L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

India must upgrade its maritime power

Premvir Das in his article “China flexes naval muscle in Indian ocean” (May 8) has rightly warned the Indian authorities to ponder over the urgent need to develop its maritime power. Our warships and submarines should be in a position to protect our vast coastal line.

The Chinese navy’s amphibious assault ship and nuclear-powered submarines, some fitted with nuclear warheads, may pose a threat to India’s coastal security, especially if China succeeds in making its dedicated base in Pakistan, Myanmar or in Sri Lanka. The US already has a large base at Diego Garcia. As such, an imminent threat can be visualised.

The warships of friendly nations visit each others’ ports on a goodwill mission to conduct joint naval exercises but a permanent naval presence could be a cause for worry. Mr Das has aptly called for the need to focus on technology for modernising the Indian Navy to combat possible the threat from the Chinese naval forces.


Obama’s AfPak policy

H K Dua’s enlightening piece (Editors Column, “Obama’s Afpak”, May 4) details the self-created strife in Pakistan. But the recent statements of the US President, Mr Barrack Obama, and General David Petraeus, Commander, US Central Command, do indicate that the US is now waking up to the ground reality prevailing in Pakistan. Mr Obama is right in dismissing Pakistan’s baseless India-phobia. It is worth noting that India can neither pursue nor has pursued a policy of hatred.

India’s credentials as a secular state cannot be denied. The US President is well advised to “underpin” his policy on Pakistan. He must exert diplomatic and economic pressure on Pakistan’s political and military masters, make them see reason and desist them from aiding and abetting the Taliban and other terror outfits. History proves that Pakistan has gained nothing from India-bashing.

L R SHARMA, Sundernagar, Mandi

“Jaziya” in Pakistan

In the editorial “A Taliban outrage” (May 2) you have correctly stated that imposing “Jaziya” on Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan has revived memories of Aurangzeb’s rule. To rub salt on wounds, Pakistan has termed the incident as an “internal affair”. This shameful happening also shows the hollowness of the Obama doctrine of “moderate Taliban”.

Those who swear by human rights must raise their voice against such inhuman acts. The Indian Government, too, must do everything possible to help the beleaguered Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan.


Population explosion

Gobind Thukral deserves to be congratulated for his enlightened analysis of the formidable problem of population in his article “Population explosion” (April 29). He has provided facts and figures to elucidate his point. Population is the mother of many problems like unemployment, ailing healthcare and the deplorable plight of women and children. Political leaders conveniently remain silent on the population issue for fear of losing votes.

Sometimes, we hear them proclaiming that we are a nation of one billion. It should be a matter of shame to boast so when half of India’s population is forced to live in miserable conditions.

Unfortunately, the media and the intelligentsia have also failed to highlight this problem. It is said that coercive measures should not be applied to control population. But is it not time to fix responsibility? Parents must ensure a minimum standard for the upbringing of their children. Shall we wait for judicial intervention even in this respect?


Plight of rape victims

Recent incidents of suicides by rape victims (“Rape victim commits suicide at IG’s office” by Bijendra Ahlawat, May 7) apparently due to police inaction have once again shown the real face of our police which is inhumane and insensitive to the plight of hapless victims. The victims are made to run from pillar to post just to get an FIR registered. Despite the Supreme Court verdicts that it is compulsory to register an FIR, the police does not take action because of political pressures, bribery or out of sheer apathy towards the victims.   

There is an urgent need to educate the public that it need not resort to such extreme steps. If a police officer refuses to register an FIR, they can always knock the doors of the court by filing a complaint. 



Shocking incidents like that of Alka, the rape victim, who committed suicide is enough to make any sensitive person wonder aloud about the futility of democracy. I feel ashamed to be part of such a state that is doomed with gloomy stories of the Saritas, Alkas and many other desolate women. Ironically enough, even the Talibani system sounds better than ours as the former endeavours to establish what it proclaims. But here, there is a gnawing dichotomy between thought and action.


Democracy’s new face

I wonder whether this is the face of democracy that our freedom fighters dreamt of. Today, freedom of expression has been reduced to indecency as evident in the unruly proceedings in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies. Politicians are least concerned about people and are driven by avarice and opportunism.




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