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Goa

Published : Jan 13, 2012 00:00 IST

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SPECIAL thanks for the article on Goa, 50 years after its liberation (Looking back, December 30). Frontline is the only national magazine to have commemorated this historic occasion with a special article. Unfortunately, the nationalist movements in Pondicherry against French colonialism and in Goa against oppressive Portuguese colonialism have not found pride of place in the pages of the Indian freedom struggle. If not for Nehru's go-slow attitude, India could very easily have liberated Goa as early as in the 1950s, soon after another Portuguese colony, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, was liberated by the civilian population. Hardly any freedom fighter from these places has been honoured with a postage stamp. The lone postage stamp released on December 19, 2011, was unimpressive. The efforts and moral support rendered by Pakistani Goans is also forgotten.

G. Anuplal BangaloreFDI in retail

ALTHOUGH allowing foreign multinational corporations to invest in multi-brand and single-brand retail may be good for customers in the beginning, MNCs will establish a monopoly in this area in the course of time (Cover Story, December 30). This will eventually hit small-scale retailers and reduce customers' range of choices. India has a large population of small-scale retailers. It is the government's responsibility to protect them.

Santhosh Mathew Veranani Puducherry

THE ignominious retreat of the government on the FDI issue in retail could have been averted if the Congress had consulted its allies before it brought the issue to Parliament. There are some who argue that a rollback of the retail policy will only expose the utter weakness of the government in pushing through economic reforms.

Before Pepsi, Coca-Cola and others began their operations in India, well-known local soft-drink brands such as Vincent and Kali Mark were doing good business. Now these have sunk into oblivion. Obviously, corporate giants were able to wipe out small businesses by offering huge discounts to customers, which they could afford as they procure materials on a large scale and at cheaper rates.

V. Krishnamoorthy Madurai

THERE were times when the capitalist countries had to invent sea routes, colonise nations and set up armies to protect their trade interests. Thanks to neoliberalism, markets in gullible countries are being captured in the name of free trade. It is time we recalled how agriculture was paralysed after quantitative restrictions were removed in the sector. Those who do not want to learn from history are doomed to relive it.

Syed Sultan Mohiddin KADAPA, A.P.

IT seems the government has forgotten its duty tobridge the gap between the have-nots and the have-lots.

In the 1760s and 1770s, the East India Company found it tough to ensure a regular supply of textiles for export. So, it eliminated the existing traders and brokers connected with the cloth trade and established direct control over the weavers. It appointed its own middlemen, who harassed the poor weavers, sometimes financially, and forced them to sell their cloth only to the English and that too at a very low price. Since the new middlemen were outsiders with little insight into the weavers' lives, they acted arrogantly, sometimes marching with sepoys into the houses and workshops of the weavers and often punishing them for delays or shortfalls in supply.

MNCs such as Walmart and Carrefour will do precisely what the East India Company did appoint their own middlemen, in three-piece suits and ties. Instead of eliminating hawkers and middlemen, they will just replace them with their own network.

Ritvik Chaturvedi New Delhi

THE government has only suspended, and not withdrawn, its decision to roll out FDI in the retail sector. Rahul Gandhi unequivocally declaring his commitment to bring FDI in retail sector implies that the retreat on retail is only temporary, and the aam admi should take note of this. His stand only confirms again how far the present leadership of the Congress has strayed from the Gandhian path and the principles of Swadeshi. What is required for the Indian farming community is not FDI in the retail sector but good patronage, proactive support and other facilities such as cold storage and a good support price from the government.

Ettirankandath Krishnadas Palakkad, Kerala

THE good news is that India has become the number one hotspot for global retailers for the fourth time in the past five years. According to global consulting firm A. T. Kearney's eighth annual Global Retail Development Index, India clinched the first slot as the best retail destination, followed by Russia and China.

There have been protests against the entry into India of the private retail giant Walmart. In this era of globalisation, the entry of such MNCs should be welcomed. Traders protesting against FDI should focus on improving their services. Let there be a healthy competition.

P. Senthil Saravana Durai Vazhavallan, T. N.Mullaperiyar

THE fear psychosis created by politicians and the innumerable rallies held by various organisations will not solve the real problems that will arise if the Mullaperiyar dam is destroyed by an earthquake (Heightened tensions, December 30).

Even if Kerala constructs a new dam on a war footing, it will take at least three years for it to be completed. What would happen if there was an earthquake near the dam in the mean time?

The only immediate solution is to decrease the water level in the reservoir to not just 120 feet but to as low a level as possible so that any possible damage can be kept to a minimum.

The people and politicians of Kerala and Tamil Nadu act as if they belong to two enemy countries. We are dependent on each other. If the States cooperate, a new dam can be constructed in record time.

S. Raghunatha Prabhu Alappuzha, Kerala

THE controversy over the Mullaperiyar dam issue is unfortunate. Experts should play a more proactive role without further delay. People need to be educated on the realities.

Jacob Sahayam ThiruvananthapuramDev Anand

NO words are sufficient to mourn the death of Dev Anand, a star who charmed innumerable Indians through his acting (Eternal romantic, December 30). He shaped the careers of many stars of yesteryear and raised the fortunes of veteran musicians such as S.D. Burman, Mohammed Rafi, Hemant Kumar and Kishore Kumar. In the article, the song Hai apna dil to awara from the film Solva Sal was wrongly written as Hai ana dil to awara.

Jayant Mukkherjee Kolkata

DEV ANAND was an extraordinary artist who enriched Indian films. While his passionate side came to the fore in all his films, his secret spiritual side came out in the climax scene of the film Guide. His spiritual discourse brought out the essence of the Gita in an excellent way. Why has no one ever talked about it with the intensity it deserves?

Tish Malhotra DelhiUttar Pradesh

POLITICAL parties in Uttar Pradesh are gearing up to face the coming elections (Dividing game, December 16). Strategies to win votes may be the only thing that matters now for the State's political parties. The proposal of the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party to divide the State has won accolades from a section of the political and social spectrum and met with sheer indifference from other groups and complete rejection by the opposition Samajwadi Party and some sections of the people in the State.

Ease of governance following the division is a plus point but the altruistic nature of the proposition is questionable. There are grass-roots level problems such as sharing of land and water resources that must not be overlooked.

Furthermore, Uttar Pradesh is culturally diverse and has places of historical value. While dividing this one big State, one will have to maintain its cultural and ethnic diversity.

A.P. Nirmal ChennaiEurozone

THE article Tyranny of finance (December 16) brought to the surface the clout that financial capitalism has come to acquire. It is in this context that the recent announcement by France and Germany to move towards a fiscal union for the entire eurozone has to be seen. We are being told that such a move will help usher in an era of fiscal discipline for the zone and prevent the common currency from losing favour with investors. But what is clear is that such a move will also rule out the possibility of an economy undertaking fiscal stimulus in times of a slowdown. Policymakers always appease the financial markets by adopting conservative fiscal policies. The move towards a fiscal union will only institutionalise this tendency, thereby making it clear that the state has always been an agent of the finance capital. This comes at a time when the welfare state as it existed in Europe is practically dead.

Ankur Ankesh Darbhanga, BiharYesudas

THE write-up on Yesudas could not have been better crafted (Celestial singer, December 16). However, some errors were made while referring to his famous Hindi songs. It is Gori tera gaanv (not gav), zid (not sid ) na karo, and Ka karoon (not karo) sajni.

Anil Joshi NainitalSyria

CORRECTION: In the article Looming civil war (December 30), a quote about the Free Syrian Army being dominated by fighters owing allegiance to the Muslim Brotherhood and armed by the U.S., Israel and Turkey was inadvertently attributed to Emille Hokayem, Senior Fellow at the Institute of Strategic Studies, London. Hokayem in his report does not talk about the Free Syrian Army being dominated by the Muslim Brothers or being financed by the U.S., Israel and Turkey. The quote was taken from an article by Tony Cartalucci, which appeared on the web-based The Middle-East Magazine in the first week of December. The error is regretted.

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(This story was published in the print edition of Frontline magazine dated Jan 13, 2012.)

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