Protests in India over poverty and corruption

Readers respond to The National's coverage
The Japanese whaling ship Nissin Maru approaches Sea Shepherd's high-speed trimaran Gojira while using water cannons. A reader supports the anti-whaling activists in the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Simon Ager / AP
The Japanese whaling ship Nissin Maru approaches Sea Shepherd's high-speed trimaran Gojira while using water cannons. A reader supports the anti-whaling activists in the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Simon Ager / AP

An estimated 40,000 daily wage earners protested at a mass rally in Delhi on on Wednesday against the failure of the government to control inflation and the exclusion of most of the poor in India from the benefits of economic development and liberalisation

Manmohan Singh, India's beleaguered prime minister, has finally agreed to a parliamentary investigation into the telecoms scandal that has infuriated the entire country. The 8 to 9 per cent GDP growth rate, of which India is so proud, stand diminished by the spate of corruption and economic mismanagement.

It is a paramount duty of the prime minister of any country to ensure an honest government. This is a key responsibility in a country like India, which is liberalising and therefore provides ample opportunities for plunder and theft. On the ground, slums proliferate and millions of Indians sleep on pavements.The urban infrastructure is collapsing.

India has been plagued by scams in the last few months such as the Commonwealth Games fiasco. To top it all, prices of basic foodstuffs and vegetables like onions and garlic spiralled by 200 to 300 per cent. The government did not even have simple ideas in its armoury, such as imports to bring down prices.

The moral rot in Delhi is percolating down to small towns and villages. There is absolute cynicism about all politicians and government officials. Self-interest and personal aggrandisement seem to propel government decisions.

This is shameful and underscores the poor quality of India's ruling elite. Sonia Gandhi, the leader of the Congress, needs to sack the corrupt to retain her credibility

Rajendra K Aneja, Dubai

Guide to business in time of crisis

The personal finances article The way forward (February 26) featured financial experts giving advice on future investments. People are at least thinking more for themselves and subscribing to independent newsletters. Should they be getting more aggressive? Well that is usually when the problems start. Buy low, sell high, but few do.

Peter Cooper, Dubai

In reference to the business article Dubai property sales improve (February 25), "sales activity" (shoppers) is not to be confused with "sales". How can sales be rising if prices have not bottomed out?

Richard Gross, Dubai

I refer to the business article Libya unrest unnerves oil markets as supplies seriously disrupted (February 25). Considering the unrest in Libya, where the oil sector accounts for 80 per cent of the economy, we would also be prudent to remain mindful of short-run and long-run price elasticity.

Ronald Grey, Abu Dhabi

Anti-whaling is not an act of piracy

I refer to the news article The murky waters of whaling (February 25). Please consider the definition of a pirate before dishing out labels to organisations such as the Sea Shepherd.

The Japanese are exploiting a loophole in the International Whaling Commission's moratorium on commercial whaling and are poaching in a whale sanctuary. The Sea Shepherd society is saving the lives of whales and protecting them from these illegal poachers. The only pirates here are the Japanese whalers and they must be stopped.

Lynda Wast, Abu Dhabi

Foreign workers stuck in Tripoli

The ongoing crisis and the status of foreign workers in Tripoli is sad and painful. The Indian government is making efforts to bring home the stranded 18,000 workers but is still waiting for clearance from the Libyan authorities. The situation is a tense one.

Protesters are being attacked by the army and this is highly unacceptable.

K Ragavan, India

In praise of the perfect bike

A couple months ago, The National ran a review of Honda's new upscale bike, the 2010 Honda VFR1200. As a competitor to the BMW K1300S, the Honda looks exactly how a refined sport cruiser should look: sleek, lightweight, moulded minimalist fairing and an engine that refuses compromise. It's the best engineered cruising machine.

John Sherwin, Abu Dhabi

Good news for grocery shoppers

The news article Farm shops take on the big supermarkets (February 24) reported that three farm shops in Abu Dhabi sell fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables at prices lower than the major hypermarkets.

It would be great if this sort of initiative grows and spreads everywhere.

Sally Prosser, Dubai

Published: February 27, 2011 04:00 AM


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