Genocide, religious persecution in Pakistan (Organiser, 1.1.2012); Pakistan may continue to deny from the roof-top that its minority Hindu population is not being discriminated against, but recent reports of forced conversions and increasing incidents of kidnapping of Hindus in Pakistan have exposed Islamabad’s oft-repeated assertions for the lies they are. Even a few government officials there have now begun to accept the grim reality that the minority community—especially the Hindus—has become a soft target. A recent document published by the Justice and Peace Commission of the Pakistani Bishop’s Conference state that 43 per cent of the Christian and Hindu women have suffered religious discrimination and 76 per cent have experienced sexual harassment at work. The worsening situation has promoted Pakistan’s Minister for Human Rights and Minority Affairs, Besant Lal Gulshan to admit that a ‘deep sense of insecurity’ has set into the Hindu community in Balochistan province where a large number of Hindus have been kidnapped and forcibly converted to Islam.
VIPIN AGNIHOTRI, Farrukhabad, Uttar Pradesh
Communal reservation—A threat to integrity (Organiser, 5.2.2012); This refers to ‘Communal reservation—A threat to territorial integrity’ by Shyam Khosla in Organiser. He has mentioned a number of instances, where Muslims have been appeased or have been asked to act unitedly as Muslims to promote their communal interests. The basic problem is, that there are a very large number of anti-Hindu and anti-national Hindu leaders, involved in this dirty game. Perhaps no where in the world, we can find such traitors, who shamelessly harm their own country and community. The Hindus, in general, continue to remain self-centred as individuals and fail to understand the danger ahead, created by treachery of Congress and its allies. This situation is giving more courage to Muslims to indulge in the type of communal advice, to vote for Muslim candidates, as has been given by Dr K Rahman Khan Chairman Rajya Sabha, a high position, where one is supposed to act and behave properly. There does not seem to be any hope, that Hindus, who have not learnt any lesson form Partition of their country in 1947 and their mass slaughter by the Muslims, giving a separate homeland exclusively for the Muslims of India, would become wiser and get united. This is inspite of the fact, that the Hindus who made maximum sacrifices, do not have any homeland and are satisfied with fake freedom and Mahatma Gandhi as their Father of the Nation, who cheated them at every step. This is the most serious matter, as our very existence is in danger. Nationalist Hindu leaders must think over it, as to how to get rid of this suffocating situation, and make India a homeland for the Hindus (Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, etc. included), just as Pakistan and Bangladesh are homeland for the Muslims. This is an over legitimate right, and we need not be afraid of saying so.
Anand Prakash, 72/Sector-8, Panchkula-134 109
Countdown for Congress begins (Organiser, 25.3.2012); The Congress dismal performance in Assembly polls particularly in Uttar Pradesh makes one ask: Where does the party go from here? Rahul Gandhi, whom the Congress considered to be the next best bet after Manmohan Singh, could not achieve the desired results for the party in UP. The people there preferred a local leader like Akhilesh Yadav to Rahul Gandhi. If the Congress and its leaders continue to fail to realise what people want, UPA-2 will not be able to compete its full term and definitely would lose the 2014 general elections.
Ranjana Upadhyaya, Kanpur
Fall of Sonia Parivar (Organiser, 25.3.2012);This is with reference to the article ‘The Irrelevance of Dynasticism’ by MV Kamath in Organiser. Congress president Sonia Gandhi blamed the presence of ‘too many leaders’ in UP for the party’s failure. I don’t agree with Sonia Gandhi’s assessment. It was absence of ‘strong local leaders’ that made the Congress a big failure in Uttar Pradesh. It seems sycophancy directed at the first family matters more than organisational skills for the Congressmen—and that was the root cause of defeat.
Raminder Singh, B-224, Naraina Industrial Area, Delhi
Who will be the next PM? It is too early to predict if Rahul Gandhi or Narendra Modi will be their respective parties’ prime ministerial candidates for the 2014 general elections. Gandhi’s name is doing the rounds thanks to Congress chamchas (flatterers) whereas Modi’s name is in the air due to his work in Gujarat. His name is being projected by media and not his party, the BJP. Whether or not either of them becomes India’s next PM, their parties must remember that people don’t want a celebrity leader, but a visionary, diligent and proactive PM.
Mamata Swarup, Civil Lines, Gujarat.
A budget for negative growth (Organiser, 1.4.2012); Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s Budget 2012-13 left everyone disappointed. The middle class got a measly relief of Rs 20,000 as the income tax exemption limit was raised to Rs two lakh from 1,80,000. But there was hardly anything for the senior citizens nor were any measures announced in the budget to contain food inflation. The Finance Minister began his speech with great promise but failed to provide a roadmap for the reform process or any plans to revive the economy. There are no indications on implementing the goods and service tax or on subsidy cuts, while the Direct Tax Code has been deferred. The Budget is textbookish. The Finance Minister has played safe while trying to pave the way for confidence building measures. He touched all major economic activities without making any drastic announcements. The budget makes mobile phone parts, branded silver jewellery, branded garments, imported LCD and LED TV panels, etc cheaper. We the aam aadmi must learn to ‘eat’ these items to survive and forget about food inflation.
TS RAGHAVAN, 4/7, Hutchins Road, Bengaluru
Sachin’s 100th hundred Although it took more than a year for Sachin Tendulkar to score the hundredth hundred, everyone knew it would happen. Now that he has made his mark as the only batsman to reach that milestone, Sachin should also see that the team’s total also soars and it wins more matches. Sachin Tendulkar’s hundredth ton finally came against Bangladesh in front of a packed Sher-e-Bangla Stadium in Dhaka. I would say that this unprecedented achievement only confirms what cricket fans have long known—that Sachin is a legend of the sport. For two decades the maestro has carried Indian cricket on his shoulders and influenced the game like no other.
Bibhu Dutt Patel, Odisha
Educating India I was shocked to learn that in a global test to assess education systems, Indian students ranked 2nd last in basic educational skills among pupils from 73 countries. The PISA sponsored random survey shows even 15 years old lack skills in reading, maths and science. This deeps fears among educationist that quality of schools despite 90 per cent enrolment, remains abysmal. We must upgrade teacher’s training, tackle their absenteeism and discourage rote learning.
Ritha Sagar, Chennai
Why Anna is deviating? Team Anna is indeed losing public support despite its voice against corruption. That is because it has strayed from its original strategy of tackling corruption through a peaceful agitation for a strong and effective Lokpal Bill. Anna Hazare’s bizarre ideas such as the ‘need to slap the corrupt’, make gram sabhas supreme and push nationwide referendums before making any law doesn’t cut much ice with the people. Rather than deviating from its core agenda, Team Anna must first focus on the Lokpal legislation and then follow it up with other political reforms, Otherwise, it will fast squander the advantage of popular support gained during the Ramlila Ground protest fast.
Mahesh Chandra Sharma, E-198, Panki, Kanpur
Introspection needed It is absolutely necessary for Congress party in general and M/s Salman Khurshid, Beni Prasad Verma & Company in particular for introspection in respect of sorry state of affair of minorities. They have no right to blame others since their own Congress party ruled the country for more than half a century. They have to answer first why standard of living of Muslim community, did not improve? Their party itself is responsible for this. In spite of knowing the fact that demanding the reservation on religion bases is an unconstitutional act and violation of model code of conduct during elections, the same was done by Law Minister himself. Infact soon after Election Commission served the notice to Salman Khurhsid he should have been removed from the Cabinet forthwith. He should not have challenged the Election Commission. Muslim community will expose the impression of the Congress party towards it as its vote-bank.
Sridhar V Kulkarni, Kalyan (West) 421 301 Maharashtra
Mamata’s style of politics Mamata Banerjee’s style of politics is not conducive for public welfare. She must realise the difference between capturing power by sloganeering and administering a State in bad economic shape. The recent spate of crib deaths, fires, violence, handling of the Gorkhaland issue and Mamata’s desire to be omnipresent and omnipotent speak of a confused mindset that lacks focus and long term vision. Mamata must shed her confrontationist image by embarking on the road to development, reforms and people friendly clean administration. She cannot expect the Centre to dole out financial packages while she remains rigid and keeps focusing on populist measures. She can play power politics and still do good without being seen as anti-people.
Sachidanand Das, Kolkata
UPA ignoring the problems of aam aadmi There was little to cheer at the Republic Day this year, thanks to the UPA government which has become an under performing asset for the country. All the pomp and show at the dazzling Republic Day parade cannot obscure the fact that the country is in a mess: Economic stagnation, spiralling inflation, a slew of scams, land reforms and decision-making and miss governance, amongst other ills, have characterised a nation that was only recently seen as an economic miracle. For all of the UPA’s talk of stability, it is no secret that there is a weak leadership at the helm of affairs. The general perception is that the Manmohan Singh Government is controlled by an Italian from the backstage. And the Government has had its hands full with political compulsions and coalition dharma. Pandering to the demands of its coalition partners has become more of a priority than looking after the problems of aam aadmi that put the UPA to power in the first place.
NAVIN AGRAWAL, Siliguri
To fight for justice is the ethics of legal profession (Organiser, 18.3.2012); This is with reference to the ‘Hindutva Conference’ at Davangere in which Shri Mohan Bhagwat delivered his inaugural speech. Shri Bhagwat has asserted that the ancestors of Indian Muslims were Hindus only. Hence each Muslim of this nation is culturally a Hindu. It is to be noted that the ‘Sangh Parivar’opposes reservation for Muslims. If they really consider Muslims as part of the great Hindu family, they should not oppose their means of upliftment i.e. reservation. The Muslim community formed into a distinctive separate community culturally, socially and religiously, only because they did not get justice, equality, safety and freedom to practice their religion and culture. It is immaterial to call Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists as ‘Hindus’ when they do not like to be called as such and the caste Hindus too consider them as non-Hindu.
Shakil Ahmed, 22-7-313, Chatta Bazaar, Hyderabad-500 002