The editorial Reeling in real life (August 1) was contradictory. Sanjay Dutt’s lineage, his profession or the circumstances of his action do not reduce the crime he committed by possessing illegal weapons and the damage he caused to himself by hobnobbing with criminals. The media have a tendency to fan popular sympathy by creating an aura around him. Judge PD Kode must be praised for the manner in which he conducted the proceedings and the delivery of justice.
The Bombay bomb blasts case has finally come to a close. Although it is true that one wrong cannot be justified by another, let’s not forget that the blasts did trigger the Bombay riots.
Sanjay Dutt has been punished for possessing illegal arms before the Bombay blasts. But the Indian political class will always escape punishment for lack of evidence. In the verdict in the Coimbatore bomb blast case, PDP chairman, Abdul Nazer Mahdani, has been cleared of all charges for lack of evidence. Those who were behind the Babri Masjid demolition and Gujarat carnage will also escape the law.
It is difficult to forget the plight of those affected directly by the Bombay blasts. The Tada court judge needs to be complimented for passing sentences on such a massive scale, though it has taken a long time. Let us not become sentimental over Sanjay Dutt. There is simply no occasion for sympathy.
Sagarika Ghose in Shhh… Muslim! (August 3), has cited a number of cases to make her point that religion does matter in the way a case is treated. She has failed to understand that only the ‘culpable’ ones are in the limelight, irrespective of their religion. People are not blind to the atrocities committed in the name of religion. Ghose should realise that there is no bias against Muslims as such in India.
A dual life
Seema Goswami in A tale of two arrests (August 2) rightly states that Sanjay Dutt has led two different lives, that of a spoilt brat and the other of a ‘reformed’ actor. Most Indians agree that he committed the offence in all innocence. The crime really lay in all the cover-ups for his mistake.
Disdain for daughters
This refers to the editorial Daughters take the backseat even at home (July 28). Step-motherly treatment of girls is still prevalent in India. A girl child is deprived of many facilities that, in fact, should be her birthright. Illiteracy, poverty and unemployment are the root cause of such inhuman behaviour.
Doing a China
Vikram Sood’s article Capitalist roaders (August 1) was very informative and should serve as an eye-opener. He rightly assessed that while China was way behind India 30 years ago, it is now well ahead of us in every field. Discipline, love for the nation and basic civic sense are the hallmark of the Chinese advancement in economic, scientific and cultural fields. On the contrary, the Indian psyche aims only at meeting selfish interests at the expense of the country’s progress. To get out of this rut, harsh measures are required to inculcate discipline and civic sense among citizens.
Vikram Sood has vividly brought out China’s success in raising and maintaining a world-class infrastructure, the real secret behind its economic success. I hope we imbibe some of the qualities of the Chinese especially as we plan future cities and lay the infrastructure for our new world. But thanks to the venality of our administrators, we are caught in a welter of corruption and inefficiency.
Sitaram Yechury’s article Terror has no religion (August 2) contains oft-repeated thoughts. It can be argued that those prone to violence hide behind the garb of religion to give their ruthlessness a false sanctity. There is also a tendency to blame the US for triggering terrorist activities across the world. This excuse is as hollow as hiding behind religion.
The government’s inaction on the Srikrishna Commission’s findings is evidence that there are different yardsticks for measuring crimes committed by different communities in India. The Mumbai blasts’ verdict is welcome but when will the government take action against those involved in the Gujarat riots? The police and the judicial system are in urgent need of an overhaul.
Apropos of the report Capital collapse (August 3), it is disheartening to see lakhs of people suffering in Delhi only because it rained. Every year crores of rupees are supposedly spent to prevent water-logging, but the ground situation disproves the tall claims. Is there no accountability at all? Year after year, the same mess greets us. The authorities concerned must be held accountable for their lackadaisical attitude.