THIS is with reference to the article For nuclear sanity (October 21). Protests, competitive politics and the green movements against nuclear plants must be weighed against the choices we have from other sources.
We cannot depend on fossil fuels or coal, given their limited availability and their well- known impact on global warming. Solar and wind energy are still nascent technologies and will need a technological leap to become economical and dependable.
Assured power is India's basic need if it is to sustain its high growth rates. China, to circumvent these impediments and to maintain ample power to spur its developmental goals, is in the process of adding over a hundred nuclear plants by 2030.
Accidents have occurred to date in aging nuclear installations. However, newer technologies have made nuclear plants not only more efficient and safer but allow them to recycle spent nuclear waste safely. Nuclear energy may not be entirely safe, but for India the alternatives are limited.H.N. Ramakrishna Novi, Michigan, U.S.Crisis of politics
HAVING a government with shortcomings is a common phenomenon in any democratic nation (Cover Story, November 4). Consequently, citizens choose an alternative political party that they feel will overcome the prevailing situation.
But Indian citizens are at a crossroads, totally puzzled and unable to choose an alternative party. One is aware of the scandals and organisational tussles going on within the ruling Congress party, but one finds the main opposition party, the BJP, equally soaked in corruption and factionalism. The smaller, regional parties lack the vision to assume power at the national level.
Any alternative to the present parliamentary system is unthinkable. The dictum that things have to get worse before they get better seems to be in operation.P.V. Ravindranathan Bangalore
YOU are 100 per cent right when you say there is little to choose between. While both the United Progressive Alliance and the National Democratic Alliance are corrupt and inefficient, the BJP is particularly untrustworthy.
The BJP in the opposition and the BJP in power are two different political parties. While the Congress just talked about downsizing the workforce and introducing voluntary retirement schemes, the BJP implemented them. While the Congress started liberalisation, the BJP religiously implemented it, jeopardising workers' welfare. The BJP has lost credibility.
Neither the UPA nor the NDA inspire voters' confidence and there is no third alternative.S. Raghunatha Prabhu Alappuzha, Kerala
NARENDRA MODI'S efforts to project a moderate image acceptable to all sections of people will not succeed (Modi makeover, November 4). The so-called sadhbhvna fast and his open letter to six crore Gujaratis are nothing but a facade. The minority community has neither forgotten nor forgiven those who remained silent when one of the worst communal carnages was carried out in the State.
The harassment faced by the IPS officers who have implicated several Gujarat politicians of complicity in the riots exposes Modi's vindictive attitude.J. Anantha Padmanabhan Srirangam, Tamil Nadu
L.K. ADVANI'S latest yatra has fuelled speculation on whether it has something to do with his never-say-die pursuit of the prime ministerial chair. Clearly, Advani does not have age on his side. It is difficult to imagine a person assuming charge as Prime Minister at the age of 87.
As for Narendra Modi, the 2002 riots in Gujarat will always be an albatross around his neck. The churning process is indeed on. Only time will tell what turn the BJP's internal battles will take.A. Meghana Newcastle upon Tyne U.K.Vachathi
FROM the article Justice for Vachathi (November 4), it is clear that the State government protected those who committed the atrocities and delayed the legal process. The judiciary ought to have prevented justice being delayed for 19 years.
Hats off to all those who undertook the long legal battle for justice.M. Manoharan Chennai
AT long last, the victims of Vachathi have reasons to cheer. Perhaps, it is the first time in legal history that the long arm of law convicted such a large number of charge-sheeted (216 out of 269) persons. The officials who were convicted have brought utter disrepute to the offices that they held.
The victory cannot to be quantified so much in terms of the compensation offered as in the confidence instilled in the tribal people of Vachathi. With the historic judgment, the judiciary can walk tall.C. Chandrasekaran MumbaiJagjit Singh
JAGJIT SINGH has not left us (Timeless music, November 4). His immortal silken voice gave soul to his enchanting music. He will continue to be with music lovers for all time to come through his rich repertoire of bhajans and ghazals.Tish Malhotra Delhi
WITH his mellifluous voice, Jagjit Singh helped the ghazal find its rightful place in the hearts of people. He can well and truly be credited with introducing that elitist and intricate genre to the laity. After the late Talat Mehmood, it was Jagjit's golden voice that stirred the hearts of millions with his soulful numbers.Dilbag Rai ChandigarhSteve Jobs
STEVE JOBS' unwillingness to compromise on his vision and his demand for nothing less than the best has given us the Apple we know and love today.J. Akshobhya MysorePlanning
UNDER the influence of market-driven growth, the Planning Commission is formulating market-friendly economic policies at the expense of the poor (Cover Story, October 21). The current government, led by world-famous economists, needs to understand that a major chunk of the population still needs government support to survive and become self-reliant. Policymakers must draw a line between the propaganda of growth and development and the real issues affecting people.Neeraj Kumar Jha Madhubani, Bihar
THIS is with reference to the interview with Manish Tewari (November 4). He made a good point when he said that inflation connected with not only the growth rate but also the food distribution system. I disagree with the point he made about the population being the cause of India's problems. He also said that inflation was connected with the increased buying capacity of the public. If this is true, then what is the problem with the population? There are many poor countries with high inflation and a low population.Ambu Raja R.S. Achary kollam, keralaInsects
I READ the article Insect talk (October 21) with pleasure matched only by the superbly captured photographs. Keep up the good work.Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee FaridabadPataudi
MANSUR ALI KHAN PATAUDI was an inspiration to all visually handicapped persons (Nawab of cricket, October 21) because he showed everyone that life does not come to an end and one can achieve greatness even when one has a handicap.Deendayal M. Lulla Mumbai
THOSE of the current generation who turn to the record book (now equated with scripture) may not understand why the death of a former Indian skipper unleashed such genuine sorrow. Though officially the Nawab of Pataudi, he preferred being called Tiger or Pat.
He enjoyed his cricket and played to win fair and square; nobody could accuse him of shutting down a game. No wonder he was a superstar across the cricketing world.J.S. Acharya HyderabadKudankulam
THE Prime Minister gave an assurance to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister that nothing would be done that would threaten the safety or livelihood of any section of the society, particularly, those living in the vicinity of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP). It is unfortunate that even after this, anti-nuclear activists revived their indefinite fast (Power and protest, October 21).
There have been many nuclear accidents in the world, of which Chernobyl and Fukushima Daiichi have been the worst. However, in India nuclear power plants have been functioning well. At time when the State government is facing a power shortage and is trying to increase power generation, it would be inadvisable to stall the KNPP, especially since crores of rupees have already been spent on it.V. Krishnamoorthy MaduraiCORRECTION
The caption on page 64 (Insect talk, October 21) should read: A katydid. The insect got its name because its call sounds as if it is saying katy-did, katy-didn't'. Similarly, the last sentence on page 68 should read: Since the insect's call sounds as if it is saying katy-did, katy-didn't', they were christened katy-dids. In the same article, the words tettigoniids and Tettigoniidae were misspelt.
In the article Justice for Vachathi (November 4), the first sentence of the fifth paragraph on page 34 should read: The raiding party also foisted three Scheduled Timber Offences Report (STOR) cases against 76 women and 15 men.
In the book review Law in a nutshell (November 4), the first sentence of the third paragraph on page 76 should read: The Supreme Court's plea, repeated in several judgments, that it cannot abolish the death penalty, as it is part of the legislative domain also fails to convince the proponents of abolition.
In the article Misleading picture (November 4), the third sentence of the second paragraph on page 108 should read: It is also worth noting that in recent years, the prices of goods consumed in greater proportion (such as consumer durables) by the better-off have been falling, especially relative to the prices of essentials such as food.ANNOUNCEMENT
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