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Keep ‘em out

China’s request to be allowed into the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium is an opportunity for India to ask Beijing if the Chinese....


April 23, 2009 12:29:48 am

•China’s request to be allowed into the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium is an opportunity for India to ask Beijing if the Chinese will agree to a joint anti-piracy patrol with India (‘China wants to join Navy initiative…’,IE,April 21). China will not,because it’s competing with India; nor is it really willing to hurt anybody’s sentiments it can do business with despite the threat posed to its maritime trade by Somali pirates. The MEA has rejected the Chinese request but the navy could have been a proxy for the ministry — as Admiral Sergei Gorshkov had said,the navy is an instrument of state policy.

— Mukund B. Kunte

New Delhi

•India’s refusal to induct China into the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium was prompt. China is not only a future rival but also an inevitable threat to our interests. Its conspicuous ambition is to checkmate the Indian navy out of the Indian Ocean. Besides,China’s economic might implies most countries in the region will likely gravitate towards it. India’s objective therefore should be to engage with these states politically,economically and militarily. The Indian Ocean is our backyard and essential to our sustainable interests. Even as China builds its blue-water navy,we must lose no time in curtailing its growing influence.

— Mathew Oommen Pune

Why Maya gained

•This refers to Sanjeer Alam’s ‘The green elephant in the room’ (IE,April 22). On the face of it,Mayawati’s influence among Muslim voters is increasing. But there’s also a concrete reason behind this — many Muslim faces of the SP switched to the BSP after Mulayam Singh Yadav wooed Kalyan Singh. Besides,Mayawati capitalised well on the Varun Gandhi issue. The AUDF is not going to cut any ice with the Muslim community as it knows that so many Muslim forums will only divide the vote,to eventual benefit of the BJP. Under the circumstances,Mayawati looks set to play a decisive role.

— Rukhsana Khan

Lucknow

Get that vote

•In democratic India,where voting is a fundamental right in electing our representatives,there’s no provision to ensure that people do cast their vote. Mandatory voting may sound like a contradiction in a democratic polity,but in the long run it strentghens democratic values and practices. Many prominent democratic states have made voting compulsory. Perhaps India should study their provisions and take a decision before the next major election.

— Kulbhushan Kanwar

Chandigarh

Lankan crisis

•One could not agree more with the editorial ‘Hearts and minds’ (IE,April 22). India is committed to not only a united and peaceful Sri Lanka but also the rights of the Tamil minority in the island state. The civil war in Sri Lanka this time appears to be close to an end but a mammoth humanitarian crisis is unfolding as thousands of Tamil refugees flee the LTTE zone and take shelter in government-run camps.

— R. Narayanan Ghaziabad

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