A LAW that specifically prohibits all caste panchayats should be enacted to eradicate honour killings (Cover Story, August 28). Simultaneously, the statutory panchayati raj system should be strengthened and its constitutional writ enforced. Otherwise, the existing feudal vested interests in the countryside will continue to exploit rural backwardness.Kasim Sait ChennaiCorazon Aquino
THERE can be no doubt that Corazon Aquino was the brains behind the people power revolution in 1986 (Icon of democracy, August 28). She made an indelible impression in the minds and hearts of people not only in the Philippines but also all over the world. Whether one agreed with her or not, it is clear that nobody could ignore her.B. Jambulingam Thanjavur, Tamil NaduGlobal warming
MANY people do not realise the seriousness of global warming (The climate impasse, August 28). It is far more serious than the global economic crisis. With the probable exemption of a world war, a huge asteroid strike or an outbreak of a fatal disease, global warming is the disaster most likely to damage the health of our planet.S. Raghunatha Prabhu Alappuzha, KeralaDefence
IT is interesting that the Pakistan Navy issued a statement bemoaning Indias launch of INS Arihant as a move that would trigger an arms race in the region (Nuclear arm, August 28). In fact, the submarine has been in development for more than three decades. With a series of tests lined up before it, INS Arihant is yet to try out its sea-legs.P. Arihanth HyderabadIndia-Pakistan
THE Cover Story (The way forward, August 14) was both interesting and insightful. Manmohan Singh has not only undermined and weakened our position but also allowed Pakistan to keep its options open with regard to the demolishing of the terrorism infrastructure on its soil. The joint statement is going to haunt India for a long time to come. One hopes that Pakistan will not betray our trust and will deliver on its promise of not letting its territory be used for terror attacks against India.K.R. Srinivasan Secunderabad
I BELIEVE the commitment to restore the composite dialogue process has brought complete ignominy to the martyrs of 26/11. Whatever argument is used to justify Manmohan Singhs act, I feel his attempt, at this point of time, is something to be scoffed at. This drives us to believe that stalling negotiations with Pakistan was merely a pre-election stunt of the UPA.Tathagata Ghosh KolkataHooch tragedy
GUJARATS prohibition policy has led to the rise of gangs dealing in alcohol (Liquor deaths, August 14). The hooch tragedy in July in Ahmedabad, the citys worst since 1980, when 120 people died in the same neighbourhood, proves that there is a strong link between the police and the bootleggers. Every now and then, there are reports of some small-time bootlegger being nabbed and prosecuted. It is rare that a major operator is caught. The only way to save people from illicit alcohol is to make bootlegging non-profitable. It is for the administration to figure out how.Vinod C. Dixit AhmedabadElection code
THE essay A code for excess (August 14) was timely. Gone are the days when the service motto was supreme for those who contested elections. Tackling the common mans problems and fulfilling election promises are not priorities. A total revamping of the election process is needed to ensure that the elected government truly reflects the will of the people.
G.L. Panchashrit Reddy Nizamabad, Andhra PradeshPublic banks
THE manner in which the Indian Banking Association acted towards almost 10 lakh public sector bankers is a matter of grave concern (Strike notice, August 14). The proposed merger of banks is another serious issue. It cannot be applied to the subsidiaries of State Bank of India and other nationalised banks as their business model is distinct from that of the regional rural banks. The IBA must opt for an amicable solution taking into consideration the genuine demands of the bank unions. The splendid performance of public sector banks in these adverse times and the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission report in various government departments makes the bankers demands justifiable.Atul Kumar Thakur Ghaziabad, U.P.Party affairs
THE removal of Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan from the Polit Bureau may not end the factionalism in the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (Tightening the reins, August 14). The partys strength in the Lok Sabha was reduced almost by half in the general elections. Now, it will have to face Assembly elections in its strongholds of West Bengal and Kerala. Will it be able to take the required corrective steps in time?A. Jacob Sahayam ThiruvananthapuramDelhi metro
THE occurrence of two accidents in two days at the Metro railway construction site in Delhi has shaken peoples confidence in the safety of the metro (Metro crash, August 14). A metro system above the surface takes up road space and so increases traffic congestion. It also spoils the citys beauty and may not be environment-friendly. The solution is simple: Have all metro tracks underground. The steep costs of underground construction could be recovered by the issue of public bonds and by raising the fare a little.Mahesh Kapasi New DelhiThe Nilgiris
I VISITED the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, the Silent Valley National Park and the Nilambur teak plantation as a forest officer trainee in 2007 (A walk in the clouds, August 14). The article brought back wonderful memories of this beautiful place. The experience of the area is unforgettable. Thanks a lot for publishing the article.Phalguni Sarathi Mallick Bhubaneswar, OrissaHigher education
THE Cover Story on deemed universities (University Inc., July 17) was comprehensive and well researched. Most of these universities are mere money-making institutions, and it is high time the government stepped in to regulate them to save thousands of unsuspecting students and parents.Ranvijay S. Yadav Pune
THREE or four decades ago, there were State-level universities only in the capital and in major cities. Now, every village will have a university and an engineering college. We will get an education, no doubt, but of questionable quality. The rise in the number of universities and colleges is probably linked to politicians interest in them. The government should go in for co-opted universities with quality education. But government universities will be bogged down in corruption and deemed/private universities will expect donations. Kapil Sibal should get all the facts and find a way to ensure value-added education.B.P. Pereira Madurai, Tamil NaduANNOUNCEMENT
Letters, whether by surface mail or e-mail, must carry the full postal address and the full name, or the name with initials.