Trump’s Statement On India And His Competitors
President Donald Trump’s ‘America first’ is perhaps one of the most talked about proclamations made by a world leader in recent memory. President Trump’s 55-page National Security Strategy (NSS) seems little interested to placate anyone. But the beauty of the NSS lies in the fact that Trump was not keen to offend any major superpower though, as usual, China and Russia were at the receiving end of his barbs. The latest US NSS document is a sharp shift from the earlier ones in the sense that there is no clarity on whether the President himself did read the document to its entirety. Trump has acknowledged the fact that China and Russia are indeed US’ competitors. In his campaigning days, Trump had the choicest abuses reserved for Beijing. But apart from “warning” China against meddling in the Indian Ocean, and for “impinging” on others’ sovereignty, Trump’s mellowed approach is there to see in the NSS. Trump has had no word on climate change as a tool for security, keeping in tune with his policies, but to the dismay of his own military especially the navy. As for India, being termed a “leading global power” in the NSS, is only a reason to smile. India has welcomed Trump’s statement, without breaking into a celebration because there is no reason for any knowing Trump’s ambivalence.
Ganapathi Bhat, Akola
Religion Should Be Kept Out Of Politics
Politics should rule over religion and not vice versa. The MPs should have authority to take final decisions on so called religious practices like teen-talaq, dahez or pataka. If politics gets controlled by religion then the latter will drag our society backwards. We have enough evidence in history that proves without a shadow of a doubt that religion after mixing with politics produces poison. Given that we have recently been made to taste high levels of such toxicity in the laboratory of Syria, we must be very cautious if an assembly election in the twenty-first century India has been reduced to a temple-hopping competition. Political leaders in a democratic country like ours are supposed to detoxify political environment by strictly adhering to the basic tenets of our Constitution.
Sujit De, Kolkata
Media Hype During Poll
The hype created around the Gujarat polls by the media virtually turned the state into a ‘war zone’. Even the feelings that run so hot that matches boil up and over during any India-Pakistan cricketing encounter paled in comparison to the feverish pitch raised by the keenness of a battle royal that promised to have its own highs and lows. Countrymen who have begun to relish the verbal duel between NAMO and RAGA as one of the most fervid fixture in Indian politics of late were not disappointed either. It was a full-pitched battle and undoubtedly a prestigious one at that for the PM who hails from the state. But Rahul Gandhi’s elevation as the Congress president could not have come at a better time – for the press that is! Not blind to the fact that the onus was on Rahul Gandhi to break the Modi-jinx and unfurl the Congress flag in Gujarat, the media left no stone unturned in creating a big build up around an electoral challenge that could prove to be decisive factor for their political careers. With all the ingredients in the right proportion to attract nationwide attention, the media’s job was made that much simpler. The exit-polls, as a media gimmick to sustain the election fervor, has never failed to arouse keen interest. Inviting discussions and debates from political pundits, the addiction to remain glued to the idiot-box is another aspect of the electoral proceedings that has come to invade our drawing rooms. If Modi has attracted media attention for his ebullient and effervescent ways, the media has always adored the Gandhi family scion for his impromptu outbursts that soon snowball into a controversy. Of course Modi’s political credibility has never been in question! But latching on to the immature ways of the ‘perennial novice’ of Indian politics, it is difficult to understand what the media wants to prove. Every region in the country has its own share of issues and problems. Instead of highlighting these matters, the national media these days appears to be more intent on taking the political animosity between the BJP and the Congress to further heights. It is time the media puts an end to its patronizing ways. The masses need not be spoon-fed; as free-thinking citizens, they understand the risk of electing the wrong man to power.
PACHU MENON, MARGAO