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India’s bid for UN Council seat

The article “China should reciprocate a past gesture” (Nov 28, 2011) was interesting. The subject takes one back to the time when Communist China was looked down upon as a political leper, shunned by the US and its allies. A cursory look at the past Sino-Indian scenario is interesting. Influenced by Buddhism, Chinee scholars would come to India in large numbers as pilgrims. Of them, three left written material with a window on our past age. A Chinese princess, married to an Indian of a royal family, brought silk worms, enabling the silk industry to sprout. In 1937, the Japanese invasion of China was condemned by the Congress party and, as a gesture of goodwill, a team of doctors was sent to China --- Dr Kotnis being one of them. They did a commendable job. When President Eisenhower offered a UN Security Council seat, then occupied by Nationalist China (Taiwan), to India, Nehru spurned it. Nehru helped China occupy a global stature by introducing Chou en Lai to the leaders of the Asian region at Bandung.

At no stage did India seek any quick profit at China’s cost. However, General Chiang Kai Shek, Head of Nationalist China, always espoused the cause of Indian’s independence at all platforms. Now when we talk of the situation today, the economies of India and China are growing fast. They are nuclear powers. Any clash between them would be disastrous, leading to a catastrophe.

Despite the boundary dispute between the two great neighbours, China should promote India’s cause for entry into the UN Security Council as a permanent member. India should ensure that the Dalai Lama, in asylum, doesn’t deviate from the realm of religion to indulge in politics using Indian soil. In return, China should sincerely befriend India.

V.J. SHARMA, Jalandhar

FDI: a wise idea

Prof S.S. Johl’s “Welcome FDI in retail” (December 1) is a guide for all those who are opposing the proposed FDI in retail trade. It is pertinent to note that the BJP supported it in 2004 but now it is opposing it tooth and nail just because it is in the opposition.

Instead of promoting a healthy debate in Parliament, it is keeping the House a hostage. The Akali Dal has rightly thrown its weight behind the FDI in retail because it knows that, being an agrarian state, Punjab’s farmers will get a remunerative price for their produce.

There is nothing to be afraid of foreign investment in retail. The government has laid conditions and investors will have to build infrastructure like cold stores and ware houses. For many decades our government did not allow foreign car manufacturers to come to India as it was feared that this might harm the indigenous car industry. For years we had to depend on obsolete Ambassadors and Fiats. These car companies never spent any amount on R&D because there was no competition and consumers had to buy their product.

The entry of Suzuki changed the face of the car industry. Now we are not only exporting cars but many foreign car companies have also set up ancillary units for manufacturing various parts of their products in India. Thus, FDI in retail is a right step and all of us should support it.

Arun Hastir, Gurdaspur

Pensioners’ misery

A large number of pensioners of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and the Central government are drawing their pensions from various branches of Punjab National Bank. Earlier the local branches of the bank were fixing and disbursing pensions by crediting pensions to the accounts of the retirees.

Later, the regional branch in Sector 17, Chandigarh, took over the responsibility. From October onwards, the work of fixation of pensions has been taken over by the central (main) branch of Punjab National Bank in Delhi. The result is that there are discrepancies in the pension credited to the accounts of pensioners in a large number of cases. The fixation and disbursement has not been done correctly. There is great resentment among the pensioners as they are not getting a correct amount of pensions credited to their accounts. The bank should reconsider the process of centralisation. To avoid harassment to the pensioners, the bank authorities should give the responsibility back to the Chandigarh office.

GR KALRA, Chandigarh



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