Mr Modi on the hunt for gold
SIR, Narendra Modi, the BJP&’s prime ministerial candidate , appears to be overawed at the sight of the crowds and the money spent on reserving trains and buses that are headed for the venue of his rallies across the country. He plays to the public gallery when he criticises Manmohan Singh, Sonia and Rahul. He has ridiculed the government with the statement, “The whole world is making fun of us. Someone dreamt and the government has gone hunting for gold”, he said while referring to the exploration by the Archaeological Survey of India at Unnao, near Kanpur. By imagining that the whole world will scoff at us, Modi hopes to derive political mileage. As a prime ministerial candidate, he must realise that it calls for  pragmatism and compromise to run a government. He is still haunted by the Gujarat pogrom. The country expects him to offer a mature political analysis at his public meetings.
Yours, etc., Bidyut K Chatterjee,
Faridabad, 23 October.
SIR, If the Archaeological Survey of India cannot strike gold at Unnao, it will reduce itself to a laughing stock. The exploration undermines the anti-superstition movement of the murdered crusader, Dabhalkar, in Maharashtra. If it does strike gold, it will prove that all Hindus are not dubious as  Asaram Bapu.
Yours, etc., N K Das Gupta,
Kolkata, 23 October.
SIR, This is with reference to your superb editorial, “Saudi about-turn” (22 October). Saudi Arabia&’s allegations against the UN are biased. The world body has virtually been accused of dereliction of duty. The charges levelled by Riyadh hardly carry any weight. First, it is yet to be established as to who used the chemical gas in Syria ~ Assad’s regime or the rebels?
The conflict in Syria has now taken the shape of a civil war. In any conflict, both the warring factions commit unpardonable crimes, not any particular side. President Obama had rightly stopped short of resorting to air-strikes which could have escalated the confrontation. Russia and China also averted a widespread conflagration. Judging by this yardstick, the Saudi stand is unfortunate.
Yours, etc., Aranya Sanyal,
Siliguri, 22 October.
SIR, This is in response to Bibekananda Ray&’s article, “Virus of ragging” (23 October).  Students are not admitted to colleges to get physically abused by their uncivilized seniors. The menace of ragging has intensified. Far from being punished, the accused simply get away with the offence. This is the primary reason why the authorities have failed to tackle the menace. Ragging is not only physically dangerous; it can leave a permanent mark on the victim&’s psyche. Hopes are dashed and careers can get thwarted at the threshold. The agony of the parents can well be imagined. The constitution of an inquiry committee cannot by itself put an end to the menace. The culprits should be arrested and also barred from enrolling in any other educational institution in the country. In cases where the victim succumbs to injuries or commits suicide, those found guilty should be sentenced to life imprisonment. The superintendent of the hostel or the Principal of the college deserve to be punished if they do not take prompt action against the culprits.  The spurt in ragging has exposed the flaws in our education system, which might be successful in churning out academically brilliant students, but has failed to inculcate the right values in them. The em-phasis ought to be on value-based, instead of career-based education.
Yours, etc., Kajal Chatterjee,
Sodepur, 23 October.
SIR, Workers in the agricultural and industrial sectors receive only the wages for their labour. The owners of the land and industry reap the profits. This fundamental disconnect has never been suitably addressed. The workers do not get any share from the profit earned from agriculture and industries. And this is how the working class has been deprived over the ages. This is a sort of repression. The revolutionary ideas of Western philosophers, pre-eminently Thomas Jefferson, Adam Smith, Rousseau, Voltaire, Engels, Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin sowed the seeds of the revolution. The workers were up in arms against their masters who in the past used to beat them up if they asked for more food and wages. Even in 2013, the workers are deprived of their share of the profit. They ought to get proper wages and rights to have a share in the profit of agricultural and industrial production. They should also be aware of their responsibilities, specifically their obligation to strive for the development and prosperity of agriculture and industry, indeed the segments that provide them with employment and livelihood. In a word, they should be conscious not only of their rights, but also their obligations.
 Yours, etc., Sauro Dasgupta, (Class VIII A, Mangalam Vidyaniketan School), Kolkata, 23 October.