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Sunday letters

Pramit Pal Chaudhuri in What is China's problem with India? (The Big Story, September 5) has noted that the Chinese army plays a major role in the shaping of that country's foreign policy.

india Updated: Sep 11, 2010 22:21 IST

The Army needs to be part of decisions that involve it directly
Pramit Pal Chaudhuri in What is China's problem with India? (The Big Story, September 5) has noted that the Chinese army plays a major role in the shaping of that country's foreign policy. But in India, babus continue to call the shots. In 1962, the Chinese caught us unawares and we find ourselves leading up to a similar situation today. Militarily and economically, we are no comparison to China. If India wishes to be a superpower, it must be a militarily-strong regional power first. Our political strategy vis-à-vis our neighbours has not borne fruit. It's high time our netas and babus woke up to the reality and started involving the Army in decision-making, like other countries do.
Satwant Singh, via email

Perks for a job not well done
This has reference to Khushwant Singh's article What do our MPs deserve for their performance? (With Malice Towards One and All, September 5). Our MPs are shameless when it comes to giving themselves a raise and a pat on the back, but while dealing with the issue of the salaries of private companies' CEOs, they are quick to constitute a parliamentary panel to regulate the latter. Nowhere in the world do public representatives have such free and arbitrary access to the exchequer, without any regulatory oversight.
Ashok Goswami, Mumbai

Pakistan must not bury its head in the sand
Vir Sanghvi's analysis in Before you chuckle over Pakistan cricket (Counterpoint, September 5) was without his usually incisive insights. In Pakistan, every human failing is instinctively defended by the government and by national icons like Imran Khan and Javed Miandad, as if admitting guilt would be an affront to their national identity. In fact, Pakistan is an oligocracy where a few elites have hijacked the national agenda by manipulating such situations. Why blame cricketers? They know their days in the sun are limited, so they try to make the most of it.
Pradeep Goorha, via email

II
Pakistani cricket is plagued by poor administration and a sense of insecurity among players. The Pakistan Cricket Board, unlike the BCCI, has failed to keep its players in line, and everyone is out to make a quick buck. But before we start feeling smug, we should remember that most match fixers and bookies trace their roots to the thriving gambling industry in India. The BCCI, intelligence agencies and the government must share responsibility for their failure to rein in this evil.
Pranav Kumar, via email

Don't blame it on India
This refers to Manish Pachouly's analysis The betting order (Focus, September 5). Pakistan's refusal to acknowledge the reality of its cricketers being involved in match-fixing exposes its double standards. Match-fixing isn't new to international cricket and those guilty of tarnishing the game's image must pay the price and be debarred for life. Pakistan's allegations against India and ICC President Sharad Pawar are ridiculous. The very fact that its players were caught on camera leaves no room for doubt, and diverting attention away from that fact is not going to help Pakistani cricket.
S.K. Shah, Delhi

Losing the upper hand
I agree with Utpal Parashar's views that India's image has taken a beating in Nepal (India losing little great game, September 5), with most Nepalis harbouring negative feelings for the Indian government and people. India has failed to build on traditionally close ties with its Himalayan neighbour. On the other hand, China has ably filled the vacuum created by India and is providing much-needed help to Nepal without interfering in its politics. Indian traders are losing business opportunities there while Chinese investment is increasing. We have, yet again, surrendered strategic space to China. It's time to step up to the challenge and regain the place we have lost in the hearts and minds of the Nepali people.
Sunil Sukhija, Gurgaon

It's so personal
Manas Chakravarty in The boozy poodle (Loose Canon, September 5) has shown gumption in taking potshots at former British prime minister Tony Blair. In his recently-released autobiography, The Journey, Blair, too, makes no bones about certain personal aspects of his life, guaranteeing a successful run for the book. Blair followed Havelock Ellis who said 'sexual pleasure, wisely used and not abused may prove the stimulus and liberator to our finest and most exalted activities.'
B.M. Singh, Amritsar