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US policy may embolden Taliban

In the front-page editorial “Americans commit blunders, not mistakes” ( March 10),  Mr HK Dua has rightly commented that  the term ‘Good Taliban’ perhaps is the creation of policy wonks working in cosy surroundings, far away from the treacherous terrain of Afghanistan. When sworn in as the US President, Mr Barack Obama had declared that his administration would strengthen military action in Afghanistan and in the bordering areas of Pakistan.

Within six weeks his thunderous declaration to take severe action against the Taliban in Afghanistan and in the bordering area of Pakistan has been deflated. Now, it appears that like his predecessor Mr George W Bush, he too miscalculated the strength of the Taliban in those areas.

So, he is willing to have for reconciliatory talks with moderate elements of the Taliban. This will only encourage the Taliban to continue its jihad. Mr Dua has rightly concluded that Americans who are generally fond of shortcuts in foreign policy may see the region getting into a deeper mess.

SUMAN KUKAL, Chandigarh

BJP-BJD rift

Adding to the editorial: “Et tu, Naveen?” (March 10), I must say that the immediate cause of the severance of ties between the BJD and the BJP is being attributed to the sharing of seats for the forthcoming elections. But the real cause was a widening of ideological fissures. For quite sometime, the BJD was finding it uncomfortable to work with the BJP and its Sangh Parivar agenda of Hindutava.

The rallying of the non-Congress secular parties behind the BJD government has strengthened the prospects of the Third Front. This development brightens the chances of a non-Congress, non-BJP PM in the next Lok Sabha. The poll prospects of the NDA have received a big jolt. With this masterstroke, “the suave and soft-spoken Chief Minister and the BJD supreme, Mr Naveen Patnaik” has not only caught the BJP off- guard but has also ensured better prospects for his party in the coming elections and another term as the CM of Orissa.


Uncertain future

There is substantial truth in H K Dua’s editorial “Beware! There is political instability lurking ahead” (March 3) and he has very rightly given a timely call for making a judicious choice in choosing our future MPs.

Most of our MPs look at national problems from regional, communal and linguistic angles. The self-serving politicians have very little accountability. India has emerged as a strong economic and nuclear power. Let us vote to make a difference.



With the announcement of the election schedule by the Election Commission, the stage is set for voters to choose the members of the next Lok Sabha.

However, what would emerge after the polls remains hazy. The two main parties, the Congress and the BJP, have no hope of winning an outright majority in the election. What is surprising about these polls is what while the Congress looks strong; its allies in the UPA appear weak. In the NDA, the BJP is becoming weak and its allies seem strong. Hence, the constitution of the new government is dependent on post polls tie-ups.



Mr Dua has rightly cautioned voters to think before they vote. In India, a country of vast diversity, it is not easy to decide whom to vote for.

I think the voter decides and should decide to vote on three basic issues namely the law and order situation, the development and inflation.

So before giving tickets, the political parties must give preference to qualified persons. The voter on his part must see the merits of the candidate. I think the voter is quite intelligent and will elect competent persons to form a good government.



There has been a shameful exhibition of self-praise by the Central and state governments on television and in newspapers. Full-page advertisements have become an order of the day.

This is a merciless squandering of public money. The trend is obnoxious and needs to be curbed immediately. The Election Commission should step in and put a ban on such uncalled for advertisements.

M. L. ANAND, Ludhiana


Through the columns of your esteemed paper, I appeal to all political parties to stop putting up full-page or even half-page advertisements in leading newspapers highlighting their so-called achievements.

This is mere wastage of public money. They are advised to spend this money on the welfare of the poor. Noble actions do not need cheap publicity and actions speak louder than words.


Couch potatoes

I would like to draw your attention to the latest malaise affecting our youngsters. They sit glued to television sets throughout the day, neglecting their studies. Continuous TV viewing adversely affects their health. They cannot pursue any physical activities. What is worse, they insist on eating only junk food.

In fact, continuous TV viewing is affecting the physical and mental health of our youngsters alarmingly. They have no love for reading. I, therefore, suggest remedial measures such as limited TV viewing for children. TV commercials must focus upon healthy food choices and significance of sports programmes.




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