Vir Sanghvi in Saying sorry isn't enough (Counterpoint, April 12) has candidly observed that by fielding Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar as its parliamentary candidates, the Congress has stirred up a hornet's nest. Both leaders are associated in public memory, whether rightly or wrongly, as having played a role in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Now, with the CBI giving the Tytler-Kumar duo a clean chit, Sikh fury has been rekindled. The gory incidents of 1984 still rankle with the community despite the Congress leaving no stone unturned to mollify it, even choosing a Prime Minister from this community. But the past, unless redressed suitably, comes back to haunt all those concerned.
Azhar A. Khan, Lucknow
Changing the decision on the candidature of Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar after a journalist threw a shoe at the Home Minister seems farcical. It reflects the Congress Party's weakness and inability to take a bold stand like the BJP and RSS have done in the past. Saying sorry most definitely is not enough.
Mahtab Ahmad Tikthi, Aligarh
Vir Sanghvi is right that saying sorry is no compensation for those who lost their near and dear ones in the 1984 riots in which about 3,000 Sikhs lost their lives. It is, therefore, essential to make sure that such despicable acts are never allowed to happen again. In fact, people with criminal backgrounds should not be encouraged by political parties. Both the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and 2002 Godhra killings led to serious allegations against the partisan functioning of the police. The penal code needs to be revised to expedite trials within a defined timeframe. Unless such steps are taken, there is no guarantee that 1984 and Godhra will not happen again.
B.P. Nailwal, Dehradun
Still caste in stone
With reference to Indrajit Hazra's article Young voters? Old hat (Red Herring, April 12), the experience of the Delhi University Students Union elections in recent years is not encouraging. The vote percentage continues to be low and caste is a predominant factor in nominating students by the youth wings of parties. Unfortunately, no one from the minorities is nominated.
D.R. Gulati, via email
I agree with Indrajit Hazra's views that the hype that has been generated regarding the importance of youth voting in the upcoming elections is superficial and inconsequential. In the form of 'youth', the political parties, media and the so-called 'elders' of the country have found a nice scapegoat to put all the blame upon. But the age group (18-35 years) generally consists of a confused lot who are yet to find their own feet in this unforgiving world. the youth first need to be re-shown the way to become ideal citizens. But the mental muddle of the elders has diverted them from the right path as well. So, how can they show the correct way to GenNext?
Tejas Kale, via email
Wealth by stealth
Manas Chakravarty in Many hidden talents (Loose Canon, April 12) brings out not only the many hidden talents but also the methods of creative accounting that portray politicians as poor and without a home or a car. It is the politicians and religious leaders who seem recession-proof at a time when the whole world is suffering from financial insecurity. They seem to be bucking the trend by increasing their wealth, if not by themselves then through their kith and kin. Instead of being in Parliament, they should be heading the bourses on Wall Street or Geneva to teach a trick or two to the financial whiz kids there.
H.N. Ramakrishna, Bangalore
A taxing problem
I am glad that Karan Thapar in Disarming charm (Sunday Sentiments, April 12) has endorsed the promises made to the defence personnel by the BJP in its election manifesto. But I think that on joining the defence forces, one seems to lose one's fundamental rights under the Indian Constitution. Serving defence personnel cannot form associations like other services. There is no forum where they can be represented to formulate their points of view, hence they are not considered parallel to any other service.
Shivraj Kumar, Delhi
The promise made by the BJP in its manifesto to exempt all defence personnel from income tax is not wise. The party must have some formula to cover the deficit. But then if the party does have a magic formula, tax exemption should be evenly extended to all sectors of services to avoid resentment later on. It would be better to redesign tax slabs and give relief to the salaried class. Thapar has rightly pointed out several other professions that could incur risk during the discharge of duties.
Rakesh Yadav, Gurgaon