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Published in the 16-30
Jun 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition
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|Our foreign relations
External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh has assured that India’s relations with other countries may get strengthened during congress-led government compared to the outgoing NDA government. Particularly the bilateral one between India and pakistan. Mr. Natwar Singh himself had been the High commissioner to Pakistan. He printed out "I have some personal knowledge of the complexities and Subtleties of Indo-Pak relations."
I hope while pursuing the foreign policy Mr. Singh till take into accounts the advice of Jawaharlal Nehru. In his book "India’s Foreign Policy". He writes: "There is no doubt at all in my mind that it is inevitable for India and Pakistan to have close relations-serve close relation-sometime or other in the future. As far as the other countries are concerned, our relations with them are quite friendly. Take, for instance, Afghanistan, our relations with Afghanistan are exceedingly friendly and our relations with Tibet, Nepal and all neighbouring countries are also very friendly. He further says: "I feel that India can play a big part, and perhaps an effective part, in helping to avoid war. Therefore, it becomes all the more necessary that India should not be lined up with any group of powers which for various reasons are full of fear of war and prepare for war."
It seems the main plank of Mr.Natwar Singh is to make India’s relations with other countries steadfast and firm. He did not forget to mention India’s relations the Islamic world. He asserted: "We greatly value our relations with Islamic friends. There are our 50 much countries. A large number of our Indians work and prosper in West Asia."
In this context, it would be apt to quote here Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru again, where in he says:" the objectives of our foreign policy are the preservation of world peace and enlargement of human freedom. India may be new to world politics and her military strength insignificant in comparison with that of the giants of our epoch. But India is old in thought and experience and has travelled through trackless centuries in the adventure of life. Throughout her history she has stood for peace and every prayer that as Indian raises, ends with an invocation to peace."
In a nutshell, we hope that Mr. Natwar Singh will try to bring back Nehru’s foreign policies into reality and may help India to get a special status amongst the galaxy of the world powers.
Obaidur Rahman Nadwi, Lucknow
Physician heal thyself
The BJP criticised Manmohan Singh govt. for including Laloo Yadav and three tainted leaders in the ministry. I would like to comment ‘Physician heal thyself.’
BJP has been rejected and lost credibility. Scam-tainted Sukh Ram was made Deputy chief minister in BJP-led Himachal Pardesh govt. and his son was given a berth in the Rajya Sabha. The same BJP had forced adjournment of Lok Sabha for 13 days on Sukh Rams scam.
Earlier, chargesheeted former BJP chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Kalyan Singh had awarded ministerial births to the defectors, some of whom were criminals and convicts.
What Kalyan singh did in UP, Vajpayee did the same in Delhi. Many members of the Jayalalita’s party were made ministers in Vajpayee-led central govt. Vajpayee had appointed chargesheeted L.K. Advani, M.M. Joshi and Uma Bharti as central ministers.
The Manmohan Singh government must punish those persons responsible for the demolition of Babri Masjid. C.B.I special Judge J.P. Shrivastava had chargesheeted 49 persons belonging to Sangh Parivar including Advani, Joshi and Uma Bharati. This criminal case is in cold storage due to minor technical hurdle.
G.Hasnain Kaif, Azad Ward, Bhandara
Champions of democracy in the Middle East
Champions of the democracy and peace in the Middle East and World are on the rampage. Indiscriminate destruction of life and property is accomplished in the name of fighting terrorism and security before the helpless eyes of world community. Any kind of the resistance to the occupation is termed as terrorism. International right of resistance against foreign occupation can only be invoked if it has to do with the so-called civilized world.
Remaining sole super power at the moment that was left behind with the other powers during colonial days in having the prized colonies has invented the new way to control the resources of weak nations by playing with their internal weaknesses. Now all nefarious acts are done in the name of Democracy. So far we had heard of Power that flows through the Barrel of the Gun. Now it is Democracy, which flows through the Barrel of the
Mohammad Ashraf, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
Silence is golden so it is said, but then either the BJP did not know this or they wanted to prove it wrong. The non-stop speaking duo of m/s Sushma and Uma spoke, and spoke a bit too early for not only their speaking deflated the "origin balloon" but also allowed their "target" to turn the tables on them. Even before Sonia Gandhi could be sworn in as the next Prime Minister the duo raised the origin issue and tried to make it as emotive as possible. Uma gave her resignation papers to the BJP president and Sushma on her part threatened to resign from the Rajya Sabha and further threatened to tonsure her head, wear a white saree, sleep on the floor and eat nuts. The influence on the two for this tamasha was probably due the presence of a large number of abhinetas and abhinetries in their party, or was it the result of loosing the mental balance due to the shock (defeat).
Sonia gave her opponents the biggest shock of their lives as she stepped back in one of the shrewdest political moves. This one step ( backward ) made her oponents fall flat on their faces. Those who thought her to be politically immature and one who could be pressurised into taking wrong steps were left stunned. Sonia's one step back elevated her from the position of a "videshi bahu" to "Mother India" status. Never ever has such a thing happened in the world that a person who is certain to occupy the highest chair gives it up to somebody else. Great gesture or should it be called a unique sacrifice, for in politics every effort is done i.e. yatras organised, riots engineered, sarees distributed, promises made all for the kursi. Have we not witnessed in the past that government was formed for a mere 13 days, if this is not "satta ka moh" then what is it. In such political atmosphere is a lady whom nobody ever gave a chance of forming the government, shocks one and all by her sacrifice when it comes her way.
Sonia acted in a more patriotic way than any of the torch bearers of nationalism. She probably realised that innocent lives would be lost in the surcharged atmosphere, which these "torch bearers" of nationalism wanted to create, not even giving it the slighest of thought that those who would be killed in the "origin issue" agitation would be their own countrymen.
If Sonia's stepping back from the PM's post was a masterstroke, her choice of candidate for the coveted post was no less than it. Dr ManMohan Singh is a man with a clean image, he is respected not only in the political circle but throughout the country. He is also popular in the business fraternity. He being a non-political person probably is on the same wave length as the Congress President who inspite of heading the oldest political party is equally non-political. His name was then acceptable to all, the congressmen as well as their allies. After the 1984 anti-sikh riots sikh community alienated themselves from the congress party, but by making a PM from their community the congress has not only tried to fill-up their wounds but also win them back into its fold, it seems they have succeeded in doing so to a large extent.
Sonia left her Ivory tower and hit the roads much before any other political party could begin its election campaign. Mrs Gandhi toured the interior parts of the country in what the opposition thought to be a road tamasha which would not evoke any response from the crowd, but as the shows went on from one place to the other Mrs Gandhi not only drew huge crowds but in the process rejuvenated her party workers. Her warmth and simplicity touched one and all as she stopped at road side dhabas to have tea. She would leave her vehicle on the road and walk into the interior of the village on foot embracing women, inquiring about their problems, mixing with them as if she was one of them, this approach made her a super hit with the crowd , the results are there for all to see. The people were also touched by the fact that she cared the least, when it came to mixing with the public, she even did not care for the scorching heat of North India. Her successful road shows was one of the reasons for Mr Advani embarking on his rath yatra ones again.
Now that Sonia Gandhi's efforts and hard work has seen her party and allies in power, they have to work sincerely and see to it that they are able to live up to the peoples expectations. As for BJP, will it revert back to its trishul, the three points of which are Ayodhya, Article 370 and Uniform civil code? The congress led government will have to be alert for now the danger is that the BJP may try to charge up the communal atmosphere like the one seen at the beginning of the 90's. The government will have to deal firmly with even the smallest incidence for ignoring small issues only one day take the form of a major problem.
Abdul Monim , Vashi, Navi Mumbai, 400 703
Soap after soap
Once a soap starts on a channel these days one never knows when it will end. The likes of "Kyonki saas..." have been going on endlessly under the pretext that they are popular with the masses.
In fact very few so called social dramas do justice to the viewers looking for healthy entertainment. Most of them incidentally are injurious to the honour of middle class and upper middle class women and very insulting to the intelligence of people in general.
What kind of society are serials like "Bhabi", "Kkusum", and many like them advocating? Illegitimate births, extra marital affair, sick dialogue, lousy direction...?! Do they want us to believe that women are strong and morally and culturally on a high ground when they defend their unwed mothrhood? Does a "Heena" really bring out the anguish of a woman fallen prey to a male dominated heartless society? And what can one say of "Devi"?!! Its not easy to understand why these serials are on air. Surely there must be a limit to stupidities and an accountability of the makers and telecasters as to what their characters blurt out as dialogue. I strongly object to the vulgarity in daily soaps and wish someone in authority would step in and stop this disgraceful treatment of the audiance, and of women in particular.
The most important point in this regard is that every serial for Heavens sake must please have an end.
Zohra Javed, Allahabad
Mr.Amitabh Bachchan`s presence in line for awards with Hrithik Roshan, Shahrukh Khan etc is a sad thing for those who`ve exalted him to the Star Of The Millenium stature. Is the hunger for a trophy or two so insatiable for Mr.Bachchan, who stands tall in more ways than one, that he considers it worthwhile to be competing (and then loosing!) with actors so much junior to him ?
After becoming a legend in his lifetime and being an institution in himself, Amitabhji should be an inspiring icon for the stars of today and he must allow himself that grace and dignity.
Remember Lata Mangeshkarji`s decision to quit the rat race of awards long ago and thus become the unquestionable diva of Indian film music ?
Zohra Javed, Allahabad
The teaching profession in India has been greatly honoured by two persons at the helm of affairs of India belonging to teaching profession - President Abdul Kalam and Prime Minister Dr. Man Mohan Singh. What is still more pleasing is one is a scientist and the other a economist. This rare combination augurs well for the future of India. Nowhere else in the world now or in the last hundred years can one come across example of two intellectuals of flawless integrity and proven track record at the helm of affairs of country. Under their combined guidance India will emerge as a great power.
M. Z. CHIDA, Chennai
Untenable political and economic policies
IMF and World Bank are against any subsidies by the governments to prop up their economies. This according to them is against the Laissez Faire economics.
However, the oil producing countries, even with oil now being at its highest bench mark of over US $41.00, are virtually subsidise the western economies to the tune of 50% of their oil bills; in as much as, in real terms, as Economist confirms, "adjusted for inflation, this is still only half the level prices reached in the oil-price shock of the 1970s."
And the worst part is, that even with such huge subsidies, the US is not satisfied and twisting the arms of the Saudis to pump more and more oil, so that the international prices come down to around 28 or 25 dollars.
Inherent in the whole ‘price fixing’ exercise is the stark fact, that at the cost of US consumers, who are now forced to buy their gas at around $2.00 per litre, the oil companies, are making huge profits and are not ready to make any adjustment to ease the burden on their own people, while expecting the oil producing companies to cut the prices, without any ado about the glaring fact that the autocratic rulers of the main oil producers are actually depriving their own people from their legitimate incomes.
The deciding factor is the threat of regime change that US keeps brandishing to exploit the defenseless Middle East emirates.
Can Osama be faulted if he wants to take on both the US and the kings and emirs to stop the blatant exploitation by the US through its illegal use of its formidable armed forces?
This state of affair is too unfair to last. The US and its people will have to be ready for the consequences of their untenable political and economic policies.
GHULAM MUHAMMED, Mumbai –
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