearheaded by the local youth of Kashmir, aided and abetted by Pakistan. It should be noted that Pakistan merely "turning off the tap", if and when it happens, will not be sufficient to wipe out the militant infrastructure within Kashmir. Delhi should know that Pakistan only exploited the existing mess in the Valley.
J. Akshobhya, Mysore
Does the life of a soldier mean nothing to this nation or do we only bother to react when a seat of power is attacked ("Dangerous Edge", May 2)? It just shows how little our nation cares for those who guard our frontiers.
Kunaal, on e-mail
Why not add one more don't do to the list-don't play and let so many people down ("Season of Blues", May 2). Being beaten by what is supposed to be the weakest Pakistan team to tour India reminds me of an old Chinese proverb, "A hundred sheep led by a lion can defeat 100 lions led by a sheep".
Prashant Pandita, Bangalore
Feeling at Home
Assisted-living residential complexes give pensioners the opportunity to spend their old age in a dignified and secure manner without losing their independence ("Goodbye Old Age Home", May 2).
Ranjana Manchanda, on e-mail
Though it is heartening to read about the old-age homes of the new age, it is obvious that they are the privilege of only the rich. The costs involved cannot be borne by a majority of the senior/ retired population of the country who continue to contend with unconcerned, prodigal children and dumping grounds like Varanasi.
Sugeeta Roy Choudhury, Pune
| CASTE AWAY |
It is shocking that caste still plays such an important role in one of the most progressive states in the country ("Whose Lineage is it Anyway?" May 2). It would seem that education has nothing to do with social progress and awareness. But what is really unfair is that the father, dead, absconding or simply uninterested, has been made the sole dispenser of caste to his children.
Divya T. Sudarshan, on e-mail
There is rigid stratification among the so-called lower classes too. Also, people of these classes are not willing to rise in this hierarchy at the cost of caste-based privileges. What about the objective of social integration?
Dilip Joshi, Pune
The SC/ST women who marry outside their community are on the lowest ladder of the caste hierarchy. Their offspring must be provided the benefits of reservations so that they can be fully integrated in society.
Sanjiv, on e-mail
It is time the BCCI took a long and hard look at the non-performers in the Indian team ("Stand Down", April 25). It is not fair to single out Sourav Ganguly for criticism. Why is the media silent about Sachin Tendulkar's poor run? He might be the darling of the masses but a responsible media should call a spade a spade. Indian cricket will benefit only when the game is placed above individuals.
Ramesh, on e-mail
Had it not been a force to reckon with no one would have wasted reams of newsprint on the "out of date" RSS ("Bite by Sound Bites", April 25). Everybody is aware of its phoenix-like strength. Its shakhas may be shrinking but its sister organisations are flourishing.
Anil Kinger, on e-mail
K.S. Sudarshan's comments show that a strong character and high principles are not enough in public life. One also needs the ability to tolerate other's views and the sense to make the right statement at the right moment.
A.V. Karnik, Mumbai
Tsunami Relief Dispute
Your story on the tsunami relief operations in Kanyakumari district says that no compensation has been given for damaged boats or fishing equipment in Colachal and Kottilpadu ("Still at Sea", April 11). On the contrary, the state Government has given Rs 1.20 crore as assistance to the fishermen of Colachal and Rs 69.10 lakh to those of Kottilpadu. The district administration has till date disbursed more than Rs 22 crore as livelihood assistance to fishermen. Besides, the families of the deceased have got Rs 1 lakh from the state Government and an additional Rs 1 lakh from the Central Government, not Rs 10,000 as mentioned in your story.
Sunil Paliwal, District Collector, Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu
When India Today visited the affected areas in late February and interviewed a cross-section of people, including officials, the consensus then was that assistance given by the authorities was meagre.