Vir Sanghvi’s article Gujarat paradoxes (December 9) is a typical opinion generated by the hype in the English media. The post-Godhra battle was undertaken by many secular Hindus and similar communal battles were fought earlier during the Congress regimes too. Regarding the allegations that the Gujarat CM Narendra Modi is not in sync with the central BJP, the central policy is sometimes not accepted by the state units as in the case of Nandigram. This is mainly because local leaders have a better understanding of the grassroots’ problems. Modi is an efficient CM and has done a lot for the state.
The Gujarat riots have become a metaphor for describing any type of group clashes in India. But the Nandigram episode is more dangerous than the Gujarat riots in one aspect. The miscreants of the Gujarat riots were a crude group of communal people. Unlike the CPI(M) cadres, they were not part of a ready-to-attack brigade. The CPI(M) workers have the organisational capacity to repeat a Nandigram-like scenario at a short notice.
The entire media has equated Narendra Modi with Hitler, and has advised the Congress to lose the election rather than lose its soul. The Congress sold its soul willingly long ago and the words used by Sonia Gandhi, ‘merchant of death’ for Modi describe the Congress post the 1984 killings of Sikhs. By making a Sikh the Prime Minister, the Congress thinks it has compensated the loss and all its vices have turned into virtues. It is the Congress that has had no regard for the people’s verdict on several occasions. It has used Article 356 as a weapon to rule states wherever the people rejected its misrule. Is this the pious soul of the Congress that Sanghvi is referring to in his article?
In a haze
This is in reference to Karan Thapar’s article The right to frighten (December 9). These days, young girls have started smoking just to appear modern and to show that they are equal to boys. But remember that smoking causes heart diseases and other ailments. The number of tobacco-related deaths in India last year was 1.5 million. That is why smoking in public places is banned in India. Smoking is not only harmful for smokers but also for non-smokers.
Indrajit Hazra’s idea in Beggars can be retailers (December 9) made interesting reading as I am associated with a number of NGOs that are engaged in managing social initiatives. But Hazra has not concluded as to how some NGOs can take up this cause in a limited way. Also, if these children are trained to do some work, can they be employed to earn a livelihood, because of the ban on child labour? They have to be tackled in small geographical locations to impart skill development and if they do not have any shelter, will it involve providing them shelter apart from food?
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