Published : Jan 30, 2009 00:00 IST

UNLESS the rural masses develop, India will not become a developed nation (Battle for work, January 16, 2009). As the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act is a law passed by Parliament and not a scheme like other wage-employment programmes, it makes employment a legal right of the people. I believe the NREGA will cover all districts in the country within a couple of years. Slowly, it will mark a new era of development in the country.

Sudip Roy Natun Pally, West Bengal

IT was a shock to learn that 76.7 per cent of the countrys population lives on Rs.20 a day. The Cover Story made such an impact on me that I can defend the NREGA on many platforms now. I hope to see more such well-researched articles in future.

Nishant Kallullathil Bangalore

THE Cover Story has brought out the real benefits of the NREGA and the impact it can make on the economy. The programme can be a lifeline for the poor. If implemented properly and effectively, it will help reduce the migration of the poor to towns and cities in search of work. It will also facilitate creation of productive assets. But there are many flaws and shortcomings in its implementation. State governments do not give adequate attention to all aspects of the programme. The lack of awareness on the part of the rural poor about their rights under the Act is a major impediment. If these defects are rectified, the programme can be an effective tool for inclusive growth and abolition of poverty.

Dr. K.K. Ammannaya Udupi, Karnataka

THE Cover Story was timely and would be welcomed by social thinkers and activists alike. The photograph of an irrigation well being dug figuratively depicts the depth of the unemployment problem. The painstaking datacollection, surveys and on-the-field accounts collectively provide the contours of a novel mission launched under political pressure created by the Left parties. Wherever local people learn to assert their rights, they derive maximum advantage from such measures. That brings to the scene proactive social forces and individuals who take unto themselves the not-so-easy task of ensuring corruption-free delivery channels and in the process meet with formidable opposition from vested interests.

S.V. Venugopalan ChennaiGaza killings

THE genocide of the Gaza population, 56 per cent of it children who have nothing to do with the more-than-six-decades-old Arab-Israeli conflict, is cruelty (Killing siege, January 16). How can a secular democratic country like India maintain military cooperation with a killer-nation like Israel, which has ignored the largest number of U.N. resolutions?

P.M. Suhail Thrissur, KeralaMasai Mara

CHITRA PADMANABHANS article Mesmeric Mara (January 16) captures the bountiful natural wealth of Africa. Reading it, one would want to hop on a plane and land in the Kenyan wildlife reserve.

Arti Jaiman Gurgaon, HaryanaSleaze

WE often hear tales of Indians who have made India proud even outside their homeland. But once in a while we come across bad examples, the latest one being some of Chicagos Indian elite who are allegedly involved in the scandal surrounding the Illinois Governor (Saga of sleaze, January 16).

Vinay Kumar R. Tumkur, KarnatakaFinancial crisis

THE Madoff scandal in the U.S. and the unravelling Satyam bombshell in India are evidences of the pitfalls of globalised capitalism (Madoff mystery, January 16). In spite of it, the government stubbornly introduces Bills to privatise public sector units like the Life Insurance Corporation of India. Maybe it also wants to gift pension funds for investment in the private sector subsequently. How long will the people tolerate this sort of heartlessness ?

Kasim Sait ChennaiPakistan

A.G. NOORANIS essay (Pakistans burden, January 16) is an insightful analysis of the India-Pakistan stand-off. The author dispels the misconception that there is no clear legal basis for international cooperation in investigating terror attacks. Even in the absence of a formal treaty, extradition can be sought in cases of hijacking, piracy and acts of terrorism. Pakistan should take proactive steps to cooperate with India.

V.K. Sathyavan Nair Kottayam, KeralaMumbai attack

THE first photograph accompanying the article Men of the hour (January 2) was stunningly eloquent. It speaks of the shock, grief, dignity and discipline of the whole nation even in times of distress. Kudos to the photographer and to Frontline for publishing it.

R.S. Pillai Kollam, KeralaANNOUNCEMENT

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