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Upbeat Mamata needs to be on guard

The editorial “Mamata is upbeat: But still needs Cong support” (June 4) has aptly described the hurdles Mamata Banerjee may have to cross to come to power in the 2011 Assembly election in West Bengal.

But one thing is very clear that the red citadel is crumbling and floundering. It will be another matter if the Left front glosses over its defeat in the civic elections in its stronghold of Kolkata and fails to read the writing on the wall.

At the same time, headstrong Ms Banerjee should know that there is many a slip between the cup and lip. She needs to present a creditable alternative to the people to root out the well-entrenched Left in the state.

That apart, she must show maturity and sobriety in her political conduct. So far her track record belies this possibility. Histrionics and hysterics alone may not ensure a repeat of “historic victory” in the state Assembly elections.

As for the Congress support to her, it will have no option but to play ball with her because of the compulsions of coalition politics. It will be entirely up to her how she runs and rules the state. But Ms Banerjee will have to be on guard all the time as the left parties will be only too happy to see her tripping and shooting herself in the foot.


Maoist threat

General VP Malik’s (retd) suggestions in his article “Different aspects of Maoist problem: How to handle it effectively” (May 31) were apt. He has recommended short-term and long-term measures to tackle the Maoist menace.

First of all, there is an urgent need to arrive at a consensus among politicians, bureaucrats, the police, the Centre as well as state governments over the issue whether to treat Maoists as misguided citizens or hardcore terrorists. Secondly, there is an urgent need to raise a separate anti-terrorism force specialised in jungle warfare under a separate command. Anti-Maoist operations should be undertaken under the command of direct entry cadre commissioned officers.

Last but not the least, local governance needs to be strengthened. Socio-economic development of the Maoist infested areas should get priority. There should be consistent and effective policy for creating employment opportunities and poverty alleviation.

PURAN SINGH, Nilokheri


The article highlighted the Maoist menace in India. We need an integrated Centre-state approach along with good governance to tackle the Maoist threat. As far as the role of Armed Forces is concerned, instead of their direct involvement in counter-insurgency operations, they can provide their expertise to selected police personnel in guerrilla warfare and planning by joint training programmes.

Dr SAMPRATI AVASTHI,  via e-mail

BCCI’s decision

The immature and irresponsible decision of the BCCI not to send a cricket team to participate in the next Asiad is deplorable. We stand a good chance of winning a medal for most countries do not play cricket. The explanation of a busy calendar does not sound convincing.

India is capable of producing more than one team in order to represent the country in case events happen simultaneously. Perhaps the financial angle is paramount for the BCCI. The government should persuade the BCCI to rise above monetary interests.


Way of life

Every word of the editorial “Heads must roll” (June 4) is true. However, we neither have the mechanism nor the will to roll heads. So we must start accepting such happenings the way we have accepted corruption as a “way of life”.

BALVINDER, Chandigarh

Save tigers

Anuradha Sawhney’s article “Spare the tiger” (June 4) highlighted the need to protect tigers from extinction. She rightly asserts that the number of animal deaths in road accidents is higher than deaths by poaching.

But it is also a fact that the tiger trade is well-financed and well-coordinated between poachers and dealers leading to their extinction.

On the whole, the dwindling number of the tigers is a serious threat to our ecosystem. It is imperative that strict punishment be meted out to poachers and smugglers of tiger parts. The Wild Life Act should be followed in letter and spirit and forest guards should be given more powers.

Besides dependence upon forests for livelihood should be minimised. Awareness campaigns emphasising tigers’ significance to the ecosystem must gain momentum. Only then shall we be able to save the tigers.




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