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PM must act to get political support

The speech of the Prime Minister on Independence Day has been dubbed uninspiring and has drawn flak not only from the Opposition but also from the media and civil society (editorial ‘Stuck with reforms’, Aug 17). In my opinion, to expect something miraculous which can improve the economy at this juncture would surely be just wishful thinking. But the writing is absolutely clear on the wall that the UPA will have to come out with not just promises but visible deeds coupled with results to earn the lost ground and stage a comeback. The Prime Minister appears to be a shrewd politician when he puts the entire blame for all the economic ailments squarely on coalition compulsions.

If we analyse the recent support which the government very conveniently mustered for its official nominees for the Presidential and Vice Presidential elections and emerged victorious, one thing that comes to the fore is that this government has the ability to influence the will of persons sitting on the Opposition benches too and can easily sail through rough waters.

If this government can successfully overcome hindrances coming in the way of the official nominees in these elections, why is it not able to muster support for its programmes and policies? This all hints at the absence of honest political will and focussed plans on the part of the government to drag the ailing economy out of troubled waters.

The government, which fortunately has some of the top economic brains, should monitor the schemes floated earlier and initiate the much sought after economic reforms which are being seen as the panacea for accelerating economic growth. The need for the government is to be clear and concise in the line of action; only then you can think of getting others to support you and your cause. The people in saddle should understand that you have to earn support through your deeds and sincerity towards the cause. Just ruing over your compulsions and helplessness would not serve the cause for which people have empowered you to govern.


The menace of rape

The rise in the number of rapes in urban areas like Delhi is really very shocking. Sometimes the victim does not disclose what happened because of fear and shame. Court trials take too long to punish the guilty and sometimes the crime is suppressed by the wealthy and politically connected.

Most of the rapes can be avoided if a woman is a little cautious. There are no surefire ways to prevent a rape but a few tips might help: Learn self defence; carry pepper spray or mace; have a trusted escort when you know you are going to be late; do not drink beyond limit; have someone with you when you have to go to a high-risk area at night; yell and shout for help; and dress modestly and decently. The government should install cameras on roads and streets so that the criminal is easily identified and the crime can be prevented.


North-eastern youth

During my service in the Army I had four tenures in the  North-East. The last one was with the NCC at Tezpur. My interaction was with children in upper Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. I also got an opportunity to train a north-eastern region NCC contingent for the Republic Day camp. This was the most memorable period of my life as these children gave me a lot of regard and affection.

Earlier, I had been the secretary of the NCC Republic Day Camp Organising Committee at Delhi for four years. Cadets from the North-East were most adorable and excelled in cultural events. With youngsters  from the North-East at the receiving end of a malicious campaign in different parts of the country my heart goes out for them. I pray for their well-being. 

Lt Col SWARAJINDER SINGH (retd), Zirakpur

Plight of widows

It gives me deep pain to read the ugly reality of widows and their  humiliating  and pathetic living conditions. The editorial ‘Vrindavan widows’ (August 17) suggests solutions from within Indian society with empathy (not sympathy).

We certainly need an innovative strategy for the dignity of the destitute women by learning lessons from the best practices being implemented in the world with social security systems linked with the working life of the people.

One of the policy options for an individual can be to book his/her room in the Old Age Home through self-financing. This should be available to the person during the life time and can be transferable to the trust/ NGO running it. Our problems are not social but socio-economic. One should save 10 per cent for the destitute, which can be linked with life insurance policies.

M.M. Goel, Kurukshetra

A poor show

The Indian contingent for London Olympics has much to cheer about! Thank God, for once, the focus has shifted from the cricketing pitches in the country which throw up a megastar every other day! We are the second most populous country in the world. Yet our medal striking rate has not at all been impressive when the number of medals won relative to each country’s population is made the gauging scale of performance.

In comparison many of the small countries fared better in the medal tally. Why then do we Indians always perform below par at the Olympic Games? For a nation of 1.2 billion people, why is it so difficult to make a rich haul of medals, and consistently at that, say as the US and China? What gives us the jitters and what holds us back from giving our hundred per cent, if not more, at the venue of the greatest games on earth?

There is a misconception that racial superiority makes a big difference in the field of sports. Endowed with strong physique and stamina, it is said that the Europeans always outshine the Asians. Then how is it that over the years China has proved to be equal, if not better, than all the ‘super powers’ of the sporting world put together? It is all about dedication and determination, to make a go for the near impossible, which we Indians lack miserably.

PACHU MENON, Comba, Margao, Goa




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