Northeast 101 for rest of India

Rest of India needs Predetermined and prejudiced mindsets are responsible for hate crimes witnessed against the northeasterners.  The youngster Nido Tania’s death is not a one-off incident, but is a reflection of a perverted attitude towards our fellow citizens. This attitude stems from a near total socio-cultural ignorance on this region. In some parts of India, the citizens of the northeast are considered ‘foreigners’ for their looks.

 Harassment of women from the region is common, but unfortunately the victims choose to suffer in silence. Most of them are breadwinners for their families, and the loss of a job may be detrimental to their family’s fortunes. The poor projection of the northeastern states before the rest of the county is a cause of great concern. The culture and tradition of the people of the northeast are hardly mentioned in our text books. The geography, flora and fauna of the region is rarely highlighted to the rest of India.  Nor is the eight northeast states’ rich potential in tourism marketed, as a result of which we do not travel much this side. Awareness about this part of our country must be spread with missionary zeal; already enough lives have been lost.

Ganapathi Bhat

Silence is golden, Congress

So, why is the Congress keeping the Gujarat pot boiling with the help of some news channels and human rights activists and NGOs? They say the truth eventually comes out. This time the truth came out of the horse’s mouth.  The reference is to the 1984 Sikh riots and the recent Rahul Gandhi interview with Arnab Goswami.  A few Congress spokesmen are seen aimelessly defending the indefensible.  It is a shame that we still have senior journalists who continue to support the Congress view of Sikh killings. It is a national shame that the party is not derecognised by the Election Commission.  Silence would be the best ploy for the Congress at this juncture.

D M Rajan

Third front, the proverbial bad penny

The editorial ‘Third front dreams’ (February 3) is a comprehensive and realistic appraisal of the prospects of the third front consisting of non-Congress and non-BJP parties. The more important issue is whether India needs such a coalition government, consisting of heterogeneous groups with conflicting local interests and led by egotistic individuals, at a time when it needs a strong, cohesive government capable of confronting the threats of terrorism, Naxalism, uncontrollable inflation and rampant corruption. The contribution of such a United Front government (1996-98), which had two prime ministers (H D Deve Gowda and Inder Kumar Gujral) in two years is fresh in the mind. This third or federal front is a bad idea, which keeps turning up like a bad penny, from time to time.

Y G Chouksey

Monorail can’t go ‘local’

After its inauguration with much fanfare, it is to be seen how the long overdue monorail system is actually going to work in Mumbai. The reported capacity of the four-coach rake is around 550. But, during peak hours, one can easily expect a dense crowd of more than 1,500, jostling with each other to get into the air-conditioned comfort of  the train. In the process, it is very likely that the jammed doors would be flung open by force, throwing the entire AC system out of order. What would be more serious is that, this type of struggle may lead to human casualties. Added to the melee, there will always be the danger of the daredevil rooftop travellers putting their own lives in great danger. Let us therefore wait and watch, and hope for the best.

Arun Malankar

What Harbour Line commuters want

‘Monorail goes public’(February 3). The capacity per rake is said to be about 500 and the frequency of service  every 10 or 15 minutes. Central Railway’s Harbour Line alone carries 3,000 passengers per rake and that too, every five-10 minutes. It is obvious that the monorail is not going to have any impact on crowding on our suburban locals. However, here’s the Harbour Line commuters’ wish list:  One train every five minutes from CST to Vashi at least, handover of the Wadala-Bandra route to WR, with Wadala as a starting station. WR is already running some services to Borivli or so from CST already – establishing the inefficiency of CR in track capacity utilization. Additional services using the Kurla Platform 9 or 10, as the case maybe, to Mankhurd, must be extended to Vashi. Track reversal towards Vashi at Chembur and Mankhurd is needed to clear pile-ups due to unexpected problems and for contingencies.

While the 12 car rakes are welcome, what the public wants is increased frequency of services and reduced waiting time.

P R V Raghavan

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