The indefinite strike by the employees of oil companies has held the entire country to ransom. This comes at a time when issues like terrorism, the Satyam fraud, battle in Poonch and the likes are giving a hard time to our leaders. What the strikers do not realise is that by causing an immense burden on the common man, their demands will seem illegitimate to all. The protest strike must be called off immediately and a method that benefits all should be worked out.
Mukesh Kwatra, via email
Winds of change in the Valley
In her article Let’s not get it wrong again (January 3), Barkha Dutt says ‘if Omar Abdullah has to succeed, the J&K poll results must be seen as a chance to strengthen the peace process’. This century belongs to the youth and the young should be in charge of important positions in politics too. Swami Vivekananda once said, “It is usually the young who have the strength of mind and will be able to make sacrifices to achieve their goals.” This is particularly applicable to politics. There should be a maximum age for public positions and for contesting elections for Parliament/Assembly.
Mahesh Kumar, Delhi
Barkha Dutt has rightly exposed separatism in the Valley, and it seems that the terms, azadi and jihad have been pushed into oblivion after the election results. The separatists have received a huge set-back in their pursuit of self-aggrandisement. They seemed to be out of sync with the popular demands for transparency in governance, development, education and employment. The electorate didn’t care a hoot for age-old clichés and nasty slogans and has ushered in a silent revolution through the ballot. The results should be a wake-up call for those who are still besotted with anachronistic ideas.
AD Pandey, Delhi
There is no doubt that as the new Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah will face a difficult time from the separatists and the Opposition. But the young Abdullah has rekindled hope and ushered in a feeling of confidence among the people for a peaceful era in the Valley. The author has rightly mentioned the Prime Minister’s remarks that it does not matter who wins the election, but the return of democracy to the region is what matters. Along with bringing peace to the state, the new CM has to address the problems of poverty and unemployment with equal zeal.
Bhaskar Sen, via email
Barkha Dutt is right in saying that the fractured J&K verdict is a symbol of the multiple and competing ideologies within the state. People have shown that they want peace, by defying the separatists’ boycott call and bad weather to vote. No doubt, it was a blow to the separatists but they cannot be written off altogether, and Omar will have to tread cautiously as a young entrant into politics. He must especially show maturity in dealing with the problems of Kashmiris living in remote areas. This is also an opportunity for Kashmiris to re-start the peace process, instead of scratching of old wounds.
GK Arora, Delhi
The tip of the iceberg?
The startling revelation by the chairman of the Satyam group has shocked investors, and is a sad reflection on the state of affairs in India. This is not the first instance and will not be the last. The need for accountability and transparency should be re-emphasised, since this points to a collective failure, and all those who have been getting a slice of the pie must be put behind bars. This episode has made a mockery of our regulatory mechanism, and points to abysmal corporate governance. Once again, there is a case for legal provisions to protect anyone willing to report such wrong practices.
R Girish, Mumbai
The rot is not confined to Satyam but is all-pervasive in industry, headed by greedy owners. Financial records are manipulated on a regular basis and auditors are paid to back these up. The whole system is fraudulent. The government and SEBI have not done enough to ensure honesty and transparency. If seriously pursued, it will be discovered that many blue-chip companies are also not above reproach. The bigger culprits are the auditors and chartered accountants who are entrusted with an important job which they never do honestly.
Atul Gupta, Delhi