Congress comes a cropper:
Apropos ?The Volcker and Congress? (Organiser, 4-12-2005); The whole Volcker issue is intriguing especially after the recent revelations by Anil Mathrani. The Prime Minister?s assertion that the government is ?determined to go to the root of the matter and establish the truth or otherwise? is a sad commentary on the state of affairs prevailing with the ruling UPA dispensation and is an irony of sorts. When the government is so determined, why did the Prime Minister give a ?clean chit? to Natwar Singh in the first place? So having given the clean chit, what is the need for the inquiry by the Pathak Commission? Is the ?clean chit? an indication to the Commission regarding the lines in which the probe has to end in the lines of the Banerjee Commission constituted by Lalu Prasad to enquire into the Godhra train incident prior to Bihar elections? The Prime Minister should make it clear that his writ reigns supreme in the Cabinet of Ministers or he would have no way but to resign from his post. That the PM was not able to secure a bare minimum expectation, that of the resignation of a minister in his Cabinet, speaks volumes of the moral integrity of the government in power. Natwar Singh said of being made a scapegoat in the whole affair if he opted to resign. Does that mean that he has something to hide and hence needed the immunity that the ministerial berth assured him of from the investigating agencies? That Natwar Singh continued with the Cabinet as a minister without portfolio had definitely set the wrong precedent for generations to come and hence ministers in future Cabinets would continue to be ministers even if allegations of such serious kind are made on them. And last but not the least, where have the moral priests of the UPA?the communists?gone at present? Probably they have gone into hibernation and would term this silence from them as a ?historic blunder? in one of their future plenary sessions of the politburo as they are bound by their moral duty to declare in future party meetings the list of historic blunders that they have made in the past.
?Amaruvi Devanathan, 685, Speer Blvd, Denver, CO, USA
Vote for development:
Apropos A hurricane that blew out lantern (Organiser, 4-12-2005); The JD(U)-BJP alliance?s landslide victory in the Bihar elections had more surprises in store for its countrymen. Bihar on its own has come out of casteism and communalism and demonstrated its ability to prove that social engineering as extolled is a myth. Politicians can now invent new alibis for their survival. It seems that Nitish Kumar gained at everyone?s expense?the politics of expediency by Paswan projecting a Muslim Chief Minister had in fact consolidated the Hindu votes and Lalu?s obsession with his family rule angered the voters for a change. So is the left parties? much-taunted secular vote, which resulted in their outright rejection. Finally, it was left to people of Bihar to mete out justice to Nitish Kumar to assume power, as he was denied rightful claim earlier by the Governor.
?N. Nagaraja Rao, 12-11-1394, Raghavendranagar, Secunderabad
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The election result of Bihar indicates very clearly that all people cannot be fooled all the time. Lalu & Co. had been fooling people since beginning and doing no development work. Now when people saw no hope of anything from Lalu, they ousted him in the first chance they got and voted to power the most powerful and likely alternative. While we should wish all the best to Bihar and hope that now it will run on the track of development, it will not be out of place to say that the first thing Nitish should do is to install a proper law and order situation in the state.
?Vijay Kumar Singhal, Panchkula
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The Bihar election result has given the JD(U)-BJP combine a clear majority. The performance of the Nitish Kumar government in this hitherto unfortunate state will be watched by the electorate in the few states that will be facing elections next year. The new government must address the immediate needs of the people first and earn a good name quickly. If this government is able to provide a welcome relief, say, in two months, to the people, it would be a good beginning. The Maoist elements are bound to give a tough time to the new government. Therefore, the new government should evolve a plan to counter this menace and other criminal elements in the state to make up for the failure of the Lalu-Rabri government all these years.
?S. Chidambaresa Iyer, R-Block #35, Anna Nagar, Chennai
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I offer my congratulations for the fine political analysis on the Bihar election result. For this turn of events, the Election Commission should be thanked. The EC was unrelenting and took firm steps. But one should not rest on oars. Nitish has a difficult task ahead to bring back normalcy in all walks of life in Bihar?ridden with corruption and incompetence.
?S.N. Dikshit, Akshaya Colony, Chennai
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In the Bihar election analysis, it was disgusting to see NDTV publishing caste-wise scorecard of Bihar winners. When will India learn to ignore castes of persons? Government/Election Commission should ban caste-based reporting both before and after elections.
?B.V. Rao, No.66, Netaji Layout, BCC Colony, Attiguppe, Vijayanagar, Bangalore
Apropos Withering State (Organiser, 27-11-2005); The storming of Jehanabad jail in Bihar by Maoists and the freeing of 250 criminals from the jail was shocking. What were the intelligence agencies doing when hundreds of Maoists were grouping? The incident also shows the Naxalites? utter disregard for law and order. The Maoists must realise that violence has no place in a civilised society.
?K.M.G. Vivekanandan, Madurai, Tamil Nadu
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The fact that the Naxalites killed members of the Ranvir Sena can lead to escalation of violence. The state administration should make adequate security arrangements in all the Naxalite-infested areas. Meanwhile, the state intelligence department has plenty of explaining to do for this inpardonable security lapse. The Centre should formulate a breakthrough plan to combat Naxalism.
?Raj Kumar Kaushik, Hazrat Ganj, Lucknow
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The jailbreak incident was another instance of the lack of governance in Bihar. Both the Naxalites and the members of the Ranvir Sena have had a free run in the state for some time. The growth of the Maoists in neighbouring Nepal has only had the effect of strengthening the Naxalite movement in Bihar. How many more such attacks are needed to awaken the government out of its slumber? We can ill-afford to treat the Naxalite problem purely as a social one. It is time the leaders wake up and take steps to remedy the situation.
?Lokesh Kumar, Yamaha Vihar, Sector 49, Noida
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The ease with which hundreds of armed Maoist Naxalites carried out an attack in Jehanabad town of Bihar, killing people and freeing prisoners, cocking a snook at the law-enforcing agencies, betrays a serious security lapse and failure on the part of administration. The incident is not only a challenge to our security set-up but can also encourage extremist elements. It is high time the Centre and the state governments joined forces to prevent recurrence of such incidents, which will demoralise the public and make them lose faith in the administration.
?Shekhar Tyagi, Irrigation Department Colony, Khurja, Uttar Pradesh
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The sad truth about Bihar is that it makes the headlines for the wrong reasons and the reasons are not far to seek: Lalu Prasad Yadav as de jure and de facto Chief Minister had been pampered by his allies, enabling him to turn a blind eye to the pressing case of ameliorating the condition of the underprivileged sections. Adding to the people?s woes is the unmitigated corruption at all levels of the administration. If the security guards of the Jehanabad jail were outnumbered, the question is: what were they armed with?
?M.K.D. Prasada Rao, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh
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The Bihar government?s claim that it was constrained by the deployment of forces on election duty elsewhere makes for sad reading. If adequate forces cannot be deployed to guard a jail where top extremists are lodged, what is the point in arresting them in the first place? The best way of tackling Naxalism is to eliminate its breeding grounds without making any compromise on security.
?R.K. Murthy, Coimbatore
This refers to Not Salem-Monica soap opera (Organiser, 27-11-2005). The CBI deserves kudos for aptly handling the extradition of Abu Salem from Portugal. Now the External Affairs Ministry should, through diplomatic channels, enable the CBI to bring Dawood Ibrahim to India from Pakistan. Dawood Ibrahim, named in the US? list of terrorists, has still managed a safe home in Pakistan. Pakistan?s plea that it is ignorant about his whereabouts is a cruel joke on the sentiments of the countless Indians who were directly or indirectly affected by his reign of terror while in India. It would be a big boost for India-Pakistan relations if the underworld don is extradited.
?Rahul Vaidya, Sector IV, R.K. Puram, New Delhi
Curse of corruption:
Apropos India isolated in SAARC (Organiser, 27-11-2005); Apart from their joining in the fight against poverty and terrorism, there should be a forthright commitment on the part of the member-states in the battle against corruption. Described as a cancer in the international body politic, corruption weakens the moral fibre of the people, lowers ethical standards in governance and increases social instability and insecurity due to the widening rift between the haves and the have-nots.
?Nilesh Bhandari, Village Milak, Bulandshahar
Learn from Mau:
I was vastly moved by the heart-rending report Mau burnt as Mulayam fiddled (Organiser, 6-11-2005). Shrikant Goswami?s bitter experiences are enough to prove that fundamentalist Muslims cannot be trusted and Hindus? liberalism and feelings of compassion have always proved a blunder for Hindus themselves. Policy of Muslim appeasement has always harmed the majority of this country and this will continue till Hindus learn a lesson from incidents like Mau riots. Political leaders, pseudo-secularists and media have not made a hue and cry over these riots, as 99 per cent of the victims were Hindus. In order to grab Muslim votes, politicians watch the ruin and destruction of Hindus and their property as a gain. Can we hope for the day when politicians will think of grabbing Hindu votes by favouring them?
?Romy Bajaj, Romy Gift House, Cinema Road, Vikasnagar, Dehradun
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The report should open the eyes of the Hindus of this country. It seems incredible but it is true that 99 per cent of the riot victims in Mau were the Hindus. This happened because Muslims constitute over 90 per cent of the population and the Hindus are hardly 10 per cent. When Hindus were being burnt, Mulayam-fiddling is not a shock to the Hindus as they are well aware of his ill-policy of seeking an opportunity of grabbing Muslim votes in future. Not any politician can dare to insult and crush the Hindus in case they are united. This unity should be visible at the time of elections and other occasions. Politicians should be convinced that they cannot gain the ground in elections without the support of the majority and ignoring their interests can cause them a great political loss.
?Sahadev Singh Pundir, Premnagar, Dehradun
In India the so-called secularists are holding the majority Hindus to ransom and browbeating them. Hindus here don?t have the same religious rights as the minorities have, who are enjoying more privileges than the majority community. It is utterly condemnable that the minority group of Russian Hindus is not being allowed to build even one temple due to the protests of the Christians there. Hindus are discriminated against because we are basically peace-loving. It is high time we protested against the injustices done to us. Hindus of the whole world should do this unitedly.
?G. Vijayalakshmi by e-mail