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Letters to The Editor — April 3, 2024


#Katchatheevu

By raking up the Katchatheevu ‘issue’ just before the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections, and at the fag end of his second consecutive tenure, the Prime Minister has only betrayed his desperation for his party to get a firmer political toehold in Tamil Nadu. The top leader does not seem to have been briefed adequately on the subject, as the Editorial and reports in The Hindu (April 2) show. And, his External Affairs Minister seems to have scored a self-goal. One hopes that the Prime Minister would heed the advice given by some of India’s former and distinguished diplomats (Inside pages, “Ex-diplomats caution govt. on Katchatheevu”, April 2). Electoral expediency should not be allowed to shape the contours of India’s foreign policy.

S.K. Choudhury,

Bengaluru

One wonders why the Prime Minister has raked up an issue that will only result in controversy. How will it help the BJP electorally?

Joseph Kurian,

Kochi, Kerala

India has strained relations with Pakistan and the Maldives. The Opposition parties in Bangladesh and in Nepal have been challenging their governments over their ‘close ties’ with India. Do we now require introducing a point of tension with Sri Lanka? Does this regime think that it can ride roughshod over Colombo just because it helped Colombo during Sri Lanka’s economic troubles? Even if the Sri Lankan government refrains from making comments now, the Opposition in that country is sure to retaliate at an opportune moment.

Hemachandra Basappa,

Bengaluru

What a clever ploy to divert attention from the issue of alleged Chinese incursions in the north of India! It is unfortunate that the Opposition in India is unable to confront the government on the government’s real failures.

Deepak Taak,

Panchkula, Haryana

The sharp political attack on the Congress for ‘ceding’ Katchatheevu island to Sri Lanka in 1974 is quixotic to say the least. Raking up an issue that is 50 years old is nothing but politics and a case of political expediency. It would be better for the Centre to introspect on the damning silence that it has maintained over alleged Chinese incursions into India. It would also be immensely beneficial if elections are fought on livelihood issues that confront the masses rather than raising the hackles of parties and other nations over a subject that is done and dusted.

J. Anantha Padmanabhan,

Tiruchi, Tamil Nadu

Baltimore accident

The crash of the ship Dali into the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, the destruction of the bridge, and the economic impact, reminded me of mariner concerns over lurking dangers at ports. I have served on 13 Navy ships, and as a conning officer and navigator, I remember being on total alert as we transited harbours through designated channels. We typically maintained enough speed at about five knots to provide headway for steering, and always had two to four tugboats assisting us. All port authorities should review their ship transit policies and procedures and require all major sea-going vessels to utilise tugboats at every port.

Donald Moskowitz,

Londonderry, NH, U.S.



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