Letters to the Editor

Published : May 10, 2017 12:30 IST

Reckless Trump

trump letters

WARMONGERING and military interventions have escalated unprecedently in different parts of the world ever since Donald Trump ascended to power in the United States (Cover Story, May 12). The U.S. attacked Syria and Afghanistan on the pretext of rooting out the Islamic State. The responsibility to effectively counter the global threat posed by the I.S. rests on all civilised nations of the world under the leadership of the United Nations. However, the U.S. has unilaterally and selectively indulged in military action against countries perceived to be its adversaries.

As rightly pointed out, the selective attacks seem to be more of an attempt by Trump to remain politically relevant than to solve conflicts. However, the U.S. under Trump appears to be isolated in the international arena, with its allies Britain and France giving it the cold shoulder.

With war clouds gathering over North Korea, the U.S. needs to remind itself that its military misadventures had proved counterproductive in Iraq and Afghanistan. India needs to mobilise world opinion in this regard.

B. Suresh Kumar, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu


FILE - In this Sept. 23, 2016, file photo provided by the Syrian Civil Defense group known as the White Helmets, a destroyed ambulance is seen outside the Syrian Civil Defense main center after airstrikes in Ansari neighborhood in the rebel-held part of eastern Aleppo, Syria. With its missile strike on Shayrat Airbase in central Syria, Washington signaled that it had judged President Bashar Assad responsible for the horrific chemical weapons attack in north Syria that drew international outrage last week. But it is not the first or even deadliest atrocity of the war. (Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP, File)

THE cruise missile strikes on a Syrian airbase in response to the Syrian regime’s gas attack on civilians in the rebel-held Idlib province undoubtedly marks a change in Donald Trump’s foreign policy since he assumed office (“Syrian quagmire”, May 12). The U.S. President, who in the recent past campaigned on the “America first” platform to avoid conflicts, has now intervened in Syria’s intractable civil war.

Despite the Obama government’s desire to root out the Bashar al-Assad government, the U.S. desisted from military action only to reiterate its focus on the campaign against the I.S. and avoid confrontation with Russia, which is backing the Syrian government. According to Trump, the Obama administration’s failure to draw a “red line” against the use of chemical weapons is responsible for Assad’s “heinous actions”.

Buddhadev Nandi, Bankura, West Bengal

THE missile strike on Syria on the pretext of Syria having used chemical weapons on its own citizens is a tactic by the U.S. President to deflect attention from Russia’s role in the recently concluded U.S. presidential election. An exercise for regime change in Syria failed. Russia is playing a vital role in global affairs, as its predecessor, the Soviet Union, did in the past. There is space for cooperation between the U.S. and Russia, and the Russian cargo spaceship routinely makes supplies to the U.S. space station. Both these superpowers should work together for the betterment of Syria instead of one attempting regime change and the other trying to save it.

Deendayal M. Lulla, Mumbai

Turmoil in the Valley

LARGE-SCALE violence has become a routine in Jammu and Kashmir (“Simmering Valley”, May 12). The facts that polling and repolling in the Srinagar Lok Sabha election drew a poor response from voters and that the Anantnag Lok Sabha election was postponed because of disturbed conditions indicate the people’s opposition to the democratic process of voting.

Most voters played safe by heeding the boycott call while a minuscule number of them dared to exercise their franchise despite threats and intimidation. This is nothing but a failure of democracy.

Social media is being targeted by the government with occasional shutdowns of the Internet services in the Valley. Unfortunately, the Centre’s rigid stand of “no talks with separatists” has made matters worse.

The Army’s large-scale combing operations in the rural areas in some districts of Kashmir do not seem to have yielded results. Thousands of innocent villagers are harassed and their houses ransacked during such operations, which have alienated the public from the government. It is time the Centre and the State governments realised that something drastic needed to be done to win back the confidence of the people.

D.B.N. Murthy, Bengaluru

Cow vigilantism

THE article “Vigilante on the prowl” (May 12) reveals the social conditions in India in the midst of much-hyped claims of economic development. A poor farmer was not able to transport the cattle he bought despite having valid records of purchase and has lost his life at the hands of hooligans. Such incidents are being perpetrated by the BJP and its affiliates in various pockets of the country. The culprits move around freely with the connivance of the rulers. Modi’s studied silence on such occasions does encourage the communal elements to take the law into their own hands more vehemently than ever before.


Babri Masjid trial

FRENZIED kar sevaks under the aegis of leaders such as L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharati demolishing the Babri Masjid is an unfortunate chapter in the history of modern India (“Time for trial”, May 12).

Since then the tentacle of communal frenzy has spread across the country to the advantage of the BJP and other right-wing organisations. However, it is laudable that the Supreme Court has revived the case and summoned the accused for a trial to examine their role in the conspiracy, albeit after a lapse of 25 years.

Political morality demands that both Kalyan Singh and Uma Bharati step down from their respective positions. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s stoic silence over this development is surprising.




Salem. Tamil Nadu 17/04/2017:mettur dam drought.

IT is disturbing to see the drought conditions in the southern States such as Tamil Nadu (“Drought diagnostics”, May 12). It is always crucial and important to be prepared for the vagaries of the monsoon.

Countries the world over must draw up strategies and pump in money to tackle the threats posed by climate change to the earth and the environment.


Terracotta horses


TIRUCHI : TAMILNADU : 05/02/2017: Puravi Eduppu Festival : Votive offerings of terracotta horses at Ayyanar Temple deep inside a scrub jungle at Kulamangalam village in Pudukottai district.Photo: B.Velankanni Raj

THE article “Horses of a little tradition” (May 12) was a befitting tribute to the unsung heroes who have preserved the age-old terracotta culture in Tamil Nadu. In modern times when artists are facing neglect, it is imperative that the Central and the State governments come out with policies to keep this culture alive for posterity. Steps are also needed to restore the weather-worn terracotta figurines in the scrub jungles near villages across Tamil Nadu.

Anil Kumar Yadav, Gangtok

Attack against Africans


Demonstrators shout slogans as they carry placards during a protest organised by Democratic Youth Federation of India against last month's attacks on Nigerian students in a Delhi suburb, in Mumbai, India April 3, 2017. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade

THE brutal and barbaric attack on unarmed and hapless Nigerian students in Noida was heartbreaking (“Targeting Africans”, April 28). How on earth can we condemn the growing racial violence against Indians in the U.S. and Australia when we are practising racial violence unashamedly in India? Taking the law into one’s own hands and behaving like hooligans is not a civilised way to deal with foreign students who are our guests.

K.P. Rajan, Mumbai

THE attack on African nationals in Greater Noida points to our racial attitude. The basic reason for this racial prejudice is the lack of understanding of “other” cultures. In the recent past, efforts made by political parties to polarise society on the basis of caste, religion and race could have further catalysed this trend. The incident has definitely tarnished the image of India among foreign nations.

With reasonable standards of education which is relatively cheaper and its liberal democratic values, India has the potential to become an educational hub in South Asia and could attract students from other Asian countries and Africa. Further, if the “Make in India” campaign becomes successful, we can expect technical experts from all cultures to work in India. India needs to promote the country’s liberal and progressive image to attract both students and industrial experts to come and contribute to its much-needed economic growth.

Jiju Thomas, New Delhi


THE Aadhaar scheme based on biometric data has reduced the citizen to a robot and an automaton (“Aadhaar Invasion”, April 28). While the scheme may not eliminate fake records of identity, fingerprint patterns can change in the first five years of life. A third of the country’s population is below 15 years.

The Aadhaar could become a convenient tool in the hands of the state to spy on its citizens, restricting their right to privacy and pursuit of happiness. This is particularly so when an authoritarian state unleashes tax terrorism even on senior citizens who do not get pension or healthcare benefits. It is almost death if you do not have Aadhaar, because the state will deny you subsidies, benefits or services.

Indeed, the Big Brother nightmare of George Orwell’s “1984” is becoming a reality under the BJP.

Kangayam R. Narasimhan, Chennai

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