The report Clinging to hope (August 30), rightly points out that the flood in Bihar is man-made. Lack of adequate soil conservation and afforestation in the Kosi catchment area in Nepal resulted in excessive silting, which raised the river bed and forced it to breach its earthen embankments. Simultaneous action on three fronts — high dams inside Nepal, intensive soil conservation in the catchment area above the dams and strict maintenance of the embankments below the dams — are the only solutions to deal with this calamity.
JS Bali, Dehradun
After a customary aerial survey, the PM has announced a package of Rs 1,000 crore for flood relief to the Bihar government. But one wonders where this money comes from given that there is always a funds-crunch for preventive measures. It seems that politicians look forward to such calamities to dole out money, most of which never reaches the suffering people. If there were no calamities, what would the leaders do to show their concern for the common man?
YS Rawat, via email
Strangers at home
Pradeep Magazine in Home and Away (August 29) exhibited the anguish of the Kashmiri Hindus who are paying a heavy price for the blunders committed by Jawaharlal Nehru, who was a Kashmiri Pandit himself. Lakhs of people have become refugees in their own nation because they happen to be Hindus and the secularist politicians, pursuing a policy of minority appeasement for petty political gains, have no use for them. The way that successive governments seem to be down on their knees before a handful of anti-national elements is shameful.
AK Sharma, Chandigarh
I do not agree with Pradeep Magazine’s views regarding the treatment given to the people ‘on the other side’. I visited Kashmir in the ’70s as a student and stayed at Lal Chowk. The hatred of the people was often palpable, even though there was no Army and no brute force being used against the residents. Yet, they called us ‘Hindustani dogs’. Magazine forgets that Kashmiris have long been considered more than equals at the cost of other Indian citizens and now a pampered section is indulging in anti-national activities, a label that cannot just be blamed on the Army.
RP Pareek, Pilani
The end of an era
We offer our deep condolences at the demise of Dr KK Birla. Through his visionary leadership, Dr Birla had established a business conglomerate. He was also a respected parliamentarian, philanthropist and scholar. The awards by the K.K. Birla Foundation, which he instituted, has become a benchmark for excellence in literature, research and philosophy. His demise marks the end of an era.
KV Kamath, Delhi