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Parochial and divisive politics of Thackerays

It is a constitutional right of every of Indian to work and live in any part of India without anybody’s permission. Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray has often launched violent campaigns against Hindi speaking people in Maharashtra. He has threatened to brand Biharis as ‘infiltrators’ and would force them out of Maharashtra. He has also threatened to shut Hindi news channels.

MNS chief is going hammer and tongs at music and cultural functions. His party workers have assaulted North India’s taxi drivers. Raj Thackeray’s cousin Uddav Thackeray calls for the creation of a state within a state where permits would be required for Bihari migrants in Maharashtra. Thackeray brothers should learn from the Hindi film industry which accepts people from across the country irrespective of cast, creed, religion and language.

The Congress-led government has harboured Raj Thackeray for inciting separatism, regional chauvinism and divisive politics of hate and violence.

The Bharatiya Janata Party has dubbed Raj Thackeray’s statements as a reflection of his mental bankruptcy. The inflammatory statements of Raj Thackeray are tantamount to sedition. Today vote bank politics is dividing the country like never before. Raj Thackeray should be tried in a court of law and the election commission should ban his party.


Media’s freedom

Is it not ironical that our judiciary condemns the executive’s encroachment and suppression of the media’s right to freedom but when it comes to the media’s objective reporting of the judicial functioning, it grows intolerant and bans media reporting. This is with reference to the editorial ‘Thoughtless curbs’ (September 13). There is no harm that judiciary may zealously guard its independence and the executive uphold their functioning in difficult times, but why should the media alone be considered irresponsible and gagged on one or the other pretext? There have been instances when media-reporting helped solve difficult cases and brought the guilty to book. No doubt, there have also been some elements in the media which displayed a lack of discretion and violated people’s right to privacy and self-defense. But would that call for putting a blanket ban on its freedom? For that matter there have been instances of judges, ministers and bureaucrats being involved in corruption cases and dubious deals. Should one draw on this premise a sweeping conclusion on the integrity of the judiciary and the executive as a whole?



New visa regime

Ultimately after making strenuous efforts, both the Governments of India and Pakistan have put their seal of approval on liberalised visa rules for their citizens. The new visa regime, the first major overhaul since 1974, in particular cases, removes travel restrictions on businessmen and introduces a new category of group tourism. Besides, persons above 65 years of age will be issued visa on arrival which is really a marvellous development for the citizens of both countries who wish to visit their old motherland.

As a confidence-building measure, though a number of buses and rail routes have ben allowed, owing to strict visa rules in one of the buses from AmritsarLahore, the number of passengers were as less as only 14. There is no dearth of VIPs moving from one country to another, but commoners are nowhere to be seen. Now with the liberalized visa regime common people will be allowed to visit each other country’s territory freely. We should not forget the example of the European Union where people are free to visit each other’s country.

SK KHOSLA, Chandigarh

Upset forces

The article “Discontentment in the armed forces” (September 10) forthrightly bares the impatience building among services (top to bottom) due to the raw deal and unfair treatment meted out by the bureaucracy. Neither the government nor the bureaucracy is visibly contemplating to dispel that impression. On the contrary, instances after instances come to the fore which confirms that impression.

Ideally, the bureaucracy and the armed forces need to function in-tandem, complimentarily, with mutual confidence to strengthen, not to diminish or demolish each other’s status or standing as rivals. In a democratic set-up, the bureaucracy is to act as a positive link between the polity and the defence forces. Wishing it away is neither right nor reasonable. It is true, “Today the discontent is far more pronounced than ever before” and it cannot be ignored. To be liberal in sanctioning leave to men, as a policy, announced by the Defence Minister is not going to ease the situation. Any desperate, direct manoeuvre from forces is neither feasible nor advisable.

Bachittar Singh, Mohali

The dark gate

Let us hope that we the Indians come out of the “Dark Coalgate”. This is what all of India is praying for. With the Coalgate coming out in the open thanks to the CAG report, reputation problems have multiplied for India. India is enhancing its reputation as a corrupt democracy. And as the coal scam is getting complicated, any logical solution seems like a distant dream. The allegations of the Congress and the BJP against each other as the real culprits involved in the scam are increasing day by day, but if the history of our nation again repeats itself, the truth may never come out.

The best part is that even the opposition parties are not coming out with any solution to this problem. In some cases they just seem to be the part of the problem, but they are seeing this grave situation as an opportunity just to push the ruling party to the ground. Questions about the scam when addressed to the PM evoked a very strange response, “My silence is better than thousand questions”.

It is not actually that the PM who is defending his party or his government, but he is giving some signals to the public of the country that, he may not have the courage to say anything on any issue, but you the people of the nation take a clue from his silence and just throw this government out of power in the next elections.

Sumeet Seth, Karnal


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