Sir — The editorial, “Odd priority” (Nov 22), has correctly highlighted the sad plight of the state of West Bengal whose chief minister is “willing to sit down and talk with Opposition parties to fulfil her own personal agenda of toppling the UPA government, but she is not willing to do the same for providing good governance to the people of West Bengal”. When it became clear to her that the United Progressive Alliance cannot be dislodged in the number game — the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party supported it — she should not have proceeded to take such a step in haste. But she was in no mood to wait and did not even bother to personally approach the national leaders to ask for their support, leaving the arduous job of convincing them to her party MPs. This resulted in the failure of her mission. The whole exercise could be attributed to her lack of political wisdom. It could also be a diversionary tactic to shift the people’s focus from poor governance in the state. Sadly, this has come about at the cost of her own credibility in national politics.
I.N. Banerjee, Calcutta
Sir — Mamata Banerjee often deviates from her priorities as chief minister. One cannot agree more with the editorial, “Odd priority”, which states that her political rivalry overshadows her willingness to provide good governance to the people of West Bengal. Unlike a real leader, Banerjee lacks farsightedness. She often forgets that it is the people of her state she has set herself out to serve.
Till some time back, she used to regard the Communist Party of India (Marxist) with utter derision. Her startling decision to meet Opposition leaders to garner their support for a no-confidence motion against the UPA government only exposed her dubious credentials as a politician.
Banerjee has gone out of her way to try and overthrow the UPA government to avenge herself. After all, she had been compelled to leave the government at the Centre earlier. For Banerjee, serving the people of West Bengal is less important than political rivalry. She is a mere politician and not a true leader.
Debolina Chakraborty, Digboi
Sir — Mamata Banerjee persisted with her decision to go ahead with a no-confidence motion against the UPA, even though she knew fully well that it would be impossible for her to garner the required support. This only shows her to be an inexperienced politician. Curiously, the lady who breathes fire even at the mention of the CPI(M ) and humiliates the party’s leaders at every conceivable opportunity declared she was prepared to meet Left leaders at Alimuddin Street to discuss the issue. It seems that she does not mind being double-faced as long as she can achieve her goals. The editorial, “Odd priority”, is correct in saying that “to most reasonable people this double standard would appear bizarre and inexplicable.”
Banerjee ignores the fundamental duty of taking the Opposition into confidence to discuss any issue related to transparent administration in West Bengal. This shows that she is hardly bothered about good governance in the state.
It has been reported that Banerjee’s loyalists are deserting her. Supporters of her party are openly criticizing her supercilious style of governance. These developments indicate that her popularity is on wane in the state.
P.B. Saha, Calcutta
Sir — Israeli air strikes killed several Palestinians, raising the death toll to more than 100 in Gaza (“Israel hits Hamas hub”, Nov 17). According to medical officials, air strikes killed three members of the Hamas’s armed wing in central Gaza’s al-Maghazi refugee camp and five others in Rafah in the south. The deaths and injuries came amidst a massive Israeli air assault targeted at the Gaza Strip that damaged the headquarters of the government and a police station. On November 14, three Israelis were killed as a result of rocket fire from Gaza. This came after Israel had killed 13 Palestinians, including three children, and injured 115 people. Children in Gaza continue to be at great risk. Most of them are shot at in an indiscriminate manner or are killed by Israeli air and ground attacks. These assaults also prove that the Israelis, not satisfied with the evictions of thousands of Palestinians out of their country and the annihilation of Palestinians in Gaza, have framed oppressive policies targeting Palestinian children. Israel aims at intimidating, terrorizing and traumatizing Palestinian families who have dared to stay in the country.
Israel has devised these policies to thwart young Palestinians from joining the anti-Israel movement. For many Palestinian children, childhood is spent under the threat of violence. Palestinian children living have reportedly been captured by Israeli forces and subjected to brutal treatment during their illegal imprisonment. Since 1967, over 726,000 Palestinians have been arrested and detained. The United Nations and the super powers should take serious measures to save Palestinian children, who have been suffering under the rule of Israelis.
Rudra Sen, Calcutta
Sir — When a batsman wants a decision reviewed, the third umpire should be called into action in all Test matches. This will minimize error. A few wrong decisions can change a game.
Keshab Kumar Chowdhury, Calcutta