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Arab Spring

Print edition : Feb 24, 2012 T+T-

THE Cover Story (Turbulent 2011, February 10) provided an insightful analysis of the mass uprisings in 2011 in the Arab world and in the Euro-American zone. The year witnessed the end of entrenched dictatorships.

But the question is, what is the new order that will follow the change of regimes? Liberal democracy is a myth, as the author rightly pointed out.

V.K. Sathyavan Nair Kottayam, Kerala

THE Cover Story brought into focus the importance of 2011 in global history. The Arab uprising was unprecedented and raised hopes of the growth of healthy democracy. But the worry is whether it will lead to the takeover of governments by Islamist fundamentalism.

The economic crisis in the U.S. and Europe has led to some upheavals, strikes, and so on. But there are signs that things are calming down. The Asian economy is faring well. In India the movement against corruption led by Anna Hazare appears to be losing steam. Could the movement have been more successful if he had taken up the issues of poverty and other problems affecting the majority in the lower strata of society?

Jacob Sahayam ThiruvananthapuramMalnutrition

MANMOHAN SINGH recently said that malnutrition was a national shame (Unpalatable truths, February 10). It is not malnutrition that is the national shame; the real national shame is the spectacle of massive quantities of foodgrains rotting in godowns while about 42 per cent of India's children suffer from hunger and malnutrition.

If wastage of food and food items is avoided, hunger and malnutrition can be reduced to a great extent. With so much surplus production of grains and with unimaginable quantities of fruits and vegetables rotting by the roadsides, there is no justification for the prevalence of hunger or malnutrition in India. Besides, we continue to export staple food items. Yet, hunger increases in proportion to economic growth.

S. Raghunatha Prabhu Alappuzha, KeralaElections

THE photograph of the covered elephant statues was thought-provoking (New formulations, February 10). The Election Commission's order to cover these statues, the election symbol of the Bahujan Samaj Party, must be lauded. It has publicised the huge misuse of public money by political leaders. People should cast their vote for leaders who ensure proper development rather than spend scarce resources erecting statues.

Neeraj Kumar Jha Madhubani, BiharPolitics

TAMIL NADU Chief Minister and AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa's expulsion of V.K. Sasikala and M. Natarajan and 12 of their close relatives from the primary membership of the party is a correct and long overdue step (Marching orders, February, 10). Sasikala and Natarajan have for a long time been interfering overtly and covertly not only in the party but also in administration and they literally functioned as parallel power centres. By their acts, Sasikala and her clan lowered the image of the party and Jayalalithaa over the years.

The Chief Minister would do well to remember that the AIADMK was trounced in the Assembly elections twice, not because of its performance but because of various acts of commission and omission of her coterie led by Sasikala.

History is replete with examples of aides or friends who have done more harm than good to leaders.

J.Anantha Padmanabhan Srirangam, Tamil NaduBanking

FINANCIAL crimes pose a serious threat to the growth of the banking sector (Negative signal, February 10). A thorough investigation into the causes of fraudulent activities in the banking sector is the need of the hour. Besides, the time has come for the banking sector to use robust financial strategy and management skills.

If banks are serious about taking advantage of future opportunities and facing challenges, they should switch over to foolproof systems to safeguard data.

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

IT is overwhelming news that India is marching towards a polio-free status (A war almost won, February 10). However, there is still a widening gap between money-spinning private hospitals and poor public health institutions. The infant deaths in West Bengal stand testimony to the poor condition of the country's health infrastructure.

Syed khaja New DelhiHomai

IN the passing away of Homai Vyarawalla, India's first woman photojournalist, the nation and the creative world have lost a legend (A legend's lens, February 10). Her excellent photographs of eminent personalities in different moods and at crucial times reflect the passion she had for photography. What made her special was her foray into what was a male-dominated profession. She set a fine example and was an inspiration to young women.

K.R. Srinivasan Secunderabad

VERY few young women in India take up photography as a career. Homai Vyarawalla became a photojournalist even before India attained independence. Her life story is fascinating and will inspire young women to take up photography as a career.

Deendayal M. Lulla Mumbai

THE article on Homai Vyarawalla should be read by all photojournalists and others in this field. She achieved a lot before the advent of technology. All photographers should be guided by the ethics she enunciated. The interview showed how much she enjoyed her profession.

B. Jambulingam Thanjavur, Tamil NaduLokpal Bill

THE Congress enacted a farce in the Rajya Sabha on December 29 (Lokpal tragedy, January 27). The confusion within the party was palpable as there were different voices speaking along different lines. The failure to pass the Bill exposes the true intentions of the ruling dispensation. The credit for the Lokayukta Bill passed by the Uttarakhand Assembly should go to Team Anna.

S. Murali Vellore, Tamil NaduTagore

THE Cover Story (January 13) on Rabindranath Tagore should be preserved for posterity. The present generation is not aware of Tagore's contribution to the arts and to society in the correct perspective. All the writers highlighted different aspects of his life and brought out many unknown facts about his life. Frontline deserves praise for the Cover Story.

K. Nehru Patnaik Visakhapatnam

THIS is with reference to William Radice's article Timeless Tagore (January 13). In October 2011, I was visiting Ohio and had an experience with Rabindrasangeet similar to the one recounted by Radice. At a small gathering of teachers and scholars of modern languages and literature at the Ohio Northern University, only one of those present, Kanishka Sen, knew Bengali. It was his birthday party, and he sang Tagore's song Akash bhora surjyo tara in his naked voice. The song was preceded by a prose rendering of it in English. The birthday party turned into a grand ovation for Tagore's anniversary.

Dhananjoy Sen KolkataKim Jong-il

TO the U.S., Kim Jong-il was a despot and a tyrant, but for the brave people of the fiercely independent state of North Korea he was Dear leader who had the courage to stand up to the big bully and make his country a nuclear power (Korea's loss, January 13). Let us hope that his son Kim Jong-un will carry the torch lit by his father and grandfather and protect his nation's integrity and sovereignty.

K.P. Rajan MumbaiBelgaum

IT is always painful to see tensions across the State borders (Belgaum again, December 30). As a person from Karnataka, I can understand the sensitivity behind the issue, but it is worrisome when vested interests take centre stage and incite communal feelings. Both State governments should take up the issue on a priority basis and come out with a feasible solution to the problem. No retrograde steps that could make the future generations suffer should be taken.

Kiran Shivakumar BangaloreUttar Pradesh

THE Uttar Pradesh government's decision to divide the State into four parts is not good (Dividing game, December 16). Dividing a State will not help govern in an efficient manner. It only helps out political parties. The decision was made to divert attention from other serious issues that the State grapples with.

Ajay S. Kumar ThiruvananthapuramANNOUNCEMENT

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