The finger’s pointing at you
This has reference to Sitaram Yechury’s article Not buying this sell-out (Left hand drive, June 18). The communists should stop shedding crocodile tears for the aam aadmi. Instead of criticising others, Yechury should first introspect on what he and his party have done for the welfare of people in West Bengal over the past 30 years. The party’s inability to help its people benefit from the state’s overall development has led to the rise of the Maoists. While the poor yearn for drinking water, food, healthcare and electricity, Yechury and other cadres lead a luxurious life.
Devendra Narain, via email
A genuine appeal for peace
We are disturbed by the massive armed police operation by the central and state forces in Lalgarh-Jangalmahal, West Bengal. The operation was launched without exploring the possibility of peaceful negotiations and doesn’t differentiate between violent Maoists and unarmed civilians. Innocent people are being killed and the area lacks basic public services. The atrocities by the police are adding to the woes. We deplore the reckless violence of the Maoists, who have exploited West Bengal’s post-election chaos by using deprived and angry tribal people as pawns and by brutally attacking CPI(M) cadres and offices. Also, some self-proclaimed leaders, representing the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA), are openly preaching violence and murder. Deplorably, the media has equated the Maoists with the PCAPA. We urge the state governor to take an initiative to end the violence and initiate a dialogue on people’s concerns as highlighted by the PCAPA, by using civil society groups as mediators.
Sumit Sarkar, Achin Vanaik, Tanika Sarkar, Sumit Chakravartty and Praful Bidwai, via email
Left to their own devices
Indrajit Hazra in Where the mind is with fear (June 19) has rightly mentioned that the reason behind dozens of hunger deaths in West Bengal between 2004 and 2005 was administrative failure. Till January last year, few people in West Midnapore had received the minimum 100-day work and corresponding wages under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. But the amount was so little that it did not really help these people. Such deprivation has led to the present situation in Lalgarh. Even then, the Left government in Bengal hasn’t been able to deal with the crisis. The Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee-led government is responsible for the wide gulf between the haves and have-nots in the state.
Obaidur Rahman Nadwi, Lucknow
Send a strong message
with reference to the report Pak must fight anti-India terrorists (June 18), it is ironical how Pakistan gets away with its two-faced policy of assisting extremists in its land, on the one hand, and assisting India in the 26/11 Mumbai attack investigation on the other. But this time around, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s message to Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari on eliminating terrorism from Pakistan seems to have struck the right chord. Pakistan, as always, will try to find an escape route by seeking more time to deal with the situation. But we should keep up the pressure on Pakistan.
PP Talwar, via email
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s message to Asif Ali Zardari during their recent Russia visit, which the media unnecessarily played up, exposes our weakness to the world. It is always India that initiates any talk with Pakistan, when the latter is not even willing to give an inch. Be it after the Kargil attack, 26/11 or the Parliament attack, it’s India which has been relentlessly raising its voice against Pakistan. We should realise that there is no point engaging in amicable talk or peaceful dialogue with Pakistan. Instead of talking to it directly, we should take the help of the international community to build pressure on our neighbour.
RN Kohli, Delhi