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Engage on democratic terms

America’s decision to pull all troops out of Afghanistan by September 11 had pushed India out of its comfort zone, making it consider engaging with the Taliban to stay relevant in Afghanistan (‘Tea with the Taliban?’, May 9).


The only way forward from here is to have a strong Afghan government, backed and supported by the international community. Russia, Iran and Pakistan will continue to play a role in the race to negotiate with the Taliban. India has development projects in all the 34 provinces of Afghanistan. Time and again we have demonstrated through our actions and projects on the ground what our real feelings are for Afghanistan.


The India-Afghanistan air freight corridor was set up to offset the challenge posed by the absence of direct road links.


India should be a part of the peace process in Kabul, and the Taliban should be engaged on democratic terms.


T.V. Jayaprakash,

On email


Biden’s decision to pull out US troops from Afghanistan is going to create problems for India. I still feel it is not wise to engage with the Taliban, who, in the past, have caused us so much grief. Giving into their demands will be foolish, as Pakistan continues to hold sway over the Taliban.


Gauarv Trivedi,

On email.


When civil war broke out in Afghanistan, India rushed to Kabul’s assistance. India extended massive humanitarian and reconstruction aid, and executed its job even in difficult times. The 2008 bombing of the Indian Embassy in Kabul is an example of the difficulties we have faced there.


I feel the situation in Afghanistan should be handled diplomatically.


B. Gurumurthy,

On email.


Why waste money?

It is certainly not the right time for the country to spend thousands of crores on non-priority projects like the Central Vista, when so many Indians are dying because of the pandemic (‘Vanity or necessity?’, May 9). Heartrending scenes of patients dying on the roads and in ambulances, gasping for breath, have become so common these days. There is an urgent need for leaders to rethink the country’s priorities.


K.V. Dharmarajan,



Manmade crisis

It is such a shame that India is facing oxygen crisis of a kind that one never imagined. The government and the authorities were not prepared for it. This could have been easily prevented (‘SO2S’, May 9). There was no coordinated supply mechanism in place. Add to that, the blame game between the Centre and states. This is a manmade crisis. I am glad that so many countries are helping India in these difficult times.


P. Krishnakumar,

On email.


Narendra Modi’s Covid response was a colossal blunder, not a mere miscalculation. From not having the task force meet for months on end, to encouraging the Kumbh Mela, it has been disaster all the way. Modi has shown neither remorse nor a will for corrective action. He must go.


Mukund Sharma,

On email.


Political opportunism

Why should Y.S. Sharmila form a new party when she can work alongside her brother, Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, in the YSR Congress Party founded by their father? The problem is that everyone is ambitious. This is like fooling people. Reddy and Sharmila cannot profit from the affection that people have towards the late YSR (‘Daughter’s in, hand’s down’, May 9).


This is political opportunism at its best. I do not think Sharmila’s political party is going to be a success story.


Prashaunt Rao,

On email.


Does it even matter?

I fail to understand the sudden confusion surrounding Hanuman’s birth of place; such a controversy is uncalled for (‘Origin’s story’, May 9).


There is no way one can prove where Hanuman was born. Karnataka was always considered as the land of Hanuman. Let it remain that way. Also, one cannot stop the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams from claiming that Hanuman was born in Andhra Pradesh. People can worship Hanuman at both the places. Doesn’t God exist everywhere? Why give all this so much of importance?


Tapesh Nagpal,

On email.


Lacking zeal

Swara Bhasker’s column (‘Did we learn anything last year’, April 25) was awe-inspiring. Her views were 100 per cent correct.


The zeal and fervour with which the Central government tried to fight the virus last year is sadly lacking this year. The common man is required to abide by the Covid rules, failing which he is penalised heavily. But this does not seem to apply to political heavyweights, as election rallies and gatherings were conducted without following Covid norms.


A.L. Naik,

Karwar, Karnataka.


An article concerning Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, which was published in THE WEEK dated January 24, 2016, under the title ‘Lamb Lionised’ and mentioned in the contents page as ‘Hero to Zero’, is misunderstood and giving rise to misinterpretation of the high stature of Veer Savarkar. We hold Veer Savarkar in high esteem. If this article has caused any personal hurt to any individual, we the management express our regret and apologise for such publication.