Today' s letters

Sir

Plan proper rehabilitation  programme

The damage caused by the recent floods in North Karnataka is estimated to be Rs 20,000 crore. Karnataka Government is doing its best to mobilise funds for the rehabilitation of those affected by the damage. In the all party meeting, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa hinted at levy of flood tax on business and trade. In this time of economic slowdown, it is not possible to expect major share from industries and trade. The trade and industry folks have already started donating cash and in kind. Our Government should first undertake a study in each district to asses the damage caused, rehabilitation work to be undertaken, appoint a monitoring committee (not just officials and politicians but also professionals /major donors), approach World Bank or ADB for technical assistance, then only, levy tax if required.  

N. Mukund
Bangalore


Nobel Peace prize- irrelevant

Over the years the Nobel Peace prize is being devalued by conferring it on not so appropriate persons. Did Kissinger and Yasser Arafat who created more havoc than peace deserve this award? Now out of the blue Barack Obama  got this year's prize. The US has the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons; enough to blow half the solar system to blazes. Further, no US President had made any concerted effort to reduce or destroy this deadly menace. It has a dubious track record in the Korean War, Vietnam, Afghanistan and now Iraq.

The US continues to mollycoddle Pakistan with billions of dollars as so called aid which in fact is used for other purposes. Pakistan is notorious for nuclear proliferation which the State Department of the US was fully aware of. All these activities have been made public by the various intelligence inputs of US agencies. The real axis of terror is Pakistan, North Korea and China who are all involved in the blatant transfer of nuclear know-how -to, which the US has conveniently turned a blind eye. Now it preaches that other countries should sign the CTBT. In the above circumstances it is really absurd to give Barack Obama the Nobel Peace prize  Even President Obama candidly admits that he doesn't deserve the prize!

The greatest advocate of peace in the 20th century, Mahatma Gandhi was ignored.  The Nobel Peace committee needs to review or rethink the parameters and criteria for awarding the Prize.

Shanmugam Mudaliar
Pune

Obama and the peace prize!

It is a travesty of Peace and Truth for the Nobel committee to have awarded the International Nobel peace prize to the American president Barak Obama. Though Obama seems to stand out different vis a vis earlier incumbents, it is quite imminent that all the policies of the US under any form of government is dictated by military interests and the Pentagon.

Divakar N
Mysore

Right decision

I think that the Swedish academy has taken a right decision by choosing the US President Barka Obama for the prestigious Nobel Prize for peace. Even in a short period at the post, he has taken some very important decisions which could change the future of the world we live in. His attitude towards climate change, his decision to abandon the nuclear weapons program in Europe, and his recent declaration to cut short the long range missiles with Russia are applaud-able.

He could take a cooperative approach towards the muslim community at-least in his words which may make the Muslims feel less threatened and comfortable.

But I am sure the Nobel committee has given this award to instill more responsibility on him and it is his mission to complete the same during his tenure. Obama has to take the Nobel committee's decision in full spirit and should concentrate on the issues, which threatens peace and stability of the world including climate change, aggression towards the Muslim world and the threat of nuclear weapons.

I hope the Nobel committee will achieve its mission through Obama in the days to come.

Sreenivasan.V.P
Bangalore

Peace will never be used as substitute for war

The Nobel Peace prize is a misnomer and should be discontinued even more so now that it has gone to Obama, the President of a country that is the biggest arms manufacturer in the world. There can be no true peace in the world as long as the three biggest arms manufacturers: The US., Russia and China continue to supply arms to the rest of the world - especially to corrupt and despotic regimes. It suits these countries very well to have wars raging in many parts of the world because:  it helps them to test their arsenals, which is a big employment generator in their respective countries, and earns them huge amount of money to balance their deficit economies. Peace will therefore, never be used as substitute for war.

Benjamin G. Alvares.
Belgaum

Does Obama deserve the Prize?

Whether the US President Obama deserves the Noble Peace Prize or not  is a million dollar question. The US president may be a good orator and a good administrator but apart from this Obama himself had hinted indirectly that he is not a deserving person.

Perhaps the Noble Peace committee is not aware of the promises made by Obama during the time of election, which is yet to be translated into action. At this juncture ,one more surprising thing is that Mahatma Gandhi deserved Noble Peace prize and no doubt he tops the list of seven people who never won but should have. This is not the opinion of a person like me but it is according to the opinion of prestigious foreign policy magazine. The most important point to know from Henry Kissinger to Yassar Arafat the Norweign Nobel committee has made several controversial picks over the years and in the list six persons were deserving but deprived once. Gandhi was the spiritual and political leader of the Indian independence movement and an advocate of non violent resistance as a means to effect social change. By viewing this it is desirable and appropriate that the present US president should decline the Noble Peace Prize.

N.P Raghavendra Rao
Indore

Corruption reduces prosperity of poor people
 
This refers to the report (Oct 11) that Lokayuta Justice Santhosh Hegde's views that "Only 10 percent of corruption is controlled."  In fact from the time of Justice Venkatachala (Former chief of Lokayutha), only corruption is being attacked and people have realised that corruption is destroying prosperity of common and poor men and increasing the gap between rich and poor. Corruption-free governance is a fundamental right of citizens but our politicians have not realised this and they feel that corrupt governance is their fundamental right.  This is why they don't want to give the necessary powers to the anti-corruption unit.  It is high time for the sensible citizens to react and bring change.  
 
B S Ganesh    
Bangalore

A word of Caution
 
A word of caution to the large industries accepting the work of construction of houses for flood affected victims. They should themselves award the contract to reliable builders and make payment directly without involving politicians, middlemen and government officials. Otherwise, large per cent of funds would be swallowed by this group and the constructed houses will again collapse.

Many politicians and officials, whose known and benami assets are unimaginable, will have a golden opportunity to amass further and distribute sarees, dhotis and vessels to each person affected during the election to gain the political mileage.

V Prasad
Bangalore


Not just collecting funds, look after the work

The proposed flood tax by the Karnataka government is unnecessary in the sense; people are spontaneous in donating liberally for the cause as seen from the substantial collections so far made and commitments by corporate and the common man to take up the relief work.

It is disappointment to see negative reports indicating the lethargic relief and collection of funds in the media and not about the work done on the ground. It is better for the people concerned ,especially the politicians ,to start constructive relief work instead of having focus on funds only which creates suspicion on their motives.

V S Ganeshan
Bangalore


Time for Pakistan to act

At last the Taliban hostage drama has come to an end. Pak army commandos succeeded in freeing forty two hostages from Talibans.  Pak Government must take a serious look at these developments. What is shocking is, in spite of heavy security , terrorists were able to complete their mission. This clearly exposes the lack of interest in the Pak Government to combat terrorism or to take the matter seriously. At least now, it should put an end to the drama of protecting terrorists and stop hide and seek game plan of shielding and nurturing terrorism in the country. All these developments will pose a threat to India, as there is every chance of infiltration of the militants into the valley . Pak Government must stop accusing India of not being co-operative and introspect its own efforts in this regard.  We, for our part, must be fully geared to meet any eventuality rather thean quote lame excuses after the incident

Inamdar Ramachandra
Bangalore


Put original brakes to fake products

There are many laws like copyright Act, Trademark Act and the law dealing with adulteration of food products etc., with stringent provisions in these Acts to punish the guilty of violating the Acts, but seldom they are being into action, with the result the violators are going scoot free without any punishment.

The violators of these laws know fully well how to escape from the rigorous provisions of the laws by taking undue advantage of flexibility of the said laws to their advantage, by having with them illegally obtained blocks of ISI trade marks to put on the fake products like electronic products, edible oils, DVDS/CDS and are making roaring business, as these faked products are being sold for a lesser price or at discount rate than those charged by the manufacturers of original products.

We have seen in the media some foreign countries counterfeiting Indian currency notes of higher denominations circulating in the country similar in size, design, original signature of the RBI Governor and other parameters that are found in the original Indian currency notes without being caught by the banks and even by the RBI authorities since there is no difference between the faked and the original notes, and the fact of fake products like electronic consumables etc., is also included in the list of the faked products.
     
As there is a legal maximum ''Buyer beware", the buyers of these faked products should verify the bonafides of the of the labels/holograms, ISI mark embossed on the products, as the original products manufacturers will be very often warning the public to verify before they jump to purchase the faked products.

Therefore the Govt. should take stringent action when complained by the public about the circulation of faked products like electronic products or faked Indian currency notes etc or suo moto action, and should take further action to prevent the sale of these products in future by  dragging the fake products manufacturers to the court to prevent further sale of these products and seizing the faked products stored in the godowns of the faked products manufacturers etc.

B S Raghavendra Rao,
Bangalore


 
Taliban storm Pak army HQ

Attacks on the Pakistan Army HQ by the ultras have become a regular feature. This shows declining control over law and order by the civilian Govt. Pakistan seems to be slowly slipping into anarchism a concern for US and India in particular. Within Pak army and ISI, sympathizers are found in abundant encouraging splinter groups amongst various terror outfits. Such decisive elements will continue to have chronic ill effects in the form of terror attacks in Pakistan.

Deepak Chikramane
Mumbai

Center's step motherly approach

It is well known that the loss due to rains and floods in Karnataka is much higher than that in Andhra Pradesh. Our Prime Minister assures all support to combat the difficulties faced and will not biased. All these are on paper. The fact is that against a request of Rs 10,000 crore aid an amount of Rs. 52 crore was released first ( which is much less than the amount release to AP). P.M. spent more time and surveyed more districts in Andhra Pradesh but restricted to only Raichur in Karnataka. He announced a release of Rs. 1000 crore same as that for Andhra Pradesh to avoid comments from both States. This was not done commensurate with the size of damage. We have to now wait for the team to study and decide the quantum of help. It will be a testing time for our Congress leaders who are keeping mum on these matters. On the contrary they have been advising the Government on transparency etc... Incidentally JD(S) is also keeping mum on the issue. Perhaps they can go on making comments only against the BJP. It is a pity that our political parties have such a poor standards while dealing with a great human calamity.

M.K.Visweswara.
Bangalore


Help the needy

CM Yeddiyurappa, after being in power for nearly 32 months, is showing signs of reactivity. Collection of public donations for flood relief programs and approach to the center for massive grants are in the right direction. True, the government needs a hefty Rs. 15,000 to 20,000 crore to address the severe problems of the poor people in North Karnataka caused by the furious rains and floods. But, for God's sake, please "do not rob Peter to pay Paul". This is nothing but shabby economics. He, as a responsible government head,  ought to know that all people of Karnataka, as in other states are already being crushed under the sky high prices of all articles needed for a good and comfortable life, specially, food grains, fruits and vegetables, milk etc. But our CM has done nothing to cut the unwanted spending of public funds on foreign jaunts of nethas, their living in Maharaja style,  frequent government advertisements with nauseating photos of ministers etc. Please put an end to all such extravagant expenses. Take a bold decision that there will be no Kannada Habba and Rajyotsava celebration in November, 2009. This alone will save over Rs. 1,000 crore. Promise the people that there will be no hike in salaries and perks of law makers and ministers for the next 4 years; instead, ask all of them to agree for a voluntary 25% cut in their gross earnings for the next one year. Let all ministers and MLA's spend at least 50% of their time in their constituencies and cut luxury air travels to Delhi etc.

Emphasis should be on honest and robust implementation of all relief, rehabilitation and development plans, with absolute transparency and accountability of public funds collected. It is silly, for example, to read that the bureaucracy wants to paint autorikshaws in green to improve the ecology. Let there be no Mahammad bin Tughlaks in the government. The CM and his tribe must always remember our good old shloka that  "Yatha Raja Thatha Praja."
 
Dr.K.S.Krishnamurthy, Ph.D(USA)
Bangalore
 

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