Letters to the editor dated July 16, 2020

| Updated on July 16, 2020

Missed Iran rail project

The decision of Iran to drop India from a plan to build a rail link between its Chabahar port and Zahedan in Afghanistan is a huge setback to India’s strategic goal of capitalising on infrastructure development projects it undertakes in neighbouring and friendly countries, aimed at promoting mutual economic development, stability and peace. While India played its part in developing the Chabahar port, it dragged its feet on building the rail link between the Chabahar port and Zahedan.

The development of Chabahar port and the link over land through Iran to the Afghan border was largely construed as India’s answer to Pakistan’s denial of trading route through Wagah to Khyber Pass, Afghanistan and beyond. This is not the first time such an ambitious overseas infrastructure development project undertaken by India had faced inordinate delay in its completion. There are umpteen number of projects in Nepal, Myanmar and Sri Lanka that are still get stuck.

The Pancheshwar dam project in Nepal, which has been hanging fire since 1991, and the trilateral highway between India, Myanmar and Thailand are cases in point. The inextricable link between Chabahar project and our friendly relationship with Iran cannot be undermined.

M Jeyaram

Sholavandan, TN

Dealing with dissidents

Apropos ‘Rein in the hustlers’ (July 16), the anti-defection law has indeed lost its sheen in checking unethical defections due to the steady manipulation of its provisions by the legislatorsas well as the Speakers of the House. Yet, disallowing re-election of the dissidents during the prevailing term of the House would have to be considered with due precaution. For example, a candidate is elected not solely because he belongs to a party but also because of his personal reputation and the record of his quality of service in his constituency. Debarring him merely for desertion from one party would not be a sufficient justification. Moreover, when there is a defection by a single or small group of legislators, it may be due to a just cause. And then there is the issue of independents to whom the Tenth Schedule may not apply when they withdraw their support from the ruling party.

YG Chouksey



Anti-defection law

Ever since the genesis of the anti-defection law, ingenious attempts at defanging it had been on. MLAs can resign from the legislature, switch sides, re-contest under a new symbol and come back to the Assembly from a different party. Antidotes to this sleight in beating the anti-detection law continue to evade effective deterrence. We may consider the following: The vote (of a legislator resigning from the ruling party) will be deemed to be the one from his/her constituency and thus would stand secured by the party whip. The said legislator can re-contest for the balance term only as an independent and would also be barred from voting in any no-confidence motion against his/her parent party. Thus, once elected under a party ticket a legislator is willy-nilly committed to create no legislative damage to the party on whose aegis he/she secured the current term.

R Narayanan

Navi Mumbai


Air India’s ‘leave’ scheme

This refers to ‘Air India introduces ‘leave without pay’ scheme’ (July 16). What is the rationale of sending selective Air India employees on sabbatical ranging from six months to five years. This action raises several questions: First, when Air India is on the verge of privatisation, does the current management have the locus standi to draw long-term plans?

Second, no less than the Aviation Minister has claimed on several occasions that Air India does not have surplus workforce and its manpower shall be an asset to the new owner.

Third, as long as these employees are on the rolls of the organisation, they will be entitled to perks such as PF contribution by employer, and medical benefits. And, finally, what about the morale of the employees who have survived the axe? It will be rather low, as they will always living in uncertainty and fear.

Deepak Singhal


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Send your letters by email to bleditor@thehindu.co.in or by post to ‘Letters to the Editor’, The Hindu Business Line, Kasturi Buildings, 859-860, Anna Salai, Chennai 600002.

Published on July 16, 2020

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