Soumitro Das’s analysis Faith accompli (September 16) is a painful exposé of the senseless violence against Christians in Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. Das rightly points out that conversion is an intensely personal affair. In a democracy like India, no amount of coercion can compel a person to embrace or renounce a particular religion. It is the abysmal neglect and ostracism of the Dalits that have drawn them to Christianity. It is a collective revolt against the oppression, brutality and the humiliation of being part of a caste-ridden society.
Vidya Sagar Sharma, Gurgaon
Security begins at home
Subimal Bhattacharjee in his timely article Is it possible to deal with terror emails? (Chain Reaction, September 16) has pointed out the scope of spreading terror through cyberspace. One way to deal with cyber-crime is to employ good hackers who can break into terrorist websites. It may be recalled that the 9/11 perpetrators were trained in Florida and the London bombings were carried out by citizens of Britain. Both countries now have a strong internal security infrastructure. The increasing involvement of local hands in terror acts in India calls for a central agency that can build and manage a strong security set-up.
M Subrahmanyam, via email
Home minister must head home
Apropos of the report Patil under attack (September 16), Home Minister Shivraj Patil’s irresponsible statement that he had prior information about the terrorist strike in Delhi but did not have the specifics makes him a laughing stock. I think he should issue an appeal to terrorist outfits that in future they should intimate the time and places of strikes so that he can be appropriately dressed for the occasion and issue those inane statements of condemnation.
OP Tandon, via email
Home minister Shivraj Patil’s statement is immature and irresponsible. How can the common man feel secure under such a Home Minister and such a government? Even after more than five decades of Independence and planning, Indian politicians have not learnt to protect the interests of common man. Terrorism is best controlled by taking the common man into confidence. It is time that the government starts to look closely at institutions that harbour radicals, examines citizenship papers and undertakes reform of the law-enforcing agencies.
AL Agarwal, Delhi
Faith is not sacrosanct
Soumitro Das in Faith accompli (September 16) has made a pertinent point about ‘forced’ conversion. The Christian missionaries are spending huge sums on education, medical care and other humanitarian help. The nuns go to work in remote areas without water, electricity or toilets. No Hindu organisation is known to be doing such charity work. Isn’t it natural that the poor and downtrodden convert to another religion when they are certain of free education, medical treatment and food?
GB Pillai, Delhi
Zealots striking against India
The editorial Until terrorists have a change of heart… (Our take, September 15) is a clarion call for the need to bring in stringent laws against terrorists. The kid-glove treatment of terrorism emanating from Kashmir Valley is encouraging zealots to target rest of India now.
Lalit Ambardar, Delhi