KOSOVO is not ready for independence (Kosovo walks out, March 28). In the interest of maintaining North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military bases in Kosovo to act against a resurgent Russia, the United States and the European Union are creating a very dangerous precedent by illegally creating a Greater Albania, which will irreversibly damage relations and global stability. Kosovos illegal independence will encourage some 200 separatist movements the world over by demonstrating that terrorists can alter the borders of sovereign nations by force.Michael Pravica Henderson, Nevada (U.S.)Union Budget
IN his Budget, the Finance Minister announced a relief package worth Rs.60,000 crore for farmers (Cover Story, March 28). How will this package be funded? It is strange that relief for farmers should come at the cost of their own development. Had these loans been recovered, the money might have been used for the benefit of farmers by way of providing more electricity to farm operations, improving the irrigation system and communication facilities.Pankaj Hajra Bardhaman, W.B.Organs of state
LOK SABHA Speaker Somnath Chatterjee rightly and justly emphasises the need for harmonious functioning of the three organs of the state by maintaining their institutional balance and boundaries under the Constitution (Nothing greater than people, March 28).V.K. Sathyavan Nair Kottayam, KeralaCaste bias
THE humiliating practice of the two-tumbler system has come into focus through the article Tumblers of bias (March 28). The Tamil Nadu Untouchability Eradication Front has done a commendable job in highlighting the social malady through a survey, especially when the State bureaucracy asserts that untouchability has been totally eradicated.
The punishments given to Dalits who disobey the edicts of caste Hindus are shocking. In a village called Thinniyam, Dalit youth were compelled to eat human excreta. Often, Dalit families face social boycott. They cannot buy provisions from shops or receive things from anyone in the village. In short, their social as well as domestic life is made bitter. The condition of Dalit women is worse. Whenever there is a caste clash, Dalit women face sexual assaults. They suffer from malnutrition and are paid low wages.B. Ranjani Madurai, Tamil NaduChola art
THE article Chola marvels along with the beautiful photographs of ancient temples such as the famous Brihadisvara temple of Thanjavur, was attractive (March 28). It reminded me of Kalki Krishnamurthys immortal classics such as Ponniyin Selvan and Parthiban Kanavu, which dealt with the history of the Chola kings, Rajaraja Chola I, Parthiban and his son Vikraman. If the 25-part series is combined and published in the form of a book, it will help teachers, students as well as readers who are interested in Indian art and architecture.S. Balakrishnan JamshedpurPakistan
THE decision of the Pakistan Muslim League (N) to share power with the Pakistan Peoples Party is great not only for the people of the country but for the entire subcontinent (Democratic experience, March 14). Both parties have shown an inclination to resolve their differences and to work together for a stable democracy. Now the time has come for President Pervez Musharraf to step down.Sabir Ali Aligarh, U.P.Fidel Castro
THE Cover Story article The practical moralist by Aijaz Ahmad was timely and deserves praise (March 14). Fidel Castro is indeed an unflinching idealist who built up modern Cuba without recourse to any external aid. He showed that a nation can feed its people despite the absence of multinational corporations. He has set a good precedent that some developing countries aspiring to embrace American imperialism would do well to emulate.Arun Kasaraguppe Shimoga, Karnataka
THE fact that Castro made his brother his successor makes one wonder whether he drew his inspiration from Indian politicians.V.V. Prabhu Thevally, KeralaCORRECTION
In the article "Taxing prices" (March14), ATF stands for "aviation turbine fuel", not "automatic transmission fluid" as published.ANNOUNCEMENT
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