Communists’ betrayal: There has been price increase in coal, petrol, diesel, and cooking gas leading to unprecedented inflation. Privatisation of airports and efforts to sell insurance, aviation and telecom sectors to foreign companies are in full swing by raising caps on FDI. NTPC, a profitable pubic sector company, is being reportedly sold subtly in phases. And the unkindest cut of all is to lower the EPF interest rate from 9.5 per cent to 8.5 per cent (Economic reality bites political rhetoric, Organiser, 8-8-2004). Each one of the issues has been very dear to the communists and their trade unions, yet the utter silence on their part gives the impression that the communists do not exist. Ironically, the communists won most of the seats fighting against Congress in Kerala, West Bengal and Tripura, yet they support the Congress-led government at the Centre. Only the communists and their trade unions can perform somersaults by supporting the anti-people Congress-led government. They have become laughing stock all over. In fact, historic blunders and betrayals are common traits of our communists. However, this time the blunder and betrayal of the communists is astonishing even to its supporters. This is going to hurt trade unions and their base in states such as Kerala, West Bengal and Tripura, irrecoverably and irreversibly. Communists, who were once strong in many states, have been wiped out once for all for these very reasons.
—Chetan Singh, Shimoga (Karnataka)
Denigrating national heroes: Shri Tarun Vijay’s article Why insult national icons? (Organiser, 5-9-2004) discusses one of the most important issues facing the national, i.e. denigrating the national heroes. The main culprits for this campaign of calumny are communists for whom patriotism and nationalism have no meaning. They believe only in communists’ icons, particularly those of the Russian and Chinese variety. The reason is their belief that they can capture power only by moving away the masses from their national ethos.
—Dr Vidya Sagar, Delhi
Perverted psyche: The pseudo-secular and anti-national forces are trying to control the social, political and cultural life of our country. If anyone propagates the true concept of secularism and nationalism to expose the anti-national deeds and Hindu-bashing of pseudo-secularists, he is dubbed ‘communal’.
—Dr Lakshmi Narain, Meerut
Deeds that dismay: This refers to Shri A.T.M. Anwar’s letter (Organiser, 29-8-2004) about the nationalism of Indian Muslims. Here it is worth mentioning that a misguided section of Indian Muslims still proclaim the slogan, coined by Pakistanis, i.e. hans ke liya hai Pakistan, lad ke lenge Hindusthan (we got Pakistan without fighting and shall take control of Hindusthan by fighting). And they are leaving no stone unturned to grab the Indian land by any means. Recently in Andhra Pradesh, ISI’s and LeT’s agents were arrested on the suspicion of committing terror activities during the Ganesh festival, but the MIM leaders sat on a dharna along with their families to exert pressure on the government to secure their release.
—S.S. Swamy, Hyderabad
‘Struggle’, not ‘rebellion’: This is with reference to the comments by the readers on my various letters published in Organiser (29-8-2004). The Moplah rebellion in Kerala during the British rule was a ‘peasants’ rebellion’ against ‘oppressor landlords’. The peasants’ struggle cannot be termed as Islamic simply because their religion happened to be Islam. Furthermore, I have already pointed out the Islamic viewpoint about jihad in my previous letter (Organiser, 15-8-2004). Since terrorism is not jihad, no one can term jihad as a terrorist activity. Jihad is the fighting against the tyranny and mischief, whereas terrorism targets innocents.
—A.T.M. Anwar, Hyderabad
Commies’ somersault: For enjoying the fruits of power, the communists have become barking dogs only and not blood-hounds to bite and would never withdraw support to the anti-people government at the Centre, escalating inflation and increase in the caps of FDI in insurance, telecom and aviation sectors notwithstanding. Even when the government lowered EPF interest rate from 9.5 per cent to 8.5 per cent, the communists, who would have made a lot of hue and cry, conducted demonstrations and protest marches, staged dharnas and written hundreds of articles, had all such decisions been taken by the previous NDA government, have now maintained a mysterious silence.
—Nanad Swaroop, Kanpur
Flagitious acts: The recent developments—non-bailable warrant against Uma Bharti for hoisting the national flat at a public place (Hoisting national flag a crime? Organiser, 5-9-2004) and removal of Veer Savarkar’s plaque from Cellular Jail simply because he was proud of being a Hindu (Congress targets Savarkar again, Organiser, 29-8-2004)—hurt the Hindus’ sentiments. It is worth mentioning that Jinnah and other Muslim League leaders hardly ever went to jail but they got Pakistan as homeland exclusively meant for Muslims, whereas Hindus have no homeland exclusively for them. In India too, Hindus are persecuted, their heroes of freedom movement are insulted, as happened in the case of Savarkar, and are prevented from hoisting the national flag.
—Anand Prakash, Panchkula
Rational demand: The news-item Stop glorifying terrorists for appeasing Muslims (Organiser, 1-8-2004) is most encouraging to all peace-loving people of India. This demand has come from highly educated Muslims and nationalist organisations, which want Hindu-Muslim unity and communal harmony, burying the age-old divisive and ruinous politics of pseudo-secular forces.
—Debjani Chatterjee, Kolkata
Union is strength: Apropos of Surrender of the developing countries (Organiser, 29-8-2004); ‘might is right’ is an axiom, which shall prevail till eternity, unless the people of the under-developed countries unite to counter it. There are only two nations—the rich and the poor. The former can co-exist, but not the latter as the exploitation of poor nations is the very elixir of the rich nations.
—Pran Salhotra, Gurdaspur
Why Sanskrit?: Reference to Shri A.R. Keshav’s plea for making Sanskrit the official language (Organiser, 29-8-2004); Sanskrit is no doubt one of the greatest classical languages and is a primary source of Hindu culture. It must be studied widely and its literary treasures should be available to the people. But how can a democratic state displace the modern Indian languages and replace them all by Sanskrit as the sole official language? And if we discard English, how do we communicate with the rest of the world? The entire world including the Israelis, the Arabs, the Chinese, the Japanese, even the Russians and the Europeans are learning English and Shri Keshav asks us to throw away the clear advantage, a valuable assets we have.
—Syed Shahabuddin, New Delhi
Remove the tainted: Everybody agrees to the fact that persons having criminal background should not be allowed to become the ministers. What to say of ministers, they should not be allowed even to contest any election—be it for MC, MLA or MP. The NDA highlighted the issue by boycotting parliamentary proceedings. But the prolonged boycott alone will not suffice. Therefore the Opposition should contact the masses through public meetings, rallies, media, etc., so as to expose the true face of the UPA government.
—Jagdish Lal, Yamuna Nagar
Sonia’s ‘sacrifice’: Congress spokespersons took exception to the questions raised by Uma Bharati, in the context of the arrest warrant issued against her, to Congress President Sonia Gandhi whose hand is alleged to be behind the act, on the presence of tainted ministers in the Union Cabinet. They held that having voluntarily declined to become the Prime Minister Smt Gandhi did not need homilies on the virtues of sacrifice from a person facing a non-bailable warrant, the like of which their leader is sure never to be subjected to, neither for hoisting the tricolour flag, nor for any other offence. It should be for ‘valid reasons’, as claimed by Abhishek Singhvi, that the Law Ministry has not cleared the CBI’s appeal on the Delhi High Court’s ruling on the non-sustainability of corruption charges in the Bofors case.
—V. Devarajan, Thottakkaattukara (Kerala)
No poor in Australia?: Smt Gladys Stains while departing for Australia from India said that she would come again to continue her missionary work. There are tens of thousands of aboriginals, i.e. the indigenous people who are the most deprived, discriminated and poor people in Australia. They are in utter penury and ill-health, though converted to Christianity for generations. Would it not be better for Smt Stains to stay in Australia and serve them rather than come to India to harvest converts?
—A. Srinivasan, Hyderabad
Gujarat’s image: Potentially prosperous and a growth-oriented economy, Gujarat, unfortunately, from day one, after the BJP government assumed office, is catching the ire of self-proclaimed secularists. The Congress is hell-bent to defame it all the time. The English print and electronic media are hostile to BJP’s rule and are prepared to toe the line of Congress so as to keep the embers of hatred burning. Coming to transfer of the Best Bakery and Bilkis cases by the Supreme Court from Ahmedabad to Mumbai for retrial is beyond one’s comprehension as the reason given is that there is a threat to the witnesses. Here the ‘threat’ factor is to be fought and not to run away from the area of operation. The threat perception also exists in Mumbai as the hardcore evil mind is prepared to execute anything for money. Moreover, this transfer issue will set a chain reaction and a bad precedent for other states when occasion arises. Furthermore, doesn’t this step taken by the Supreme Court leave scope to conclude that the stature of Gujarat High Court is lowered, casting aspersions in a subtle way on its competency to try the case?
—Dr L.S. Madhava Rao, Hyderabad
Provocative remarks: At a time when every true Indian was praying for the early and safe release of our brethren in Iraq, Natwar Singh, our Foreign Minister’s comments were unthoughtful and provocative. He said the captors were irresponsible and illegal extremists. Couldn’t he have avoided such comments till our men were safely returned?
—B.K. Chaudhari, UK
STs becoming minority: In Dadar and Nagar Haveli (DNH), predominantly a tribal territory, which became a Union Territory in 1961, the percentage of Scheduled Tribes (STs) population has been steadily decreasing and in a decade STs will become a minority. The percentage of STs in 1971, 1981, 1991 and 2001 was 86.9, 78.8, 79.0 and 62.3 respectively. DNH is surrounded by two industrialised states of Gujarat and Maharashtra. The tax holiday and sales tax exemption for 15 years have attracted industrialists from all over the country. The non-STs were able to find ways to get possession of tribal lands at very low prices. The nefarious activities of money-lenders and traders forced the STs to surrender their land to them. At present, about 3,400 industrial units are functioning providing employment to 43,192 persons with hardly a few tribals among them. A number of industries have come up outside the industrial estates adjacent to the cultivable lands of the tribals. The STs have obtained no objection certificate for conversion of 14,425 hectares of their agricultural land to non-agricultural use, out of which 220.19 hectares is being used for industrial purpose. It is alleged that many tribals, who gave possession of their land to middlemen/industrialists, did not receive full payment and are facing income tax proceedings. The UT Administration while permitting the industries to be set up had laid down the condition that 80 per cent of the employees should be recruited locally. This, however, is not monitored or no action has been taken against employers, not fulfilling the condition. If the pace of industrialisation continues, in another decade the demography of DNH will change and STs will become a minority.
—S.K. Kaul, Delhi