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No form of freedom is absolute

The Constitution of India has given fundamental rights to all Indian citizens irrespective of their religion, race, region or caste. It has declared India a secular state which gives equal respect to all religions. But at the same time, no right is absolute and is subject to reasonable restrictions.

It is strange and shocking that whenever any author, writer or film producer through his use of so-called creative freedom attacks any religion or hurts the sentiments of a particular section of the people, the media and pseudo-intellectuals run to their rescue. They completely overrule the feelings of Muslims or the affected people and forget that Indian secularism is quite different from European secularism.

They have scanty knowledge about the point in question and offer arguments under the aegis of freedom of expression and secularism as is evident from their staunch support to Ashis Nandy, Kamal Haasan, Salman Rushdie and Taslima Nasreen.


Domestic violence

The Domestic Violence Act is against violence and not against men (editorial ‘Domestic violence’, January 30). This Act, which is based on a foreign model, can be made comprehensive according to Indian conditions by incorporating various scattered laws under this one Act. Thus, a single window legislation can prove more beneficial for women to fight  violence not only at home but also outside home against all types of aggravated criminal violence, provided it is implemented in letter and spirit and frequent adjournments are curtailed by the courts and lawyers concerned.

It has the potential to protect women from physical, social, verbal, economic, sexual and dowry harassment. Through this Act, affected women get relief in the form of protection, monetary relief, custody, compensation, interim orders, ex parte orders, etc which are issued by the magistrate. Non-compliance of court orders is punishable. 

Victims are entitled to legal aid, counselling and shelter homes. Complaints can also be filed by them before the women cells situated in various districts.


Dynastic politics

The elevation of Rahul Gandhi as vice-president of the Congress party exposes the party’s dependence on dynastic politics and its top leaders in their true colours. The party is full of sycophants and people of servile mentality. If Rahul Gandhi has been made vice-president of the party, it is not that he is a big ideologue or a person of sterling qualities who can deliver the goods but because he happens to be the son of the party president and a member of the Gandhi family. To foist Rahul Gandhi on the country would mean perpetuation of family rule which may not be in the interest of the country.

IQBAL SINGH, Jalandhar

Bearing the brunt

The government's decision to raise the diesel prices by 40-50 paise every month has come as a bolt from the blue for the common man. This will burn a hole in the common man's purse who relies on public transport.

We do understand that the oil companies should not run in losses, but this burden should not be heaped on the shoulders of the middle and the poor sections of society. There should be dual pricing for cars and SUVs on one side and the public transport on the other side. SUV’s should be levied with extra cess to balance the subsidy they use.

ADITYA, Chandigarh

RTI amendment

The HP cabinet decision to repeal the sixth amendment to the HP RTI rules has given great relief to information seekers. Earlier, this rule authorised the first appellate authority and the information commission to dismiss appeals of a person if he or his authorised representative failed to turn up for hearing.

Now, the repeal of the rule will facilitate applicants to ask for information more frequently and more liberally without the fear of expenditure on their  frequent visits to Shimla to attend these hearings.

RM RAMAUL, Paonta Sahib

What causes cancer?

The incidence of cancer is very ‘grim’ in the Malwa belt. In this region, the ground water is highly contained with ‘uranium’ and the aspect is under study by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in a PIL which was heard on January 30, 2013. No conclusion could be arrived at by the court and the next hearing is on March 30.

The main worry is the cause of uranium contamination in groundwater. No conclusion has been reached. But the Punjab Health Minister has attributed the cause of cancer to pesticides used in the fields. Will the Punjab government confirm whether it is pesticides or uranium that is responsible for the spread of this deadly disease.

GS DHILLON, Chandigarh



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