x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

India faces state-splitting pressures

A reader warns that subdividing India's states may not end well. Other letter-to-the-editor topics today: Abu Dhabi Airport's E-gate, mothers' milk, Iran and the Kurds.

Advocates of a proposed new Indian state, Gorkhaland, demonstrate Saturday in New Delhi. A reader notes that the birth of Telangana may generate many more demands, like this one, to divide existing states. Altaf Qadri / AP
Advocates of a proposed new Indian state, Gorkhaland, demonstrate Saturday in New Delhi. A reader notes that the birth of Telangana may generate many more demands, like this one, to divide existing states. Altaf Qadri / AP

Airport's E-gate system had a surprise element

As I planned a recent flight abroad, I was looking forward to using the new, free E-gate system for which I had registered in June at Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi. The efficient registration included a mock gate to illustrate how the system would work. I couldn't wait to try it at the airport and avoid the queue.

But when I asked where the E-gate was at Terminal 3 of Abu Dhabi airport, I was shepherded through the first-class entrance to a different-looking gate, and was asked for my card. Nobody had mentioned this before.

A fellow passenger, a helpful Emirati, explained that I could obtain this card from a Ministry of the Interior office in Terminal 1, for Dh 300. I was disappointed, and decided not to spend the money and time to get this card.

But on my return to Abu Dhabi, I again asked about the E-gate. This time, to my delight, I was shown the portal, which worked exactly as demonstrated at Marina Mall.

As a result, I had the quickest exit from the airport that I have ever had, a real contrast to my previous arrival, when it took me almost an hour to clear immigration.

But I am still confused about what happened on the outbound leg. Do I have to pay for a card to be able to use the E-gate when I leave?

Elizabete Baums, Abu Dhabi

Mothers' milk has vital ingredients

I am writing about your report Mothers 'should breastfeed for longer', UAE doctors urge (July 31).

Breastfeeding is not just about feeding the baby's appetite, it's also about forming a strong and tight bond between the mother and child. The practice transmits more than nutrients. Affection, stability, and security are there, as well. We can think of breastfeeding as a form of software upgrade.

It is a shame that some women, for reasons of their own, are neglecting this important aspect of motherhood.

Moiz SA, Sharjah

Movie delays are about popcorn

UAE film takings down during holy month (August 2) touches on an interesting point.

The decline in attendance is caused by the distributors being unwilling to release major summer films during Ramadan.

I think the main reason for that, in turn, is that cinemas make a large proportion of their profits - almost 80 per cent, I have heard it said - from selling food and drinks at their concession stands.

Since food and drink can't be sold the majority of the day during Ramadan, there is no incentive for the cinemas to "waste" the summer blockbusters that can't purchase the expensive snacks.

Alan Branson, Abu Dhabi

Indian partition needs rethinking

This is with reference to the article Telangana defies the protests to be 29th state (July 31).

In 1952 the self-starvation of Potti Sreeramulu led to the creation of a separate state of Andhra Pradesh for Telugu-speaking people. This was the first Indian state created on the basis of language.

Now, after 60 years Andhra Pradesh has been successful in pressuring the centre for further division, on different grounds.

Under political compulsion, the ruling UPA II has opened the proverbial Pandora's box, which is certain to unleash more political troubles.

The decision has inspired some people in other existing states to call for separation. In a country of so many peoples and castes and faiths, the idea of forming states on linguistic grounds needs serious review. Irrational or absurd demands for statehood are now all too possible.

C. S. Pathak, Dubai

Give Rouhani a chance to act

Extremists in Iran, the US and especially in Israel are determined to prevent any developments that would reduce tension in our region.

Like many Iranians and expatriate Iranians, I feel that the Islamic regime has grave shortcomings which must be addressed by the Iranian people.

But in fairness I feel that Hassan Rouhani, who won a clear mandate for his policies of moderation and respect for rights of citizens, should be given a fair chance to implement his declared agenda for peaceful change.

Those in power at present in Israel definitely do not want peaceful change to take place.

Baquer Namazi, Dubai

Kurds must make a vital choice

I refer to In Turkey, a TV talent show sparks a national reawakening (August 3).

The resurgence of Kurdish culture in Turkey and elsewhere is a very welcome development.

However, Kurds must make a choice. Using terrorism to obtain political goals will naturally lead to a government clampdown.

Suhail Shafi, US