Nature’s red flag
There is the horrifying news that climate change has caused Nepal’s Himalayan glaciers, shrinking by nearly 24 per cent between 1977 and 2010, raising the risk of natural disaster in the ecologically-fragile region. According to the report, the glacial melt is a huge indicator of rising temperatures and such melting is creating huge, expanding lakes that threaten to burst and devastate the mountain community living downstream.
Self-service was their goal
The age-old maxim that rats are the first to desert the ship when it starts sinking, has been proved right again in the aftermath of the recent Lok Sabha polls. The latest glaring example in this contest is that of a fledgling party which is just over a year old. Some famous personalities from different walks of life, who had joined the party a few days before the general elections, have now started an exodus, after the party’s debacle in the LS elections. It shows that their entry into the party fold was solely for the purpose of enjoying the privileges of an MP and not to serve the party or the people.
AAP battling for life
The Aam Aadmi Party, which caused a sensation by suddenly emerging in New Delhi and seeking to become a force on the national scene is currently in the ICU, struggling for survival. The party’s arrogance on assumption of power in Delhi, defying even constitutional authorities, coupled with the irresponsible, baseless accusations by its chief, Arvind Kejriwal, has greatly shocked the public, as well as intellectuals, who had looked towards it initially with hope. Shazia Ilmi and Captain Gopinath’s resignations from the party show that its own members have realized that their hopes have been belied. A child takes months to stand up after birth, progressing step by step. Kejriwal wanted to run at birth itself, was over ambitiously deluded, and has paid the price.
V N Ramachandran
Trying times at hand
The sincerity of the new central government will be tested very early by how it handles the decade-old cases against Mayawati in Taj Corridor, the disproportionate assets case against Mulayam Singh, the disposal of the appeal petition of Lalu against his conviction in the fodder scam case trial, the IT returns case against Jaylalithaa. These cases used to be suddenly roused from hibernation whenever the UPA government felt it necessary. Now these cases are to be vigorously pursued and whatever may be the outcome, it will have to be accepted. The effects of convictions in these cases will percolate to the lowest level of the Indian society to eradicate even routine corruption.
N K Das Gupta
Farewell to two greats
Two great personalities died of cardiac arrest, music composer Anand Modak, 63, and the oldest Test cricket player, Madhav Mantri, 92, on May 23, 2014.
Anand Modak had composed music for radio (Akashwani), television, films, plays, dramas and mainly for Marathi films, like ‘Ek Hota Vidushak’, ‘ Kalat Nakalat ‘, the very famous ‘Harischandrachi Factory’, ‘Choukat Raja’ and plays ‘Raigadala Jag Yete’, ‘Mahapoor’ and many others.
Madhav Mantri, who is related to Sunil Gavaskar, brought the latter into the world of cricket. Though he played in very few Tests, he was a very good wicketkeeper and known for his catching and stumping skills. He was also a good cricket administrator and was head of the MCA in the late 1980s and a member of the national cricket selection committee too.
Vijay D Patil
Give us gainful employment
Unemployment means that while people are willing to work, they have no work to do. The most important reason for India’s poverty and backwardness is her problem of unemployment. Advancement in modern technology means robots and computers can perform the work of thousands of workers and need only one or two operators, which ends up snatching away bread from the mouths of thousands of people. Why can’t our government adopt automation which can make optimal use of manpower? Villages should be made self-sufficient so that the growing population can get employment. This can be done by setting up agro-industries in rural areas.
Against all odds
The bold decision of Nawaz Sharif to come to India bodes well for both leaders. For Narendra Modi, the acceptance of the invitation by Nawaz Sharif is likely to boost his image among the Indian Muslims. For Nawaz Sharif, who is seen as a prisoner of sorts of his own army, the Modi-invitation came handy to display his mettle because he did so in the face of hardcore terror warnings, from the likes of Hafiz Saeed, against his visit. Popular support appears to have worked in favour of both leaders to brush aside internal compulsions and work towards initiating a fruitful dialogue to harbour peace in the region.
Bad form to skip event
Narendra Modi has invited members of SAARC, our immediate neighbours, who are most important for his foreign policy; therefore, despite criticism, he will remain unmoved. It is sad that some invitees in the country, who are leaders and politicians, reacted wrongly and decided not to attend. Is it not commendable that while Nawaz Sharif, the Pakistan PM, despite rhetoric from his own countrymen, the army in particular, has come? Modi’s invitation is to the members of SAARC, not especially to Pakistan and Sri Lanka. It is good that a few in India, who were reluctant to congratulate Narendra Modi on his victory initially, have rectified the matter and attended his swearing-in ceremony.
Kedarnath Rajah Aiyar