What have the US attacks on Afghanistan brought save for fear, squalor, death and despair?

first_imgA Pit Without a Bottom”Only one end of this war is predictable: the decimation of Afghanistan, not that of terrorism or the Taliban. For even if Osama bin Laden dies, his followers will carry on.”Rajinder Kohli, HissarMadman’s ManuscriptThe pace at which the war to catch Osama bin Laden is being,A Pit Without a Bottom “Only one end of this war is predictable: the decimation of Afghanistan, not that of terrorism or the Taliban. For even if Osama bin Laden dies, his followers will carry on.”Rajinder Kohli, HissarMadman’s Manuscript The pace at which the war to catch Osama bin Laden is being waged, it would appear that he will eventually meet a natural end (“It’s a Long Haul to Hell”, November 5). In the process, however, many more innocent lives would be lost, resulting in increased hatred from several more communities. Is that tenable? While a war against terrorists is bound to be incessant, one should guard against the struggle assuming religious overtones. M. Kumar, on e-mail What have the US attacks on Afghanistan brought save for fear, squalor, death, disease and despair? The killing of thousands of innocent and defenceless people to capture one man is an act of cruelty. We need to find an alternative solution to war soon. Radhika Narayan, on e-mail After three weeks of retaliatory strikes, the US could not get Osama bin Laden either dead or alive. But the attacks continue to cause untold destruction in Afghanistan. The fight against one man and his brand of terrorism is escalating into a war that is producing an even larger number of his ilk in Muslim countries. Chandranshu Charan, on e-mail  Joy StickThe commendable performance of India’s junior World Cup hockey team in defeating “invincible” Argentina has broken the jinx (“Hope from Hobart”, November 5).The team has shattered the myth that Indians cannot rise to the challenge, but what is more remarkable is that this has happened despite gross mismanagement and the ills afflicting the national sports scene. It is sad that the nation at large and hockey lovers in particular could not view our moment of glory, since the tournament was not even telecast. V.B.N. Ram, Delhi Okay, So now we have something to smile about but why is everyone advancing the celebrations? It’s too early to hail the players as champions since champions are those who notch up one win after another.A stray win could well be a fluke. We need to give more time to the junior hockey team to prove its mettle. Let’s wait and watch. Shama Anand,on e-mail Apocalypse Now India needs to wait and watch before taking a decision to strike because an attack on Pakistan at this juncture could lead to greater support for General Pervez Musharraf, thus boosting his morale (“Should India Attack?” October 29). For now we should meticulously plan to crush the terrorists in our region. In any case, Pakistan is facing a threat from all sides: the Taliban, America, Islamic organisations and India. Dinesh Kumar, Kurukshetra In the Mahabharata, Bhishma, while on his bed of arrows, tells Yudisthir that “God does not create any more land”. That is why obtaining and retaining land is the prime responsibility of a ruler. Thanks to Jawaharlal Nehru’s blunder, we lost a huge landmass to Pakistan. And we continue to perpetuate the struggle with semantics. The phrase “Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir” implies that it is not Indian territory but merely occupied Kashmir. No wonder neutral countries consider it merely a “disputed territory”. Let us first identify the area as “Occupied Territory” and then act accordingly. After all, it is not Kashmiris who are getting killed, but Indians. L.N. Roychoudhury, Kolkata It is not enough to wipe out the terrorist training camps along the Line of Control. In fact, the entire Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir should be overrun and brought back into the fold of India. R. Haripanth, Chennai  advertisementFictional Fact Unarguably, Bhagat Singh was one of the greatest heroes of our freedom struggle (“Three Halos for Bhagat”, November 5). It is a laudable effort to remember him today-with his relevance being more pronounced than ever before-and bring alive his passion for the motherland. But I have serious doubts about the sincerity of the filmmakers: do they have it in them to honestly depict the martyr’s patriotism without resorting to songs, melo- drama and romantic aberrations? The weird titles of the films themselves reinforce such reservations. Imagine 23-3-1931-The Martyr and Bhagat Singh – the Shaheed. How can a date in history become a “martyr”? Besides, couldn’t they find more appropriate names in Hindi or any of India’s vernacular languages? Vikas Bardia, DelhiBooty DaysIf one discounts its relatively long innings of 365 days, the current Government of Goa cannot be said to be different from its predecessors (“Sustained Saffron”, November 5). While corruption is the last of the many ills plaguing the Manohar Parrikar Government, systematic saffronisation is the one causing the greatest concern. However, one cannot blame Parrikar – he has always been a dedicated RSS worker and has only been performing what he has assimilated. His party has acquired an office in a plush Panjim commercial building in just a year whereas the Congress party is still housed in a shabby stable in comparison. It would seem that in the Congress only the leaders get rich, while in the BJP, the party shares the booty.Aires Rodrigues, Ribandar advertisementSaving AccountOf what use is a drop in the inflation rate if an ordinary consumerdoesn’t see any change in his purchasing power (“Where Do We Save, DrJalan?”, November 5)? Senior citizens and those depending on interestfrom deposits, mutual funds and postal savings schemes are the hardesthit with interest rates dropping ever so often. Worse still, there is no social net for these fixed-income persons to fall back on.The sop tosenior citizens by way of slightly better rates of interest on bankdeposits should be extended. D.B.N. Murthy, BangaloreWith every cut in the bank rate of interest, there is a corresponding cutin the interest rates of fixed deposits. This is causing an untoldmisery to pensioners, who base their monthly budget solely on interestincome. The Government should introduce a special scheme so thatpensioners are not subject to the vagaries of changing interest rates. S. Nagaratnam, MumbaiCyber Active In the zeal to consign dotcoms to history, the vital contribution of the IT fraternity in changing the scenario of our work culture seems to have been forgotten-offices have become fun places, epitomised by casual dressing, flexi-timings and telecommunicating, which facilitate output optimisation (“The Dotcom Wasteland”, October 29). Though the industry is heading south, it is incumbent upon the Indian companies not to revert to the stiff lip era of the yore. When recession and downturn in economy stare us in the face, depression can be mitigated if fun is made an integral par t of the work culture. Nalin Rai, on e-mail Pride and Malice I wonder why everyone considers the Nobel Prize for V.S. Naipaul a matter of pride ( “A Prize for Sir Vidia”, October 22). His Nobel would have been something to cheer about if he were an Indian. He, who has an inferiority complex about being an Indian and shows the world all that is bad about India in a superfluous manner, is not a person to be proud of. Sameer Agrawal, Aligarh Transferred Epithet Tavleen Singh appears ignorant of the meaning of the word “secular” (“Unsecular Faith”, October 15). She takes secular to mean tolerant when, in fact, secularism means unconnected with religion and a secular state is merely one that has no state religion. Therefore, “Secular Faith” is an oxymoron. India proudly flaunts the secular label but in practice religion and its by-product- caste-are very much the cornerstones of our governmental, political, social and educational activities. A.B. Deo, Kolkata advertisementClarification In a performance evaluation of former civil aviation minister, Sharad Yadav, we inadvertently reported that two hotels of Hotel Corporation of India (HCI) are closed (“Clueless Pilot”, August 27). The HCI informs us that all their hotels are functioning. The error was unintentional and is regretted. – Editorlast_img

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