The editorial Getting a measure of poverty (March 24) rightly suggests that there is much work ahead to balance the interests of ambitious growth with an inclusive strategy that reaches out to the poor. Isn’t it time that some parameters were fixed and poverty defined in absolute terms? This would keep methods of its estimates free from political constructs of parties in power. How is it that even 60 years after independence, 72 per cent of the poor are in rural areas?
Apropos of Mufti continues to talk tough (March 22), Mufti Mohammed Sayeed’s twin demands of demilitarisation and scrapping the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act amounts to fishing in troubled waters. Has he forgotten the kidnapping of his daughter when he was chief minister of the state?
Trial by terror
Slavoj Zizek’s article Knight of the living dead (March 26) against using torture to break down terror suspects is well begun but only half done. While incarceration of terrorists without legal sanction hurts the moral sensitivity of civil society, there is no alternative to deal with those who inflict violence against innocents in the name of their faith.
The images of crashing airliners into the WTC with thousands of civilians set ablaze have to be counterpoised with those of Guantanamo Bay in order to understand the seriousness of the issue. Till society finds a better way of dealing with terrorism, terror will have to be used to unearth and fight terror.
Prem Shankar Jha’s article Beat retreat (March 23) lacked objectivity. In pleading for the demilitarisation of J&K, the author wants to give a free hand to Pakistan-sponsored terrorists. It is ironical that Jha uses the rights conferred by Indian democracy to advocate military rule in Pakistan.
K Shankar Kumar