THERE can be no justification for the massacre of children. Are terrorist organisations worried that if children get educated, they will not join them? This is a wake-up call for Pakistan: both the government and the military need to stop using terror as a tool of state policy.
Deendayal M. Lulla
INSTEAD of fighting with each other, India and Pakistan should target the Taliban together. They will certainly win the war. But this is wishful thinking. In my assessment, the two-nation theory has already led to the loss of 10 million lives, most of them women and children.
THE cold-blooded massacre of 132 children has once again exposed the true colours of the Taliban, savages of the modern era. The incident was a perfect example of sowing the wind and reaping the whirlwind. It should be a wake-up call for Pakistan. It needs to desist from aiding militants in their acts against its neighbours, especially India.
B. Suresh Kumar
Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
THE article “Roots of terror” traced terrorist violence to the policies of the U.S. and its allies during the days of the Cold War. The terrorist violence intensified by Pakistan, however, has different origins. The creation of Pakistan was unnatural and was forced on a mostly unwilling majority of the Indian population. The formation of Bangladesh proved that the two-nation theory was a political blunder. Pakistan, as expected, became an Islamic republic, where fundamentalism was given top priority to counterbalance India’s secularism and socialism. The hostilities resulted in full-scale wars. Having tasted defeat after defeat, Pakistan took to terrorism.
Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh
ORGANISATIONS such as the Vishwa Hindu Parishad are harming India’s secular ethos (“Project Hindutva”, January 9). Their reconversion activities are promoting communal disharmony. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence on this issue is a cause of concern. He should adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards reconversion activities if found illegal.
Members of Modi’s party and Cabinet must listen to his election campaign speeches in which he focussed only on economic development. Now, because of the outlandish and communally provocative remarks made by some members of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Modi’s promise of development seems to have been a facade. He should comment on this controversy to dispel the fear of the citizens; otherwise, his image will be tarnished.
SUCCESSIVE governments in Pakistan encouraged fundamentalists, and look at Pakistan’s plight: torn apart by terrorist attacks. If fundamentalists in India are allowed a free hand,this country, too, will face what Pakistan is now facing. This should be avoided at any cost by putting a moratorium on any form of religious conversions. Why should ascetics such as Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti and Sakshi Maharaj rub shoulders with the nation’s lawmakers when their rightful place is in a hermitage enjoying spiritual solitude.
NO state or anyone else has the right to intervene in religion as it is a personal affair. Force of any kind is to be deplored. Those who are involved in mass religious conversions may be doing so for political reasons. Some people change their religion to take advantage of government benefits. Therefore, the best course of action is to abolish all benefits to special classes of people and provide infrastructure to help the poor come up in life. It is best if people understand and accept the religion into which they are born.
THE stories relating to the reconversion controversy give one the impression that the Constitution allows people the freedom to convert from Hinduism to other faiths and gives Christian missionaries permission to convert tribal and uneducated people to Christianity but does not allow anyone the freedom to convert to Hinduism or permit Hindu organisations to carry out conversions. Conversions by missionaries is an almost daily occurrence. But, sadly, no political party or the press ever consider it a controversy. In the absence of a fair treatment of issues, Frontline’s coverage of Hindu organisations looks motivated.
Duggaraju Srinivasa Rao
Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh
THE Cover Story “Method in madness” (December 26) gave a detailed account of communalisation in the nation. For the past decade, right-wing groups have been projecting even Bhagat Singh, a card-carrying member of the Communist Party of India, and Subhas Chandra Bose, a left-wing nationalist, as their “own leaders”.
The decline of the Left in India and the rise of communalism is likely to strengthen the Hindu Right though the majority of non-partisan Hindus would like to follow that brand of Hinduism which believes in tolerating all faiths and whose first holy book, the Rg Veda, boldly proclaims: “Let noble thoughts come from every side.” It is this brand of Hinduism that resulted in people belonging to some of the most persecuted faiths of the world, such as Judaism, Zoroastrianism and Bahaism, finding refuge and solace in Hindu-majority India. Whatever be the propaganda, the majority of Hindus would still prefer their religion to be secular and egalitarian.