Iraqi government needs to sit down and talk to the protesters

Anti-government protesters remove barriers on a bridge leading to the Green Zone during a demonstration in Baghdad on Saturday. AP
Anti-government protesters remove barriers on a bridge leading to the Green Zone during a demonstration in Baghdad on Saturday. AP

I write in reference to Pesha Magid’s article Iraq protests: nearly 50 dead as violent clashes restart across the country (October 26) it is disheartening to read about the spiral of violence that has threatened to once again destabilise Iraq after all that the country has been through for the past few years. A country that was once the pride of the Middle East for its rich multicultural heritage today finds itself unable to recover from years of dictatorship, war, terrorism, sectarianism, economic distress and corruption. It is no wonder that people are protesting. And to see security forces trying to violently quell these demonstrations is deeply concerning. The government must put a stop to the violence and engage with the protesters.

K Ragavan, Bengaluru

Time for the BJP to focus on Indian economy after electoral setbacks

The decline in the number of seats won by prime minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in the Maharashtra and Haryana state elections in India last week shows the growing disillusionment of people with the management of the country. In the two states, the incumbent BJP is now unable to form governments on its own strength; now it has to rely on coalition politics. The primary reasons for the erosion of faith in the party include mismanagement of the economy, insouciance, taking the people for granted and a focus on nationalism. Indian GDP growth rates have slipped to about 5 per cent from 7 or 8 per cent in earlier years. Unemployment is rampant. Sales of cars have dropped by as much as 40 per cent.

Governments at the centre and in the states have not shown a massive urgency in addressing the economic woes of the common people. Economists in government need to hammer out solutions to generate jobs and growth. If we close our doors and windows, how will the winds of fresh and new thoughts blow in to create prosperity for the people?

Rajendra Aneja, Dubai

As Lebanon protests continue, both sides must bear restrain

I write in reference to Raghida Dergham’s article Lebanon must strategise and turn these peaceful protests into a win in the long run (October 26): peaceful and organised protests are far more effective than violent ones. Both sides must show restraint and should not allow any spark to ignite the wildfire.

Nazim Hasan Khan, India

Published: October 27, 2019 08:45 PM


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