Strike down, but not out
Sir — It is a case of man proposing, and god accepting the proposal. The Supreme Court has upheld the Tamil Nadu government’s right to dismiss nearly 200,000 employees for going on a strike (“Staff back with union right to fight sack law”, July 25). This has not put a full stop to the issue, though. Classifying strikes as either “justifiable” or “illegal” will certainly complicate matters further and Indians will see more of them in future. It is also doubtful how far the trade unions, the main organizers of such strikes, will be able to function sans political interference.
Nilanjana Banerjee, Calcutta
Sir — The successful heart surgery of the two-and-a-half-year-old Pakistani girl, Noor Fatima, at Narayan Hrudayalaya in Bangalore is an instance of the fellow feeling which the people of India still have towards a country whose political leadership is hell-bent on picking a fight with India.
The incident will in no way help diffuse the tension between the two countries. The killing of Hindu pilgrims to the Vaishno Devi temple and the attack on the jawans in Akhnoor soon after the bus from Lahore brought Noor Fatima to India only goes to illustrate this. One can add to these the wars that Pakistan’s military junta has instigated over the years and the conspiracies hatched by the Inter-Services Intelligence to destabilize the peace process between India and Pakistan. No amount of Shimla agreements, Agra summits and bus services have affected the end result.
The political establishments of both India and Pakistan claim Kashmir to be the core issue in the relationship. Therefore, no matter how much warmth the civilians share, the bitterness in diplomatic relations is not going to disappear in a hurry.
T. Das Gupta, Calcutta
Sir — The goodwill gesture shown by the schoolchildren of Bangalore who showered their prayers and affection on Noor Fatima was extremely moving (Front page picture, July 16). The people of Pakistan should acknowledge this move on the part of the Indians. Would an Indian have met with similar treatment in Pakistan'
Chandan Ray, Calcutta
What ails the city'
Sir — Vivek Oberoi’s decision to not get operated in Calcutta is an outright insult to the Calcutta Medical Research Institute authorities (“Vivek runs to Mumbai and Ash’s doctor”, July 18). With the confidence level of patients in Bengal and Calcutta ever on the decline, the medical authorities have ample reasons to worry regarding the condition of the hospitals and the attitude of the doctors. Oberoi is not a Calcuttan, so it is not surprising that he should want to be treated in a set-up he is more familiar with. But what about the apathy of every Calcuttan to the medical facilities available here which forces him to look for alternatives outside the city'
T.R. Anand, Calcutta
Sir — The Oberoi family must have heard some of the medical nightmares of Calcutta. Indeed, the recurrent deaths of patients due to negligence of doctors or because of the absence of proper medical facilities have severely tainted the image of the medical institutions of the city. Undoubtedly, Vivek Oberoi’s broken leg could have been efficiently dealt with by the city doctors, or for that matter, any orthopaedic physician, as it is a simple case of a broken shin bone. But as the case of Rajnees Patel showed only a few months back, it is better to spend money on secure treatment than risk one’s life by putting it in unsafe hands.
Priyanka Aich, Calcutta
Sir — With the fast deteriorating condition of the city hospitals and the plunging levels of treatment, the economically vulnerable people of Calcutta are left with no other alternative but leave things to chance. Vivek Oberoi and their likes can afford to buy risk-free treatment. Is there any one who is going to ensure the same for the majority who do not have thousands to spare'
Deepti Nag, Calcutta