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Don’t phase out autos. Instead, whip the auto drivers into shape

india Updated: Mar 21, 2010 20:57 IST
Hindustan Times
auto permits

Don’t phase out autos. Instead, whip the auto drivers into shape
The report Govt looks for new modes of transport (March 18) made for interesting reading. Travelling in Delhi’s autorickshaws can be daunting for first-timers. It’s undeniable that autos are a lifeline for the capital’s commuters. The Delhi government is to blame for auto drivers openly flouting rules and behaving rudely with commuters. It did not take timely action against them. Instead of phasing out autos or finding alternative modes of transport, the government should whip auto drivers into shape. To begin with, it should be strict in issuing auto permits.
Mahesh Kapasi, Delhi

Losing the war against Naxalism
KumKum Dasgupta’s article Collateral damage (March 19) presents an authentic account of the State’s apathy towards Maoist-sympathisers. As a Jharkhand-based academician, I have come across various Abhijnans and Sadanands in many college campuses. The educated youth of Jharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh empathise with Maoist policies because they’re tired of harassment by the security forces. Noted sociologists agree that police brutality can make it difficult for the State to counter Naxalism. They have also suggested the state government and the Centre to refrain from harassing innocents.
Ramesh Sinha, via email

Ground beneath our feet
With reference to Gopalkrishna Gandhi’s article Richter’s lessons lost (Incidentally, March 13), India hasn’t become vulnerable to earthquakes overnight. Everyone, including the government, knows that the entire Himalayan belt falls in a high seismic zone. Every day innumerable low-intensity quakes affect various areas but do not cause any noticeable damage. But the ones with high magnitude, like those that struck Latur, Gujarat and Haiti, show how damaging earthquakes can be. Unlike hurricanes, it is tough to either predict earthquakes or measure their intensity before they occur. But the government can take preventive measures to ensure minimal damage?
K.V. Krishnan, Delhi

A need to review Indo-US ties
David Headley, the mastermind of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, has pleaded guilty before the American authorities to escape the death sentence and extradition to India (David Headley pleads guilty, March 19). Headley was once a CIA agent and the US couldn’t have been unaware of his visits to Pakistan, Dubai and India. Unconfirmed reports even state that the CIA had information on the Mumbai attacks but it did not share it with India. Such unethical behaviour should make the Indian government review its relationship with the US.
O.P. Tandon, via email

Well begun but half done
Fareed Zakaria’s article Stay on the treadmill (March 16) presents a clear picture of the present state of US-Pak relations. Though the recent arrests/killings of terrorists in Pakistan may be ascribed to President Barack Obama’s far-sighted foreign policy, it would be naive to ignore the fact that Islamabad is yet to act against bigger terror groups
operating on its soil.
Omprakash Dash, Delhi

Misinterpreting ground realities
Samar Halarnkar in Invoking Invictus (Maha Bharat, March 18) displays great ignorance on the ground realities in Jammu and Kashmir and the North-east. No soldier will misuse the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act for the army probes each case against its men. Unlike the judiciary, the Indian Army is not corrupt and doesn’t hesitate to punish the guilty. Halarnkar should realise that using a Hollywood movie to misinterpret reality is unjustified.
Ramachandran Mahesh, Delhi