The horrendous explosions in the Sankat Mochan temple, the cantonment railway station, and a crowded coach of the Shiv Ganga Express in Varanasi are the most reprehensible happenings in recent times. Such incidents deserve to be condemned by all. All the political parties should support the Government in fighting the deadly monster of terrorism.

Y. Jagannatham,
Vijayawada, A.P.

Our politicians, irrespective of their ideology and vote bank considerations, should come forward to help the Government maintain peace and harmony. In particular they, and the media, should desist from freely airing their imaginary perceptions, which can aggravate the situation.

V.S. Ganeshan,

Terror attacks have almost become a daily occurrence. When terrorists do not respect human lives, there is no reason why the Government should respect their lives. It should deal with them mercilessly.

S. Anand Balaji,

The attack is an attempt to create fissures in our ever-resilient secular society. Such dastardly attempts should be dealt with firmly. No irresponsible comment should be made from any quarter, however exalted it might be, hinting at danger to any community. Such comments are what the perpetrators of terror are looking for.

Kasim Sait,

The blasts deserve to be condemned in the strongest possible terms. What is more disgusting is the sight of every political party trying to get mileage out of such tragedies. We need to have a national resolve to end terrorism. For this, we should rise above our political and religious ideologies.

Jalees A.K. Tareen,

The BJP and the VHP called for a bandh within hours of the incident. Such moves at gaining political mileage are deplorable. Another aspect that struck me was the irresponsibility of some television news channels. An eyewitness was shown commenting on the police inaction, poor administration, etc.

While it is the duty of the media to expose such inadequacies, the timing was horribly inappropriate. The interview was barely a few hours after the incident, when the situation was explosive.

Balaji Viswanath,
Vellore, T.N.

First it was Akshardham, then Ayodhya, and now it is the Sankat Mochan temple. The perpetrators should understand that nothing is achieved by targeting the common masses. Attacks on places of worship belonging to a particular religion only lead to hatred and intolerance.

N. Divakar,

The attack in one of the most sacred shrines of Hindus is highly deplorable. The terrorists chose Tuesday obviously because they knew the Sankat Mochan temple would be crowded. The fact that even temples are not spared shows no place is safe for the common man.

Prabha Muthukrishnan,

This is not the time for parties to exploit the situation by indulging in a blame game. The electronic media in particular should avoid pitting politicians against one another. Politicians make statements to suit their interests, which mislead the people.

V. Hariharan,

Terrorists struck busy marketplaces in Delhi before Diwali and have targeted Varanasi just before Holi. The Government seems to be incapable of controlling attacks against innocent people.

G. Anjani Kumari,

The Holi-eve blasts, like the pre-Diwali Delhi bombings, are aimed at fomenting trouble at a time when two big democracies of the world are drawing closer. The terror outfits are registering their presence by killing innocent people. We have to be more vigilant and not lose our bearings.

Raghubir Singh,

Only last week, mobs ran amuck in Lucknow. What was billed as an anti-Bush rally turned into communal riots. With Holi just days away, do not serial bombings in Varanasi suggest that Uttar Pradesh is rapidly sinking into the quagmire of communal turmoil?

J. Akshobhya,

India is slowly but surely being polarised between the majority and minority. The UPA Government and some of the State Governments are indulging in minorityism that will prove extremely harmful in the long run.

S.R. Sreejith,

Varanasi is to Hindus what Mecca is to Muslims. Mark Twain said of the city: "Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together!" Is it a coincidence that the blasts occurred after the signing of the Indo-U.S. civilian nuclear deal?

N. Nagaraja Rao,

The frequency with which terror attacks take place shows terrorism has been underestimated by our leaders. They seem to think it is enough to issue statements whenever an attack takes place.

A.J. Rangarajan,

Once again, we hear the oft-repeated statement "we are doing what we can" from our officers and Ministers. May we, the common people, know what they have been doing through years of blasts in Kashmir, Mumbai, Akshardham, Parliament and Delhi? Terrorists seem omnipresent and life in any part of India is precariously insecure.

Aditya Raj,
Varanasi, U.P.

Leaders first issued the all-too-familiar statements such as "culprits will not be spared," "stern action will be taken," and "terrorism will be put down with an iron hand." Then came the announcement of ex gratia to the families of the dead and injured. They can now forget about the people until the next attack.

P.K. Rami Reddy,

The security apparatus and intelligence community have been relentlessly working hard. Yet we are unable to prevent terror attacks from time to time. Pre-emptive strikes on terror outfits seem to be the only option left. And citizens should not take security for granted.

Sambi Reddy Endreddy,
Guntur, A.P.