x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Modi will have to mend his ways if becomes PM

A reader says Narendra Modi is aware that he will have to shed his past image, take a diversion, if not a U-turn, make compromises and convert hardliners if he becomes India's prime minister. Other letter topics include: child mortality, Syria crisis, National Day celebrations, driving, health.

A reader says Narendra Modi will have to change the way he thinks if he becomes India’s premier. Jagadeesh NV / EPA
A reader says Narendra Modi will have to change the way he thinks if he becomes India’s premier. Jagadeesh NV / EPA

I refer to the news article Modi to lead BJP into India elections (September 14).

The fear expressed in the article that Narendra Modi will divide the nation if elected prime minister next year appears to be unfounded. At best, it’s wishful thinking by his political opponents.

An astute and seasoned politician, he knows very well that he will have to shed his past image, take a diversion, if not a U-turn, make compromises and convert hardliners. He cannot lead the nation with the Hindutva agenda.

Despite the fact that there are Hindu and Muslim fundamentalists in India, the country has successfully maintained its secular character.

Even with more than 80 per cent of Hindus, India has neither become a theocratic Hindu state, nor will it ever be.

CS Pathak, Dubai

An event worth looking forward to

The plans for the National Day celebration this year seem to be exciting (42nd National Day set to go off with a bang, September 16).

I have heard a lot about the UAE National Day celebrations from my friends.

This is my first year in the UAE and after reading the article in The National about this year’s celebrations, I am patiently waiting to take part in the birthday celebrations in Abu Dhabi of the great young nation.

Sahil Ahmed, Dubai

Awareness drives can curb diseases

The Muntada event on Alzheimer’s and diabetes, organised by Sheikha Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation was an eye opener for all those who attended it (Doctors warn of growing risk of Alzheimer’s disease, September 16).

Lifestyle plays a crucial role in preventing both diseases. I sincerely thank the organisers for bringing in experts who helped the participants better understand these diseases with their clear presentation and interaction.

More awareness campaigns are needed on these health issues, especially among school and universitie communities.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

Diplomacy can solve crisis better

Many of us are relieved that the US did not get the opportunity to strike Syria according to its plans (Ultimatum to Assad on chemical weapons, September 15).

It’s good to know that Russia and the US have given the Assad regime some time to produce a full list of its chemical weapons stockpile and where they are manufactured and stored.

This approach leaves some room for diplomacy to solve the crisis. The question is whether Syria will honestly cooperate.

If all goes well, this deal could click, because both Russia and the US can take a joint stand on this matter.

Let us hope that the Syria crisis will end peacefully. The world is wary of a military solution to any problem. No one wants another war, another bloodbath.

It is easier to break a country than to build it. Look at Iraq and Afghanistan. If one life can be saved, that should be our goal. At a time when wars and conflicts are raging across the world, most of us seem to have forgotten about the value of human life.

Name withheld by request

Do more to tackle child mortality

The report compiled by global agencies such as the World Health Organization and Unicef that every day about 18,000 children die from diseases across the world is not only bad news, but a shocking one as well (Birthplace lottery for the newborn, September 15).

The report that says child mortality is on the rise rings an alarm bell. The number of child deaths in India alone stood at 1.4 million last year.

The UN members should find effective ways to tackle this issue. Children are the future of a nation.

K Ragavan, India

Reducing speed limit will not help

I am commenting on the news article Cut Dubai speed limits by 10kph, says traffic police chief (September 11).

I don’t think such a move will make a difference. There are people in every society who break rules and laws. Those people tend to be uneducated.

When bad drivers in the UAE drive me crazy, I remember the advice given to me by my driving instructor 26 years ago. He told me: “While driving, just presume that everyone on the road is a novice and likely to violate traffic laws at any time, and you should be fine.” No advice can be more valuable.

Ukhaggis Bhaji, Dubai