The attack on Salman Rushdie is shocking, to say the least. In his Booker Prize-winning book Midnight’s Children, he was prophetic about the deepening divide between Hindus and Muslims in the country. In portraying the perpetual fight between the two protagonists, Shiva and Saleem, who weren’t even sure of their ancestry, he held a mirror to our society. But the novel alone cannot bridge the growing fissures between the communities, as he said in one of his talks, “A poem cannot stop a bullet.... A novel can’t defuse a bomb.... But we are not helpless...we can sing the truth and name the liars.” We, the midnight’s children, have a special responsibility in this regard in learning lessons from history and not repeating the blunders.
Lt Col GS Bedi (retd), Mohali
The brutal attack on Salman Rushdie, an iconic literary figure, has sent shockwaves across the world. Those who answer words with violence are responsible for legitimising such attacks. Religious frenzy and bigotry reign supreme in the world, trashing freedom of expression and freedom of religion. Religion should stimulate our sentiments of fraternity, compassion and tenderness. French philosopher Voltaire made a very pertinent observation that those who make you believe absurdities can induce you to commit atrocities. Religious tolerance is the need of the hour.
Roshan Lal Goel, Ladwa
Apropos of ‘Phagwara NH blocked over sugarcane dues’, it is an irony that the Jalandhar-Phagwara national highway is being blocked by a section of farmers over non-payment of sugarcane dues by a mill. The Supreme Court had in 2020 directed the Central and state governments to get all rail lines and roads cleared for resumption of normal traffic and earmark some parks for such protests. Also, farmers should protest outside the premises of the sugar mill or offices of the local administration for redress of their grievances. Not abiding by the SC order is tantamount to contempt of court.
Vijaya Sharma, by mail
Apropos of ‘Protecting territorial integrity top priority’, the position of the Indian Army was poor when it had faced a war with China, but it learnt a great lesson. The 1965 and 1971 wars with Pakistan instilled confidence in our armed forces. But now, the Indian military is being buffeted by ‘politically driven’ innovations like the Agnipath scheme, a weak R&D base and modest defence infrastructure, leading to a poor image on the defence front. That must be improved on a large scale.
Subhash C Taneja, Gurugram
Apropos of ‘Don’t lower dignity of post: Rahul hits out at PM’, by adopting a diversionary approach as usual by dint of such below-the-belt reactions, is Rahul Gandhi not damaging his own as well as his party’s image? Instead, he should have responded gracefully, putting forth his viewpoint on the burning issues affecting the masses. There is nothing unfair in criticising the actions of the government, but the criticism should be constructive.
PK Sharma, Barnala
The controversy generated by the alleged forcible sale of national flags was avoidable. The government can’t and should not compel people to purchase the national flag and hoist/display it atop public buildings, markets, educational institutions etc to showcase and express their national pride and patriotism. The ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign has primarily been launched by the Union Government to celebrate 75 years of lndia’s freedom. Why should there be any pressure for buying the national flag and that too at a price? The Central and state governments which otherwise vie with one another to offer freebies should have provided the flag free of cost and that too without any pre-condition or compulsion.
NK Gosain, Bathinda
The Tribune has been carrying harrowing and hair-raising tales by eyewitnesses and sufferers of the catastrophe that the Partition in 1947 turned out to be. These remind us that the ‘tryst with destiny’ was at the cost of human beings falling prey to communally-frenzied mobs causing unparalleled and unprecedented death and destruction in the history of mankind. While celebrating the 75th anniversary of Independence, we must not forget to learn lessons from this nightmarish chapter of our history and should do necessary introspection.
Hira Sharma, by mail
Letters to the Editor, typed in double space, should not exceed the 200-word limit. These should be cogently written and can be sent by e-mail to: Letters@tribunemail.com
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