Published : Jun 03, 2011 00:00 IST

THE article covering the Sixth Congress of the Cuban Communist Party gave a clear picture of the present political situation in that country (Signalling change, May 20). Fidel Castro's token appearance at the congress and the standing ovation he received would have touched all those who like him and his steadfastness. Fidel's call to the young generation to make changes without hesitation where required and to demonstrate that socialism is also the art of making the impossible happen was most welcome. It is interesting that eight million Cubans were consulted before the reform package was approved. It is really surprising that the Obama administration is spending $20 million annually to spread democracy in Cuba.

B. Jambulingam Thanjavur, Tamil NaduNarendra Modi

THE recent revelations by the IPS officer Sanjiv Rajendra Bhatt have shed new light on the post-Godhra riots (Cover Story, May 20). His allegation that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said that Hindus should not let Muslims go unpunished and that a lesson had to be taught to them will shock even Modi's staunchest supporters. One thing is for sure, Modi will no longer be able to hide behind the cover of development.

It is evident that the BJP in general and Modi in particular consider the anti-Muslim pogrom of 2002 a taboo subject. This was revealed by a WikiLeaks cable where the U.S. Consul General said how he had to bear a long lecture on a glowing overview of his [Modi's] government's efforts to build infrastructure when asked about the steps his government had taken to punish the perpetrators of the riots.

Ritvik Chaturvedi New Delhi

IT is disheartening to learn that a Chief Minister who has led his State on a path of development and maintained harmony for the past nine years has a shoddy record.

Sushil Kumar Aurangabad, Bihar

SANJIV BHATT'S revelations are a blot on the secular fabric of the country. Even though they reaffirm the consistent stand taken by activists like Teesta Setalvad on the role of Modi and others in the post-Godhra massacre, the veracity of the belated affidavit has to be proved. Unfortunately, political opponents will only be interested in deriving political mileage out of it and are least bothered about punishing the perpetrators of the heinous crime.

As rightly pointed out in the Cover Story, the Congress party, Modi's principal opponent in Gujarat, has failed miserably on this score, as a result of which he has emerged as a strong leader, and perhaps as the BJP's next prime ministerial candidate. The Congress and other opponents of Modi have to do some soul-searching on what went wrong in Gujarat and why the electorate there, across religions, supports Modi and his party.

Even though India is a party to the Genocide Convention, it does not have a comprehensive law to prevent genocide and crimes against humanity. It is unfortunate that the Union government, instead of considering the model law drafted by eminent jurists, retired police officers and human rights activists, has asked the National Advisory Council to draft a fresh Bill on communal and sectarian violence.

One of the path-breaking aspects of the draft law is that it seeks to enshrine in domestic law the principles of vicarious criminal and administrative liability as well as the doctrine of command responsibility both settled concepts in international humanitarian law.

Ettirankandath Krishnadas Palakkad, Kerala

THE Cover Story was thought-provoking and provided a critical analysis of the 2002 Gujarat carnage. The development Modi has brought about in Gujarat does not absolve him of any crimes he might have committed. Regular visitors to Gujarat are aware that not all communities in the State are beneficiaries of development. Modi's discrimination against Muslims is visible everywhere.

Moreover, many in Gujarat believe that as long as Modi remains at the helm of government, there will be no justice for the victims of the carnage. Many also see Modi's hand in the 2002 pogrom, and Sanjiv Bhatt's affidavit in the Supreme Court only strengthened this belief. If the courts clear all allegations against Modi even after this, it will be just like rubbing salt on the wounds of the victims.

Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee Faridabad, Haryana

THE Special Investigation Team seems to have played a passive role, notwithstanding the credentials of its officers. That Modi's development slogan was nothing but a farce was revealed by the Tendulkar Committee report, which states that Gujarat has the highest percentage of poor people in the country.

Modi's denial that he had nothing to do with the riots seems to have been exposed by Sanjiv Bhatt's affidavit to the Supreme Court. Modi's ambition of moving on to national politics may be harmed.

S. Murali Vellore, Tamil NaduSex ratio

THE case of Haryana as presented in Census 2011 is disturbing and can lead to great social disorder in the State (Male preserve, May 20). One fails to understand why Jhajjar district, with a literacy rate as high as 80.8 per cent, has the worst child and adult sex ratios in the country. It seems that the State's policies relating to maintaining healthy adult and child sex ratios have gone completely wrong.

The political and administrative leadership must learn to check the unlawful practice of selective abortion of female foetuses. Apart from this, the State government should initiate a campaign involving prominent women from different walks of life in the State to spread the message of a society with gender balance.

Neeraj Kumar Jha Madhubani, BiharIllegal mining

IT was disgusting to read how the authorities in Karnataka are blatantly disobeyed, how administrative systems are made ineffective, how officials are influenced with money power, how whistle-blowers are muzzled, and how illegal mining activities are carried out by the mining mafia with impunity (Loot in Bellary, May 20). The helplessness of the Chief Minister is unbelievable. He reluctantly endorsed the facts in the aftermath of the interim reports of the State Lokayukta and the Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC). He should support the Governor's initiatives seeking the Centre's intervention against the devastation of natural resources.

The BJP's acquiescence in the marauding of national wealth betrays that it is not against the skulduggery of its tainted members as long as it gets political mileage. Much destruction has already taken place. It is time a law was enacted to bar mining activity in the Bellary region.

B. Rajasekaran BangaloreSai Baba

THE legend of Sathya Sai Baba was built upon miracles, some of which were controversial (Sai legend, May 20). But he remains a legend because he made use of the money that poured in to set up free hospitals, schools and colleges and to implement free water supply and housing projects. It is hoped that the Sai Baba Trust will continue his work.

Jacob Sahayam Thiruvananthapuram

IN our country even gods are not spared, and it was natural that Sai Baba too had critics. He neither indulged in religious fanaticism nor in religious conversion. He used religion to spread the message of love and peace and worked for it through his various centres spread across the globe. All of us should learn how to serve society using good will.

Where politicians divide and do everything with an eye on vote-bank politics, Sai Baba through his colleges, hospitals and various schemes helped one and all and stressed the importance of divinity within all of us.

S.A.S. Sarma Hyderabad

IN a land that celebrates mysticism, Sai Baba, the country's most revered and powerful spiritual guru, a self-proclaimed reincarnation of Shirdi's Sai Baba, was an ultimate godman. For millions of devotees across the globe, he was god incarnate. To sceptics, however, he was a showman with a bag of tricks. The monk faced allegations of performing fake miracles and of sexual abuse. In fact, these occasional challenges only seemed to have strengthened the faith of Baba's devotees in him, and their number kept increasing.

It is undeniable that Sai Baba was a philanthropist who provided free education, free medical treatment and free drinking water to millions of the poor.

K.S. Jayatheertha BangaloreLokpal Bill

ALTHOUGH Anna Hazare and his associates have claimed success in forcing the government to form a joint committee to draft an effective Lokpal Bill, in reality they have not been able to gain the consent of the vast majority that resides in the villages, towns and far-flung areas of India (Trial by fire, May 20). It was just the nationalist fervour created by the World Cup victory that attracted a small section of people from the upper strata of society.

Vishesh Pratap Gurjar DelhiLibya

THE heavy aerial bombardment of Libya backed by relentless cruise missile attacks by Britain, France and the U.S. in contravention of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 needs to be condemned in the strongest possible terms (Mission creep, May 20). Given the present volatile situation in the Arab world, it would be best if the people of Libya were left to choose their rulers without any external intervention.

The military intervention by the U.S.-led allied forces underlines the fact that the U.S. and other superpowers adamantly refuse to learn from history that their military misadventures have proved counterproductive in Iraq and Afghanistan. India needs to garner world opinion against and voice its strong opposition to the attacks. Simultaneously, the evacuation of Indians stranded in Libya needs to be accorded top priority.

B. Suresh Kumar Coimbatore, T.N.ANNOUNCEMENT

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