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Violence is not the right way to protest

The editorial “PM’s appeal” (May 26) rightly stressed that Punjab needs peace, not strife. Punjab has already suffered politically, socially and, most importantly, economically due to turbulence since 1984. During such protests, destruction of private or public property becomes rampant. Mobs roam and dance in the streets, torch buses and railway coaches. All this while the law-enforcing agency is reduced to being a mute spectator. One wonders what is the role of the state in such crises.

People certainly have a right to protest but not by destroying public property. Sadly, no individual or leader is held accountable for such acts of violence. The judiciary has also failed to take action against the government for its successive failures to protect lives and property. If we fail to curb such turbulence with an iron hand, India’s prosperous state of Punjab will keep on going downhill.

DR VITULL K GUPTA, Bathinda




II

The tragic incident in far-off Vienna unleashed a wave of violence in Punjab, where private and public property was destroyed. Normal life came to a standstill. If, however, one looks closely at the pictures flashed on television channels and those published in the newspapers, the arsonists did not appear to be religious. They looked more like anti-social elements, who are always on the lookout for opportunities to create trouble and foment social tensions.

Unfortunately, their numbers are so large that it is virtually impossible to keep a constant check on their nefarious and sinister intentions and activities. It is more than likely that these individuals are a frustrated lot. How else can one explain the senseless destruction of private property?

DR M K BAJAJ, Zirakpur

III

The attack in Vienna was unfortunate and tragic. It had an adverse fallout in Punjab. The Punjab government failed to gauge the gravity of the situation. The ransacking mobs went berserk, holding the state to ransom. Whatever may be the provocation, resorting to violence is no way to lodge protest and show resentment. Such acts should have no place in a civilized society. Innocent people should not be made to suffer.

We need to thwart the attempts of anti-social elements who want to vitiate the harmony in the state. It is a testing time for all the Punjabis and I am sure that this dark cloud would soon pass away and peace and harmony will prevail once more.

NARESH KUMAR, Noormahal

IV

The protesters must pay attention to the Prime Minister’s appeal to maintain peace and harmony. The wanton act of shoot-out by some mindless fanatics at a gurudwara in Vienna is shocking and reprehensible. Unmindful violence leading to destruction of government property and inconvenience to innocent citizens is not the right way of protest.

Violent protests often invite miscreants and they exploit the situation. Punjab has already been a troubled state. Protestors should have exercised restraint and chosen a peaceful manner to show their pent-up anger. The Vienna police has arrested the attackers. Let the law take its course. 

ASHWINI AHUJA, Fazilka

V

It is a pity that protestors took to burning trains and other public and private property to express their anguish against unfortunate happenings, that too in a foreign country. It would have been better if other methods such as a silent protest march had been adopted. On the other hand, the police should take stringent action against those who indulge in such violent ways of protest.

MOHINDER BEHL, Gurdaspur

VI

I do not understand why people are not aware of their responsibilities. Why did they destroy public property that is their own property? In fact, it is our prime responsibility to safeguard public property. Such wanton acts can never be condoned.

MUNISH BHATIA, Sangrur

VII

Often we do not know for what purpose leaders drag us to streets and ask us to burn public property. I think we are uncivilised people who do not know how to behave or protest.

DALIP SINGH WASAN, Patiala.





Well done, conductor

I would like to express my appreciation for the firm and prompt action taken by the railway conductor on the Shimla-Kalka train on May 18, 2009. It was a crowded train that chugged at toy-train speed. However, at Dharampur, the train stopped as a bus had fallen across the rail track.

The passengers were a worried lot for they had to catch connecting trains at Kalka. Amidst all this chaos, the train conductor summoned officials, dealt with taxi drivers and began the process of ferrying passengers rather efficiently. In all this, no luggage was lost, no child went missing and all the passengers arrived at Kalka safe.

As I look back, I regret that no one had the courtesy to thank the man in a black coat with a brass badge who did his duty ably, without any fuss.

SAROJINE CHOPRA, New Delhi

 





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