The cover story on Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit (IE, August 2005)
misses several important facts about the lady. It’s her birth in a leading
political family of Delhi which gives her the advantage vis-a-vis her rivals
rather any political acumen. The story also glosses over her failure to clear
the city of polluting industries. Pollution is Delhi’s No.1 enemy today.
Sheila Dikshit doesn’t create a fuss over what she does. Unlike other chief
ministers, she goes about the business of governance with an easy confidence
borne of the fact that she believes that what she is doing is right. Much of her
modesty has been described by uncharitable people as owing to the fact that she
works right under the watchful eyes of the central government. However, Dikshit
is by nature a reticent person who likes to work in a businesslike fashion.
Best wishes for your forthcoming anniversary issue. Refer to Sheila's Spirit.
Once she said ‘I will fulfill Delhi's dreams.’ Dikshit has proved to a
powerful lady for Congress. How about making her the head of Congress Party. Who
knows, she may be the head of the Congress?
Man in a hurry
Haryana’s Bhupinder Singh Hooda seems to be man in a hurry. Most Haryana
chief ministers are preoccupied guarding their own turf to be bothered about
minor issue like economic growth and per capita income. But here is a man who
has wooed industry and business soon after he took the oath of office. This
would seem most un-Haryana like because the state, with its easy paced
agricultural existence, would be content with it Bt cotton and paddy. However,
Hooda wants to introduce an industrial bent of mind in the Haryanvi and it seems
he is going to achieve his ambition.
The story Plane Truth was perhaps the best piece of reporting by India
Empire. It completely exposes Pakistan’s hand in the hijack of Indian Airlines
flight IC 814 in December 1999. Pakistan’s hand in the 1971 hijacking of
another Indian Airlines aircraft to that country has also been revealed recently
by one of the hijackers. What India knew all along has been confirmed by the
hijacker who says the Pakistanis encouraged the hijackers to blow up the
aircraft which was parked at the terminal.
The article Plane Truth was really a shocker. It’s insane that terrorists
like Masood Azhar—who were captured after the combined efforts of the army,
Border Security Force and the intelligence agencies and after great loss of life
and sacrifice by our soldiers—were released by the Indian government in a
shameful swap at Kandahar airport. Agreed, the Taliban and the Pakistani
government were hand-in-glove with the hijackers, thereny limiting India’s
options, but abject surrender was uncalled for.
I like your column on new gizmos and cars but, hey guys, could you please
stick to stuff you can buy and maintain in India. The dune buggies are fine but
will out authorities allow such stuff to be brought into India? Maybe you could
just mention Indian products.
South Block Affairs
Minister of state for external affairs E. Ahamed seems to be on autopilot.
Alright, he seems to winning friends and influencing rulers in West Asia, but
don’t we need to cultivate the big boy on the block—Israel? It’s not our
country is dependent on Gulf remittances. We never were but the liberals at
South Block made it appear like we were. But now oil supplies are coming from as
far as Sakhalin in Russia and in terms of remittances, CEOs of multinatioanals
take home more than Indian workers send. So can we not revisit that street
India Empire is superb. Could you introduce an astrology column, too, so what
the magazine remains fresh for a month.