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India better placed than US

US President Barack Obama has clearly breached the fine line of diplomacy by his statement that investment climate in India is “deteriorating” (editorial ‘US doublespeak’, 17 July). The US economy is bogged down and recession has forced many corporate houses to cut jobs. Americans are feeling the heat and finding it difficult to bring the economy back on the rails. In the last few years, many bankers have been forced to file for bankruptcy in the US, sending shock waves in the stock market and making thousands jobless. But India, in sharp contrast, has stood its ground and faced the financial upheaval in the face of worldwide recession with much ease.

Obama wants India to allow FDI in multi-brand retail but ironically he is accusing Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney of shipping American jobs to India through outsourcing. A votary of free trade in the world, Obama wants India to open up FDI in retail for the benefit of American investors. On the other hand, he does not blink an eye while creating hurdles in the way of Indian software engineers willing to settle in America. What he conveniently forgets is that outsourcing to India by US companies is not being done to profit India, but to save money.

The Indian media and political parties over react to comments from western leaders and the western media. The ‘Time’ magazine dubs Manmohan Singh an underachiever and our media laps it up with both hands and all TV channels start beaming debates on the issue. Many of those exalted experts might not have even read the story but here they are on national television giving the nation their peals of wisdom.

It is for our country to decide what is better for its development and progress. If FDI in retail suits our country it should be implemented, not because Americans want it but because it will give thrust to our economy.

ARUN HASTIR, Babehali (Gurdaspur)

Discard plastic bottles

Excessive use of fertilisers and pesticides is one of the reasons for many serious ailments like cancer. Uranium contamination is beyond the control of the general public, and the people will continue to suffer till concrete steps are taken at the government level to check it (editorial “Uranium in water”, July 9). Another reason for life threatening diseases is consuming water stored in plastic bottles. This plastic contains a chemical polyethylene terepthalete which contaminates water with poisonous chemicals — ethylebenzene and ethyleoxide. Bottles, food containers and toys made of plastic contain lethal bisphynol – A (BPA) leading to hyperactivity, early puberty, abnormal sex behavior and psychiatric problems. Water in plastic bottles is contaminated with arsenic leading to arsenic-poisoning and causes cancer of skin, lungs, urinary bladder and kidney. Scientists have recommended glass bottles, containers and earthen pitchers to store drinking water. Earthen pots are known to absorb uranium at the bottom.


Babu moshai….

The death of legendry superstar Rajesh Khanna marks the end of an era in Hindi film history. He virtually ruled Hindi cinema from 1970 to 1979. One is still enthralled by his acting in Hindi films like Anand, Safar, Aradhna and Kati Patang. His role of a terminally-ill cancer patient in “Anand” remains one of the most remembered characters in Bollywood. He had mesmerised the nation with his dialogue “Babu moshai..zindagi aur maut, upar wale ke haath hai jahanpanah, use na to aap badal sakte hai na hum… hum sab rang manch ki kathputliyaan hain... jinki dor upar wale ke haath main bandhi hui hai... kaun kab kaise uthega yeh koi nahi baata sakta”.


Erosion of patriotism

It is a matter of great concern that several top military officers of our country have been found to be involved in financial irregularities in the recent years. The incidence of gross indiscipline in a unit at Nyoma in Ladakh merits serious attention. If our soldiers and officers in military service go berserk, how can we expect to face the enemy in case of a war effectively? Many

In his article “Corruption in military” (July 12), Lt Gen Harwant Singh’s point that the talented youth are no longer attracted to the OGs and standards of recruitment also seem to have been diluted in order to fill up the existing  vacancies.

No doubt, the declining standard of integrity and probity among our Army officers reflects the growing acceptance of the new culture of corruption in our society, yet we cannot afford to remain a mute witness to the erosion of patriotism and nationalism.



The growing number of corruption-related incidents in the army is a very serious matter. It is still more serious given the fact that the top echelons of the army who are responsible for upholding the highest standard of probity, integrity and personal conduct and instill the same in their juniors are the perpetrators (Lt Gen Harwant Singh’s article “Corruption in military”, July 12).

It is often rued that the army does not get the right kind of candidates for selection in the army because of better avenues for the youth in other fields and the moral degradation prevalent in our society. The need of the hour is to emulate the past traditions when passion for the army, patriotic fervor and physical fitness was the sole criterion for selection.

In a vast country like ours, there should possibly be no dearth of talented and deserving young men. The selection process should be free and fair with no relaxation in its standards. Moreover, there is absolutely no place for corporate culture in the army. All quick promotions and the voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) should outrightly be done away with.

D S KANG, Hoshiarpur



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