Offence is still the best defence
Sir — The American president’s greed for power knows no bounds. Which is why only a year after snubbing the United Nations, he is back before the world body to seek its approval for drafting a constitution for a vanquished Iraq. What is most jarring is that “UN finds a defensive, not penitent, Bush” (Sept 24). That is probably because George W. Bush knows as much as a mockingly-chiding Kofi Annan, that the United States of America is still indispensable to the UN. The problem is now the UN is no longer dispensable for the US.
Neha Pradhan, Calcutta
Sir — Mamata Banerjee has perhaps taken the right step in associating with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, which has hailed her as “Bengal’s Durga” (“Appeased RSS calls Mamata Durga”, Sept 16). In exchange, she has asked for at least one per cent support from the RSS — “true patriots” according to her — to oust the communist regime in West Bengal. But Banerjee’s plan can work only if she stops wavering in her alliances. So far she has not been very steady with her choice of allies. In West Bengal, she had allied with the Congress during the 2001 assembly polls after having hastily withdrawn from the National Democratic Alliance following Tehelka. Her defeat forced her back into the NDA fold. Even within the NDA, her stand on various issues has not been always consistent.
Banerjee has to learn to stick to her principles and allies if she wishes to fight the left regime in Bengal. She must remember that to act like Durga, she also has to earn the respect and confidence of the people of the state.
Sir — Mamata Banerjee’s reinduction into the Central cabinet will help arrest her party’s descent into political oblivion. The Trinamool Congress has had no significant presence in the political scenario of West Bengal over the past one year. If the party still makes headlines occasionally, it is for all the wrong reasons, intra-party feuds being one of them. This has earned Banerjee nothing more than ridicule from political circles across the country. Her credibility in the eyes of the people has suffered heavily because of her whimsicalities. She should realize that politics is not about settling personal scores. Political differences should be sorted out within the party itself.
Sir — The report, “Berth-less Mamata leaves BJP breathless” (Sept 10), shows that Mamata Banerjee is in no mood to change her ways. But the question is, why did she want to get inducted into the cabinet when elections are just round the corner' It would be judicious of Banerjee if she kept quiet about her berth till after the elections. Bickering on the issue would belittle Bengal in the eyes of the rest of the country again. The question is, however, would Banerjee’s giant ego allow that'
T.R. Anand, Calcutta
Sir — In “How the BJP fails its allies” (Sept 18), Bharat Bhusan does not seem to have realized that Mamata Banerjee herself is responsible for her present “berth-lessness”. From the day the Trinamool Congress came into being till she resigned as railway minister , Banerjee has displayed overconfidence in all her ventures. The initial success had gone to Banerjee’s head and niceties like the prime minister’s visit to her house, the respect paid to her mother were interpreted as weakness on the part of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Excuses like the people know about “her work” cut little ice nowadays since she forgets that histrionics do not go down well with the electorate here.
Banerjee is unable to differentiate between a leader with the ability to pull crowds and one who, with a level head, manages self-seekers with opposing viewpoints. The Trinamool leader has lost her credibility and the BJP will not disturb the status quo in Bengal for someone as unpredictable as her. The conviction is further strengthened by the new equation between Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and L.K. Advani.
Susenjit Guha, Calcutta