Putin’s views sign of a new cold war?

S. Nihal Singh’s article Arrogance of power: Putin questions US bid to run the world (Feb 13) was timely. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s address to the Annual Security Forum in Munich is a benchmark in the post cold war era. He has very rightly put forward the view that international laws should be equally applicable to both the weak and the strong. Therefore, no country can be allowed its own way in the world affairs all the times.

President Putin’s views may or may not be the beginning of a new cold war era, but his views should be endorsed by every right-thinking individual and nations to restore order in the world affairs. Nations which have an unhealthy ambition to overpower others adopting the formula of “might is right” should realise this. A country, despite its muscle power, cannot be allowed to get a license to trample over weaker nations, one after the other, on pre-emptive and preventive basis.

Joint efforts must be made by one and all to discourage those who impose their own preferences over others resulting in avoidable bloodshed and misery and strive for the welfare of the mankind.

O.P. YADAV, Hisar



Putin’s address is a challenge to the US’ unilateral behaviour in a multipolar world. Helping countries on the Russian periphery, specially her soft underbelly, is dangerous. Having bottled Napolean and Hitler, Russia is a hard nut to crack. With command on supersonic speed, man has turned the colossal globe into a pygmie. Still the unipolar rule is utopia in the light of people’s resistance in Iraq. Saddam dies, but Saddamism lives on. It is the verdict of history.



Nihal Singh rightly says in his article that President Putin’s address at Munich is an attempt at calibration of the world order as the US has been making its calculated deadly moves to weaken other nations and trample the whole world under its feet.

This has to the kept in the right perspective and other nations (particularly Russia and India) will have to be very cautious to thwart such surreptitious (now almost open but denied) manoeuvres so that it doesn’t get a foothold on their soil. When such moves are caught, US Defence Secretary Robert M. Gates would seek to dismiss well-founded accusations made by President Putin. There is nothing new and surprising.


Poor work culture

I fully endorse the views of Rajesh Saraf (Letters, Feb 14). The bank staff are mostly engaged in heavy paper work - preparing monthly, quarterly half yearly or yearly statements. As a result, customer service has taken a back seat in our nationalised banks.

To be fair, the bank officers themselves are under great stress and strain. No bank officer reaches home before 8 p.m. Who has given this right to the management to detain its officers every day without overtime allowance and compensatory offs?

Clerical staff leave banks exactly at 5 p.m., but officers are made to burn the midnight oil. Why are the officers forced to shoulder the burden? A communication of inquiry should be set up to prepare a detailed report on the poor work culture in banks.

BHARAT KUMAR GUPTA, Kandaghat (Solan)

Scrap it

The MPLADS speaks volumes about the extent of money being siphoned off by our greedy politicians in the name of development (Editorial, Scrap MPLADS, Feb 19). How sincere and committed our legislators are can be seen from our experience with the members. MPs never visit their constituencies and why do they need funds?

Of course, there are some rare exceptions. For instance, barring former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, no other MP has visited our area and spent some time with the people. Mr Dhumal has utilised the funds for Hamirpur’s development, his Lok Sabha constituency. The Centre should see reason and wind up the scheme in the larger interest of the country.



IT rebate for elders

According to the Finance Act, 2005, for an Indian resident of 65 years or more during the financial year, there is no tax if his total income does not exceed Rs 1,85,000. On behalf of citizens in 60-65 years age group, I appeal to the Prime Minister and Finance Minister to extend this benefit to senior citizens of 60 years and above.

After attaining 60 years, the liabilities of a person multiply in the form of marriage of dependent children, shelter for living, social and family responsibilities, medical expenses of self and dependents etc. There is also pressure for forced savings to reduce the income-tax burden. This makes the person’s life miserable as he/she has to manage things with meager sources of income.

The Indian Railways has declared a person of 60 years and above as senior citizen for extending rail travel concession @ 30 per cent in all classes and trains, including the Rajdhani, the Shatabdi and the
Jan Shatabdi.

Some state governments also extend bus travel concession to senior citizens of 60 years and above. Almost all the banks extend senior citizen benefits to those above 60 years. I appeal to the Prime Minister to give relief to this age group.

Dr C.M. KAPOOR, Hisar



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