Vir Sanghvi’s article Two nations, two choices (January 6) contrasting the present political realities of India and Pakistan is accurate. But history is a great humorist. On its larger checkerboard, this still is a short-sighted view. Consider the demographics of this subcontinent in 2030, and speculate on the secular and sectarian equations prevailing then. Pakistan may not be as irrelevant in future as we presume. . It was the blind ambition of these two that divided India.
Shashi K. Pande, via e-mail
It would be unfair to say that the Nehruvian model of socialism and non-alignment have today ensured that India is a rising superpower. It was actually a break from the two models that ensured India’s rise after the 1990s’ economic reforms process. Had we not initiated those reforms, India would have continued to remain a pariah State. By becoming an ally of the US, India need not have become a client State. When we threw in our lot with the former Soviet Union during the non-aligned days, we did not fear being called a client State. In fact, if the world’s largest democracies had joined hands earlier, it would have gone a long way in checking the rise of fundamentalism that has become endemic to the region now.
Karan Thakur, Delhi
It would have been a different story for the people of Pakistan if circumstances had not forced the Partition. We were fortunate to have leaders like Sardar Patel and Pandit Nehru to guide us during the initial stages of our Independence. But the non-alignment policy and the control raj did not augur well for us. Private-public participation and unfreezing the economy might have given us more prosperity than nationalisation. It is not right to compare India with Pakistan as Pakistan is a religion-based State while India thrives on a multi-religious, multi-lingual democratic system.
N. Divakaran, via e-mail
Vir Sanghvi has conducted a fair assessment of the different policies the two countries followed after Partition. I believe Nehru pursued the path that was to make India self-reliant, secular and non-aligned. His foreign policy earned respect for India from most of the world except some Western countries. But he did not dare to open up the
economy for the surge India has seen now.
Verinder Singh, Delhi
With reference to Karan Thapar's article, A laugh for the New Year (January 6), I attribute all the whacky American warning labels to the sense of humour of the American people. Americans have a great sense of humour and love to laugh and make others laugh even if it is at their own expense. They do not take themselves too seriously and are not touchy unlike our countrymen who are ready to take umbrage at the drop of a hat. This American quality is worth emulating.
Ranjana Manchanda, via e-mail
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