People’s interest, not foreign interests
Apropos of “FDI debate begins today: Maya still mum”, the government’s claim that there is a consensus on foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail, when some of its allies are against it, is laughable. The government was all this time against a vote in parliament on the FDI issue, while its allies spoke in different voices. But with its key ally, the DMK, coming out in support on the issue, it agreed to take up the opposition challenge. The Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party will support the government only if they get something in return. It is wrong on the part of the government to use such means to force policy down the throat of the people. It should plan and execute programmes that are beneficial to the country and the people and not just to appease foreign business interests.
—HP Murali, Bangalore
Direct cash transfer risks corruption
The Congress-led UPA government wants to implement the direct cash transfer scheme in haste. Kapil Sibal has said that the programme was announced by Pranab Mukherjee, in his budget speech earlier this year. However, the timing of the announcement of the implementation as Gujarat goes to the polls is a sheer violation of the election code of conduct. The Congress aims to brainwash people with the slogan “Aap ka paisa, aap ke haath”, without studying the pros and cons of implementing the scheme. Over 70 per cent of the people below the poverty line live in villages and have no banking facility. Most of them are also illiterate and the transfer of cash subsidy of Rs32,000 per family per annum is subject to the risk of pilferage. The system may work in certain small countries where the percentage of people below the poverty line is low. But in a country like India it will likely be a failure due to the involvement of middlemen and corruption. The direct cash transfer scheme for kerosene that was tried in Rajasthan has been a failure. Let’s not allow valuable tax-payers’ money to be spent to buy votes.
—Sravana Ramachandran, Ooty
Savarkar, Thackeray, side by side
Apropos of “Joshi being Joshi, he refuses to part with his Kohinoor”, I can understand Manohar Joshi’s predicament with regard to the commercial commitments already made by his son Unmesh and Raj Thackeray in the Kohinoor project. But like me, every Maharashtrian would be anxious to know how Joshi will pay tribute Shiv Sena pramukh late Bal Thackeray, who made him a corporator, a legislative member, chief minister, member of parliament and speaker of the Lok Sabha. Yes, Joshi has expressed his gratitude towards his beloved leader several times. Now, can we expect him to contribute handsomely when the memorial is constructed somewhere else? I feel it would be good to have a memorial in Mumbai as well as in Pune, where Thackeray also spent a lot of time. One possible site in Mumbai is next to the memorial of Swatantra Veer Savarkar, that is to give some space at the Mayor’s bungalow which also is in need of redevelopment. This will not only satisfy the expectations of Shiv sainiks, but be a source of pride for Maharashtrians with the memorials of two Hindutva leaders side by side.
—Sanjeev Kadoo, Dadar
Controversy hurts memory of leader
Apropos of “Sena keeping memorial issue burning”, there is no denying that Bal Thackeray was a revered political leader, who instilled a sense of pride in Maharashtrians and gave them an identity. But he may not have been revered by all Maharashtrians, let alone all Indians. There are a number of Maharashtrians who did not subscribe to his divisive politics. So, there is no point in Shiv sainiks getting annoyed if there are people who disagree with the proposal of a memorial for Thackeray at Shivaji Park. One of the prosperous Shiv sainiks, who benefited immensely from their association with Thackeray, should come forward to buy a piece of land to set up the memorial, and may be even a museum of artefacts from Thackeray’s life. Shivaji Park already has a statue to the great Maratha warrior Shivaji and thus it would be inappropriate to have another memorial here. Shiv sainiks must realise that prolonging the controversy over the memorial will only hurt the memory of the leader.
—V Rajalakshmi, Mumbai
Arrest of Zee editors vindictive
I nearly stopped reading the DNA after I was upset over the article “Trial by media: Kejriwal is simply on a witch-hunt”, published a month ago. Today, I read “Dissecting the Aam Aadmi’s party” and it made me reconsider my opinion about the selection of stories in DNA. I also feel terrible about the two Zee editors who have been jailed. Without dwelling on whether Navin Jindal’s allegations are true or false, I believe that the journalists are being treated unfairly. The action by the government machinery is vindictive and aims to suppress the media. This is to be condemned.
—Poornima Mepani, by email