Is it too late for Jaya to mend?

Apropos of Mr H.K. Dua’s article “Jaya has lost the fight” (Nov 15), he has very aptly portrayed the undemocratic mental makeup of Ms J. Jayalalithaa. The perspective presented is both psychological and constitutional. It is indeed true that “arrogance” born out of brute majority in the Tamil Nadu Assembly disabled her to think and act rationally and constitutionally.

A bare perusal of Article 194(2) read with Article 361-A of the Constitution would instantly show that the issue of legislative privileges could not be invoked, even remotely, in respect of what was commented upon editorially by The Hindu. Having realised the distinction “between the right and the wrong”, we do hope, as Mr Dua has commented, Ms Jayalalithaa would soon seek to repeal of the breach of the privilege order passed by the State Assembly against The Hindu. Is it too late to mend?

Dr Virendra Kumar, Emeritus Fellow, Panjab University, Chandigarh



Mr H.K. Dua’s article depicts a vivid picture of the conduct of Ms Jayalalithaa who has become increasingly intolerant of free Press, bearing out the truth of Lord Acton’s dictum, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

Our politicians have a wrong perception that Parliament or State assembly is “sovereign”. It is people who are “sovereign” and the Constitution supreme. All other institutions like the legislature, the executive and the judiciary are merely the instruments or agencies to fulfil the great purpose of the Constitution.

Our Constitution envisages not only a democracy of men but a democracy of institutions. As such, the attributes of sovereign authority or power do not attach to any office or any institution. Mr H.K. Dua asserts that the remedy lies with the Supreme Court. I do not agree with this, because the frequent invocation of privilege through the Supreme Court is more likely to harm, than elevate, the reputation of Parliament.

P.L. SETHI, Patiala


Ms Jayalalithaa and not The Hindu is responsible for the breach of privilege as she has pursuing her politics of vendatta. She is hypersensitive to criticism. Power has captivated her more than her alleged transgression of democratic norms. The Tamil Nadu Assembly has cross the Lakshman Rekha. Mr H.K. Dua is right when he says that the remedy for those who misbehave lies with the Supreme Court and the people whose support is essential for protecting the freedom of Press.



The Hindu’s editorial in question — albeit highly critical of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s style of functioning — does not seem to violate any of the parliamentary privileges listed in May’s “Parliamentary practices”, a treatise on the subject. The need to codify parliamentary privileges has become greater now. In my view, the privileges committee of the legislature should be presided over by a sitting High Court judge. It should also have an eminent journalist, a reputed social worker and representatives of the State Assembly concerned. The present scheme does not inspire public confidence as it represents legislators who dance to the tune of the Chief Minister.

The obnoxious onslaught on the freedom of Press can be allowed to go unnoticed only at our general peril, as Mr H.K. Dua has warned in his article. Let the nation at large beware!

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)


The Press is the mirror of democracy. It keeps a check on the activities of those in responsible positions. By trying to muzzle the Press, the Tamil Nadu Assembly has misused its powers. The ruling party should make use of its majority for progressive and productive purposes instead of maligning and manhandling all those who raise their voice against the government. The unity shown by the media fraternity at a critical juncture is highly commendable. It will surely protect the freedom of the Press.


Offensive ads on TV

While watching the India-Australia cricket one-dayer at Kolkata recently, I saw a very offensive ad of the Steelgrip group of tapes where a young girl gives a hard slap to a young, near beardless, constipated looking male wearing a patka (obviously the depiction here is of a Sikh), when the latter makes overtures to her. My objections to this depiction are as follows:

Where was the need to depict only a Sikh at the receiving end of a slap, when there are any number of other communities that could have been featured here? Secondly, all Indians should know that normally Sikhs do not permit such liberties on their person like being slapped, and that too by a female. Thirdly, if the face shown in the Ad is that of a grown up, then why is a Patka shown here, when most of the time such Sikhs tie only a turban?

Are these a subtle manner in which the electronic media barons, supported by communal-minded political parties, out to ridicule the Sikhs and reduce their image and stature of being hardy warriors, who have always been the first to protect our nation against external aggression after Independence, and before that in both the Great World Wars?

MAJ-GEN HIMMAT SINGH GILL (retd), Chandigarh


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