May 27, 2009 12:59:55 am
•The tragic killing of a preacher in far off Vienna has unleashed a wave of violence in Punjab (Firing in Vienna,fires in Punjab,IE,May 26). Normal life has come to a standstill. If,however,one looks closely at the pictures flashed on TV and published in the papers,the arsonists do not appear to be followers of a religious sect. They look more like anti-socials,always on the lookout for opportunities to create trouble. Unfortunately,their large numbers makes it almost impossible to keep a constant check on their sinister intentions and activities.
•The HRD ministry performed poorly during the UPAs first term (Reform,reloaded,IE,May 26). Nor did it do well on the NDAs watch. Real educational reforms havent been pursued. As a result,the job market didnt get the best people with the most suitable skills. At present,employment opportunities are even fewer because of the global recession. The new HRD minister must endeavour to include the recommendations of the National Knowledge Commission in restructuring the agenda for quality education.
•Since the Indian electorate has given the Congress a strong mandate,it goes without saying that much is expected of the UPAs second term. Although Manmohan Singh was believed to be getting a free hand,some of that hope was nearly dashed by the DMK and its reckless opportunism. Now that a compromise of sorts has been reached,Karunanidhi must be firmly told that the Union cabinet is not the fiefdom of his extended family,despite the room he had been given in 2004.
Doctor on bail
•Its a relief to learn that Binayak Sen has been granted bail at last,after two years (Bail for Dr Sen,IE,May 26). Sen was given bail by the Supreme Court in a ruling that took no more than a half minute. It has dawned on most people by now that Sens confinement was most likely wrong and certainly arbitrary. The prominent signatories to the international campaign to release him bear that out. Now,one wonders whether the Jonathan Mann Award winner will get some exemplary justice and his lost years returned to him.
Bidyut K. Chatterjee
•This refers to the editorial Mandals two (IE,May 21). Mandal politics was the harbinger of our politics of caste,creed and sectarianism. The main beneficiaries of Mandal were Lalu and Mulayam,who have now been put in their place by an increasingly mature and discriminating electorate. For these two to survive,they must learn from Nitish Kumars development plank in Bihar.
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