A take on the Indo-Pak divide
Much as the writer Sajjad Ashraf and I disagree on the issues that led up to the partition, both our conclusions are almost the same (“In 1947, Pakistan was an idea whose time had come”, Gulf News, January 24). Undivided India was a mirage and as Sajjad forcefully points out, Pakistan was an idea whose time had come. My riposte rests on one central point, the confederation and provisional autonomy. The League and the Quaid made this the spine, the glue, the central idea to hold undivided India together. Yet why was this principle not made the holy grail when Pakistan came into being? Indeed, in practice what happened was much the opposite. Yes the Indian National Congress (INC) and Jawaharlal Nehru in particular, vehemently opposed the confederation and whether this was due to fear of the Hindu majority losing its pre-eminence or on account of principled opposition to a constitutional structure that was bound to fail can be debated until the cows come home. However this dichotomy between percept and practice by the League on autonomy has never been fully explained by any Pakistani commentator. Even Ayesha Jalal doesn’t give us a wholly reasonable answer to this question despite her huge body of scholarly work on partition. Interestingly, Patel comes in for limited and guarded praise but Nehru is scapegoated; similar to the Hindu right wing views. Jaswant Singh’s, Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence, toes the same line.
From Mr Ravi Menon
Ties and friendship
As India celebrated Republic Day, we Indian expatriates also managed to be a part of the event (“UAE leaders greet Indian President on Republic Day”, Gulf News, January 27). This is the day we celebrate the anniversary of the formation of our constitution. We pay respect to the founders of the constitution of India, who gave us our rights, freedom and privileges. UAE is our second home, a home away from home, and we are proud to watch the wonderful ties that has strengthened the two nations, which will improve the lives of millions of Indians. We are also proud to see the economic development of India. I have been a resident here for 15 years, and I feel privileged to witness the socio-economic development and bilateral ties between both the nations.
From Ms Nisha Ramesh
Day of celebration
This is with reference with India’s Republic day. There was a colourful parade on the 69th Repuplic Day of India and it was witnessed by the South Asian leaders and people. This parade will create a good impression on other leaders about India’s cultural, diversity and above all, India’s military capabilities. Ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s NDA Government came to power, every Indian Republic Day, various dignitaries around the world attend the event and speaks about the Prime Minister’s rapport in the international arena.
From Mr K Ragavan
Rash decisions, unnecessary
While the sentiments are running high on the safety of overseas Filipinos, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte asking all of them to return to their native land is a little farfetched (“Duterte asks Filipinos to leave Kuwait”, Gulf News, January 25). This is creating paranoia. It is true that some expats suffer at the hands of unscrupulous recruitment agents, and perilous working environments, especially those taking up jobs as domestic helpers, which needs to be addressed by both the host country and governments of those from where the workers are originating. It sounds utterly impractical to make such a blanket judgement, seeking everyone to return, following reports on individual incidents. Perhaps a better way for Duterte to solve such abuses is to make arrangements for proper screening of recruitment agencies and verifying job contracts before allowing people to leave the country for jobs.
From Mr Esmail Mohammad
There is nothing new here (“Selfie in front of speeding train lands man in hospital”, Gulf News, January 26). I have come across lots of pedestrians who cross the road without looking. I wonder how someone can have so much time and trust in the drivers that they would cross the road and expect them to stop for you. It’s your life on the line.
From Mr Mohamad Abu Shaker
Lack of ethics and responsibility
Some politicians and their children continue to prove that despite being social servants, the youth of the country can earn nothing from their lives (“Kerala leader’s son fined Dh60,000 in Dubai bounced cheque cases’, 25 January). There is absolutely no code of ethics, either on a personal level or at the party level, as allegations and cases of cheating, land encroachments, bribery, criminal offenses and more have become very much part of their life. Defending such allegations or cases make themselves insignificant and an embarrassment for those who believe in transparency in political dealings. It is time people realise the value of choosing the right candidates. They need to be role models their kids and the future generations. It is unfortunate that the wealth of the politicians and parties they represent, keeps building yet there is an absence of true ethics in their entire political life.
From Mr Ramachandran Nair
Freedom of speech and expression
Just a day after the Indian Prime Minister had told the world leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, that red tape corruption in India had given way to red carpets, it is unfortunate that the release of a film is causing a lot of hardship to the entire nation (“Karni Sena is only one of the saffron Frankensteins”, Gulf News, January 28). To my knowledge, never in the recent history have we had to face such an embarrassment. It seems as though we have lost the fundamental argument that the making and screening of films is about freedom of expression. Definitely, the maturity to accept artistic license seems to have disappeared. Ironically, even the clearance by Supreme Court had no effect to stop the protests. It is a pity that both the ruling party and opposition are silent on this matter. To set an example, our Supreme Court will have to punish some officials and government functionaries for defying its orders.
From Mr N. Mahadevan
A devastating tragedy
It’s very sad to know that 95 innocent people have lost their lives and more than 158 injured in a terrorist attack in Kabul (It’s a massacre: Kabul ambulance bomb kills 95, Gulf News January 28). Terrorism in any form cannot be justified and no religion will teach anyone to kill innocent people. It’s a massacre and it’s against humanity. The international community should intervene and find a peaceful solution and curb terrorism with the help of the Afghanistan government. May God give strength to the families of the deceased to overcome the grief.
From Mr Eappen Elias
Work together, kill terrorism
Terrorism has no end. Every day we hear about something happening in some part of the world. It is devastating to see the impact a certain group of people have on the rest of the world. My heart goes out to those families who have lost loved ones and are mourning their death. The international community needs to join forces and help get rid of such terrorists. The world can be a peaceful place. All we have to do is work together.
From Ms Zaina Khan
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