Indian banks are not immune from the subprime crisis, in spite of the fact that they don’t have subprime financing. But what they do have is blind financing of properties, fuelling speculation and soaring realty costs. What they should have been financing are “homes” and not houses or apartments. The mere fact that the banks finance any property that comes their way results in property remaining in the hands of speculators and not of “homemakers”. Banks finance all sorts of speculation, apart from properties: stocks, derivatives, bullion and commodities. They must judge their exposure to risks and should not expose their depositors to such risk.
— Keshav Agarwal
This is in response to your Quick Edit “Unreasonable demands”, Mint, 29 September, criticizing the Armed Forces for taking up the anomalies in the Sixth Pay Commission awards with the government.
It was depressing to read your views, deriding and criticizing the Armed Forces. The gradual erosion in the status of the Armed Forces since independence is reflected in the low morale in the rank and file of the Armed Forces due to which a large number of officers are quitting for greener pastures. Subsequent governments and the bureaucratic lobby have brought down the Armed Forces to its current pathetic state of affairs.
What is wrong with the demand for parity with bureaucrats, police officers and paramilitary forces? Do you mean to imply that Armed Forces officers are less competent or lowly citizens? And if the police and paramilitary forces are so competent, why is the Armed Forces rushed into trouble spots at the drop of a hat? The matter reeks of apathy of the civil populace to the needs and aspirations of the Armed Forces. Do you know the essence and ethos of the the Armed Forces? The kind of hardships soldiers endure and the inhospitable terrain and difficult conditions they live in, away from families?
Re: “Zardari, terror and Kashmir”, Mint, 7 October. It’s too early to draw a conclusion, since Pakistan is in a state of confusion. Its constituents are not acting as one country, but as different institutions acting on their own agendas based on their legacy.
Constitutional authority there has always been under the shadow of the army, which views India as its enemy. It cannot see India in any other manner because its purpose, its existence, will be lost. Not to mention the loss of power.
Pakistani army generates money from drug trade to fund terror in India. Some of this ill-gotten money goes to the personal accounts of the generals. Thus, if they view India as a friend, they can’t justify funding terrorists. As a result, they won’t be able to trade in drugs. Thus, animosity towards India translates into real money. Unless the apparatus for monetization of animosity is got rid of, we can’t have lasting peace in India.
— Ashish Banerjee
The UPA government’s decision to revise the annual income ceiling from Rs2.5 lakh to Rs4.5 lakh for the creamy layer among other backward classes amounts to pandering to a vote bank. It’s an irresponsible action, coming as it does before elections. It’s similar to the revision of pay scales of Union government employees and the waiver of farm loans for which the present and future generations will have to pay.
— S. Narayan