Vir Sanghvi, in The rampaging elephant (Counterpoint, December 7), has rightly stated that the illogical and unfocused manner in which Mumbaikars showed their anger in the aftermath of the 26/11 attacks revealed their impotence. Everyone has the right to express anger but calls to boycot elections or refuse to pay taxes are not just absurd but also counterproductive. If we do not vote, no tangible change will take place. Non-payment of taxes will only take away the safety net of the poor. Sanghvi’s solution — “the only way to fight terrorism is through covert operations and better intelligence” — is spot on.
Bhaskar Sen, via email
Mumbaikars, especially the upper- and middle-classes, went a little overboard with their anger. But aren’t these the very people who do not come out to vote? That would be one way to change the system.
GK Arora, Delhi
If allowed allowed to spread, the elite’s anger will affect the poor as well. This could lead to anarchy across the country at a time when we are getting ready to elect a new government. We must understand that politicians alone are not responsible for terrorism. It is also the result of misguided anger and frustration.
N Nagarajan, Secunderabad
As Vir Sanghvi points out, a direct war with Pakistan is not possible. The US will not allow it and we must accept that. Practically too, it will not provide any lasting solutions. The only option to check terrorism is to completely overhaul our intelligence system. The local police must be trained and equipped with sophisticated weapons. India has the money, what is needed is the will and determination to act.
Harish Benjwal, New Delhi
Anger is a precursor to change, as Vir Sanghvi rightly says, and must be used constructively to counter terrorism. Sanghvi is also right in that the only way to fight terrorism is through covert operations and better intelligence. But our intelligence agencies were aware that such an attack would take place. Still, nothing was done. This suggests a systemic failure.
Divya Gupta, Jamshedpur
Apropos Karan Thapar’s ‘Memories and a Promise’ (December 7), I wish to focus on the incongruity and downright irrelevance of what he pines for vis-a-vis the hotels Taj and Oberoi. The greater majority of India does not identify with the grandeur and exclusivity associated with these symbols of capitalism. Can an Indian student really afford the luxury of sitting around in the Taj to finish a book? A person living in lesser circumstances will find Thapar’s misplaced nostalgia hard to swallow.
Aditya Sihag, Cambridge, UK