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Don’t let the moment pass

The Mumbai attacks have galvanised the people as never before. For the first time, the Maoists gave a gun salute to the men who lost their lives in the terror attacks.

india Updated: Dec 12, 2008 23:50 IST

Don’t let the moment pass

The Mumbai attacks have galvanised the people as never before. For the first time, the Maoists gave a gun salute to the men who lost their lives in the terror attacks. For the first time since 1992, the Muslim population decided to not celebrate December 6 as a Black Day. For the first time, the people came out on the streets in numbers not witnessed since the Emergency. This is the moment that has to be tapped for India's sake. This is a moment very similar to 9/11 in the US, when the country stood up united. We cannot let this moment slip away.

Gaurav Moghe, via email

Media must set limits
I follow Barkha Dutt’s column Third Eye because she writes with conviction. I do not always agree with her and I am definitely in disagreement with her position in her article Don’t Shoot the Messenger (December 6). The media today is much more than just a messenger — it is a keeper of our conscience. But in the case of the Navy taking on the functioning of the media during the Mumbai attacks, the issues are deeply complicated. The work of army personnel, including the NSG, is fraught with danger and split-second chances, much of which can be damaged if the media tries to keep an eagle-eye on the proceedings. This debate must continue.
Aman Nugyal, via email

I respect Barkha Dutt’s right to respond to the questions raised by the Navy. But I don’t understand her reactive attitude. She has conveniently avoided some of the serious questions that were raised. The nation has a right to examine the extent to which our jawans were made vulnerable by television coverage. Dutt may agree with me that her ‘democratic space’ is disproportionately more equal than that of an ordinary citizen. With the helplessness of a man on the street, I submit that I am forced to bear the cost of the intellectual luxury enjoyed by her class.
Sanjay Chaturvedi, Delhi

Test the NET effect
the University Grants Commission has relaxed the basic qualification for the post of lecturer. Those with a PhD are exempted from appearing for the National Eligibility Test (NET) for appointment as lecturers. A lecturer’s post carries prestige and responsibility. How can someone qualify for such an important profession without clearing the NET? Moreover, the standards of doctorates vary from university to university. But that of NET does not.
Nilanshu Agarwal, Rae Bareli

The West comes to town
When Mumbai was attacked, the people of India, long sanitised to bombings and riots, still could not grasp what had hit them. The stealth, the swiftness, the daring, the confidence, the lack of any fear of death, the absence of any sermonising — the 60-hour ordeal was excruciating. Another new development was the arrival of the Western press and Western political figures, apparently each pressing their own agenda. The kind of interest shown by the West has never been seen in the past.
Ghulam Muhammed, New Delhi

Keep one step ahead
The action initiated by Pakistan against terror outfits is a welcome development. But the problem is much larger. During the Taliban regime, terror ‘masterminds’ had flourished in Afghanistan. Later as the US presence increased in the country, the organisations took refuge near the restive Pak-Afghan border and PoK. The long periods of instability in Pakistan were conducive to their operations. Should Pakistan now go after them seriously, these agents of terror will have to move either to India or to Bangladesh. How prepared are we to prevent these fanatics from entering our soil? And if the organisations move to Bangladesh, what are our plans? It is now the turn of our political class to move beyond narrow steps to dispassionately evolve effective strategies and action plans to go on the offensive.
R. Narayanan, Ghaziabad

Guide our children now
The report Muslims feel heat of 26/11 (December 6) was disturbing. It mentions children accusing each other on religious grounds. Our children should be taught that ‘terror’ has no denomination. When they grow up, God forbid, if there are still terrorists our children will know that they have no sanction from any faith. That surely will make Indians more united against terrorism.
Swapna Banerjee, Delhi