SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
M A I L B A G

Attack on Taslima deplorable

We were shocked to see the video footage on all television channels of the attack on renowned Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen by the Majlis-e-lttehadul Muslimeen (MIM) MLAs and their supporters at the Hyderabad Press Club. The Tribune promptly condemned the attack in its editorial, Attack on Taslima (Aug 11).

Clearly, the attack was the MIM’s example of its fundamentalism. Its members are misguided fanatics posing as the custodians of their faith. What a shame! The lawmakers themselves took the law into their hands by throwing bouquets and chairs at the lone lady and injuring her.

I understand the compulsions of the Congress government in Andhra Pradesh because the MIM is its ally. When will the government shed its policy of appeasement? Where were the law enforcing agencies when the MIM spokesman was issuing threats to behead Taslima if she dare visit Hyderabad again?

No doubt, the government has booked some cases against MIM leaders. But I doubt whether the police will put them behind bars for what they have done. The Centre and the states are duty-bound to protect Taslima wherever she visits. They should ensure her safety because the Centre has extended her residential permit to stay in India for another six months.

DILBAG RAI, Chandigarh


 

II

The editorial, “Attack on Taslima” aptly observes: “In a democratic, pluralist and enlightened society, violence has no place and is totally unacceptable.” Taslima Nasreen has done nothing unconstitutional nor she has committed any moral wrong.

In a democratic country, the right to expression is the most valuable fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution. It cannot be curtailed in any manner. The attack on Taslima is not only condemnable but also deplorable. Such actions by a few hoodlums will bring a bad name to the nation and send a wrong signal to the world community.

J.L. NAAGAR, Advocate, Jalandhar City

III

The President of India is Mrs Pratibha Patil. The ruling UPA Chairperson is Mrs Sonia Gandhi. Still, some leaders and activists of MIM had the guts to attack Taslima Nasreen. This is a national shame because an attack on Taslima is an attack on the entire womenfolk. Is this the MIM style of secularism or fundamentalism?

SIMMI MOHINDRU, Jalandhar City

IV

The time has come to ensure that Dr Hamid Ansari, who took over as the Vice-President of India, should use his good offices in taming the MIM leaders and their associates. What they did the other day to Taslima was a shameful act. She is a reputed writer under threat and has thus sought asylum in India. It is our duty to give full protection to her. This should not remain empty rhetoric.

PRAMOD GUPTA, New Delhi

V

The attack on Taslima Nasreen by intolerant Muslims reminds me of a couplet from Firaq Gorakhpuri’s poetry. He wrote, Mazhab koi lauta lei, Aur uske badlei mein dei dei, Tehzeeb salike kee, Aur insaan karine ke.

Roughly translated, it means, “Let some one take away religion from us and in return bless us with ‘men’ of virtue.”

ASHOK MALIK, Sunnyvale, California (USA)

VI

Considering her international stature and threat perception, it was the Andhra Pradesh government’s primary responsibility to provide tight security to Taslima Nasreen.

Neither the police nor the government can feign ignorance about her visit. This kind of callousness won’t do and the police should tighten their belts.

SUBHASH C. TANEJA, Rohtak

 

High altitude allowance

The Centre has sanctioned high altitude allowance and second class free travel concession for the army personnel — an encouragement which was long overdue. But it has not given any benefit to the Army personnel who are deployed in the north-east where the climate is most uncongenial and inhospitable. This area is also affected by insurgency. Some benefits should have been granted to the personnel in this area as well.

A soldier has many problems at home. The joint family system has disintegrated. Some have property disputes to which civil officials seldom care. The soldiers are mostly away from their families and they reel under constant tension. Obviously, when one is refused leave, he becomes violent.

To prevent any untoward situation, the government should increase the two-month leave to three months to those serving in high altitude and hilly areas. If this is done, much of the soldiers’ tension will go.

Major NARINDER SINGH JALLO (retd), Mohali

Welcome step

The Centre plans to make it mandatory for women to register their pregnancies and also wants abortions to be carried out only under specific circumstances. If the proposals are implemented in the right spirit, these will go a long away in checking both female foeticide and infant mortality.

The main reason for monitoring abortions is to check organised foeticide rackets as in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and other states. We must remember India’s sex ratio is 927 girls for every 1000 boys. We must check corruption and exploitation of women while implementing this decision.

Dr NARESH RAJ, Patiala 

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