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Army Chief shouldn’t speak in public

In a modern democratic state, the sovereignty of the people is delegated to the three wings of the state, namely the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. The bureaucracy and the military, though extremely important, do not comment on matters of policy in public. So I feel it was not correct on the part of the Army Chief, General Deepak Kapoor, while speaking on ‘Sena Divas’ to express his opinion that the military option against the neighbouring country was open even now. More alarming was his declaration, “We have kept all options open, if diplomatic and economic options fail, war is the last resort”.

I feel that the Army Chief has crossed the parameters of his role. May be, he was trying to copy the Home Minister, Mr P Chidambaram, who had made a similar provocative public statement. But then, Mr Chidambaram is a political animal and his indiscretions are not to be taken seriously.

But, the Army Chief should not make a comment on such a delicate and crucial matter. The government needs to convey a stern warning that the accepted parameters are not to be crossed. More so, because all the right thinking people believe that an Indo- Pak war is not a wise option.

Undoubtedly, the public is both respectful and grateful to the Army for its bravery and devotion. But even then the Army should not speak in public. May be a low-key retraction and regret on the part of the Army Chief would be  a correct response.

RAJINDAR SACHAR, Chief Justice (retd), High Court of Delhi, New Delhi

Nail Mayawati

Amar Chandel’s article “Mayawati Raj” (Jan 14) was well documented. How Ms Maywati has made our heads hang in shame was laid bare most lucidly. She is plundering the taxpayer’s money and her insatiable hunger is only growing.

Whereas the Aryans bequeathed us an enviable civilisation and the Mughals created architectural wonders, our elected leaders fail to see beyond their self-interest.

Under the circumstances, who will cast the first stone at her? Shouldn’t the Allahabad High Court or perhaps the Supreme Court treat Mr Chandel’s article as an equivalent of a PIL and initiate proceedings? Is the president of the country listening?


Rely on self

The editorial “Don’t bank on others” (Jan 12) was very apt. Indeed, it is the right time to review treaties with Pakistan. Pakistan has already been given sufficient time to mend herself, but it has all been in vain.

Now, we should strike while the iron is hot. The idea given by the former diplomats about reviewing previous treaties with Pakistan is very encouraging and befitting. The US has its own selfish motives.

ER S K MITTAL, Panchkula

Obesity tax alone will not help

The obesity tax has failed to take into consideration a rather peculiar situation where both malnutrition and obesity have become one of India’s most blatantly visible symptoms of the ever-increasing contrast between the rich and the poor.

The urban and rural life presents a dangerous paradox. There is an increase in disease and death due to malnutrition among the poor population and obesity-related lifestyle diseases among the rich. We often see that children in metros and big cities are battling with obesity-related diseases and disabilities. On the other hand, scrawny stick-legged malnourished children playing in the villages and slums could die young.

Poverty, low levels of education and poor access to health services lead to malnutrition. But the rich are becoming victims of obesity-related diseases. I strongly feel that increasing VAT on the junk food is only a cosmetic exercise.

Obesity is also termed as globasity or diabesity because obesity is a major risk factor for diabetes and cardiovascular problems, which has assumed epidemic proportions in India. India might soon gain the dubious distinction of becoming the “ diabetic capital” of the world. Obesity and hunger should be a vital concern of a welfare society

We need to fight both hunger and obesity and not only by increasing taxes on junk food.

Dr VITULL K GUPTA, Bhatinda.



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