Letter of the Week Award
To encourage quality reader intervention The Indian Express offers the Letter of the Week Award. The letter adjudged the best for the week is published every Saturday. Letters may be e-mailed to editpage @expressindia.com or sent to The Indian Express, 9&10, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi -110002.
Letter writers should mention their postal address and phone number. The winner receives books worth Rs 1,000.
Letter to the Editor
THIS refers to ‘After the parade, a little prod’ (IE, January 28). I feel proud of my country after the visit of US President Barack Obama to India. For the first time, an Indian prime minister interacted with the US president as his equal — for instance, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hugged Obama, rather than Obama patting Modi in a big brotherly and patronising way, as may have happened in the past. It is also the first time that the US president connected directly with the Indian people in such a major way — after Obama’s “town-hall” style meeting in Delhi came the broadcast of his and Modi’s Mann ki Baat on the radio and TV channels. I feel proud that our Republic Day parade put women officers centrestage. It is also heartening that the US president did not feel the need to “balance” his visit to India with a stopover in Pakistan.
— R.D. Singh
MODI’S drive to forge an effective relationship with the US is indeed commendable. But Obama’s reference to Article 25 of the Indian Constitution is a matter of concern. His reference to religious freedom at the “town-hall” style meeting in New Delhi on Tuesday must have been prompted by the tense atmosphere created by the recent aggressive speeches of RSS, VHP and BJP members, as well as the so-called “ghar wapsi” campaign. Moreover, Modi’s silence on these issues has lent them his implicit support. It reminds the present government that development and anti-modernism cannot go hand in hand. India is a multi-religious, diverse country. Every effort has to be made to strengthen these traits. “Ghar wapsi”-like campaigns portray India in bad light. Such campaigns are abhorrent to the concept of a secular state.
— Ajeet Kumar
HIS refers to ‘Fadnavis government to protect old cows’ (IE, January 28). Protecting old cows is not an issue of any socioeconomic significance. It does not warrant state attention. The cow has cultural and religious significance for Hindus. If any individual or organisation wants to protect old cows, they are free to do so. But a debt-ridden state like Maharashtra should not waste taxpayers’ money on such economically unproductive business. Instead the state should focus on pressing concerns like malnutrition, public health and drought mitigation.
— Kiran Jagtap
THIS refers to ‘Day after gallantry award, colonel killed in Valley’ (IE, January 28). It was shocking and tragic that Colonel M.N. Rai, who was awarded the Yudh Seva Medal on Republic Day, was killed on January 27 in an encounter with militants in J&K. May he rest in peace.
— S. Kumar