Rahul Singh and Sanjib Kr Baruah aptly highlight the moral deterioration in the Indian Army in On the defensive (The Big Story, December 12). The army is just part of the overall deterioration in society due to the collective failure of our political, social and religious leadership. In the name of secularism, we have failed to impart positive values to our children. The endless scams show that corruption is now mainstream and it has affected the army as well. It's high time we impart value education to our young.
AK Sharma, Chandigarh
To be in the pink of health
The article Up in smoke by Nia-Malika Henderson (December 12) makes interesting reading. The emphasis on physical fitness among political leaders in foreign countries is inspiring. Such leaders think on their feet, take quick decisions and do not hesitate to tackle a problem by grabbing it by the horns. On the other hand, our leaders are all getting old and far from fit. Their medical bills, paid at the taxpayers' expense, are astronomical. The fitness culture must be inculcated in our society too, irrespective of age or gender. Contrary to popular Indian thought, wisdom does not come through grey hair alone. Modern decision-makers must be physically fit, mentally awake and morally straight. How many measure up to these lofty ideals?
Baljit S Grewal, Patiala
When the beneficiary wants to play victim
I read Indrajit Hazra's Another Open Letter (Red Herring, December 12) with great interest. I welcome the intervention. This is exactly the kind of debate we need so that more people are engaged in this discussion. But here are some facts about the exchange of open letters between Ratan Tata and myself. The "flip flop" was mentioned by Tata in his interview. I only agreed with him and pointed to the fact that among others, his company, was also a beneficiary of this flip flop. Period. Second, the cellular industry's legitimate litigation, which I led as president of the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) — which is not a lobby — in the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) and the Supreme Court, is a statutory right that was available to us under the licence and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) Act, 1997. This litigation was against the illegal backdoor entry of fixed line service providers into limited mobility and then converting that into a Unified Access Service Licence (UASL), a glorified version of mobile licence, by circumventing the transparent auction process. There was no objection to Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), except to point out that the price advantage of limited mobility was a consequence of regulatory arbitrage (lower entry fees, preferential interconnection terms etc.) and not because of technology as pointed out by Tata. I agree with everything he says; just not the fact that he was a victim rather than a beneficiary.
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MP, Rajya Sabha, via email
Hazra's observation is quite disturbing. In order to earn disproportionate profits, corporate houses don't hesitate to embrace unethical means to further their business. Their nexus with politicians influences the functioning of the government. The burden falls on the common man who ends up paying more.
Sharda Bhargav, Gwalior
A time to give
With reference to Ramachandra Guha's article Give and let give (Sunday Guest Column, December 12), Wipro chairman Azim Premji's act of philanthropy is really commendable. But Guha must remember that Swami Shraddhanand of Arya Samaj, an advocate by profession, sold all his assets in 1901 to set up Gurukul Kangri, Hardwar. I don't agree with Guha's perception that propensity for philanthropy differs from community to community. Rather, it depends upon an individual's approach to life.
Bhartendu Sood, via email
Charity has little to do with religion or caste. What Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have done for the world, Premji has done for India. Charity is there in our culture and ethos, but it is losing its shape and shine.
BM Singh, via email
Bonding with books
Karan Thapar in Gifted and lifted (Sunday Sentiments, December 12) has aptly observed that books are an ideal gift as they give a lot more than what they cost. Books give something intangible but more valuable than any other expensive gift. And they remain with us throughout our lives.
Ankita Agrawal, Bhopal
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