| PICTURE SPEAK |
| "Valley of Death", October 24 |
"It is an irony that we need a calamity to remind us that scientific progress means little unless the benefits reach the grassroots."
R.K. Sudan, Jammu
A Lesson in Tragedy
Earthquakes cannot be predicted but their repercussions can be foreseen ("Paradise Lost", October 24). We must come to terms with the fact that the Indian subcontinent is prone to natural calamities. Efforts must be made to evolve a sound disaster management plan to mitigate the suffering.
Jinu Mathew, on e-mail
It is a challenge for the Jammu and Kashmir Government as well as the Centre to make sure that every victim gets immediate relief. We have done the right thing by sending relief material to Pakistan. It is time we kept politics on the backburner and looked at the human side of this tragedy.
D.B.N. Murthy, Bangalore
The earthquake has forged cooperation between India and Pakistan in tackling the disaster, that too in a territory which is a bone of contention between the two countries. This will give a push to the various confidence-building measures under way.
Navneet Dhawan, Delhi
There have been suggestions to open the loc. While India should be generous in maintaining the flow of aid to villages in PoK, it should be equally alert to infiltration. We must learn from the large-scale influx of Bangladeshis in the late 1970s-lakhs of refugees who came to India never went back. Those crossing the loc for aid must go through the official process.
M.M. Gurbaxani, Bangalore
People crave only media attention. It is pathetic that in spite of having relief material and resources ready for distribution we have not been able to deliver them to the earthquake-affected.
J.V.V. Murthy, Coimbatore
We should have a proactive strategy in place for quake-prone areas. This is the time to show our Kashmiri brethren that we care for them and win their confidence. Peace and progress in the Valley depend on our ability to help the people affected this tragedy.
Jacob Sahayam, Thiruvananthapuram
While man has no control over natural disasters, some lives can be saved if construction rules and regulations are adhered to while building houses.
Mahesh Kumar, Delhi
Not the First Time
The caption of a photograph in the story said, "An Indian Air Force plane delivered 25 tonnes of supplies, the first aid airlift between the two nations since 1971." The fact is that Pakistan had supplied relief goods to India at the time of the Bhuj earthquake in 2001. At least three C-130 aircraft carried these goods between January 30 and February 1, 2001. President Pervez Musharraf also spoke to the then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on February 2 and offered his condolences.
Rai Riaz Hussain, Minister (Press), Pakistan High Commission, Delhi
Men in a Hurry
Leaving aside the political implications of the presidential order for the dissolution of the Bihar assembly, the way the "midnight conspiracy" was executed in violation of constitutional provisions makes a mockery of our democracy ("Read the Constitution Please", October 24). The real culprit is not the Bihar governor as publicised, but those wielding power at the Centre.
Dhananjay Mishra, Raipur
The fact that in the absence of the President, the Centre should have approached the vice-president with its recommendation for the dissolution of the state assembly, only reinforces the argument that the action was deliberate. The law minister is guilty of failing to advise the Government.
H.R. Bapu Satyanarayana, Mysore
One cannot deny that the contribution of Sachin Tendulkar to Indian cricket in particular and to the game in general is immense ("Lion in Winter", October 24). But given his struggling form, it may be wishful thinking to expect that his comeback will provide "stability in a season of slander and setbacks". His return to domestic cricket was not eventful. The lion has aged and a question mark hangs over his consistency and longevity in the team. Nevertheless, he will remain a darling of cricket fans and pundits alike because of his modesty and non-controversial nature. And because of the willow he has wielded so beautifully all these years.
V.P. Hegde, Bangalore
Tendulkar's return will act as a tonic for the Indian cricket team. Fans are eagerly waiting for his batsmanship and for him to make the winter's tale memorable.
K.R. Deshpande, Bangalore
The habit of regular savings, which used to be the strong point of Indians, is fast getting forgotten in the wake of growing consumerism ("Crorepati at 60", October 24). Regular savings will definitely cushion one in old age, though, it may not make one a crorepati.
K.R. Sakunthala, Wayanad
Watch Your Steps
China is a bully with not even a pretence of statesmanship ("The Dalai Dilemma", October 17). There is no point in trying to revive the "Hindi Chini bhai bhai" slogan as it rings hollow. For self-preservation, India should throw its lot with Uncle Sam, else it will land on the dragon's breakfast table.
C.G. Prasad, Chennai
| TRIAL AND ERROR |
The Delhi High Court's ruling upholding the marriages of 16-year-olds is a pointer to the lacunae in the Hindu Marriage Act ("Knot Right", October 24). This retrograde interpretation of the Act should be reversed immediately.
S.R. Devaprakash, Tumkur
Given that the couples had married of their own accord, the court did what any sensible parent would do-give his or her sanction to their decision.
Ruchi Sharma, Delhi
Early marriages hasten population growth. The court has made a mistake in lowering the age of marriage.
Supam B. Chakma, Shillong
The story ("First Among Equals", October 17) said, "He also has the requisite experience as home and chief secretary of a large and complex state like Madhya Pradesh unlike some officers of smaller cadres like AGMU who spend a lifetime in Delhi." The comment regarding the AGMU cadre is uncalled for, factually incorrect and betrays unfounded bias against the cadre. Officers of the AGMU cadre serve not only in Delhi but also in remote areas like Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. In fact, on an average, an AGMU cadre officer serves one-third of his career outside Delhi. The territories in the Northeast have particularly arduous conditions of service in view of the threat from extremists. Even relatively small territories like Lakshadweep and Delhi have difficult working conditions because of concentrated political activity and require deft and competent handling. Hence, it would be unfair to imply that officers serving in the AGMU cadre do not have the requisite administrative experience.
G.K. Marwah, secretary, AGMU cadre IAS officers' association, Delhi
The article ("Making Markets Safe", October 17) wrongly said that SEBI had prohibited Indiabulls Securities and Fortis Securities from trading in IFSL shares. The brokers have only been directed by SEBI not to trade, directly or indirectly, in IFSL shares on behalf of its promoters, directors and certain clients till further directions. The error is regretted.
This is with reference to the Lufthansa advertisement published in India Today (October 10). The ad had an incorrect body copy. The revised copy should read:
"We make sure that you experience complete satisfaction as you travel from the five metros in India to our two European hubs at Frankfurt and Munich, on to the largest network in Europe and USA. With a reputation for quality and innovation, combined with its superb on-time performance, Lufthansa is naturally the first-choice carrier to Europe and USA. Fly with complete peace of mind. Always. www.lufthansa-india.com"