| PICTURE SPEAK |
| "Great Expectations", March 6 |
"One does not have to be an admirer of Bush or his hegemonic policies to see that India has more to gain by collaborating with the US than by being hostile to it."
Bishan Sahai, on e-mail
In today's fast-changing global scenario, where there are no permanent allies and only strategic considerations decide matters, most of the nations base their international relations on business considerations ("A New High", March 6). The tempo of economic growth maintained by India in the past few years needs a fillip in the form of financial investments and technological inputs in various sectors of the economy. US President George W. Bush's popularity rating as a statesman may not be high, but as an ally he means business and can be trusted. Moreover, he has shown eagerness to reach out to India. It is time our leadership seized the opportunity.
R.K. Sudan, on e-mail
On the face of it, the promise of economic, nuclear, defence, agricultural, space and technological co-operation with the superpower looks irresistible, but it is too early to predict to what extent the US will deliver on them and whether India will be able to keep its side of the bargain. Therefore, the euphoria over the much-hated US President's visit is beyond comprehension. Ample trade opportunities and intellectual potential should enable India to hold its own. The country may also have to face the repercussions of cosying up to the neo-colonialist US. Besides sacrificing its nuclear sovereignty, Delhi may face the increasing ire of jehadis.
Nalini Vijayaraghavan, Thiruvananthapuram
The pampering that the US President received in India was not traditional Indian hospitality. It reeked of inferiority complex. Falling in line with the Americans looks like the "in thing". That the intellectuals in the media, who are supposed to act responsibly, are the first ones to indulge in such pandering is unfortunate.
S.S. Rajadhyaksha, Pune
A large number of Indians were not enthusiastic about the US President's visit. Since Independence no Indian government has so blatantly solicited the US as the present UPA Government. Ironically, it comes at a time when Delhi can make the US dance to its tune as India has opened its vast market to American companies. But then, these are the times when the FDI the nation attracts counts more than its self-respect.
V.V.S. Mani, on e-mail
The US may be willing to supply fuel to India's nuclear power plants to enhance its own economic and geopolitical power in the subcontinent. Therefore, India should exercise utmost caution in its dealings with Uncle Sam, particularly when he has more enemies than friends.
A.U.S. Lal, Bhubaneswar
What is most important is complete transparency. The people of both the nations need to know exactly what their governments have decided for them. Both sides might have used shortcuts to get to the goal. It is also important to know the current status of the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline. America has made no efforts to hide its distaste for the proposed pipeline.
Jeanette Rodrigues, Bangalore
The US is not the enemy No. 1 but a partner in progress. Both the countries can learn a lot from each other. Whether the nuclear issue is settled to India's satisfaction or not, there are many more areas of co-operation.
D.B.N. Murthy, Bangalore
|FUSS OVER FLU |
The spread of the killer virus could be contained only because of the Maharashtra Government's quick response and well-co-ordinated action ("Avian Fear", March 6).
Ronit Das, Mumbai
It is cruel to kill lakhs of birds on a mere suspicion. I fail to understand why a single person or organisation did not protest the merciless killings.
Ashish Rajnikant Joshi, Ahmedabad
People have overreacted on the issue. Parents might even have stopped their children from watching Donald Duck for fear of catching flu!
The article is nothing but anti-American rhetoric ("The Coconut Republic", March 6). The Left's theory that assuming anti-American posture, voting with Iran at the IAEA forum and not entering into a nuclear treaty with the US are necessary to establish India's independent credentials, is untenable. India's security and energy requirements, besides the development of trade are crucial considerations in formulating its foreign policy. The nuclear deal serves the interests of both the nations. It is not a sell-out.
Shanti Bhushan, Noida
Indian communists have always baffled me. They did not make any noise when China exploded nuclear bombs and helped Pakistan in its quest for nuclear and missile technology. They made all sorts of criticism when India did nuclear tests. Now, they are vociferous when the international community led by the US is trying to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. To me the US is fighting our war. With outdated slogans against imperialism, the communists are still living in the Cold War era.
Major Navnith Krishnan, Bangalore
CPI(M) Politburo member Sitaram Yechuri laments the loss of over one lakh Iraqi lives. What does he have to say about the loss of a few million lives in the erstwhile Soviet Russia under comrade Stalin? He apprehends that the cordial evolution of the Indo-US relations would turn this country into a banana republic. How about Cuba, Venezuela and North Korea? Are they citadels of democracy, pluralism and freedom? He insults the people of this country by comparing India with the banana republics of Latin America.
G.R. Saha, Kolkata
Your columnist writes that eight billion chickens are slaughtered in a year for human consumption ("Sans Serif", March 6). About 43 billion animals are killed every year to provide food for non-vegetarians. That makes the human being the most ferocious predator. Yet, by a queer and warped logic, it is the vegans who fill him with horror. A few hundred years ago, when the so-called pious burned the heretics at stake, it was deemed to be in order. We still have a long way to go before we learn to revere all lives and not just human beings.
Som Sharma, Gurgaon
The article skips the main reason behind the suicides by farmers in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra ("The Cotton Graveyards", February 27). The Congress-led coalition had declared in its manifesto that it would fix a minimum procurement price of Rs 2,500 per quintal for cotton. After coming to power it forgot its promise. In 2003-4, the government stayed away from cotton purchase and the farmers got a good price from private buyers. Every time the government comes into the picture, the farmers end up getting a poor price for their crops.
Shrikrishna Umrikar, Parbhani
Free the Quest
Religion deals with an individual's conscience and thinking ("For God's Sake", February 27). Conversions and re-conversions are political matters. In Semitic religions, a person has no freedom of thought; he is bound by the Book. Hinduism, on the other hand, is not one philosophy, but a confluence of thoughts, and one is free to interpret his religion and truth. Religion must be liberated from politics.
Parjan Kumar Jain, Delhi
No Common Treatment
This is with reference to the letter by Rohini Mehta ("Mail of the Week", February 27) on privatisation of airports. A few so-called intellectuals are so obsessed with the phrase "common man" that they ignore the ground reality that a section of the "common man" has graduated to a higher level and deserves better treatment and facilities.
Sughosh Bansal, on e-mail