Valley of disunity
Sonia Jabbar in Not special, but equal (November 4) has tried to compare the number of deaths in Jammu with those in Kashmir during the Amarnath land issue agitation. This was a deplorable attempt to communalise the efforts of the security forces. The author has also failed to highlight the visible contradiction in the low per capita income in Kashmir and the growth of consumerism in the Valley during the last two decades. Jabbar could have contributed to our understanding of the real Kashmiri mindset. But she has missed that opportunity.
Kamal Hak, via email
Seven privileged sisters
With reference to Sudhir Hindwan’s article Separate plan for separatism (November 1), the problems of the Northeast region run much deeper than can be resolved by effective intelligence-gathering and army deployment, as the article seems to suggest. The entire region has been treated differently from the rest of the country. Indian citizens visiting most of these states need inner-line permits and they are not allowed to buy property there. On the other hand, the indigenous tribals don’t pay a single penny as income-tax though the average social spending on the region is four times the national average. The well-heeled tribals study at fashionable Delhi colleges, get government jobs courtesy reservations, and perpetuate inequity. Clearly flooding the NE population with privileges cannot ensure inclusiveness. Only by withdrawing all special privileges to the Northeast can the inhabitants of the region be gradually drawn into the Indian mainstream.
Arun Bhagoliwal, Lucknow
It seems Sudhir Hindwan is not familiar with the demographic indices of Northeast India. The area is surrounded by Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, China, Nepal etc. The entire territory is the gateway for Bangladeshi infiltrators into India and they are nothing but vote-banks for our politicians. It is not possible to deploy security and paramilitary forces in this difficult terrain unless aided by strong political will. And the reservation policy of successive state and central governments for the seven sisters has not helped the cause. Unless the government develops the whole area and creates ample employment opportunities, the migration of youth to other parts of the country cannot be checked.
Gautam Kumar, via email
Different pills for different ills
Apropos of Sitaram Yechury’s article Open the war chest (Left-hand drive, November 7), both Indian and developed economies of the West are facing problems, but for entirely different reasons. In the West the problem is a severe liquidity crunch due to lack of trust among bankers. So cutting the reserve ratio makes sense. But Indian financial troubles are mainly due to jittery investors who are withdrawing in fight. The way forward is to restore their confidence in the soundness of the economy and safety of their investment. This can be achieved by making public investments that will boost the aggregate demand but not directly contribute to inflationary fears or rupee depreciation
Chintan Puri, Faridabad
An inspiring political culture
The victory speech of Barack Obama was a far cry from what we are used to hearing from our leaders. Obama was speaking about the unity and diversity of the United States of America and not about his party or his ‘region’. During his victory speech there were hardly any party flags, rather the supporters were waving the country’s flag. The most inspiring moment of the historic election was how gracious both Obama and McCain were in their victory and defeat, respectively, and how they talked about working together in helping the country move forward. Sadly, our politicians love to berate each other whether in victory or in defeat.
Shariq M. Bijli, Ghaziabad
Hate politics as usual
With reference to the report Lalu turned the heat on Maharashtra (November 4), there is no doubt that whatever happened in Maharashtra was deplorable and no right-thinking person would ever endorse the idea of parochialism. But that does not negate the fact that it was the RJD’s politics of hatred, violence and revenge that has turned Bihar into what it is. The party never bothered to build the economy and invest in improving quality of life. It is due to its corrupt policies that Biharis are facing problems inside and outside their own state.
BK Kumra, Delhi