One ought to learn from the US President’s [Barack Obama] recent visit to India. I had attended a youth conference organised by Rahul Gandhi [Indian politician and member of the Parliament of India] in Rajasthan last year. The aim of the conference was to interact with students, especially NRI [non-resident Indian] students, and discuss matters of importance. The conference rather happened to be a short advertisement to promote the Indian Youth Congress. I lost the little faith I had in Indian politics that day. The politicians should learn about engaging in, “We, the people”, rather than treating the population as vote banks. As far as Obama is concerned, it was irritating to listen to the amateur reports given by some Indian news channels stating that he did not answer the questions on Pakistan properly. I watched his interaction with the students of St Xavier’s College and thought that his answers were perfect. What did the overly sentimental amateurs want to hear? Did they expect him to wage a war on Pakistan? It is shameful that such people belong to Gandhi’s India. The world has seen too many wars. The Iraq and Afghanistan situation ought to teach us something. Many countries have certain unwanted elements. It is these elements that need to be purged, not the countries.
From Ms Fatima Khan, Sharjah
A lot has been done by the entire Pakistani community all over the world to help our nation (“Crime not committed”, Gulf News, November 13). This effort is ongoing, which may not be obvious because the Pakistan government is not fulfilling their role. The politicians should have made a vigorous effort in helping and building the nation, but I am sorry to say that we do not see any results. We are not in the country at the moment and may not know the actual situation, but what we see in the media is heartbreaking. A lot of work was done abroad and I was personally a part of a donations programme for the flood victims in Pakistan. But, no long-term rehabilitation programmes have been set up within Pakistan. With the winter approaching, what will happen to the ill-fated people who have been affected by the floods? Not once were the president or prime minister of Pakistan seen going to a village and visiting those affected. As Pakistanis, we have done our bit by donating whatever we can, but we need someone who can give us a permanent solution.
From Ms Sophy Aqeel, Sharjah
I think parents can be best friends for their children (“Focus: Children and freedom”, Gulf News, November 12). As a friend to your children, you let them know that they can communicate with you. So, both of you will always be able to confide in each other and discuss your issues and concerns easily. With such a relationship with your children, they will be more confident as they grow up because they will know that they can always depend on you and that you understand what they are going through. When there is mutual respect in your friendly relationship and you remember the prime responsibility of being a parent, you will somehow convey this to your child. It is completely wrong to say that children will go haywire, because in this way they will be in their own control.
From Ms Ritu Chawla-Ray, Canada
Girls versus boys
I disagree that girls are more difficult to manage than boys. I feel that girls are the ones who know better to utilise the freedom given to them. They don’t exceed their limits. On the other hand, it is very difficult to control boys once they are given a certain amount of freedom. Girls can be managed easily because their freedom can be controlled by talking to them — they easily understand what is discussed. But, boys don’t easily get influenced by just a talk.
From Ms Yesha Gondalia, Sharjah
How much freedom is too much freedom? I think the words “too much freedom” should not be put together. The real question is, are parents skilled enough for today’s youth? It also depends on the child and how well he or she can make decisions. Some children mature earlier than others.
From Ms Anika Tiku, UAE
Mind your language
Recently, I happened to overhear a conversation between two young women, one of them was carrying a child, while standing in a supermarket queue. What drove me to write this letter was a certain profanity that was being used by one of them very nonchalantly and freely in a conversation within earshot of many people. I don’t know if this sort of language is passé in our society or whether it is the only way she knew how to communicate effectively. But, I believe that such words have a bad influence on the minds of our children and these women shouldn’t be surprised if one day their own children go around using such language at home and in public. My request to such people is to realise that verbal misuse is as bad as material misuse and we should desist from using such language in public as members of a civilised society.
From Ms M. Haridas, Dubai