ParisTHE Cover Story (December 11) was truly heart-rending. The synchronised terror attacks in Paris point to the deep entrenchment of the Islamic State’s (I.S.) tentacles of terror across the world. The I.S. has now become a force to reckon with and is an international threat. While the massacre of innocent civilians is an unpardonable crime, this is a typical case of sowing the wind and reaping the whirlwind. It is a wake-up call to those Western countries whose misadventures primarily in countries such as Iraq have been instrumental in the meteoric rise of the I.S.
Suresh Kumar, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
TERROR in Paris and other places cannot ensure peace and amity in the so-called Islamic states. Fundamentally, one cannot create an Islamic state through terrorism, which the I.S. is trying to do. Meanwhile, it is incurring the wrath and displeasure of countries that want peace.
G. Azeemoddin, Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh
THE Paris attacks clearly prove that almost all countries have fallen prey to terrorism and that the international community is fast losing the strength to tackle the menace. However, this is time to continue the fight against it.
P. Senthil Saravana Durai, Vazhavallan, Tamil Nadu
THE attacks right in the heart of Paris demonstrate that the scourge of terrorism is growing and that terrorists retain their capacity to attack any place in the world. The emergence of the I.S. as a potent terror outfit is an ominous sign. France has been on the terror radar ever since the attack on “Charlie Hebdo” and for its role in Syria.
The attacks bore chilling similarities to the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. The time has come for the international community to fight terrorism with full force. However, any action against the I.S. that excludes the Syrian government is fraught with a lot of uncertainties.
J. Anantha Padmanabhan, Tiruchi, Tamil Nadu
Uniform civil code
MOST Hindus are of the view that India’s efforts, after Partition, to integrate Muslims into society have not been very successful mainly because of the absence of a uniform civil code (“Zeal and poor scholarship”, December 11). Many amendments have been made to laws pertaining to Hindus but not in the case of laws applicable to the religious minorities. Having separate legal codes and personal laws for people of different religions and communities is a relic of colonial times and has only served to sharpen the schisms in society. Such a thing would be unacceptable in any other part of the world. Personal laws should be scrapped and all Indians should be brought within the ambit of a common set of civil laws.
H.N. Ramakrishna, Bengaluru
NEUTRINOS interact so weakly with matter that it is impossible to track them through experiments alone, so there is no way even to check whether they are moving or staying put (“On the neutrino trail”, December 11). The light particle, or photon, is supposed to be always moving and never stays put.
In physics, there are only so many different ways of shedding energy. People who are knowledgeable about science are likely to take the current neutrino stories with a pinch of salt.
T.M. Jayaraman, Palakkad, Kerala
AS the legendary leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party swept the historic elections in Myanmar, it is clear that the people of that country want democracy and are fed up with military rule (“Halfway to democracy”, December 11). Given the country’s turbulent history, this election and its momentous verdict are a happy augury.
As five decades of military rule saw an increase in ethnic politics with little development, the new government faces a serious challenge. There will also be growing external pressure on Myanmar to sort out the issue of the Rohingya Muslims. Suu Kyi needs to play her cards well to keep the army and religious and ethnic groups happy to enable the smooth functioning of the government.
K.R. Srinivasan, Secunderabad, Telangana
THE Myanmar election was free and fair, and not surprisingly, Suu Kyi’s party won. People have reposed their faith in her leadership. Many challenges await the new government. It has no choice but to work with the junta and share power for years. The internal challenges such asthe plight of ethnic minorities and insurgency in some parts of the country will have to be attended to quickly. A constitutional amendment is needed before Suu Kyi can become President.
Myanmar is one of the least developed countries in the region though it is rich in natural resources. China has already established its presence there, and India should render developmental aid to the new government. Road and rail connectivity with Myanmar needs to be strengthened for better movement of people and exchange of goods.
D.B.N. Murthy, Bengaluru
THE article “Contested legacy” (December 11) expounded the facts relating to Tipu Sultan. Unless one explores the past with impartiality, the rationale behind things that were then considered right and are now termed wrong cannot be understood. By any reckoning, Tipu’s valour against the British was the prototype of the Indian freedom movement, expressing as it did the right for liberty and resistance against British colonialism. Society does not gain even a modicum of good by refusing to accept historical realities. The divisive attempts of religious bigots will impede the development of the nation.
B. Rajasekaran, Bengaluru
THE allocation of funds and the implementation of the Swachh Bharat Mission programme have been tardy (“Tardy progress”, December 11). Even today in some villages, people have to travel long distances to fetch a pot of drinking water. In such a situation, provision of water for toilets is impossible. The community toilets maintained by private agencies are not only costly but also filthy. Hence, it would be better if the government itself constructed community toilets and collected minimal user charges. Those without jobs could be employed to maintain them and keep them clean.
T.S.N. Rao, Bhimvaram, Andhra Pradesh
THE unexpected mega Diwali gift of 178 seats from Bihar’s voters to the Grand Alliance headed by the never-say-die Janata Dal (U) leader Nitish Kumar and the inimitable Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Lalu Prasad was because of the high prices of pulses, the unwarranted beef controversy and the growing culture of intolerance (Cover Story, November 27. The BJP could have avoided digging its own grave in Bihar had it not ignored the rumblings in the party. It is hard to believe that the financial assistance that Prime Minister Modi announced for the State turned out to be a non-performing asset for the BJP in Bihar. The party needs to introspect before it faces State elections due next year.
K.P. Rajan, Mumbai
THE Cover Story (November 13) gave a thorough analysis of the Supreme Court judgment that struck down the 99th Constitution Amendment Act and the NJAC Act and the reasons for the formation of the collegium system. The media played a pivotal role in highlighting the shortcomings of this system. Owing to public debate, the apex court has now directed the government and other stakeholders to put forth their suggestions to ensure judicial primacy and transparency in the collegium’s functioning.
P. Rajan, Thalassery, Kerala
THE article “Fighting intolerance” (November 13) was informative. I agree with the many famous writers across India who have returned their awards. Writers are not individuals but are the voice of thousands of Indians. From the beginning of its rule, the new government has tried hard to deprive Indians of their independence, and its communal activities are obstructing our right of freedom of expression.
Mujeeb Rahman N.K., Adakkaputhur, Kerala