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Opinion » Letters to the Editor

Posted at: Jun 24, 2017, 12:50 AM; last updated: Jun 24, 2017, 12:50 AM (IST)

Why play with Pak?

Apropos the article ‘A sedition brief’ by Harish Khare (Statecraft, June 23), terror and games cannot go hand in hand. When Pakistan is fighting a proxy war, beheading our soldiers, the BCCI made a blunder to play with Pakistan. Virat Kohli must be blamed for the poor performance. Our hockey players defeated Pakistan 7-1 and exhibited their protest by sporting a black ribbon. Why did our cricket team not do that? That said, the BJP is using the sedition Act against anyone opposing the party or Narendra Modi. Why is it not being used against Hurriyat leaders, separatists and people in J&K who were celebrating Pakistan’s win openly? 

Capt Amar Jeet Kumar (retd), Mohali 

Not the same thing

This is with reference to Harish Khare’s ‘A sedition brief’ (Statecraft, June 23). It will be wrong to equate Virat Kohli congratulating the Pakistan cricket team on winning the Champions Trophy with people celebrating Pakistan’s victory in India. Kohli acted according to the well-estabished sportsman spirit without any anti-national feelings while those celebrating India’s defeat did so because of anti-national feelings, which, no doubt, needs to be ignored. However, action should be taken against those not showing respect to the National Anthem or the Tricolour. 


Anti-RSS sentiment

Apropos the editorial ‘Opposition for Meira Kumar’ (June 23), it is a shame to confine the upcoming presidential election to an ideological contest. Are RSS people not citizens of India? Have they no right to occupy constitutional positions? No doubt, BJP presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind has an RSS background, but he has occupied various constitutional positions in the past to be declared a presidential candidate. The RSS does not believe in caste, religion, language and region; and the same is taught to its volunteers. This is the reason why the then PM Atal Behari Vajpayee chose Dr APJ Abdul Kalam as President.  


The Dalit game

The BJP has played another gimmick in the name of Dalits by announcing  the candidature of Ram Nath Kovind  for the office of President, little knowing how Dalits across the nation are being subjugated, specially since it came to power. Recent developments like Saharanpur riots are a testimony to it. The announcement has become a media debate where people are expressing divergent  views which further divides the nation on caste lines. Even political  parties, hitherto against NDA policies, are thinking of aligning with the BJP for this move. The focus should be on merit alone. There is no dearth of meritorious candidates. 

SK Khosla, Chandigarh

With the winner, always

The JD (U) and the Shiv Sena announced their support for NDA presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind because his victory is certain. Nitish Kumar and Uddhav Thackeray have always backed winning candidates in the past. In 2012, they supported UPA candidate Pranab Mukherjee, though they were part of the NDA, and in 2007, the Shiv Sena supported UPA candidate Pratibha Patil. They know the winning candidate and go with him/her. 

Guriqbal Singh Bodal, Hoshiarpur

Not if you are not...

The choice of the NDA’s presidential candidate and the justification for his nomination as well as statements in the media boil down to this —  unless you are a Dalit, Muslim or a member of a minority community, don’t dream of becoming President. The Congress, over the last 60 years, and the BJP now have reduced the persona of the President to the ruling party’s biggest silent election campaigner and an election banner. The oft-repeated statement that the President must be above politics, religion, caste etc., rings hollow. Is it not an ugly face of democracy?


Revive industry

Manpreet Badal has presented a good budget. The industrial sector requires more steps for its revival. The IT sector can be strengthened by inviting big companies like ITC and Infosys near Mohali and New Chandigarh, by allotting them land on concessional rates. Improving the investment environment will attract many and enable the government to earn more revenue by way of taxes. Allocation of more funds to Panjab University is a welcome step, but in the face of paucity of funds, the government can defer the setting up of more universities and employ the funds to generate more employment and improve the health sector.  

NPS Sohal, US

Some good, some not

‘Education first, no more free tirath darshan: Manpreet’ (June 22) — very good in Punjab. ‘Govt to drop 137 Jat agitation cases’ — very bad in Haryana. 

SL Bansal, Jagadhri

Manpreet, then & now

Manpreet Badal entered politics through the Akali Dal, but gained prominence when he opposed subsidies being doled out by the Punjab Government. He was seen as a revolutionary politician and his articles were admired by progressive thinkers. But  now we see an altogether different Manpreet, who waives loans of wilful defaulters while crying over the fiscal situation through a White Paper. Either his earlier views have undergone a change or he has sacrificed his ethics on the altar of political power. 

Jai Prakash Gupta, Ambala Cantt

Tirath a private affair

The Punjab Government’s decision to scrap the Mukh Mantri Tirath Darshan Yatra is commendable. One goes on a pilgrimage to seek spiritual bliss, and for this, one must pay from one’s own earnings. One must sacrifice for the salvation one seeks. State-sponsored or state-subsidised pilgrimage is just another way to purchase votes, as are state-sponsored celebrations of religious festivals. Religious leaders fall into the trap of crafty politicians because of the media coverage they get and they, in turn, beguile their naive followers. The government must stop all state celebrations of festivals. There is already a plethora of celebrations associated with religious festivals, conducted not at religious places, but on busy, over-crowded roads.

George Cheruvil, Phagwara

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