Make defence buys more grounded
With reference to Rahul Singh’s article India & the market of war (The Big Story, February 5), the acquisition of 126 Rafale fighter jets from France is not something worth celebrating. If the country has to depend on expensive imports to meet its military expansion targets even 64 years after independence, it only highlights our collective inefficiency. Modernisation of military hardware is a key for projection of power.
Abhishek Dwivedi, Mumbai
Instead of promoting in-house production, we always look at others for assistance. In the case of the Admiral Gorshkov, we are being provided a second-hand ship for the cost of new one. The Indian Army spends millions to raise new golf courses but does nothing to introduce combat gear for soldiers.
Deepjot Thukral, Ambala
Not taking a call on issues
The article The phone bill polls? (Chanakya, February 5) clearly figures out the chinks in the armour of politicians contesting the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls. But nothing is likely to change on the ground, with people likely to vote for the same politicians again. Elections are based on personalities and rarely fought on issues like corruption.
Pathikrit Chakraborty, Varanasi
The Supreme Court’s judgement, cancelling 122 spectrum licences, has political and economic ramifications. Telecom minister Kapil Sibal’s argument that the order is not an indictment of the government is defending the indefensible. P Chidambaram, then finance minister, should have exercised control by insisting on an auction instead of first-come-first-served basis.
SK Wasan, Noida
The lines are clearly crossed
Kudos to Indrajit Hazra for his subtle commentary on the 2G spectrum auction (In-law and outlaw, Red Herring, February 5). His observation that the prime minister and former finance minister did not mind when the former telecom minister continued the first-come-first-served policy suggests that the former played along even as A Raja bartered away a crucial national resource just to line his pockets.
M Ratan, Delhi
Given the way Raja pushed through the allotment of spectrum, Chidambaram must have realised which way the deal was headed. If he kept quiet under instructions from higher-ups, he is guilty of causing massive loss to the nation. He might not be prosecuted due to lack of evidence but both Manmohan Singh and he should offer to resign.
S Padmanabhan, via email
Not doing the honourable thing
Karan Thapar’s article For men of honour (Sunday Sentiments, February 5) depicts how the criteria for giving national awards has degenerated over time. Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award, has assumed political overtones. Irrespective of political affiliations, both Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Jyoti Basu were great leaders. The reluctance on Manmohan Singh’s part to consider them for the Bharat Ratna shows his weakness as a prime minister.
OP Tandon, via email
No feeling of well-being
Radhika Raj in Sweet talk (Variety, February 5) rightly says that health claims by food companies can be highly misleading. Consumers have very few options to lodge complaints and get any redressal.
GK Arora, Delhi
In Valerio Manfredi’s interview (Story telling and writing are separate, Read, February 4), the name of the publisher should have been Pan Macmillan and not Hachette as published. The error is regretted.
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