* This is apropos For foot in the door,SP keeps all windows open (IE,Septembers 15). Mulayam Singh Yadav is undoubtedly shaping his political strategy with an eye on the general elections of 2014. But he may not be able to sustain his current position,where he has a foot in both camps,making overtures to the Trinamool Congress while not coming out in opposition to the Congress. TMC chief Mamata Banerjee is an unpredictable ally. Meanwhile,the Left is not likely to favour SP after it bailed out the Congress on the nuclear deal. Within Uttar Pradesh,SP faces a robust challenge from Mayawati,whose party may well lay claim to a large number of Lok Sabha seats. The SP chief must do a delicate balancing act from now on. Any false step could damage his political fortunes in 2014.
* THE second wave of reforms,which let in foreign direct investment in multibrand retail,is welcome (Multi-brand retail: Cabinet OKs 51% FDI,IE,September 14). But given the gloomy global economic climate,their chances of success are not guaranteed. When the first set of reforms were introduced in 1991,countries in the West were prospering. After the global recession,India cannot be assured of foreign investors,especially when the investment climate in the country is so bleak and our own investors are going abroad.
Saroj Kumar Panigrahi
* THE fear that FDI in retail will create large job losses is based on unsound economic reasoning. It is economically naive to view supermarkets as substitutes for kirana stores (Modi slams Centre over FDI in retail,IE,September 15). Such local stores have many advantages over supermarkets which can never be replicated by the latter.
The most important advantage,perhaps,is that kirana stores are usually situated much closer to buyers. There are millions of kirana stores in India a couple in every locality while there a only a few thousand supermarkets,usually part of larger market complexes. While some job loss is inevitable,it is perhaps an exaggeration to say that it will run into millions.
* THIS refers to the article,Poverty is a passive religion by Shombit Sengupta (IE,September 16). It portrays how one can improve the quality of ones life through sheer hard work. Sometimes,difficulties can spur one to greater endeavour. As the author shows,grit and determination have led to many a success story. We have to solve our own problems.
H. Infant Vinoth