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Importance of Bhutan

Modi’s first international visit was not to China, Pakistan or Sri Lanka but to Bhutan. Any special reason? Well, the PM has shown dexterity in moving like a ballistic missile that hits multiple targets. Through his visit, he aims to counter China’s growing influence on the small nation on the one hand and ensuring internal security and energy security on the other. By extracting a promise from Bhutan that it would not allow its territory to be used as a hiding ground for militants, Modi has tried to counter the North-East insurgency. Also, Bhutan has hydro-electric power potential and the target of jointly developing 10,000 MW by 2020 for Indian needs, has been cemented by the PM's visit. Lastly, he seems focused on strengthening the strategic Indo-Bhutan knot and loosening that of China and Bhutan. He wants to correct the failure of the preceding government in doing so as it was vindicated when Bhutan gave its Chumbi valley to China which is just 500 km away from our only land connection to the North-East, the Siliguri corridor.

Jashan Kang, via email

Why the generosity?

Apropos the editorial “Cementing ties” (June 17), it is difficult to understand why Modi, for his first foreign visit, chose Bhutan, a country which is even difficult to find on the map. Modi's statements that his inner voice told him to visit Bhutan does not make sense. Also, why is India so keen to assist Bhutan financially in the infrastructure and education sectors? It seems India is becoming too generous and expecting very little from Bhutan.

Anshul Mittal, Mansa

Visit ill-timed

Narender Modi's Bhutan visit is ill-timed. Since the new government has taken over, the inflation index has gone up from 5 to 6. Prices of vegetables and pulses have soared. Almost the whole of India is facing extreme heat conditions and power shortages. The prediction of a poor mansoon should be of concern to the new government. At such a time, this foreign trip is likely to dent his pro-common man image.

Prof Dhiraj Trikha, Bhiwani

Imaginary greivances

In the piece “Where mind is without fear, head bowed low” (June 16), the writer Roopinder Singh has left out some points. The event on June 6 in Darbar Sahib again demonstrated the propensity of a section of Sikhs to use violence to settle petty differences. The reason that the principle of Miri-Piri was used to settle scores is pathetic. By this reasoning, all Mughal rulers — from Babur to Bahadur Shah — were practising this principle as they were ruling a state and defending their faith. It is sad that the religion started by Guru Nanak on the basis of dialogue, peace and understanding has become associated with violence and symbolism. Now, that is what has to be addressed, instead of imaginary greivances and discriminations.

Rajinder Singh Turlock, Ca,USA

Save energy

Self-discipline is necessary for conserving energy. All consumers should avoid unnecessary use of energy. The Punjab Government should enforce the closing time of shops and commercial establishments like the Delhi Government which has curtailed power to malls for prescribed periods.

Udesh Kumar Kukar Fazilka

Boost indigenous tech

The Union Government has been claiming that foreign direct investment (FDI) will boost employment. But the same can happen if we promote indigenous technology. For, relying too much on foreign technology, especially in the defence sector, can pose security risks.

Prof Rajdeep Singh, Patiala

Bumpy Yamunanagar

If you want to experience a bumpy ride is, please visit Yamunanagar where a body-rattling experience is guaranteed. You will not find a single stretch of road free of potholes. If you suffer from back or neck pain, your troubles will be multiplied if you dare to drive on these roads. The dust adds to your woes. The main roadway between Ambala and Jagadhri has remained in a bad shape for a long time. Recently, some patch work was done, but it was far from satisfactory. The inconvenience to travellers is acute. So much so, that many travellers by car are forced to take alternative longer routes. This neglect is surprising as that the road is a key highway linking Punjab, Chandigarh, Haryana and UP.

Though the road is a national highway, it is quite narrow as per normal standards. The authorities concerned need to take steps to broaden it, make it multi-laned and re-metal the entire stretch.

Subhash Kaura, via email

Uniform syllabus

The editorial “Debate over Delhi University course” (June 7) rightly emphasises the unnecessary confusion created by the introduction of a four-year undergraduate programme. The fact is that the universities should avoid academic experimentation with courses and curriculum without studying the pros and cons. Such isolated academic ventures are generally not in the interest of the students and faculty.

The UGC should ensure uniform courses and curriculum in all the universities of India.

Dr VK Anand, Patiala

Limit cars to Hadimba

Along with my family, I recently visited Manali where we witnessed chaotic traffic, especially at the tourist spots of Hadimba and Vashisht temples. To ease traffic congestion, the administration should not allow any private car taxi beyond The Mall up to the hilltop since the road is narrow, steep and curvy and two-way traffic on this 2-km stretch leads to frequent jams. How are the authorities allowing the serpentine queues of vehicles climbing up the hill with no parking space there? One-way carriage of passengers by three-wheelers to the temple should be allowed. This would decongest the road and prove profitable to the locals. A strong communication between the traffic personnel and the contractors of parking lots is needed so that the number of vehicles reaching the summit is regulated. These steps can surely save the tourists from traffic hazards, besides saving the vehicles from excessive wear and tear.

Dr JK Chawla, Ludhiana

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