Letters to the editor dated December 9, 2021

Updated on: Dec 10, 2021

A tragic loss

The Indian Air Force helicopter crash near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu killing the Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika and 11 other armed forces personnel can be categorised as the worst in Indian military history. The IAF’s Mi-17V-5 helicopter carrying Gen Rawat and others is a modern, multi-role medium lift aircraft equipped with state-of-the-art avionics and navigation systems. It has an onboard weather radar and an autopilot with advanced night flying capabilities.

How such a capable aircraft could go down, will be ascertained only in the court of inquiry. But the fact that India’s military is hobbled by lack of funds resulting in ageing weapons, equipment, hardware and poor-maintenance standards as underlined in a Comptroller and Auditor General report.

Gen Rawat’s death will temporarily hit the Indian military’s ambitious attempt to integrate the Army, Navy and the Air Force into a well-oiled and better-coordinated fighting machine. His replacement has very big boots to fill.

N Sadhasiva Reddy



In the tragic demise of Gen Bipin Rawat, the first ever CDS of this nation, we have lost a great soldier and a pioneering military strategist.

The General had been entrusted with the task of preparing our armed forces for the next generation of military engagements.

The government must immediately name the next Chief of Defense Staff.

This would not only help sustain and reinforce our plans to unify the capabilities of our armed wings, but also signal a message of our resolve to foes and friends alike. And that would be the fitting tribute to the late Gen Rawat, a true soldier who had always put the cause above self.

R Narayanan

Navi Mumbai

RBI’s growth stance

With the threat of Omicron variant of Coronovirus looms large over the economy, the MPC of RBI had decided to keep benchmark policy repo rate unchanged at 4 per cent while maintaining its accomodative policy stance to revive growth.

The RBI has projected healthy growth in the first half of the next financial year. But, the persistence of weak domestic demand and private investments are a big dampener to recovery.

Despite the sharp reduction in excise duty and VAT on petrol and diesel which have eased retail prices, core inflation remains high, causing concern. As recovery remains uneven, MPC needs to be more prudent and calibrate its monetary steps carefully.

M Jeyaram

Sholavandan (TN)

Good roads, key to tourism

This is with reference to the news report ‘Road to development, a reality check’. One issue that has been not covered in the article is the effect of good roads on the Tourism sector. Tourism is the most neglected industry in India. It hardly requires any capital but can generate employment. Good roads/infrastructure plays an important role in boosting the tourism industry.

Due to bad maintenance of our historical places/heritage sites, lack of cleanliness and above all bad roads, deters people from visiting these places.

Building good roads can make many heritage sites more accessible, boosting tourism. The tourism Ministry should identify such sites and work speedily for their maintenance and construct good roads which lead to these historical sites/tourism spots. The locals in the area should be involved in this activity.

The tourism department should publicise little-known heritage sites to attract tourists. Local people especially experts and intellectuals residing at places of tourist interest should be involved to give suggestions to help revive the history and local folklore, art, and handicrafts and delicacies.

Finally, good connectivity between tourist places and main cities, towns and villages by way of improved railways, road transport will go a long way in boosting our tourism industry and generating employment for the youth and local people.

Veena Shenoy


Published on December 10, 2021

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