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Lessons from Chinese strategy

Gen VP Malik (retd) ends his article “The Sino-Pak nexus” (June 11) with candid advice for governance to learn from the Chinese approach to strategy. As opposed to their prescient approach, we are knee-jerk in theory and practice, honouring Pavlov and his conditioned response theory more than we should.

Two schools of thought speculate on the strategic purpose of China in ‘surrounding’ India by creating a ‘garland’ of land/naval bases around its periphery. One school feels that the purpose is to limit India’s strategic reach in South Asia. The other feels that China, to actualise its plans of becoming an economic superpower, needs to get its key logistics in place, whether in Nepal, POK, Sri Lanka, Gwadar Myanmar or in Afghanistan.

Seen dispassionately, the Sino-Pak collusion in POK may be the beginning of an economic driven Chinese drive to revive the Old Silk trade routes, with Gwadar acting as a critical economic outlet. India has fortunately interpreted this development as having dual-use intent and must protect its current military advantages in the Siachen area with hardnosed, long term realpolitik strategy. As General Malik implies, let us learn from China and develop a long term, well reasoned and synergised strategic perspective.

Maj-Gen RAJ MEHTA (retd), Shimla


The article “‘India can’t do a Geronimo”’ (June 8) by Lt-Gen Harwant Singh (retd) removed the cover from a series of facts hitherto hidden and unknown to the common man. Similar sentiments have been echoed in “‘Sino-Pak nexus” ( June 11) by Gen V P Malik (retd).The fact that the three wings of our defence forces lack coordination desired in a Geronimo type of operation, is highly upsetting. And further, more upsetting is the revelation that the above referred lack of co-ordination is neither accidental nor due to any fault in training of our armed forces but thoughtfully engineered by our politico-bureaucratic dispensation. Is it not against our national interest?

It is due to such blunders that India has lost lakhs of square kilometres of its territory to our neighbouring aggressors like Pakistan and China in the past. In such circumstances, a joint chief of the three wings of our defence forces is extremely necessary. Parliament should take a decision in the matter at the earliest and remove this lapse forthwith. It is sad to note that high ranking generals like Harwant Singh are forced to air their views when the governments of the day do not give weightage to such views ignoring national interest. The present government owes an answer to the nation on the issues raised in the article.

L R SHARMA, Haripur, Sundernagar

Ramdev & politics

I fully subscribe to the balanced and upright views expressed in the editorial “Pendulum swings” (June 6). Baba Ramdev may be an expert in yoga discipline but he is not all conversant with the political process. Indian democracy is mature enough and extra constitutional means cannot work here for the change of government. Unfortunately, the whole drama enacted at Ram Lila grounds was political under the deceptive saintly garb.

If Baba wants change, he should first mobilise his influence to get a no-confidence motion passed in Parliament against the present government and get it dismissed. Then in the elections that would follow, he should get his nominees elected to capture all the seats in the Lok Sabha as he is making exaggerated claims that the people of India are overwhelmingly under his influence. Only then can he get all his whimsical and frivolous demands accepted through legislation.

If he fails in these democratic endeavours to capture power, he should take political sanyas and accept that his false claims have been exposed. His field is yoga and he should stick to it.

PARMOD KUMAR, Kurukshetra

Slums and India

The editorial “Scarred by slums: India should focus on rural development” (June 4) has rightly shown its concern over the rise of gap between the rich and the poor. The article “Plight of India’s slum dwellers” (June 3) by Jayshree Sengupta was apt too. Slums are a slur on the nation. But we can’t get rid of slums until we solve the problem of population explosion.

A S ANAND, Ludhiana

Functional RO plants

Apropos your story dated June 13, the second headline says “100 RO plants dysfunctional”. In fact, of the 100 plants that we put up in Haryana, we are in the process of relocating 10 plants to new locations in agreement with the state government, and this work is in progress.  The other 90 plants are working without a day’s closure as confirmed by the same government report that your reporter has quoted.

The village named Keorak, quoted as having 100 users, actually serves 200 households, or about 1,000 users. Adoption is rapidly increasing: Naandi has in fact tripled the number of beneficiaries of the water centres in Haryana since February 2010.

The report confuses issues of taste and water quality. The quality of our water is tested every month by a government-certified lab, and the water reports are publicly available and posted at each site. To illustrate our impact, nitrate levels at Khurana were initially 8 times the levels authorised by our national health standards but they are entirely removed after treatment.

Naandi partnered with the state government to test the water centre model at three corners of the state, with a wide range of populations and water quality parameters.

Manoj Kumar, CEO, Naandi


Our reporter replies: The CEO, Naandi Foundation, had himself informed that most of the plants were functioning below 30 per cent utilisation, making them unviable. Whether 90 of the plants functioned without a day’s gap or not was never an issue.

Red Cross funds

The editorial “Open loot” (June 3) rightly highlighted the issue of blatant misuse of Red Cross funds in Haryana. This malpractice is prevalent in every state. These  funds are  generated with sincere efforts of many agencies and donations from all sections of society, and it is very unfortunate that the custodians of these funds act as ‘Nawabs’ and divert them for personal comforts or dole it to the habitual ‘parasites’ as baksheesh on  the directions of the politicians in power.

Similar is the fate of temple trust funds which are also spent mercilessly thus betraying the faith and trust of thousands of followers who donate their hard earned money.

This kind of arbitrariness should be stopped immediately to manage these funds professionally and also to ensure accountability of those entrusted to handle public funds.




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