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

Learn from military history

The articles The security agenda by Gurmeet Kanwal and “India has limited missile strike capability” by Dinesh Kumar (May 30) need to be taken seriously by our political class. We have not learnt any lessons from history, though military history, in particular, is a hard taskmaster. For if you do not learn any lessons from history, it repeats itself. We have been caught off-guard several times. In fact, we seem to be gaining experience and expertise in fighting “previous wars”, instead of future wars. The yawning gaps in our defence preparedness are frightening.

While most of our military planning is based on the threat perception from our western neighbour, our real and long-term threat from the north should be the main focus and priority. Let us not forget that our political class, which ignored the advice of the then Chiefs and was lulled by the “Panchsheel” agreement and “Hindi, Chini Bhai Bhai” slogans in the fifties, suffered the worst national humiliation in 1962.

We have again been lulled by so-called “border talks” and believe that border disputes can be resolved by peaceful means. Our adversary seems to have everything in place. Another illusion of our political class is that the economic strength of the country and diplomacy can take care of our security concerns.

New Delhi

BJP must change

The editorial Treading the beaten path (June 3) has hit the nail on the head by advising the BJP to change if it wants to win over public trust. Indeed, the BJP cannot win the battle through unruly behaviour and negative tactics in Parliament. If the BJP or any other party wants to win the battle, then they should not wait for five years. They should take up the issues of people’s interest from day one and should stop issuing bizarre statements.

The BJP should also introspect why it has been branded a communal party. The BJP can only blame itself for having failed to project itself properly. They can follow the example of Ms Mamta Bannerjee who has broken the stranglehold of the Left in West Bengal. The media has not been very kind to her also. But she fought the state repression and did not bother about the pro-Tata and pro-Left media campaign.

Only time will tell whether the BJP will learn from its mistakes or just keep bidding its time till another election.

DR TIRATH GARG, Ferozepur City

Pending cases

There is a huge backlog of cases in the courts. The reason behind the huge arrears of cases is the unjustified adjournments. While recording evidence, the presiding officers do not prevent the parties from putting irrelevant questions. The arguments become time-consuming and the verdicts are not recorded for weeks and months.

Scant regard is shown in disposing off cases within the time limit laid down in some enactments. There is a need to devise a system to monitor the working of the courts on a regular basis.

A C AGGARWAL, IAS (retd), Delhi

PM in control

It is gratifying that the government led by Dr Manmohan Singh has now achieved firm control of the administration. Dr Singh is well educated, ethical and has acquired considerable political experience. In the light of his credentials and accomplishments, there are grounds for optimism that India will now move ahead rapidly.

It is also hoped that Dr Singh will work towards bringing conclusive peace to the Kashmir valley. In reality, any government that fails to protect its people has little legitimacy.  

New York, USA

Avoid vulgar display of wealth

I felt deeply anguished by the report that a minister in the Karnataka Government spent over Rs. 20 crore on the wedding of his son and that he had installed over 500 air-conditioners in the pandal where the guests enjoyed food. This kind of conspicuous consumption and bizarre display of wealth and that too by a minister shows total insensitivity and lack of concern towards the sentiments of the poor who do not get even one square meal a day.

How one wishes that the minister had spent this amount in providing education and health-care facilities in his constituency! Such outlandish conduct only gives sustenance to Naxal-like activities. I appeal to the leaders of all political parties to advise their Members in Parliament and Assemblies to eschew conspicuous consumption and to refrain from such naked display of wealth.

This is not the first instance of its kind reported by the media. Earlier a Union Minister had also wallowed in similar luxury, not to speak of industrialists who spent over Rs 300 crore each on the weddings of their siblings. This tendency needs to be curbed to ensure a humane and just society.

Former Governor of  Uttarakhand and Sikkim



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