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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
M A I L B A G

Left’s stand on N-deal rational

This refers to the article “Call Left’s bluff on nuclear deal” (Sept 26) written by Mr Himmat Singh Gill. It is a biased write-up against the Left parties. Mr Gill hasn’t given any solid example to prove his charge against the Leftists that they have been “opportunistic” in national politics.

In fact, the Left parties’ rational opposition to the deal has introduced an element of “democratisation” in the entire debate. Very few politicians, including MPs, know the details of the Hyde Act and Section 123. The Left leaders have exposed the deeper game plan of the US. For the first time in independent India’s history, the government has signed a deal which is subordinate to the law of another country. It is the Hyde Act. In December, 2006, the US Congress had passed the notorious law. India’s foreign policy will be passed every year by the American President.


 

As per Section 123, India will have to think twice before striking any deal with Iran. We will always have to respect the American interests. The supporters of the deal avoid a debate on the cost of nuclear energy. Nuclear power with imported reactors will cost between Rs 5.10 and 5.50 per unit at the plant end which will be much higher by the time it reaches the consumer. The Left’s opposition to the deal is rational and positive.

RAJ BAHADUR YADAV,Fatehabad (Haryana)

II

This refers to the article “N-deal: exaggerated US fear” by Mr K. Subrahmanyam (Sept 10). There is no doubt that the 123 agreement will benefit India but will it benefit the whole of India, especially India’s peripheral states in the North and the North-East?

The peripheral states in the North and the North-East, which have suffered from India’s 9 per cent economic growth, fear further militarisation would make them more prone to danger from China and Pakistan as they would have to face the consequences of war.

At the present juncture we are more worried about balancing the benefits of the 9 per cent economic growth than balancing China in Asia for US good as the author suggests in his conclusion.

We want détente in Asia and not gun-boat exercises in the Gulf of Bengal with America, Japan, Singapore and Australia. Our party appreciates Japan keeping itself within its pacifist constitution in the light of its experience with Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II. America’s military umbrella for Japan will suffice as it has since 1945. Australians should also keep themselves away from the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. North of the Yamuna and the Ganga, we want peace.

SIMRANJIT SINGH MANN, Quilla S. Harnam Singh (Fatehgarh Sahib)

III

Any amount of cogent reasoning will never bring round the Left because of its anti-Americanism and especially in view of CPM stalwart Jyoti Basu’s recent categorical opposition to the nuclear deal. The Left never got ruffled in 1971 when Indira Gandhi signed the Indo-Soviet treaty of peace, cooperation and friendship (to all intents and purposes a military pact) at the crucial moment when Richard Nixon was the US President and war clouds were hovering over India. Why so much hullabaloo now?

The Left should also indulge in some soul-searching as to why China has entered into a similar, even harsher to some extent, agreement with the US. Why are China and Russia deeply associated with the US in such matters?

D. K. AGGARWAL, Phagwara

Deplorable comments

The comments made by M. Karunanidhi in the wake of the withdrawal of the affidavit by the Government of India in the Sethusamundram case are deplorable. How can a politician like him don the attire of an enlightened scholar and denounce the followers of Ram as superstitious is beyond comprehension.

Has he forgotten that a part of the Ramayana myth forms the basis of the political philosophy of his party? After all, his guiding spirit, Periyar Ramasami, had upstaged Ravana in his zeal to distance himself from the so-called Brahminical Hinduism. If Karunanidhi debunks the chief protagonist of the Ramayana, then he also loses the philosophical base of his own party.

Dr JAGDISH BATRA, Sonepat

Lecturers’ demands

It is painfully surprising that even though the various political parties in Punjab have accepted in principle the college lecturers’ demands, they fail to implement these when in power.

The Punjab government’s move to phase out the 95 per cent grant-in-aid given to private, recognised colleges is unjustified. In the absence of the grant, the colleges will have to raise the fee and other charges, which would affect students from poorer families.

  Dr S. K. Aggarwal, Amritsar

 

Of ‘hedges’ and ‘fillers’

Philip Hensher’s article titled “The ah, well, um… of speaking” (Sept 28) makes interesting reading. Mostly the use of “fillers” and “hedges” is made by a speaker in spoken English, very rarely in written English.

Usually, “fillers” and “hedges” are used when the speaker forgets what to say, and while trying to recollect or remember, he or she gains time for it. For example, when a speaker used the “hedges” , “you know” and “I mean”, he or she certainly tries to regain or recollect something that he or she has forgotten. Some of the speakers are so forgetful that they stumble after every one or two sentences. The frequent use of “hedges” and “fillers” spoils the beauty of the language.

IQBAL SINGH, Bijhari (Hamirpur)

Zirakpur-Kalka road

The disruption of traffic on National Highway 22 between Zirakpur and Kalka, especially at Kalka and Pinjore, is a daily feature. Commuters have to face a lot of harassment on account of long blockades resulting in the wastage of time and fuel.

The situation is compounded when vehicles move in three or more rows and everybody tries to overtake the other, resulting in chaos and squabbles. Traffic policemen need to be posted there to regulate the movement of vehicles. If violators are heavily fined and sternly dealt with, there is no reason for any blockade on the road.

J.K. MAGO, Panchkula

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