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The language of protest

india Updated: Sep 26, 2008 20:35 IST

The language of protest
With reference to the editorial An emergency, but they won’t show up (Our Take, September 24), the brutal murder of a Noida-based company’s CEO has again called to scrutiny the law and order condition in Uttar Pradesh. Though our Constitution gives us the right to protest but when protesting workers turn into a lynch mob it does not bode well for any civil society. It is ironic that this happened in the land of Gandhiji, who brought an empire to its knees without resorting to violence. We hope the the tragic incident will not be repeated.
Rishi Chopra, Delhi

Erring on terror
Barkha Dutt in her article Missing: the Indian State (Third eye, September 20) has asked the right question: when will our netas stop treating the security agencies as their political fiefs? The Students Islamic Movement of India (Simi) was given a new lease of life because of a few political leaders. The recent shoot-out case at Jamia Nagar in Delhi has destroyed all claims of Simi being a clean organisation, a claim made by the likes of Lalu Yadav, Mulayam Singh and Ram Vilas Paswan. How long will politicians go on hoodwinking the Indian masses to meet their own political goals?
SD Sahay, Delhi

Barkha Dutt is right in saying that there is no political will to combat terrorism in the country. The Supreme Court has sentenced Afzal Guru for his involvement in the attack on the Parliament, but the Centre has been dithering on the convict’s mercy petition to the President for a long time. The Supreme Court has ruled that illegal Bangladeshis in India are a threat to the country’s security, but the government has not taken measures to deport them. How will the terrorists get what they deserve.
Mahesh Kumar, via email

Barkha Dutt rightly laments the inability of the Indian State in fighting terror. It is true that for major political parties, the issue of security is subservient to electoral politics. The political class most willingly plays to the popularity gallery. The vote-bank is the only sacrosanct thing to the average politician and he only knows how to pamper it. Is there any other country like this? If Indian democracy has to survive, those in the government must be held accountable and those in the Opposition must show responsibility. Unless there is a national consensus on security, as in the US and China, it is not possible to prevent further attacks.
JM Manchanda, via email

Barkha Dutt has aptly analysed the current political scene in India which is enough to embarrass any right-thinking Indian. We need politicians who think for the common man, rather than those who pander to the interests of their vote-bank. We want to see how long such political parties can prosper by compromising national security for their vested interests.
Tarun Madan, Delhi

Perceived and real alienation
With reference to Sitaram Yechury’s article Deliver us from all evil (Left-hand drive, September 25), it is true that the acts of terrorism and the resultant investigation have deepened the divisions in our society. There is a need to dispel biased perceptions against Muslims, who are seen as supportive of terror, and their sense of alienation and perceived injustice. In fact, it is a winning moment for the terrorists who smell success in dividing India on communal lines. The government must take steps to restore faith of the Muslims and the victims by providing a fair trial and punishing the culprits.
Ashwani Sharma, via email

Harsh laws like Tada or Pota can be no substitute for a strong intelligence-gathering system, an efficient law and order machinery and a quick justice delivery system. Implementing anti-terror laws that could not even achieve a conviction rate of more than 1 per cent is not the solution.
Chintan Puri, Faridabad

Uncalled for outburst
Apropos of the report Jamia V-C gives media a dressing-down (September 25), the statement of Mushirul Hasan, V-C of Jamia Millia Islamia, should be condemned in the strongest possible words. His statement has belittled the position of the high office of a university known for its liberal, secular and nationalist attitude where the young minds of India go to learn.
Ghanshyam N Singh, Delhi