In his article Tank up for growth (The Poverty Line, August 14), Abhijit Banerjee questions the government's stand on fuel prices. However, his arguments don't hold water. He fails to realise that decontrolling fuel prices will have irrevocable consequences. Our farmers rely on diesel to run tractors and pumps for tilling and irrigation. An increase in its price will ultimately push up the prices of essential commodities thereby adding to the problem of price rise.
Suraj Yadav, Delhi
I agree with Banerjee that it is time for the government to decontrol fuel prices. However, the resulting surplus amount should not be used to fill the Congress's coffers. It should be used to bring down the prices of other commodities and to develop backward areas.
J.N. Mahanty, Puri
The media shows the way
Samar Halarnkar's article India's new Avatar (Maha Bharat, August 19) reaffirmed that in this day and age of 24x7 media, it's impossible for the government, in cahoots with multinational companies, to get away with duping people. The tribals in Orissa sold their land to Vedanta hoping that this would lead to their state's development and create more job opportunities. However, they were cheated and rendered jobless. Congratulations to Halarnkar for making readers aware of the various national problems.
Rishi Anand, via email
In tune with its master
Shekhar Iyer's report The deal behind the Bill (August 19) proved that there are no rules in politics. The Congress is misusing the CBI to make its political rivals toe its line. First, it got chargesheets filed against UP Chief Minister Mayawati and Lalu Prasad in the disproportionate assets case to get their support in the cut motions on the price rise. This is an unhealthy trend and goes against our democratic spirit.
Ashish Rai, via email
A fairweather friend
Timothy J. Roemer writes in We're in this together (August 18) that India and the US are natural allies. The truth is that for Washington, self-interest is more important than the concerns of its allies. America's silence on Kashmir, its military and financial assistance to Pakistan, its refusal to allow Indians full access to David Headley and its stern visa policy for our employees all confirm that the US only pretends to be our ally. The Indo-US relationship is need-driven and it is incorrect to state that the two share common ideals.
R.J. Khurana, Bhopal
The bathwater, not the baby
It's difficult to agree with Saurav Jha's views, as stated in his article Atomic noughts and crosses (August 18). Jha argues that an increase in the liability cap for suppliers and nuclear plant operators will increase the cost of electricity. While there might be some truth to his argument, the fact remains that we cannot risk millions of lives only to keep power prices in check. Haven't we learnt any lessons from the 1984 Bhopal tragedy, whose victims are still struggling to get compensation from the government?
R.K. Malhotra, Delhi
Samar Halarnkar's article India's new Avatar (Maha Bharat, August 19) incorrectly states that the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) is a part of the opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA). The former had snapped ties with the NDA in March 2009. We regret the error.