TN Assembly’s action on scribes unfair

The action of the Tamil Nadu Assembly’s privileges committee against six journalists of The Hindu and Murasoli is undemocratic. Article 19 of the Constitution guarantees the right to expression to every citizen. This fundamental right must be respected by the Tamil Nadu Assembly.

Mr H.K. Dua has raised the voice of the common people in his forceful comment: “It is a matter of shame that 56 years after Independence, a Chief Minister and Assembly of that state should take such action against one of the most important and responsible newspapers of the country. It was a right of The Hindu to write the kind of editorial it has written.” (Nov 9). Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting found it “unfortunate and regrettable”.

The Press Council of India is fully justified in its demand of revoking the decision of the Tamil Nadu Assembly. Certainly, this arbitrary and undemocratic step of the Jayalalithaa government reminds us of the black days of Emergency. The apprehensions of the editors and journalists are real and all freedom-loving citizens ought to stand by the Tamil Nadu journalists.

R.B.Y. Dehati, Fatehabad


The decision of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly sentencing five senior journalists of The Hindu and the Editor of the DMK party paper ‘Murasoli’ is a blatant misuse of power. It is a direct and serious attack on the freedom of the Press and democracy. The people must unite to condemn this attack.

The intelligentsia should rise to the occasion and lend its pen and lung power to ensure that the sentence handed down to the journalists is revoked immediately.

Prof N.K. Gosain, Bathinda



The Supreme Court has rightly stayed the arrest of The Hindu journalists. The fundamental right of speech and the liberty of citizens cannot be curtailed without giving them a chance of hearing. The Hindu journalists could not be sentenced for 15 days without a hearing. A legislature’s privilege is not superior to the fundamental rights of the citizens.

R.S. Sailani, Zirakpur


The media is making a hue and cry over the Tamil Nadu Assembly passing a 15-day sentence on the Editor of The Hindu and other journalists. Though the sentence in itself may not be justified as the aggrieved were not given an opportunity to defend themselves, certainly, one should introspect why the elected representatives choose to go for such a drastic step.

The Press, in the garb of freedom of speech and expression, is misusing this liberty. Its liberty is not absolute and it should exercise restraint.

Divjyot Singh Sandhu, Chandigarh

Children’s Day

Children’s Day will be observed today with usual platitudes voicing concern for a vast majority of children without childhood. The state of children in India, however, proves that rhetoric does not necessarily mean results. Obviously, we have failed to fulfil two fundamental rights of the child — the right to “protection against exploitation and employment before a minimum age” and the right to “education to develop abilities and become a useful member of society”.

There is an urgent need for a uniform children’s Act for the states instead of different laws or none. A proper and universal law will enable many poor children to avail themselves of the opportunities for a better life and at the same time safeguard their interests. What is needed today is a firm commitment of all official and voluntary organisations concerned with the welfare of children to seek the liberation of the child from all kinds of exploitation.

Even more important is the need for a moral awakening without which child exploiters, both in the organised and unorganised sectors, will continue to prosper at the cost of the children who are the chief source of national progress and development.

K.M. Vashisht, Lassoi (Sangrur)


The birthday of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, being celebrated as Children’s Day, has another significance. Nehru laid the foundation stone of the Bhakra Dam today in 1955. We need to remember and pay our respectful homage to the workers and engineers, living and dead, who were involved in the construction of this gigantic project.

M.L. Bajaj, (Ex-General Secretary, Nangal Labour Union), Kurukshetra

Mail the bills

Important documents like telephone bills, electricity bills, water bills, etc should be sent to the consumer by registered post and charged to his/her account (ie added in the bill) to avoid inconvenience to consumers. Many times these documents are just thrown on drive ways, put in wrong letter boxes and so on, causing inconvenience to the consumer. Hope the authorities will do the needful.

Muscan Khanna and Khushboo Khanna, Panchkula


Haryana must scrap VAT

The Centre has introduced the Value Added Tax (VAT) scheme in lieu of Sales Tax to ensure uniformity in laws and avoid unnecessary competition among states to increase revenue at the cost of the general public. For political reasons, most states showed indifference and expressed their inability to enforce the law from April 1, 2003.

Despite the business community’s resentment, the Haryana government introduced VAT though Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and the Union Territory of Chandigarh have not implemented it. Some of the measures are so harsh that small shopkeepers in galli-mohalla and even rehriwalas have come under the ambit of the Inspector Raj. Though the turnover limit for registration under the Sales Tax law was Rs 5 lakh, as per the new provision of Section 3 (2) of the Haryana Value Added Tax Act, 2003, this limit had been reduced to Rs 1 lakh. As rehriwalas, petty and poor dealers have been included in the VAT, the government cannot mobilise substantial revenue from VAT. On the contrary, it would increase corruption, mental torture and humiliation of small shopkeepers. VAT must be scrapped.

Satpal kaushik, Secretary, Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee, Yamunanagar


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