Published : Jun 24, 2000 00:00 IST

The Cover Story on Fiji ("A state of siege", June 23) was highly informative. Curiously, countries that talk of upholding democracy are silent over Fiji's not-so-domestic problem. Equally curious is the fact that the Indian people, who poured out their h earts for Indian soldiers who fought the Kargil war last year, do not show that kind of sympathy for the Indians in Fiji or the Indian soldiers held hostages in Sierra Leone.

Nishant Arora New DelhiChina and Tagore

The excellent photo essay on 'The facets of contemporary China' (June 23) carries tell-tale photographs of Rabindranath Tagore at the Beijing University and a vintage photograph presented to Frontline's Editor by Wei Feng Jiang.

As a former student of Viswabharati University at Santiniketan, may I mention that Tagore established Cheena Bhavan, a centre for chinese studies and research, at Santiniketan, in the 1930s and that the doyen of Chinese studies, Prof. Tan Yun Shan, direc ted the Bhavan until the early 1960s. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who was the first Chancellor of Viswabharati after it was accorded the status of a Central university, evinced keen interest in Cheena Bhavan.

The Bhavan's activities became low-keyed after Tan Yun Shan's retirement. I would suggest that the Government of India explore the possibility of establishing a link between the Beijing University and Viswabharati in order to promote programmes of studen t and faculty exchange and collaborative research. Such an action would be a fitting tribute to Tagore, who "is revered in China as a literary figure, anti-imperialist and humanist", as also to Tan Yun Shan, who was a Chinese and an Indian at once.

K. John Mammen ThiruvananthapuramPeople's campaign

The success story of the Kerala People's Campaign for the Ninth Plan ("A people's movement", June 23) is worth emulation by other States. The campaign has activated people to participate in the process of planning. The response in many places was more th an expected. There are some allegations of corruption and partisanships, but these have helped in taking corrective action. A transparent process of selection of beneficiaries with clear-cut criteria, is an important aspect of the Kerala experiment.

As the International Conference on Democratic Decentralisation pointed out, the benefits of the campaign have outweighed its shortcomings. Yet Kerala cannot afford to be content with or complacent about its success. It could not make much headway in agri culture and it remains industrially backward.

A. Jacob Sahayam Karigiri, Tamil NaduCaste oppression

This refers to the articles on caste-related violence ("The drumbeats of oppression," and "Victims of bias", June 23).

The Bimaru States (Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh) have generally been described as centres of caste conflicts and caste-related violence. This situation is attributed to the dismal level of literacy in these areas and their feudal set-u p. In this background, the continued caste clashes in a more literate State like Tamil Nadu are puzzling. They only go to prove that socio-economic development triggered by industrial growth and a high rate of literacy and per capita income has bypassed Dalits, the most vulnerable and most marginalised section of society.

Even after 50 years of Independence and a series of legal and constitutional measures, the social position of Dalits has not improved. Their inability to move up the social hierarchy has come in the way of their attaining economic empowerment and being p art of the political decision-making process.

Sanjai Kumar BiharAir-India

C.P. Chandrasekhar argues that "other nations maintain state-owned national carriers" and this "may be essential from the development point of view of ensuring connectivity across points between which traffic is low" ("A specious logic", June 23). He has labelled unprofitable routes "social routes" and argued that therefore "privatisation becomes a means of cutting social expenditures which are given a bad name by treating them as implicit subsidies."

In my experience, Air-India ill-treats passengers. Its check-in services are abominal. Passengers scramble for seats because Air-India is unable to increase the number of flights, particularly between Europe and India. For years it has prevented other ai rlines from increasing the number of flights. It runs up huge losses and is manipulated by civil servants.

G. Ramakrishna MumbaiAdvani's trials

This has reference to "Advani's trials" (June 9).

Nearly 20 years ago, the trial court in Gwalior acquitted him of the charge of making false declarations in his nomination forms for Rajya Sabha elections. The judge (a former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh activist) observed: "The Respondent No.1 (Advani) has himself admitted that he just signed Form No.6, but the rest of the entries were filled by others."

This means that Advani, one of the respected leaders of our country, signed the papers without checking whether his name was deleted or not from the electoral rolls in the Anjar constituency in Gujarat before submitting Form No.6 in Madhya Pradesh. Was i t not a wilful act? There are many legal and constitutional provisions that have been misrepresented by politicians for their personal gain. These require immediate amendment.

Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee Faridabad, HaryanaDisinvestment

The sick public sector undertakings (Special Feature, May 26) need induction of latest technology, reduction of excess staff and less government control or interference. The government should find good consultants who can advise it on the steps to be tak en to improve the functioning of PSUs. Just handing over the PSUs to the private sector may not work. It is neglect and excessive control and interference that have made PSUs sick.

The downslide can be checked by entrusting the management of PSUs to professionals who should be allowed to work without any interference from the government. The workers should cooperate fully with the government in downsizing units and shedding excessi ve baggage in order to make them more competitive.

D.B.N. Murthy Bangalore
Sign in to Unlock member-only benefits!
  • Bookmark stories to read later.
  • Comment on stories to start conversations.
  • Subscribe to our newsletters.
  • Get notified about discounts and offers to our products.
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide to our community guidelines for posting your comment