Sir ' 'NRI's protest award to 'Modi ally' (Jan 10), talks about NRIs booing a recipient of the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, Sudhir Parikh, for allegedly being a friend of Narendra Modi. It is not understood how Parikh's hands were smeared with 'blood' when he was neither present in Godhra during the riots nor alleged of rioting. But when secularists want to condemn (or not condemn) someone, they do not care for reason. Why else would Rajiv Gandhi be awarded the Bharat Ratna despite condoning the Sikh riots by saying, 'when a large tree falls, the earth will shake'
S.B. Gupta, Calcutta
Sir ' The Supreme Court's disapproval of the 5 per cent special quota for Muslims in educational institutions and appointments is heartening ('Religious quota', Jan 5). After 58 years of independence, India should stop patronizing the minority population. The quota system, instead of helping the uplift of the backward communities, has sown seeds of hatred in them. What Muslims, scheduled castes and tribes and other minorities require are an adequate and accessible educational infrastructure, facilities for employment and a sense of pride as citizens of India, instead of being branded as 'backward people'. Special reservation in the name of social justice is a ploy to secure votes. Only if these people are treated equally with the rest of the population will India progress.
B.S. Ganesh, Bangalore
Sir ' The United Progressive Alliance has to be more constructive in its attitude towards the uplift of the minorities. A major section of the minorities often finds itself unable to reach even the minimum available facilities for education and earning. For long, the majority community has successfully managed to enjoy the share which legitimately belongs to the minority community. This anomaly has been kept under wraps by highlighting issues like Islamic fundamentalism. This discriminatory stance discourages minority communities from associating with the national mainstream. India should be ashamed of such step-motherly treatment of its own citizens.
Abdulruff Colachal, New Delhi
Sir 'If India is truly a democracy, fair competition should be ensured and equal opportunities provided for all. Any special reservation creates mutual distrust and conflict among communities in the long run. The Allahabad high court ruling that took away the Aligarh Muslim University's minority status has given equality a chance and restored the dignity of Muslims. Reservation for Muslims in educational institutions and in public employment may or may not be constitutionally valid. But reservation is not the only way to end the educational and economic backwardness of Muslims or any other community in this country.
Suman Barthakur, Guwahati
Sir ' A calculated move is being made to give priority to other religions. Witness the fiasco in Andhra Pradesh. Yet, a secular government should not interfere in religious affairs or take discriminatory measures on the basis of religion. The Y.S. Rajashekhar Reddy government's efforts to reserve seats for Muslims in educational institutions and government jobs go against democratic norms. Thankfully, the judiciary has stalled its attempts.
G. Vijayalakshmi, Chennai
Sir ' If reservations are to continue, let there be quotas only for the economically backward, irrespective of whether they belong to SC/ST, OBC or the minority communities.
M. Agrawal, Calcutta