Taking from the poor to enrich the already wealthy
It’s important that both the Centre and state governments take a firm stand against illegal mining (It’s all mine, not ours, Our Take, August 19). The media are doing a laudable job of exposing the nexus among bureaucrats, politicians and private mining companies who are draining India of its natural wealth. National Advisory Council member N.C. Saxena rightly states that weak policies are degrading the quality of life of the tribals in Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Karnataka. The Orissa government must justify its decision to give away thousands of hectares of forest land, which belonged to the tribals, to private companies for mining.
Balram Misra, Ghaziabad
Coming to Pakistan’s aid
This refers to the report Accept India aid: US (August 20). It’s heartening to learn that, enough though under pressure from America, the Pakistan government has finally agreed to accept aid from India. Islamabad should admit its inability to rehabilitate all flood victims on its own. It requires support from other nations. India’s generosity should be seen as a part of its commitment to forgo past problems between the two nations and start anew.
S.D. Sahay, Delhi
Don’t sup with the devil
Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee’s pro-Maoists policy contradicts the UPA’s stand on Naxalism (Begin talks with Maoists: Mamata, August 20). The Maoists are using Banerjee to get their unreasonable demands fulfilled from the Centre. In the 60s, the Congress lost its stronghold in West Bengal due to the rise of Naxalism. It was only after the Left disengaged itself from the insurgents that the people voted it to power.
This should be an eye-opener for Banerjee. She should think about the repercussions that her decision to align with anti-national elements would have on the future of Bengal.
Krishna Balraj, via email
Money on their minds
It’s shocking that our parliamentarians are unhappy despite a three-fold increase in their salaries (MPs salaries to rise three-fold, August 21). Their demand comes at a time when thousands of people are dying of hunger and catastrophes like flash floods have left lakhs homeless. It exposes the selfishness and insensitivity of our politicians. The real culprits are we, the people, who have voted such greedy people to power. There was a time when leaders like Vinoba Bhave, with his Bhoodan movement, transformed millions of lives and put a smile on the face of the common man. Unfortunately, we can’t expect the same from our present leaders, who are morally bankrupt and politically illiterate.
Shree Prakash, Samastipur
Crocodile tears for Kashmir
This refers to the report Sonia: Address anger and pain of Kashmiris (August 20). Sonia Gandhi’s statement on Kashmir is an eyewash and has come too late. It seems that pressure from the media forced the Congress president to issue a statement. The truth is that no political party, including the Congress, wants peace in Kashmir. They have no real policy to tackle the crisis. It’s easier for the Centre to blame Pakistan for violence in the Valley and earn sympathy from the US than to solve the problem.
Rashid Ahmad, Srinagar
No vision and no mission
Sitaram Yechury’s article put people first (Left Hand Drive, August 17) brought to mind India’s great leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru and Patel, who genuinely cared for public welfare. They had a vision for the nation. However, today’s netas are least concerned about the needs of the aam aadmi. There is not even a single visionary leader in the 21st century India. So how can we expect the nation to develop?