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Taming Maoists requires new strategy

The well-argued and convincing article “Strategy to tame the Maoists”, (April 20) by Lt-Gen Vijay Oberoi (retd) has made out a strong case for systemic changes —particularly in areas touching on police training, hierarchical structure and mindset — for effectively tackling the violence and arson let loose by the Maoists and other insurgents in many parts of the country.

Above all, perhaps we need men and women of wisdom and vision, truth and honour, commitment and conviction to redeem us. The abject conditions that have crippled us all these decades as a result of our obsession with debilitating vote-bank politics must be set right. It may sound somewhat simplistic but in the ultimate analysis it is the man behind the machine/machine gun/microphone that matters and not merely the quality or calibre of the latter. As pointed out by poet Alexander Pope: “For forms of government let fools contest. Whate’er is best administer’d is best.”

 Wg Cdr SC KAPOOR (retd). Noida

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The article has been written on well-defined lines which does not have any thing new by way of any strategy to effectively counter the threat now posed by the Maoists. Synergy of resources must be pooled by the states and augmented by the Centre.

The Centre should take charge of the situation now. It should be well understood that the initiative rests with the Maoists and they attack at will at the place of their choosing. The Maoists are well-versed in the art of guerrilla warfare and may be roaming in the same area mingling with the locals after the attack.

There is a need to monitor development in the area and optimise the utilisation of the force. Otherwise, we shall keep losing good men. It is time to think in an unorthodox manner to counter the Maoist threat.


Mobiles & toilets

The UN report clearly reflects that sanitation in India needs immediate attention (article, “Of cell phones and toilets: Need to improve sanitation for a healthy India” by RK Luna, April 21). But the manner in which the UN has pointed this fact is quite strange.

There is no similarity between cell phones and toilets. They are neither complimentary to each other nor they can replace each other. The UN must cite relevant comparisons.



The article was interesting. Regarding scarce availability of low-cost sanitation facilities, it is seen that majority of the rural populace of India, do not either have the means to create the facility and even those who have, prefer to defecate in the fields.

 A recent research revealed that defecating in the open fields is beneficial for the soil. However, if the government actually means business, it should make the people aware of the risks of open defecation.


Sanctity of art 

I fully endorse the views expressed by Bhupinder Brar in his article “A maestro or a pop star?” (April 20). It is true that some celebrity vocalists sometimes frantically struggle to elicit response from their audiences who have little knowledge of classical music. However, it is also necessary to appreciate that a singer is as good in his performance as the audience’s enthusiastic participation in it permits him to be. Although clapping is no sure indicator of this curious fact yet it is a good assurance to the performer that he is being heard.

To preserve the sanctity of his high art requires an extraordinary effort of will on the part of the artist which all but the deeply inspired are unwilling to make. From my experience in a broad range of art forms I have observed, to my utter chagrin, that, once an artist becomes a celebrity, he tends to sell anything as creativity with a perverted sense of vengeance.

He seems to feel that he has arrived, after great perseverance and pluck, against all odds wilfully created by these very people.

Acrobatics in any art-form can at best be regarded only as a technical achievement a mere mastery of craft, but never a spiritual attainment which creativity is supposed to lead its practitioner to, ultimately. Of all forms of creativity, performing arts — dance, drama, music — are the toughest. However hard you may have rehearsed your item, the acid test will finally come on the stage in terms of the quality of its rendition and the response it evokes. In this sense, a maestro is far inferior to a pop star. At least the latter is playing to the gallery to pamper popular applause without any pretensions of preserving the sanctity of his “art”.

Dr S S BHATTI, Chandigarh



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