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Make security checks mandatory

The recent attacks in Mumbai have once again shown that India is vulnerable to terrorist attacks
(editorial,Maximum restraint: Mumbai carries on, July 16). If there was a lull in terror attacks, it did not mean that the terror groups targeting India had given up their anti-India agenda.

There does not seem to be a national policy to tackle terrorism. Approaching the US for support will not help our cause. The US cannot stop terror attacks in India. Either our intelligence agencies are inefficient or their inputs are not taken seriously by other law enforcement agencies.

The US is yet to see another major terror attack after 9/11. But we have not tried to learn from them. Our VIPs get annoyed when they are asked to pause for a security check. This is where we are different from the Americans. If we want to prevent future attacks, we have to stop giving preferential treatment to VIPs in security matters. We have to make security checks mandatory.

We, the people of India, must also cooperate with the government and its agencies in creating a safe environment for us. We must remember that if these attacks continue, our economy will suffer, and our dreams of becoming a prosperous country will remain unfulfilled.



This refers to the editorial, “Maximum restraint: Mumbai carries on” (July 16). The failure of the communication system and the inability of the Chief Minister to speak to the security after the blasts took place in Mumbai speak a lot about our preparedness to control such deadly attacks. The lack of political will is responsible for increasing terrorist attacks in our country. The people of India are fed up with the statements that those responsible for these attacks will not be spared.

TV channels need utmost restraint while reporting these attacks in any part of the country. As the editorial says, no city is safe given the haphazard growth, crowded and chaotic bazaars. Besides, the habit of most of us to carry a handbag wherever we go makes the job of security personnel very difficult.

The US has not given any chance to a terror attack after 9/11. No doubt, given the geographical location, India has a porous border and a difficult terrain. Therefore, we should remain vigilant all the time.


Unconditional talks

The Darjeeling agreement signed on Monday may not be a permanent solution (editorial, Darjeeling Accord, July 19). But Mamata Banerjee has been able to initiate the peace process. The earlier Left Front government was rigid in its approach, and there was no real progress on the issue. It is true that Mamata Banerjee has been successful in creating a favourable environment for peace. However, the real challenge for her begins after the agreement. While the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) wants the inclusion of certain parts of the plains, including Siliguri and Dooars, a majority of the people there are against any such move.

Mamata Banerjee will do well to take the interests of all sections into consideration before taking any decision. It is important that talks should continue not only between the state government and representatives of the GJM, but other sections, which are opposing the agreement, should also be invited. The solution to such problems lies in open and unconditional talks. All stakeholders need to appreciate the gravity of the situation and not put pressure on the government with unrealistic demands that will adversely affect the aspirations of others, and hence cannot be accepted.


Slums in cities

The editorial, Townward march: But can our cities bear the influx? (July 19), was informative. There is no denying the fact that the people living in rural areas of the country are seeking greener pastures in big cities. The shift can be attributed to inadequate employment opportunities in the rural areas of the country, and also the desire to enjoy all kinds of facilities that big cities offer to everyone. But the cities have failed to accommodate people coming from other places.

Thus, more and more illegal colonies and shanties are coming up in the cities, which play havoc with the city’s atmosphere and character. The governments have not done much to cope with this grave situation.  People flock to cities because they offer jobs to all kinds of people. But the issue of slums needs to be tackled at the earliest.                             

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh

Video-game addiction

This refers to the news report, Too much gaming makes kids obese, violent: Survey (July 19). Video games have become complex, detailed, and exhibit a lot of violence. With better graphics and more realistic characters, it is not surprising that children like to play the latest video game. They do not want to spend time with friends. They do not even like to play outside. Apart from violence, another harmful effect is obesity, which is the cause of many other ailments.

Dr SHRUTI K CHAWLA, Chandigarh

The unfamiliar city

I share the sentiments of the writer when he laments that Chandigarh today is not what it used to be (middle, Chandigarh, then and now, July 18). I came to this city in 1961. It was a different city. A peaceful atmosphere prevailed in the city. The city roads hardly saw any traffic. We heard of very few accidents on city roads. There were more trees. Markets did not flourish much then. But we never experienced any scarcity of commodities.

Now, the culture of the city seems to have changed. It is what they call “a market-driven culture”. People had ample time to sit under a tree in a relaxed mood. The pace of life, unlike in other cities, was not so fast.

These days, I do not find the city familiar any more. All the places known to me have changed. Everything is now decided by business considerations. Even the government offices here had friendly people. No longer now. I feel at times as if I have come out of hibernation, and as I open my eyes, I find myself lost in a jungle of buildings and walls. I guess I have grown old, but so has this city!




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