In his article So what was the big deal? (Counterpoint, April 5), Vir Sanghvi misses the point that the Indo-US nuclear deal was about ending India's nuclear isolation and getting fuel for our under-performing power stations. The first shipment of fuel has arrived from France while the next one is due from Russia. This also knocks out the argument that the deal made India subservient to the US. In any case, the Left's objections were not limited to the deal but to a strategic relationship with the US, and its decision not to support any Congress government in future may be a blessing in disguise. In all fairness, the deal has not failed us, nor has India become a stooge of the US despite the Left's predictions.
J.M. Manchanda, Delhi
Vir Sanghvi's analysis reflects a degree of scientific amateurism. Even a rookie scholar of political science understands that the Indo-US n-deal was more about strategic value, in the guise of energy and economic dividends. A deal of such importance, between two sovereign nations and involving major players from the NSG, is bound to have its own gestation span.
Ashwani Sharma, via email
Though the Indo-US nuclear deal fulfils our energy requirements, it cannot provide a solution to unemployment, poverty, terrorism etc. that are the major problems we face today. So the Congress cannot win people over solely on the basis of the nuclear deal. This should be a lesson for all political parties. It is significant that no Congress leader is asking for votes based on the successful nuclear deal. Even before signing the deal, the Congress had assumed it was a milestone for the party.
Yogita Bahuguna, Dehradun
The Big deal enabled India to enter the nuclear club for trading in nuclear power generation machinery and the import of nuclear fuel. From the long-term perspective of our energy requirements, this was essential. But it is ridiculous to view this deal in terms of electoral prospects. The benefits arising from the deal will be realised in the next few decades. Full credit must go to PM Manmohan Singh for the successful conclusion of the deal.
R.V. Pathy, Chennai
Bearding the issue
With reference to Indrajit Hazra’s article What’s all the fuzz about anyway? (Red Herring, April 5), there is too much fuss about the Muslim boy from Sironj, Madhya Pradesh, who is involved in a beard case. As a matter of fact, beards, as well as other religious symbols, have been worn by Indians over centuries. Incidents like throwing out students from English medium schools are a legacy of the missionary schools we have inherited from the British. Although a minority educational institution has the right to make its rules and regulations, when the Muslim boy appealed to his fundamental rights for abiding by his religious identity, the apex court should have considered his appeal.
Malik Fareed Ansari, Bhopal
We must not encourage a Taliban mentality in India, especially if we cannot help Pakistan or Bangladesh in controlling and eradicating the menace. A beard has nothing to do with religion. The purpose of religion is to connect with God and it would be preposterous to assume that clean-shaven people are not in tune with God. Nothing should be done to exacerbate social conflict, and the 16-year-old boy should be given proper advice.
Kuldeep Dogra, via email
Take note of the vote
This has reference to Karan Thapar's article The Lyngdoh solution (Sunday Sentiments, April 5). One-time spending on double elections to check a split in the vote will be economical in the long-run, as vote-splitters will not enter the fray and waste resources and time. The party system should be encouraged rather than adopting the Lyngdoh solution about proportional representation to parties on the basis of votes.
Madhu Agrawal, Delhi
Spare no party
Manas Chakravarty in The election meeting (Loose Canon, April 5) appears to be against the BJP policy of dividing society along religious lines, while being meekly submissive to others. He raised issues like Kalyan Singh joining Mulayam Yadav, Muslim fundamentalist Madani joining the Communists in Kerala, the Congress seeking support from Muslim clerics across the State etc. But the writer must raise all the issues in a balanced manner. Attacking one party and sparing others only leads to the polarisation of society.
Sanat Bhardwaj, via email