L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

Need to counter Shiv Sena’s tactics

The editorial “Shiv Sena’s new star: His first act inspires little hope” (Oct 20) rightly commented that the Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray’s launch of his grandson Aditya into politics with speculation rife that the 20-year-old scion of the family will initially take over the party’s youth wing, marks a calculated attempt to revive the sagging fortunes of the Maharashtra-based party. Now it is the turn of Aditya Thackeray, the leader of the Yuva Sena to follow the footprints of his elders to add colour to the party’s canvas by writing an eventful history of bigotry and vandalism.

As a sort of public initiation ritual, suddenly his “third eye” has opened to feel himself offended by a book being taught in Mumbai University for the last three years as part of BA syllabus. Rohinton Mistry’s “Such a Long Journey”, he thinks, is too critical of his grandfather’s politics to be tolerated and should not be the part of the Mumbai University syllabus. Equally strange is the fact that the administration too has given in. His wish has been fulfilled instantly for which the editorial rightly concludes that the alacrity shown by the Vice-Chancellor in withdrawing the book is worthy of condemnation.

Such spinelessness emboldens those who hold civil society to ransom. One wonders, though, what the students themselves feel about the matter. This is a wake-up call for the liberal, indomitable and the iconic citizens of the Maharashtra to protest against being taken for passive objects without opinions of their own.

DILBAG RAI, Chandigarh

Lok Pal Bill

The editorial “PM under Lok Pal Bill” (Oct 21) is a timely reminder to our elected representatives. Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh can definitely use his good offices to carry the Cabinet and Parliament with him for the enactment of this long-pending legislation to check corruption in high places. No other constitutional functionary should be left outside the purview of this body.

Parliament must also debate on the empowerment of this apex body with appropriate measures for warding off frivolous complaints against those in positions of power and pass this Bill. The Prime Minister has steered the nation to a continuing path of prosperity and the nation needs to support him unconditionally in handling problems like corruption, communal violence, terrorism and exploitation of the weaker sections of society.



Unethical media

When we talk of paid news, the ordinary reader understands it as some individuals, groups or organisations bribing the print and electronic media to get favourable reporting (article, “Paid news: The scourge of democracy” by Tarlochan Sastry, Oct 19).

However, this is a complex phenomenon and manifests in many other shapes and forms. Take advertisements. It is well-known fact that even the well-established media houses depend heavily on advertisement and have to oblige the advertiser in more than one way.

Often journalists get benefits for themselves and for their relatives and acquaintances. Many of them flaunt their accreditations to get many personal benefits.

Col D S CHEEMA (retd), Panchkula

Khaps and more

The editorial “Tackling khaps” (Oct 20) was apt and rightly stated that the issue of khaps needs to be tackled resolutely. Sadly, because of our inexplicable pusillanimity we have closed our eyes towards many other khap like organisations, social and religious, that dare, even today order social boycotts at the drop of a hat. If allowed to continue like this the day would not be far when these organisations would be issuing death sentences as well.

BALVINDER, Chandigarh

Real India

The middle “Simplicity” (Oct 16) by Harish Dhillon was interesting. Simplicity, honesty and truthfulness are missing in today’s life. The writer has started living in a village after his retirement as principal of a public school. Mahatma Gandhi rightly said, “India lives in villages.”


Faith & reason

Ram Niwas Malik’s views in his letter (Oct 12) may or may hot be tenable in the given context (reference is to his sweeping generalisation on faith, truth, etc). But if man had been constantly guided by faith since his evolution, he would not have gone beyond a rudimentary form of civilisation.

Faith has often triumphed over reason because man is basically an irrational creature and acquired rationality only as a short-term phenomenon. However, it should be understood that soldiers of faith, in opposition to reason, are on the wrong side of history.

AKHILESH, Hoshiarpur

Save Shimla

The editorial “Shimla must be saved: May be, judicial activism can help” (Oct 12) has rightly pointed out that Shimla has to be saved from politicians, especially those in power.

The inadequate basic civic amnesties like clean drinking water and shortage of parking space are driving the tourists away from Shimla to less-crowded spots. Politicians have actually subverted the regulatory norms in every town and do not realise the immense harm they are causing to the erstwhile “Queen of Hills”. Only judicial activism can save Shimla.

ANJU D ANAND, Chambaghat, (Solan)

India’s poor

To the editorial “Challenge of poverty” (Oct 21) I would like to add that there is no need to define poverty because most of the people living in India are poor. They are not in a position to have minimum prescribed meals and do not have suitable accommodation. They cannot have proper medical treatment when they are ill and are not in a position to send their wards to proper schools.

They are not in a position to save for the rainy day, as they do not get suitable jobs or wages. Prices are rising and with this the number of poor people is also increasing and some are becoming poorer because they are unable to increase their income.



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