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Letters to the editor

Print edition : Mar 29, 2019 T+T-

Pulwama

THE ghastly killing of 40 CRPF personnel by a JeM suicide bomber has virtually extinguished the hope of steps being taken to normalise the strained bilateral relations between India and Pakistan (Cover Story, March 15). At a time when bilateral relations were being resuscitated through the new-found bonhomie in the form of Kartarpur Corridor diplomacy, it is unfortunate that the clock has again been turned back. Normalcy in ties can only be achieved if Pakistan adopts a zero-tolerance attitude towards outfits that carry out anti-India activities from its soil. The terror attacks also vindicate the Indian government’s position that diplomacy and terrorism cannot go hand in hand.

Isolating Pakistan internationally, imposing economic sanctions and carrying out surgical strikes are strategies India needs to adopt to proclaim that its security personnel can no longer be treated as sitting ducks by cross-border terrorists.

B. Suresh Kumar, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu

THE jingoism perpetrated by the Sangh Parivar in the aftermath of the attack in Pulwama is naked aggression on the rights of Kashmiris. The Sangh Parivar’s activities, such as its candlelight farces, will further polarise the situation across the country. In spite of being in power for the past 57 months, the Modi dispensation’s promise to resolve the Kashmir issue has come a cropper.

S. Murali, Vellore, Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu

THE article “Marriage of convenience” (March15) drove home the point that in electoral politics parties have no qualms about entering into opportunistic alliances. Going by the track records of the BJP and the Congress, the people of Tamil Nadu are aware that both parties will wield a night of the long knives once the election is over. These parties can only ride piggyback on the Dravidian parties, which are also happy to have them as allies to partake of power subsequently for their “ulterior prospects”.

The AIADMK is a rudderless ship and the DMK has to contend with a leadership deficit and dynastic overtones, and both parties are susceptible to attrition. The PMK is unable to come out of its communal approach, and the DMDK struggles to gain credibility. The MDMK is a spent force.

The mushroom growth of fringe political parties is inflicting aches and pains electorally, leaving the State’s voters in ceaseless confusion. One wonders whether this is the same Tamil Nadu that once had leaders like C. Rajagopalachari, K. Kamaraj and C.N. Annadurai.

B. Rajasekaran, Bengaluru

AAP

THIS is with reference to the article “Mixed bag” (March 15), which presented the reader with an analysis of the AAP government’s performance. Objective parameters should be valued while assessing performance. But it is equally important to deconstruct the context in which the performance was delivered. It is also desirable to not compare things that are incomparable. The AAP government’s real achievement lies in bringing into focus basic issues that previous governments had relegated to obscurity.

The AAP, as Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal often claims, has not been constituted to build a voter base or master electoral politics but to compel existing political parties to pay attention to the important issues that affect ordinary people. Health care and education had taken a back seat until the AAP arrived on the scene. The narrative is changing, and politicians who until recently spoke about irrelevant issues are now forced to talk about these basic issues even if it is only to criticise Kejriwal.

This is the AAP government’s greatest achievement.

Abhimanyu Sammy Sharma, Mumbai

Budget 2019

GIVEN this is an election year, it is no surprise that the Budget is politically motivated and aimed at wooing voters (Cover Story, March 1). However, one feels that the Budget is not thoughtless as it was made out to be.

There are three important takeaways in it. First, the minimum income of Rs.6,000 guaranteed for farmers was a welcome step as the Rythu Bandhu scheme implemented by the Telangana government has shown. Secondly, the Rs.5 lakh exemption limit will be a huge relief to the middle class. Thirdly, the provision of pension for those who work in the unorganised sector is a step in the right direction. This sector, which contributes about 50 per cent of the GDP and is regulated and monetised in several countries,has not been properly recognised so far in India.

This is a carefully crafted Budget that has something for all voters.

Vidhya B. Ragunath, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu

George Fernandes

Encomiums and expletives apart, George Fernandes was the unwavering flame that ignited the aspirations of the common man and the working class across the country as not many had done (“Man of extremes”, March 1). Calling him a bundle of contradictions is a bit uncharitable. He came up on his own with his socialistic credentials without the backing of casteist or religious groups. Although the fire in him mellowed over time, he remained a socialist to the core even when he broke bread with right-wing forces. He was a god who failed many, and maybe justifiably so. Nevertheless, in his heyday he was a saviour figure in the minds of crores of Indians.

Ayyasseri Raveendranath, Aranmula, Kerala