Thursday, Oct 23, 2014

Letter of the Week: Wrong reason

Posted: June 14, 2014 1:01 am

This refers to ‘Scientists, not ministers, to represent India at science, tech conferences: MoS’ (IE, June 8). I was elated to read the headline. But then, after reading the news report, I was disappointed that the MoS in the PMO, Jitendra Singh, wants delegations to be headed by scientists because his “appetite for foreign travel is already over”. He is doing the right thing for the wrong reason. This does not help institutionalise a good practice. We should indeed be sending our most competent scientists and other subject-experts for technical conferences. And we should be doing this not because a minister may be fed up with foreign travel but because it’s the right thing to do, it’s the right approach. The MoS was patronising towards the scientific fraternity.

— Sunita Mishra (Vadodara)

Modern-day Tughlaq

This refers to the editorial ‘Stop at blue’ (IE, June 13). If at all there is a present-day version of the crazily whimsical Muhammad bin Tughlaq among contemporary Indian politicians, it is the West Bengal chief minister, Mamata Banerjee. Who would have ever imagined that the chief minister of a large and underdeveloped state would spend her time thinking about the colour buildings and taxi cabs should be painted. Though Banerjee is chief minister of a nearly bankrupt state and has, in the past, complained about the Centre not giving her state enough money, she seems only too happy to grant tax waivers to those who paint their house a certain shade of blue and white.

— V. Chandramohan (Mumbai)

Be cautious

This refers to ‘Rajnath wants focus on Kashmiri migrants’ (IE, June 13). According to the report, at a home ministry meeting to draw up a plan for Jammu and Kashmir, which was attended by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Mos Kiren Rijiju, it was argued “ that Jammu has a population of 70 lakh while Kashmir has a population of 53 lakh, but the UPA government’s approach has been to focus more on Kashmir than other regions”. It was then decided that there should be more focus on Jammu and Ladakh. However, according to the Census of India, 2011, the total population of Jammu and Kashmir is 1,25,41,302. Of this, 70 lakh live in Kashmir and 53 lakh in Jammu. In other words, the reported arguments put forward by the home ministry are ill-informed. Perhaps these lies have been deliberately advanced for majoritarian appeasement. One expects greater caution and verification of facts from The Indian Express. Census data is just a click away.

— Gautam Navlakha (Delhi)

Good start

Apropos of the editorial ‘UPA to NDA’ (IE, June 13), Arun Jaitley’s declaration that Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag will be the next army chief is proof that UPA decisions will not be reversed by the NDA government just for the sake of it. Far from his pre-poll rhetoric, PM Narendra Modi was a sober and restrained statesman in his maiden speech in the Lok Sabha. Despite the BJP’s massive majority in the Lok Sabha, Modi has made it clear that “cooperation with all, continued…

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