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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
M A I L B A G

BJP back to its old tricks

The BJP is again politicising emotive issues for political gains. One wonders why it is not taking the initiative to tackle national problems like poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, child abuse, atrocities against women and lack of health and education facilities with the same alacrity and clamour as to stop the Ram Sethu Samudram project. Presumably, it has no guts to embark on a difficult path and is, therefore, always on the lookout for easy shortcuts to come upfront.

Unfortunately, though not entirely unexpected, the Congress did stick to its guns on the Ram Sethu issue obviously for electoral interests. Instead of locking horns with the BJP, the VHP and the RSS politically, it has compromised on its secular credentials by taking back the affidavit from the Supreme Court.

Such instances of retraction and pusillanimity on the part of the Centre send a wrong signal to obscurants, who are bent upon taking India to the mediaeval age.

TARSEM SINGH, New Delhi


 

II

The editorial, “Bridge with people: Dangers of mixing religion with politics” (Sept 14) was timely. The controversy over the Ram Sethu has been raging in India for quite some time. The construction of Sethu Samudram at a place known as Ram Sethu should have been avoided and built at some other suitable place.

Since Ram Sethu is a symbol of the faith and religion of a vast majority of people in this country and overseas, the demolition or any damage to this bridge could easily arouse the passions and feelings of the Hindus in this country.

Lord Rama is a Rashtra Purush and hero of our Indian culture. It is at once Machiavellian and mischievous to contend Rama and the Ramayana characters have not existed and are a mere fiction.

For this, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) owes an apology to the nation. The government has done well by deciding to remove objectionable paragraphs of the affidavit already filed in the Supreme Court negating the existence of Lord Rama and the Ramayana characters, and saved the situation from further worsening.

IQBAL SINGH, Bijhari (Hamirpur)

III

The affidavit questioning Ram’s existence presented by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to the Supreme Court was a highly irresponsible move which, undoubtedly, deserved condemnation by all. The Centre has rightly withdrawn it.

I differ with the view in the editorial, “Bridge with people” (Sept 14) that Leader of Opposition L.K. Advani opposed the affidavit for vote bank politics when all others were resenting in a similar tone. The contents of the affidavit must have hurt the right-thinking citizens all over the country. The wrongdoers must be brought to book and be given stringent punishment.

Dr R.K. SHARMA, Faridabad

IV

Dividing the country on communal lines will not be in the national interest. I am afraid, the controversy over the Ram Sethu should end forthwith. Otherwise, every political party will misuse it for narrow partisan ends.

At this juncture, we must try to avoid yet another problem confronting the country. Both the UPA government and the BJP must stop playing politics in the interest of national unity and integrity.

SHAILESH KUMAR,Bangalore

V

The Centre should not have bungled on the issue of Lord Ram in the affidavit. No one can challenge His existence. The affidavit, since withdrawn, was in bad taste. I do not understand why in our country we are very fond of creating problems. We should try not to allow things to go out of control. Let’s nip it in the bud.

BRIJ RAJ, Mississauga (Canada)

VI

If historians or the ASI need evidence on Ram, do they accept the existence of God in general or not? As it is a question of one’s faith, how could one demand historical evidence to prove God’s existence?

A section of the intelligentsia, including politicians and historians, is doing more damage to India than an enemy country. Every controversy is being politicised by our leaders for their own benefit. Whether Ram, Jesus or men of similar standing existed or not, it is an issue of faith and belief and we have to respect that.

KHUSHDEEP GOYAL, Talwandi Sabo

VII

The RSS and the Hindutva brigade should be ashamed of themselves for always trying to mix religion with any and everything. It would have been worthwhile if they would have based their struggle against the Sethu Samudram project on some logical concerns.

Their attempt to provide some scientific reasoning to their resistance was in the form of an alleged ISRO scientist who turned out to be a cheat. The viability of this project should be adjudged keeping in view only the geological, environmental and ecological concerns.

AMINAH K. PADMAVALLI, Hyderabad

Punjab, a picture of neglect

There is nothing for the Punjab government, past and present, to gloat over their performance or on the existing state of the province (Editorial, “Deceptive statistics”, Sept 18). From education, health care, infrastructure, power, agriculture, finances, industry to everything else in the state presents a dismal scene.

Every town is a picture of squalour, filth and ill-planned growth. Female feoticide is on the rise and so are farmers’ suicides. The state is in the grip of the great plague called corruption. Unemployment stares the youth in the face. Investment in realty creates no wealth or jobs. Builders take away money and leave behind labour colonies on government land.

The Tribune needs to be congratulated for contesting the verdict which places Punjab as ‘Numero Uno State’. The results of the evaluating agency are obviously based on some dubious statistics. If Punjab, as it is today, is Number 1 state, then the condition of the rest of the country must really be pathetic!

Lt-Gen HARWANT SINGH (retd), Camp: New York


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