Donald Trump, like the Grinch, likes to play spoilsport
Message of peace
Sir — The message of peace that was conveyed by the archbishop of Calcutta, Thomas D’Souza, and the secretary of the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Swami Suparnananda, has restored the faith of Indians. D’Souza rightly asked, “If we are all sisters and brothers, how can we hate one another... how can we kill one another?” Their message comes at a time when a large section of people in India who are already fighting tough battles with poverty are looking for a ray of hope amidst the inky darkness of violence that surrounds them.
The hatred that is being infused into India’s social fabric is like dry rot which needs to be treated before it is too late if Indians are to live a healthy life. Such messages of brotherhood from religious leaders can go a long way in setting India back on the right course.
Sir — Two incidents on Christmas eve proved that the air in West Bengal is yet to be poisoned by communalism. While there was a chilling attack in the New Life Fellowship Church in Kolhapur, Maharashtra, on Christian devotees by a mob of hooligans who allegedly claimed to be protectors of Hindutva, Hindu monks at Belur Math in Bengal prayed to Mother Mary and Jesus. Showing them the path this year were the archbishop of Calcutta and the secretary of the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, who offered a joint prayer before a portrait of Jesus.
The Hindutvavadis should take lessons in humanity and communal brotherhood from Swami Vivekananda. The rest of India still has a lot to learn from the peace among different communities in West Bengal at present.
Sir — The Grinch could learn a thing or two from Donald Trump. The American president recently asked a seven-year-old girl whether she believed in Santa Claus. “Because at 7, that’s marginal, right?” he asked. His scepticism is surprising. After all, there is hardly a conspiracy theory that he does not believe. Trump thinks that Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the plot to kill John F. Kennedy or that vaccines cause autism. The existence of Santa Claus hardly seems like a stretch before these. Trump, like the Grinch, cannot bear to see others happy and likes to play spoilsport.
Sir — The country’s longest rail-cum-road bridge over the Brahmaputra at Bogibeel near Dibrugarh in Assam, inaugurated by the prime minister recently, is a milestone in India’s development story. Not only will it reduce transportation time in the Northeast Frontier region, but it will also make the movement of troops to the border easy, enhancing India’s defence prowess. The bridge is thus a symbol of connectivity and of security.
Still, it is a matter of concern that the bridge took so many years to be completed. The foundation stone was laid in 1997, and work began in 2002. The delay must be examined closely and it should be ensured that in future such important projects are completed on a priority basis. The planning and implementation of mega projects such as this are definitely herculean, but it can be made easy with good coordination between departments and simpler and faster clearances by the various government departments. Besides, the government that starts a project must make sure that the same is finished within its term. Political considerations must not be allowed to stand in the way of the nation’s welfare.
M. Pradyu Thalikavu,
Sir — The present dispensation should be lauded for overcoming the hurdles in the path of constructing the Bogibeel bridge. It will undoubtedly alleviate some of the troubles of the people of the Northeast. It is also encouraging that the bridge, given its strategic location near the Indo-China border, has been resumed to meet the needs of the armed forces.