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Murder in Dubai

Published : Apr 23, 2010 00:00 IST

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The killing of Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhoud by the Mossad was a blatant act of disrespect of international law (Mossad murder, March 26). Because of strong support from the U.S. and its Western allies, Israel has been getting away with its transgressions. It is time to evolve a statute that will help bring to book external intelligence agencies when there is concrete evidence of their misdeeds.

The U.S Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was involved in coup detats and regime changes in Latin America, Africa and Asia and in the assassinations of leaders who opposed the U.S., yet the U.N. and other supranational organisations could do nothing. The Mabhoud episode shows that international law is all rhetoric and the powerful have the final say.

Devendra L. Abbigeri, Dharwad, KarnatakaWomens Bill

Thanks for devoting 26 per cent of the magazine (35 pages out of 134) to the issue of 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament (Cover Story, April 9). The articles gave in-depth information on the status of women in India.

Even if the reservation Bill is passed, all may not be hunky-dory for women. It may take some time for elected women to be independent of the influence of their spouses/relatives in performing their duties in Parliament. There has to be a complete paradigm shift in mens thinking.

K. Nehru Patnaik Visakhapatnam

The passage of the Womens Reservation Bill in the Rajya Sabha gives women a big boost in their fight for equality. In fact, panchayats had already opened the door for equality. One can see the change taking place in families where both husband and wife are employed. Equality may bring about a culture of adjustment and sharing to make a family happy. When health and wealth improve reservation may become irrelevant.

Jacob Sahayam Thiruvananthapuram

Of all the reservations we have devised, this one will transform society the least. Still, it may do some marginal good. Reserving seats for women in panchayats can transform society far more than reserving them in Parliament. Gender animus is deeply entrenched in villages, and female empowerment there can have an impact. But in New Delhi and the State capitals, women in politics are already substantially empowered, and women from established political families have a huge advantage.

To transform society, we need social activists at the grass roots. We need administrators, police officers and judges who will implement the existing laws on gender justice.

Padmini Raghavendra Secunderabad

Although women are making advances in several fields, many still live in desolation. The Womens Reservation Bill will open up opportunities for women to aim high. Whether it will empower women remains to be seen. It is now important for women to prove that they can think independently and take bold decisions and contradict the claim that they function as rubber stamps when they are in positions of power.

Vinod C. Dixit Ahmedabad

Some people argue that a law providing for reservation is itself discriminatory and that women should get elected on their own merit. This argument is advanced only to serve the interests of men. Most women have been deprived of opportunities in all spheres of life since Independence. It is, therefore, the duty of a responsible government to ensure that women participate in political life and decision-making.

S. Lakshminarayanan Vriddhachalam, T.N.

It is unfortunate that the Womens Reservation Bill has been passed in the Rajya Sabha, that too with a thumping majority. The word reservation must be deleted from the Constitution. Politicians use reservations to serve their selfish and narrow goals and to exploit vote banks.

Women have the capacity to achieve great levels of excellence on their own without any help from their male colleagues. This has been proven over and over again in politics and in other spheres of life. If a woman is capable, who can stop her from rising to the top?

M. Kumar New DelhiIndia & Russia

In the 21st century world, it is good to find that the relationship between India and Russia is back on the track (Stronger ties, April 9). India can utilise the opportunities provided by Russia in the civilian nuclear energy sector. One hopes that Russia will not worry much about India signing big-ticket defence deals with the U.S., France and Israel. India strongly believes that Russia is a key pillar of Indias foreign policy and its trusted strategic partner.

Thomas Edmunds ChennaiNuclear liability

The article A flawed Bill (April 9) was trenchant and incisive. The domestic laws on nuclear liability of developed countries are not as sordid as the one the government is trying to table. What is being presented as the Nuclear Liability Bill is downright immoral.

Francis Kuriakose Deepa Kylasam Iyer Puducherry

Article 370

The Kashmir problem has been a bone of contention between India and Pakistan since Independence (Accord and discord, March 26). The only rational solution would be to convert the Line of Control into a formal border. This idea was first mooted by Generals K.M. Cariappa of India and Ayub Khan of Pakistan in early 1964 but could not be taken forward owing to Jawaharlal Nehrus death in May of that year. In fact, this solution was also discussed by Indira Gandhi and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in Shimla in 1972 but was not followed up.

Converting the LOC and creating three separate States of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh is the only way out.

Jayanta Kumar Dutt Kolkata

Sardar Patel as a Home Minister was responsible for the integration of the native states into the Indian Union. But Nehru transferred the Kashmir portfolio to Gopalaswami Ayyangar without the knowledge of Patel, who was so peeved that he wanted to resign. Mahatma Gandhi dissuaded him from doing so. Before proceeding on a foreign tour, Nehru, in consultation with Sheikh Abdullah, finalised the draft of Article 370 and asked Ayyangar to present it to the Constituent Assembly. He faced stiff opposition there and ran to Patel for help.

Patel did not let him down when the Prime Minister was away as it would have been perceived as revenge against the man who was acting under the instructions of Nehru. This is how Article 370 was included in the Constitution. Patel died soon after. So, it was easy for Nehru to blame him for making a rather unusual provision in our constitution relating to Jammu and Kashmir.

On November 27, 1963, in the Lok Sabha, Nehru called Article 370, a transitional temporary provision and felt the process of gradual erosion of Article 370 is going on. But it proved to be a myth. Article 370 can be removed by amending the Constitution just like the abolition of the Privy Purse, which was once regarded sacrosanct.

Satya Prasad Trenton, New JerseyTwo hunters

The comparison between Jim Corbett and Kenneth Anderson was quite interesting (Hunters tales, March 26). Corbett evidently scores over his peers because of his versatility. He was an astute businessman, dealing with investments and real estate; a successful railway contractor; and a member of the Nainital Municipal Board. Above all, he wielded his pen with as much felicity as he used his 12 bore rifle.

Anil K. Joshi NainitalUPSC

The proposed changes in Union Public Service Commissions civil services examination pattern are welcome (Hints of change, March 26). In the same spirit, the UPSC should remove optional subjects in the Main examination like Pali, Sanskrit, Arabic and regional languages as they are not even remotely connected with day-to-day administration.

This will help reduce the wide variation in the marking pattern. The job of the UPSC is to select a candidate suitable for the job and not to democratise the examination by giving opportunity for all subjects.

M. Akhtar KolkataM.F. Husain

The conferment of Qatari citizenship upon the artist M.F. Husain is one of the most unfortunate incidents in the history of Indian art (Artists alienation, March 26). But, I support his decision to accept this honour.

It is hundred times better for creative personalities to live, think and create in an alien country than in a country that fails to protect creativity from religious bigotry/fanaticism despite trumpeting its pluralistic culture and constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression.

Neeraj Kumar Jha Madhubani, Bihar

Will Husain venture to draw pictures of an objectionable nature relating to other belief systems?

When it comes to denigrating the major religion in India, why this hue and cry against those who object? Is art intended to slander belief systems? Should not all religions have self-respect? If yes, why is there a discrimination against a particular religion?

S.R. Krishnamurthy ChennaiIslamism

The author of Islamism and Democracy in India and the books reviewer too have not done justice to the Jamaat-e-Islami, the organisation that has done the most to revive the true spirit of Islam the world over and especially on the subcontinent (The switch to jehad, March 12).

The Students Islamic Movement of India was never a part of the Jamaat-e-Islami. Its radical approach is against the very principles of the Jamaat, whose founder, Abdul Ala Maududi, advised his followers against violence and unlawful activities.

In India, the Jamaat has never participated in elections but has supported secular, democratic forces.

Its role in defeating the National Democratic Alliance in the elections of 2004 and 2009 has been acknowledged and makes the authors remark about the Jamaats isolation meaningless.

A.T.M. Anwar HyderabadIndian republic

In the article Constitution today (February 26), some grave charges were made against some of those who held the office of President. Since they were personages of no mean repute and still occupy prestigious positions in public memory, the writer should have mentioned the specific charges against them for the sake of historicity and to give readers a clear idea of what they were. Elsewhere, there is a mention of Zail Singhs intentions. Unless one knows what these were, it is not possible to grasp the full meaning of the statement.

Amal Kumar Roy Kolkata* * *Announcement

Letters, whether by surface mail or e-mail, must carry the full postal address and the full name, or the name with initials.

(This story was published in the print edition of Frontline magazine dated Apr 23, 2010.)

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