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Holding the hills to ransom

Apropos of the editorial Mountain out of a hill agitation (June 17), the first priority for the West Bengal government should be to avert bloodshed in the hills.

india Updated: Jun 17, 2008 22:17 IST

Apropos of N. Chandra Mohan’s article Fix the drip (June 17), is there any comparison between the US and India? In spite of the Bush-Cheney duo shooting down proposals for green technology, 39 out of 50 states in America have gone in for green technology. Venture capitalists are funding research in new and alternative fuel options. Even Australia is going in a big way for alternative sources of energy with people participating en masse in the change that is taking place. In India, as usual, the government is in slumber mode while big industrial houses are calling the shots. At best a committee will be set up to look into the matter that will then take five years to submit its report. And then action will be taken, if any. By that time much more damage will be done.

Sidharth Iyer, Sydney

II

It is amazing that even after the steep rise in fuel prices in India, the demand for oil is going to increase whereas in the US, after the hike in oil prices, car-owners have increasingly shown a willingness to economise on fuel intake. It is time we switch to alternative sources of energy and improve technology so that we can be self-efficient in crude production.

Soma Biswas, Delhi

Holding the hills to ransom

Apropos of the editorial Mountain out of a hill agitation (June 17), the first priority for the West Bengal government should be to avert bloodshed in the hills. Dividing the country into smaller states may not serve any benefit to its residents. Moreover, Darjeeling is also the home of migrant Gurkhas from Nepal, the Lepchas and the Bhutias, apart from other communities. The leaders should not be allowed to hold the hills and the residents to ransom. The closure of the hills to tourists would prove costly to the people, as their economy is dependent on it. But once the issue is settled, it is incumbent upon the state and the Centre to find out ways to boost the economy of the hill region.

A.K. Ghosh, via email

Tantrums, not ideology

Sitaram Yechury’s apprehension in his article Has the BJP disowned this man? (June 16) is politically motivated. If we judge secular and democratic credentials of political parties in the light of what their leaders had observed decades ago, not a single political party will stand up to the scrutiny of ideological consistency, least of all the Leftists. In the era of coalitions, it is opportunism that interprets political values like communalism and secularism. Had it not been so, the Leftists would have left the UPA much earlier instead of throwing constant tantrums.

Sajjan Singh, Kolkata