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Consolation rather than Peace Prize

After centuries of bitter acrimony among the nations of Europe, the desire for peace made them assemble the building blocks to take the form of European Union (EU). It is an enigma that we chose to credit the end-product of peace efforts while the deserving creators of the idea stand forgotten. To name one, Jacques Delors, the French Socialist and the president of the EC/EU Commission from 1985 to 1994, is acknowledged as the most determined pursuer of European unity.

In 2009, when Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, it was pointed out that his nomination for the award was not for anything he had done, but rather for what was hoped he would. This year’s Peace Prize to the European Union too is what EU should get in the future for economic integration. A look at EU’s performance so far towards peace per-se has been dismal. The EU was unable to stop three wars: 1991 in Croatia; 1992-1995 in Bosnia and 1999 in Kosovo. The Peace Prize looks out of place. Should, however, the EU manage to sort out  its extreme internal economic contradictions, lift plunging economies  across the entire Euro zone and most importantly, keep all its nations united and prosperous, then it could be in line for the Economics prize in distant future.

R. Narayanan, GHAZIABAD


If the EU did deserve the Nobel Peace Prize (editorial “EU gets its due”, October 15), the question arises as to why the Nobel Peace Prize committee chose to honour the EU at this moment in time rather than in 1989 when the fall of the Berlin Wall made eastward expansion of the EU. The answer, in my views, lies in the current state of the EU.

Today, the EU is terminally ill. Worst still, it has little chance of leaving the intensive care unit, it find itself in. Given that the Nobel Prize is seldom awarded posthumously, the committee was facing a “now or never” dilemma, wondering whether or not it should honour the EU while it is still breathing. Given the current state of the EU and the damage it afflicted on the economy of Greece, the award is more of a consolation rather than a real Peace Prize.


Diluting RTI

The PM’s announcement (“PM bats for limiting RTI to protect individual privacy” October 13) to bring about an independent “Right to Privacy” legislation at this stage will raise suspicion in the mind of the ‘aam admi’ that the actual motive behind it is to safeguard the interests of Sonia Gandhi. The ‘aam admi’ feels that the government could have brought the privacy legislation earlier if it was so concerned about confidentiality. This move of the government in haste only raises questions, though Right to Privacy is an important aspect of the RTI.



The PM’s remarks on the RTI Act that a fine balance is required to be maintained between Right to Information and Right to Privacy is disheartening. It reflects his bureaucratic style of functioning. It is in economics that there are private and public undertakings, in politics there is no scope for any secrecy about the privacy of any politician. Life of a public servant and a politician is open to public scrutiny in a democracy. This step would dilute the existing RTI Act.


Menace, for real

This is not the time to just talk and feel sorry about the drug menace in Punjab. The government must immediately take steps to stop this menace otherwise after terrorism; it will become the next big reason for massacre-type situation. The government must find out the reason for youth taking to drugs, only then can it get rid of it. The foremost problem is of unemployment. Majority of the youth do not have jobs, families do not have any source of income. All the problems are interrelated. If problem of employment is solved it will make youth busy in their work.

HARDEEP KAUR, Nawanshahr


I agree with the AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi for his remarks about 7 out of 10 youth in Punjab being addicted to drugs on his recent visit in the state. The numbers can not specifically fit into conscience of many but at least he raised the issue. Liquor and drugs have become the hallmark of college life; however Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders termed his remarks as an insult to the vibrant Punjab state. Psychotropic drugs are slowly killing youth power. Instead of parties blaming each other, they must come together and evolve an initiative to eradicate such evil from our society.


Poor opposition in Gujarat

Apropos Nihal Singh’s article ‘Modi’s triumphs and failings’ (October 15), while it may be true that Narendra Modi’s style of administration has made the state legislature almost irrelevant, the mega development in almost every sphere is also for all to see. While the state developed enduring ties with the dominant groups in society for an aggressive economic development, the state politics is said to have stunted. Such a harsh reality also raises a question on the functioning of democracy vis-à-vis illiterate, poor and unawakened masses.

Of course, the dignity of every individual and his faith must be honoured, but in a democratic set-up where illiterate masses are misled by vested and unscrupulous politicians, can one expect smooth growth in development? It is in this sense that Modi-type leadership becomes a necessary evil. The country is witness to what our politicians did with the people’s mandate at the national level. For a full session our Parliament seemed to have gone irrelevant.




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