This refers to Samar Halarnkar’s article Out of time (Maha Bharat, June 17). The media’s portrayal of Africans with dark skin as backward people has been a trend for a long time. Although Algerians, Libyans and Egyptians are also Africans, they are conveniently not regarded as ‘regressive’ because they have light skin. Even Bollywood portrays the ‘white is good’ mentality with most of the actors being fair. For the media to thrive on ancient stereotypes such as skin colour is rather unfortunate. This must change.
Noel Ndhlovu, Johannesburg
The taxing business of taxes
This has reference to the editorial Cracking the tax code (Our Take, June 17). The Direct Tax Code (DTC) possesses the potential of not only increasing the revenue receipts from direct taxes but also reducing the revenue deficit of the Income Tax department. However, one wonders whether the DTC could make the process of filing tax returns simpler where dealings with an advocate could be avoided.
Madan Goel, via email
The ecologic of progress
KumKum Dasgupta in A dam big scandal (June 17) rightly stated that not only are large development projects displacing people and causing much damage to the ecology, but these dams are by themselves of little use to people in the long-run. While benefits from these large projects are finite, the harm that they do to the earth is lasting. It goes without saying that the idea of development as we practise it today is anti-environment. The mad rush for development, based on the progress of technology, that we pursue rests on principles of science that have emerged out of a desire to conquer and subjugate Nature. Hence, the consequent climate change can only be deemed as retribution.
Susmita Dasgupta, via email
Dasgupta is right in stating that the desire to acquire wealth has led to the setting up of numerous hydroelectric power projects (HEP). Uttarakhand Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal should come clean on those projects like he did during the Kumbh festival. Also, the BJP must take note of such irregularities by its leaders, as they cannot afford to damage the environment to meet their own selfish needs.
Bal Govind, Noida
A dishonourable indifference
In her article There’s no honour in this (June 18), Preeti Singh correctly stated that we should stop referring to murders in the name of ‘family pride’ as honour killings. It is absurd to associate such killings with a respectable word like ‘honour’. It’s atrocious that adults are killed for making choices they are solely responsible for. And what’s worse is our indifference to such heinous crimes. The government must immediately enact laws curbing such crimes.
Sapan Garg, via email
Resting on shaky pillars
H.K. Dua in A judicious overhaul (June 18) has rightly voiced his anxiety over the deteriorating institutional standards among the three pillars of governance, namely, the Parliament, the executive and the judiciary. He has cited enough examples to highlight the falling standards of these institutions. Lately, even the judiciary has come under the scanner with chief justices turning out to be corrupt.
If the Indian democratic structure has to win back public confidence, then an immediate overhaul of the government apparatus is needed.
R.L. Pathak, Delhi