Proposed Trump-Kim Meet Gives Hope For World Peace
Early this month US President Donald Trump accepted the invitation of North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong-un for talks by the end of May. The world was taken aback by Trump’s “sudden acceptance,” and perhaps Kim Jong-un himself must have been surprised by Trump’s gesture because both leaders have a history of exchanging expletives. But the beauty of global diplomacy is that it’s always in a state of flux. When Trump said ‘yes’ to Kim’s offer, no diplomatic channels were put in place to determine an agenda for the meeting between the two leaders. So much so, suspense remains over the venue even as Sweden is strongly speculated to be the chosen one. Kim is maintaining stoic silence over the meet, as he is loath to let the cat out of the bag. There are sceptical voices like former US Defence Secretary William Cohen, who doubts whether a talk will ever happen because Trump’s new national security advisor (NSA) John Bolton is an advocate of pre-emptive attacks on Pyongyang. The people of the US are, however, optimistic that the Trump-Kim meet will happen. Meanwhile, Kim’s “surprise visit” to his closest ally China is construed as a preparatory exercise for the all-important talk with Trump. This despite Beijing supporting the United Nations’ (UN) sanctions against Pyongyang for nuclear excesses. It is also rumoured that Kim met Xi Jinping to further soften a mellowed down Trump who is for stringent sanctions against North Korea. Trump tweeting that he was looking forward to meet Kim and that the denuclearisation plans of North Korea have evolved from “not even a small possibility to a good chance” is great news for world peace. In the interim, Kim is meeting South Korea’s Moon Jae-in in April which hopes to thaw the strained relations between the two. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is meeting Trump in April. All these meetings are aimed at alleviating misconceptions, building bridges and fostering friendship for the betterment of world peace.
GANAPATHI BHAT, Akola
CBSE Paper Leak: Punish The Culprits
Students all over the country are terribly upset with the news that the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has ordered re-examination of the Class XII economics and Class X math papers after both the papers were leaked ahead of the exams. Examination is a process to judge the merit of a student. Over the past few years, the process has been mired in controversy mainly due to the leaking of question papers. What is happening to our education system? What will our next generation learn? What will be the future of our hopes? The government should look into the matter seriously. A thorough investigation into the paper leak and a fitting punishment to the culprits only can put a stop to this self-demolishing practice.
MD RUSTAM PARWEZ, Hyderabad
Rational Debate Needed On Caste System
The Supreme Court had made an observation on March 20 that the anti-atrocities law, which protects the scheduled caste and scheduled tribe communities from casteist slurs has become an instrument to blackmail innocent citizens and public servants. It had suggested in its judgment that before registering an FIR a preliminary inquiry should be conducted to check the veracity of the allegations. It had further laid down that in such cases the public servants could only be arrested with the written permission of their appointing authorities. Ever since the SC and ST (Prevention of) Atrocities Act came into force some 30 years ago, it is alleged that the marginalised community, sensing the favourable provisions in the law, has been invoking it to seek vengeance and satisfy vested interests, for they know very well that under the law the police is left with no option than to arrest the accused as the offence is non-bailable. On one hand we are talking of equality before law under the Constitution and on the other we are targeting innocent citizens just to please some community. How justified are such lopsided Acts? Instead of arguing logically to seek equitable dispensation of law, the entire opposition just to appease the SC/ST community is hell bent in cornering the government to file a review petition in the apex court. In this background there is yet another contention that is cropping up with the filing of a PIL in the apex court that just as the creamy layer is excluded from the OBC category the same criterion should be applied with respect to the SC/ST community for reservation of government jobs. It is unfortunate that just because some people are harping on the community tags that they are Dalits or tribals, they are made to enjoy all the benefits, even if their economic status has surged upwards, even above the average, for generations. Let us not forget that the Supreme Court itself had observed that the nation should focus on eliminating the caste system in a phased manner. We talk of atrocities being perpetuated on the ostracised communities. This is because we have been identifying the people with the caste. Bring in laws to eradicate the caste system and the discriminations will cease on their own.
MICHAEL VAZ, MERCES