Spirit of Gandhi is missing

Independence Day celebrations cannot hide the fact that India is awash in corruption and moral crisis, a letter-writer says. Other topics: climate change, quick flights, language skills, and humanity's shame.
Assamese girls perform Bihu, a traditional folk dance of Assam, during India's Independence Day celebrations in Gauhati yesterday. A reader suggests India should remember its past as it looks to the future. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)
Assamese girls perform Bihu, a traditional folk dance of Assam, during India's Independence Day celebrations in Gauhati yesterday. A reader suggests India should remember its past as it looks to the future. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

If the article Enlightened touch can win over global warming converts (August 15) argues that countries like the US need to spend more money developing advanced energy efficiency and renewable energy, then I completely agree.

However, it sounds like the writer is arguing for eliminating any kind of regulation of technology that doesn't use energy efficiently. That is not very smart if you want to solve problems such as global warming.

It has been shown time and again that the average consumer is not smart enough to make correct energy-efficient decisions if they require higher upfront purchase costs, even if there's a greater payback over time.

Another name for "bans" is "standards". The US Department of Energy has standards for minimum efficiency of consumer products. Manufacturers know these standards will become tougher over time, so they keep making their products more efficient. Everyone wins. But consumers would lose if the threat of the standard (or "ban") did not exist.

DC, Dubai

Climate change wasn't about forests or sustainability or energy or little kids planting little cute trees. It was a 25-year-old carbon dioxide death threat to billions of children and, fortunately, a tragic exaggeration.

Until I see scientists acting like it is the crisis they all say it is, I will accuse the lab-coat consultants of exaggeration, opportunism and exploitation. And here is the proof of exaggeration: various scientists all had their own special and unique and personal definitions of carbon dioxide's effects. This wasn't science, it was a consultant's falsehood.

MM, Abu Dhabi

Gandhi's party must emulate him

As India celebrates its 64th Independence Day, it is going through a most troubled crisis of morals and values.

Never before in its history have corruption and graft been so widespread. But the government of India is making no endeavour to extract the names of Indians holding massive Swiss bank accounts, for instance.

This is a big shame in a party and country which were led by Mahatma Gandhi, who was flawless in integrity and died without any property or a cent in his name.

Indian leaders are living in a make-believe world of their own, ensconced in layers of sycophants and security. They do not realise that common citizens are so frustrated by pervasive corruption, poor infrastructure and yawning gaps between the rich and poor.

The government must take steps to clean up the graft and assure the public that it will address the issues of housing, infrastructure, unemployment and health insurance.

Rajendra K Aneja, Dubai

Fast travel reduces traffic congestion

The plan to begin flights between Fujairah and Abu Dhabi early next year will be a good deal if it cuts the time we are required to be at the airport before departure (Fujairah airline venture targets 30-minute Abu Dhabi service, August 14)

There will be no traffic jams. But better would be to introduce super fast trains.

Mohammad Fuad Mustafa, Abu Dhabi

Language lessons begin at home

There is a reason a first language is called mother tongue (Call for more Arabic in nurseries, Aug 13).

Language and other important skills should be learnt from one's mother, as well as from the rest of the family.

Who are these so-called experts who say a child's environment will "restrict skills development" if parents opt for home rearing?

I do agree that if the rearing is left strictly in the hands of a nanny who has few skills, this may be a valid concern.

I realise this article is focused on the role of nurseries. But the emphasis should be on the paramount importance of family in a child's upbringing.

Rebecca Lavallee, Abu Dhabi

Dialogue is the only way forward

Killings never end in Syria and Yemen where people fight for change. Bombs never seem to stop in Afghanistan even though an elected administration exists.

Dialogue would be preferable to bombs and bullets to achieve the objectives of all.

In Libya, Yemen and other countries, people are battling for justice. There has been no serious effort to make known the problems of these countries. Rather, the response is with explosives which destroy the land and the cultural icons of its past glory.

Continuing attack on civilians who have no roles in the so called unrest or uprising is a shame on all of humanity.

Ramachandran Nair, Oman

Published: August 16, 2011 04:00 AM


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