Beyond Jharkhand

Print edition : April 22, 2005

The controversy over the jurisdictions of the judiciary and the legislature is unfortunate ("Beyond Jharkhand", April 8). The lack of integrity of people at the top of democratic institutions has led to this state of affairs. The first 30 years of the Republic did not see such situations probably because politicians of those days had comparatively high levels of character and integrity.

R. Sajan Aluva, Kerala

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The Supreme Court is the guardian of the Indian Constitution. It could not remain a silent spectator when legislatures went against the Constitution. The legislatures must not be allowed to function independently without the intervention of the judiciary, because they often have a large number of members with a criminal background.

S. Prakash Mutharasanallur, Tamil Nadu

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Jharkhand is only a symptom of a deeper malaise in the system, which is dominated by money and muscle power.

A. Jacob Sahayam Thiruvananthapuram

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The Supreme Court was left with no option but to come down heavily on the forces that weaken the pillars of democracy. We are now more dependent on the judiciary as politicians have lost credibility.

Arvind K. Pandey Allahabad

Narendra Modi

Apropos the article "No entry for Modi" (March 25), the denial of visa to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi by the U.S. government is a clear slap in the face of a fundamentalist party like the Bharatiya Janata Party. It is three years since the genocide took place in Gujarat and nobody has been punished yet. The incident may well be the first price that Modi and his friends in the BJP, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh is paying for their misdeeds in Gujarat.

The United Progressive Alliance government's response is disappointing. The Coalition Against Genocide (CAG), which actively campaigned in the U.S. against Narendra Modi's visit, has said in its open letter to the Prime Minister that it was "unfortunate that the UPA did not act against Modi government when it came to power".

Ravikiran Shinde Ohio, U.S.

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While it is true that each nation has the sovereign right to allow or debar any foreigner from entering its territory, the grounds on which the U.S. cancelled Narendra Modi's diplomatic visa were totally unjustified and uncalled for, exposing its double standards on the issue. It was like the pot calling the kettle black. What about the human rights record of the U.S. in the Abu Ghraib prison and the Guantanamo Bay? What about the killing of innocent civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq?

S. Balakrishnan Jamshedpur

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Detractors of Narendra Modi have found a reason to rejoice. Whatever his faults, Modi is an elected Chief Minister of a State. Some people suggest that U.S. President George Bush should be charged with crimes against humanity for his war on Iraq on false grounds. Yet, he is the elected President of the U.S. and that status has to be respected despite one's moralistic and ideological opposition to his policies and actions. The same logic applies to Modi.

A. Meghana Hyderabad

India and the U.S.

In his terse analysis of the visit of Condoleezza Rice, John Cherian has lamented that the U.S. Secretary of State did not endorse India's bid to become a permanent member of a restructured United Nations Security Council ("Behind the smiles," April 8). India now is on the horns of a dilemma as the U.S. eagerly wants its help for the reconstruction of Iraq, and wants it to reconsider its proposed multi-billion-dollar deal with Iran in the energy sector. It will be interesting to recall the views of Henry Kissinger, U.S. Secretary of State, during the 1970s. His position was that the United States had to champion peace but it had to make sure that the quest for peace reflected a sense of justice and did not turn into a stampede of unilateral concessions (White House Years by Henry Kissinger; Little Brown and Company, Boston 1979; page 841). One fondly hopes that Rice will rise to the occasion and strengthen the U.S. policy towards India in a coherent manner.

Prof. Rev. Thomas Edmunds Chennai

Advantage China

The Cover Story article "Advantage China" (March 25) was interesting . The authors are right in stressing that the Information Technology sector should have linkages with the rest of the economy, particularly the agrarian economy, and cautioning policymakers that the absence of such linkages would confine the benefits of growth to a few and would lead to political instability. However, they do not suggest clear measures to bring about equitable growth. The present government is being forced to increase its Budget allocation for agriculture and the social sector and is the only way to establish and strengthen the linkages.

Internationally mobile capital has ushered in a world without borders, leaving little elbow room for the state. Also the latest technological changes are making nonsense of any long-term vision for state-guided development.

Vasudha Joshi Pune

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As rightly pointed out by the authors, the absence of a robust manufacturing sector and a planned strategy might prove detrimental to India's development. However, the article ignores a few hard facts about China. The Chinese economy is export-driven, at the cost of domestic consumption. Some economists say that exports constitute nearly 60 per cent of the Chinese gross domestic product. The impetus to exports has been at the cost of welfare programmes. The manufacturing sector is benefiting at the cost of the agricultural and rural sector.

The Chinese State Owned Enterprises are inefficient and are running at heavy losses, quite similar to the Indian public sector undertakings. There is no doubt that China has a strong and stable government - courtesy one party rule - but can this 10 per cent GDP growth have a trickle down effect on the huge rural population. Can China achieve a holistic growth with its current development strategy? This is a pertinent question to all developing countries.

Ashish S. Thakare Pune

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