The BJP needs to do a reality check
With reference to Varghese K George's 2014: The battle ahead (The Big Story, August 18), the BJP-led NDA expects to wrest power from the corruption-tainted UPA government in the coming general elections. While the BJP has grand ambitions of coming to power in 2014, it is high time the party leaders realised that it has a weak presence in many states, especially in the south and the east. Unless there is a dramatic change in the political situation, the BJP, in its bid to stake a claim to form the government, may find itself saddled with squabbling coalition partners. This may turn out to be a liability and will prove to be a hurdle in forming and running a government at the Centre. The BJP should also work to increase its presence in many states where it is not visible at present.
Ketan R Meher, via email
A false sense of might
Break the iron triangle (Chanakya, August 18) has hit the nail on the head about the reality of defence sector in India and about the fact that the real problem the sector faces is the nexus between the bureaucracy, exporters, public sector units and defence agents. It should also be noted that it is corrupt politicians and defence personnel who discourage private companies from manufacturing equipment rather than importing it at high costs, who are responsible for the present problems the defence ministry is facing. As rightly noted, we can't declare ourselves a world power by exhibiting arms that have been brought from other countries.
Ravi Vats, via email
Why is there so much discussion on the need for foreign direct investment in India's defence sector? There are several companies in the country that work on small projects in the defence, railways and communication sector. Instead of relying on foreign players, the government should help these companies to scale up and manufacture equipment for the defence sector.
Arul, via email
Don't be a mute spectator
This is with reference to Karan Thapar's Unasked Questions (Sunday Sentiments, August 18). The weak response of the Indian government to the killing of five Indian soldiers in the Poonch sector shows that New Delhi does not have the courage to retaliate against Pakistan. Prime minister Manmohan Singh should forget his dream of improving relations with that country; it is not worth the effort.
Bhagwan Thadani, via email
Thapar has raised a valid point about the Poonch attack. Was it an unprovoked audacious step from the Pakistani side or the result of a chain of events? We always jump to conclusions whenever there are border flare ups with Pakistan. Perhaps, the fear of being labelled 'less patriotic' makes us react in this way.
Vijai Pant, via email
Thapar's laboured defence of Pakistani's action is in bad taste. I hope the senior journalist will revisit his thoughts on the issue.
RA Singh, Ranchi
That sinking feeling
With reference to Manas Chakravarty's The coconut model (Loose Canon, August 18), there is no dearth of development models in this country. But still there are many who will fall below the poverty line thanks to high inflation. The author has rightly expressed their state of mind: "patiently waiting to examine coconuts when they fall".
A Azim, Lucknow
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