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Letters to the editor: Edge of diplomacy | The Indian Express

It’s really tragic that yet another train has caught fire so soon after the Bangalore-Nanded Express burst. Edge of diplomacy The Devyani Khobragade episode has proved that India does not figure on President Barack Obama’s world map (‘Devyani Khobragade barred entry into US’, IE, January 12). Decades of a docile foreign policy towards the US, which often seemed confused and devoid of self-respect, has projected India as a morally and militarily weak nation, incapable of influencing world affairs. The spectacular economic and military rise of China has further dwarfed India. Since the US has always been an unreliable ally for India, the latter does not have much to gain from it. India could consider reshaping its foreign policy to shift its emphasis to Europe, South America and Africa, especially for trade and commerce. — Shivaji K. Moitra Kharagpur. This refers to the article ‘Two shades of immunity’ by Kishore Mahbubani (IE, January 13). India’s reciprocal gestures in the wake of diplomat Devyani Khobragade’s arrest in the US will no doubt prompt other countries to cheer silently from the sidelines. This includes Pakistan, which is yet to recover from the Raymond Davis episode. The US’s arrogance and sense of superiority, its expectation that all others will do its bidding, cannot be borne in silence anymore. — Haridasan Mathilakath Navi Mumbai. Timely measures Apropos of ‘Changing time’ by D.P. Sengupta and Dilip R. Ahuja (IE,January 13), it would be wiser to advance the Indian Standard Time (IST) by half an hour than to divide the country into multiple time zones. That would be better suited to cities in the west of the country. It will have the additional benefit of fulfilling the principle of “one country, one timing”. Moreover, it will save confusion between interconnected offices that are located in various times zones. Shifting the IST will definitely save energy and costs for a rising economic power. — Chetan Anand Meena Delhi. Think local The envisaged river inter-linking project, which seeks to transfer water from Himalayan rivers to the parched southern and western rivers will demand huge financial resources, result in a loss of biodiversity and leave several other intricacies unsolved. In his article, ‘Too grand to work’ (IE, January 13), Tushaar Shah rightly suggests some easier and more viable solutions to the same problem — intrastate water transfers, micro irrigation, reforming the MSP to steer farmers away from water-intensive crops, transferring food rather water. These solutions seem to produce the desired results without the same socio-economic costs. Consulting with panchayati raj institutions to solve local problems with locally available resources and coordinating with schemes like the MGNREGA may also help solve some of the problems. — Deepak Raj Patna.
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