Published : May 06, 2011 00:00 IST

IN Libya, the hegemonistic U.S. regime is once again abusing words such as democracy and human rights (Cover Story, April 22). The past three decades of illegal U.S. interventions in the internal matters of various sovereign countries and the misuse of the mandates of organisations such as the U.N. show that it believes in bloodshed and anarchy. Was the use of force the only option?

Neeraj Kumar Jha Madhubani, Bihar

THAT the air raids on Libya by the U.S., Britain and France against Qaddafi's regime have resulted in the death of hundreds of civilians is not only disturbing but highly condemnable. There is no democracy in Libya. However, this is an internal problem best resolved by Libyans.

THE sole aim of the U.S.-led NATO attacks is regime change, where Qaddafi might be replaced by a person who will be a stooge and toe the line of the U.S. and interested European countries. The no-fly zone could increase the death toll on both sides. Western countries' concern for democracy is hypocritical. They have shored up many dictatorial regimes. Ultimately, the battle is for massive oil contracts and huge defence deals.

THE hypocritical Western nations are taking upon themselves the task of bringing stability to other nations and interfering in their affairs. And they think they can bring harmony and peace by launching military attacks.

The behaviour of the U.K., the U.S. and France has not changed from the colonial times. What NATO is doing in Libya is strikingly similar to what the Spanish Conquistadors did when they set foot on the territory now called Latin America. They promised the natives a bright future but ultimately destroyed them.

If the Egyptian and Tunisian revolts could bear fruit owing to the struggles of the countries' own civilians, why cannot the same happen in Libya too?

Learning English

THE way in which English is taught in government schools is deplorable (Concern for English, April 22). One's ability in English is tested on the basis of True or False questions. I once worked as an English teacher for six months at a school. Since most children were first-generation learners, the teachers were sure that they could not be taught English. Teachers also still follow the outdated grammar translation method of teaching English, whereas they should use the functional communicative approach, which emphasises communicative competencies. The problem is that government schools do not have the teachers for this.

BHASKAR GHOSE'S contention about the need to improve the way English is taught in India is very true and relevant. Vishnushastri Chiplunkar, the great thinker and educationist, despite being an opponent of the British rulers, supported English education in India. One wonders why socialists like Ram Manohar Lohia had to involve themselves in the so-called Angrezi hatao campaign. Such thinking is totally irrelevant today.

In many towns in the Vidarbha and Marathwada regions of Maharashtra, there are English teachers and lecturers who do not have proficiency in the language. Regional language chauvinists in general and Hindi zealots in particular must realise that English helped in the unification of India at the time of the freedom struggle, and today, it serves the same purpose.


IT is unfortunate that politicians are engaged in raining freebies on the electorate (Who wants freebies?, April 22). Freebies are nothing but bribes and a misuse of taxpayers' money. The freebie culture unleashed in Tamil Nadu by the Dravidan parties is slowly catching on in States such as Puducherry and Kerala.

It is a blot on democracy and electoral politics and can only be contained through public interest litigation or intervention by the courts or the Election Commission.


THE author says that it is scientifically uncontested that the earliest Homo sapiens developed in Africa 100,000 to 200,000 years ago (The Lemuria myth, April 22). This is not true because the evolutionary model of explaining things is just a theory and has been criticised by many even in the world of science.

The author has tried to replace one theory with another. However, one has to remember that observational science can never give the truth about what happened in the past. It will remain speculation. Scientific theories keep changing, and what may sound right today may be disputed 50 years down the line.


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