Karan Thapar in Chinese charms (Sunday Sentiments, April 11) rightly said that communist China has marched far ahead of democratic India. However, I feel that the freedom of expression is more important than glitzy highways and cities. In India, we suffer from the problem of having to deal with too many views and counter-views. It is true that this sometimes hampers the speed of our growth. Being slow, I believe, is far better than being controlled by some power-crazy leaders.
I agree with Karan Thapar’s views that Beijing is far better than Delhi in many aspects, but I feel that the democratic rights that we enjoy in our country are very important for our personal growth and development. The issue with India is not that we are a democracy but the fact that we almost always elect the wrong people to rule us. Instead of voting for the people on the basis of work done, we vote for people who seem to be powerful, and hence, capable of making a difference. China may have progressed a lot over the years, but the Indian government cannot be blamed alone for the country’s slow growth. We are also party to this mess.
Pearl Sahni, Bhopal
The untold stories
I enjoyed Indrajit Hazra’s column on the killing of the Central Reserve Police Force jawans in Dantewada ‘Not a very civil war (Red Herring, April 11). But what has the Union government done to curb Naxal violence after the attack in Chhattisgarh? The case of Binayak Sen’s imprisonment and release indicates that there is another side to the Naxal story that is not being told. There are allegations that mining resources are being given away to corporations at very low rates. But nothing is being given to the tribals who inhabit these resource-rich areas and need help. The media must investigate these stories. Why is it that all the tribal areas of India are under the Maoists?
Santanu Mitra, Canada
The Maoist issue reminds me of the stories of exploitation of the mineral-rich African States. It’s time the Union government probed the real problems that plague the tribal areas of the country. Taking action against the Maoists will not solve the problem. Home Minister P. Chidambaram can send in more forces and to finish off the Red Army, but the Indian government will find it difficult to get the support of the tribals.
Atul Bhardwaj, Gurgaon
Solve tribal problems
With reference to Vir Sanghvi’s article We have reached the turning point (Counterpoint, April 11), the Maoists could kill the CRPF jawans not only because they are adept in guerilla warfare but because they have local support. In a place where people have known nothing but exploitation, it’s only natural for them to give in to the demands of the Maoists.
Swapnil Pandey, via email
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