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Restoring public confidence comes first

Vir Sanghvi, in The dream lives (Counterpoint, January 4), is obviously optimistic. He does not see the gloom in the same way as many of us do as the new year begins.

india Updated: Jan 10, 2009 22:32 IST

Vir Sanghvi, in The dream lives (Counterpoint, January 4), is obviously optimistic. He does not see the gloom in the same way as many of us do as the new year begins. We may be wiser with hindsight about what went wrong during 2007, but we still seem to be clueless about the way ahead. We still do not know how to neutralise the terror machine operating from Pakistan and are knocking at the door of the US to bail us out. On the economy, thanks to our healthy habit of saving, there is no shortage of liquidity. But small-scale industries have been inundated by cheap imports from China and have largely taken to trading, resulting in a drop in exports. Sanghvi has been very careful not to suggest remedial measures. An awakened middle class is not enough in itself. The government needs to act responsibly on the economic and security fronts to restore public confidence. Whether it has the courage and foresight to do so ahead of the polls is the million-dollar question.

J.M. Manchanda, Delhi

II

The good and bad parts of the years that have gone by should be remembered and left behind. We should always think of the future with optimism. The problem is, we all want to find quick-fix solutions and want to figure out how to get rich quick. The Mittals, the Ambanis and many others who have gained and lost millions on the stockmarkets need not be pitied — this setback is not going to see any drop in their lifestyles. We need to be practical if we have to get ahead with our lives. The old Indian habit of saving, and not of making a quick buck here and there, is what will see us through.

N. Nagarajan, via email

Highways to prosperity

Kudos to HT for its innovative report, Let’s get going (January 4). It is sad that the progress on the highways project is not on the priority list of the UPA government. The government appears to be quite nonchalant about such projects that could help us out of the economic slowdown we are facing. The main reason for this is that the projects were envisaged by the NDA government. Two major projects — the Golden Quadrilateral and interstate linking of rivers — have great potential to generate employment, infrastructure and development at a time when India faces a sluggish market and loss of jobs. The government should rise above petty politics and revive such beneficial projects for the betterment of people and the country.

Murari Chaturvedi, Delhi

Vivekananda, the funky monk

I liked Indrajit Hazra’s article about pseudo-journalists (Red Herring, December 28) so much that I made everyone at my friend’s place read it. It made me laugh. But I didn’t quite get his next article (A monk who’ll buy a Ferrari; Red Herring, January 4). What I remember is reading about Swami Vivekananda from my Hindi textbook in the fourth grade. His story stuck to my mind because it started off with how bright, witty and fast that kid (Vivekananda) was.

Nanditha, via email