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Advani must make way for someone else

The editorial “That sinking feeling” (June 15) has rightly concluded that Mr L K Advani’s continuing pre-eminent position in the BJP is preventing the party from coming out of the crisis triggered by its defeat in the recent general elections. Mr Advani’s hold on the party is not allowing a free debate on the reasons for its electoral drubbing.

It is no secret that in order to occupy the Prime Ministerial chair, Mr Advani depended too much on the amorphous ideology of cultural nationalism and the Hindutava. Mr Advani was ambivalent and flip-flopped over the excesses on the Christians in Orissa and assault on the girls in pubs in Karnataka by fundamentalist groups like the Bajrang Dal and the Sri Ram Sene, respectively. Mr Varun Gandhi’s vitriolic speech, too, also didn’t help matters. 

Mr Advani is proving to be a liability rather than an asset for the party. More people may desert the sinking ship if they continue to be ignored or marginalised in the party. It is therefore, imperative that to prevent a further slide, Mr Adavani should either shun his anachronistic politics or call it a day and let some liberal and open-minded leader take his place.

HEMA, Langeri, Hoshiarpur

Peace with Pakistan

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh (H K Dua’s front-page editorial “Making a peace bid is not a bad idea”, June 11) has sagaciously sent across a message of peace to Pakistan. The ball is now in Pakistan’s court. India has once again taken the initiative to renew the dialogue with Pakistan. In return, it has not demanded a pound of flesh. It only wants Pakistan not to let the so-called “non-state actors” carry out terror strikes against us. If Pakistan can reciprocate India’s gesture, things will certainly change for the better in the Indian subcontinent.

Economic co-operation, commerce and trade and social and cultural interaction have a direct bearing on the people of both nations. In fact, the people of both nations desire to come together.

It is possible if Pakistan President, Mr Asif Zardari, who is fond of issuing contradictory statements, and Prime Minister, Mr Yousuf Gilani, who loves to blow his own trumpet, work in tandem and see reason in having cordial relations with India. However, they seem bogged down by mistrust, hatred and one-upmanship.



The editorial is well timed, and attempts to carve a new roadmap for the abandoned and elusive peace process between the two neighbouring countries. It is pertinent to resume the peace dialogue so that both nations can concentrate their energies on developmental issues.

Col R S GURUNG (retd), Kangra


One wonders as to why the US Undersecretary of State, Mr William Burns, and US’s special envoy, Mr Richard Holbrooke, insist on restarting the peace dialogue between India and Pakistan. This indicates that the US has no regard for the sentiments of the people of India. The editorial has aptly observed: “The road to peace, particularly between India and Pakistan, has generally to traverse a tricky terrain. Even if the peace talks begin, their success is not guaranteed, considering the threats, particularly from the terrorist groups, lurking ahead.”

IQBAL SINGH, Bijhari, Hamirpur

Youth in Punjab

While expressing concern over attacks on Indian students in Australia, it was also stated that many of them are from Punjab. However, no one seems to be pointing out as to why such a large number of young Punjabis are leaving their homeland to study, work and settle overseas. A vast majority of Punjabi youth, especially in the rural areas, is directionless. Bogged down by unemployment, they are always seeking greener pastures in other nations.


Apathy towards attacks

Indian students are being attacked in Australia continuously. The Federation of Indian Students of Australia (FISA) is alleging that no help has come their way, accusing the Indian consulate of not taking the issue seriously and playing politics with the life of students. 

The Minister of State for External Affairs, Mr Shashi Tharoor, said that the attack on Indian students in Australia is a domestic issue of Australia and should not be treated as an issue between two nations. This tells the sorry state of affairs. Our government is not at all interested in the problems of the common people.

S K GARG, Chandigarh

Check deemed university status

The editorial “Why deemed varsities?” (June 10,) was apt, bold and commendable. In the past few years, the Ministry of Human Resource Development has accorded the status of “deemed university” to nearly 100 institutions.

It is good news that the Centre has ordered review of all existing deemed universities. Most of these institutions that were granted the status of deemed university lack essential infrastructure and do not meet the standards of quality education. Most of these institutions do not conform to the UGC norms and guidelines.

During last five years, several allegations of corruption have been made against the UGC officials who have allegedly colluded with private institutions in granting deemed university status. I agree that the Centre should implement the Yash Pal Committee recommendations and scrap the policy of granting the deemed university status to educational institutions.

Dr H KUMAR KAUL, Barnala



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