Faith in humanity
I was moved to tears by all the media coverage on the New Zealand massacres, which your magazine addressed with sensitivity (April issue, ‘Tears, anger and solidarity’/Editorial). New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern’s ‘they are us’ comment gets right to the crux of hate crimes such as the Christchurch mosque shootings, which try to separate people and instill the ‘them’ and ‘us’ mentality beloved of all bullies. She turned the killer’s rejection of immigrants or people of different faiths back on him with a resounding rejection of him and his values.
The horror of Christchurch recalls the smaller-scale but no less tragic Tree of Life Synagogue shootingin Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in October last year, in which 11 people died at the hands of another murderous bigot. Jews and Muslims supported each other following both these attacks, and New Zealand’s wise, compassionate leader has echoed this feeling: that we all have humanity in common, and differing faiths or political views cannot override this.
Vis-à-vis Humphrey Hawksley’s piece in your April edition on the rise of China with ‘Europe in its sights’, the focus should not be about warning the West on China – it is about what alternative the West is bringing to the table. If you warn against the BRI, what options are you proposing to nations in desperate need of infrastructural attention?
African Railway Roundtable (ARR)
Give up to gain?
Nicholas Nugent writes well on historical background of the Kashmir situation in ‘A question of control’ but, like many others, he has more questions than answers.This is comment more than criticism because one wonders if there can ever be any solution to this enduring and complicated issue.
It seems to me that, in the end, India and Pakistan will each have to give up control of the Valley and make this region into quasi-independent nation under United Nations control, which could serve as buffer state between India and Pakistan.Both countries would lose some territory but border disputes would decrease, huge military resources would be saved and the India-Pakistan relationship might have a chance to normalize. If we in India want to move on and focus on big social issues facing our country, such as youth unemployment, we have to try to find solutions that might not be instantly appealing but could be beneficial in the long-term. This is also true for Pakistan.
Then again, maybe Mr Nugent’s hopes for ‘cricket diplomacy’ will bear fruit!
Style over substance
Dr Sudha Ramachandran hits the nail on the head when she writes that the Balakot strikes did not make India more secure. It may have appeared an expedient move, but was it? Quite apart from its likely failure, as with other efforts, to force Pakistan to cut its links with terror groups, the episode has allowed Pakistan to maintain a veneer of credibility for its first civil-military government and its air power, and take the moral high ground by promptly releasing downed Indian pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan. A case, maybe, of style over substance.