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Writers against navel-gazing, vote-grabbing politicians

india Updated: Oct 10, 2008 23:04 IST

Hindustan Times
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Writers against navel-gazing, vote-grabbing politicians
We express our anguish at the continuing brutalities on Christians and their places of worship across the country and at the attitude of our political leaders towards the perpetrators. Apparently, the damage to India’s international image is a greater concern than the actual damage to the multi-religious and multi-ethnic character of Indian society. This violence is a failure of our political institutions and civil society. It is the result of our failure to uphold the principles of the rule of law, mutual understanding and civil dialogue. The worst contributors are politicians who dream of electoral victory at the cost of social catastrophe. We call upon the government to outlaw those parties that promote communal discord and encourage violence.
Girish Karnad, Salman Rushdie, Amitav Ghosh, Ramachandra Guha, Kiran Nagarkar, Amit Chaudhuri, Mukul Kesavan, Suketu Mehta, Ranjit Hoskote & others, The PEN All-India Centre, Bombay

Clueless cops
Apropos of Barkha Dutt’s article Encountering the truth (Third eye, October 4) it is true that neither the police nor any political party can agree on the mastermind behind the recent blasts, with the various state police forces giving vastly different versions. If those who are supposed to secure us against such acts of terror appear to be clueless, then to whom should the public turn for protection? In order to create a healthy atmosphere, the police needs not only to be honest but also above board, an element that has been missing in the present scenario.
GK Arora, Delhi

A politician no different
Apropos of the report Told he will be frisked, Speaker cancels London trip (October 8), it is unfortunate that Somnath Chatterjee has decided to call off his trip. As the Lok Sabha Speaker, Somnath should have proceeded with his visit to London, even if it meant acceding to security requirements. By cancelling the trip, he has dealt a blow to his reputation as a politician with a difference, and proved that he is no different than other politicians.
VS Jayaraman, Chennai

Indefensible defence
Suhel Seth’s article Eating the rich? (October 7) not only casts an aspersion on the judiciary but also explains why and how money bags have been able to escape punishment for crimes they have committed. But comparing the Ansals with the Chief Justice of India is ridiculous, as the latter does not own the SC. I am sure Seth would never have written such a piece had any one of his relatives been a victim of the Uphaar tragedy.
DC Panndey, via email

Why stop at the ban?
apropos of Soumya Bhattacharya’s article What a drag (Keyboard capers, October 2), instead of imposing a ban on smoking in public places, why doesn’t the government ban the production of cigarettes itself? If the government is determined to get rid of this menace, then just a ban on smoking in public places is totally useless. I don’t think that public health has any priority over the revenues from tobacco companies. Perhaps this is the sole reason why cigarette packs carry a feeble warning.
Hansraj Bhat, Mumbai

Living with lawlessness
With reference to Gautam Chikermane’s article Searching high and low for the law (Intersections, October 8), it seems that corrupt people in power have got no shame. We all understand that justice delayed is justice denied but we have learnt to live with it. I reckon that if the media start focusing on positive contributions made by common people, and highlighting them instead of corrupt demagogues, perhaps the perception of the masses can start to change. Till then we can continue to live in the hope of a better future.
Vijay Gambhir, via email

Communication gap
Apropos of the report Nano fuels Modi’s mega ambitions (October 8), we should applaud Narendra Modi for his dynamism in bringing the Nano project to Gujarat. It shows Modi’s effective communication with the people of his state, allowing him to implement projects. Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee may have lofty intentions but his inability to communicate with the masses might just lead to more failures like this one.
NS Venkataraman, via email