Rejoinders / Letters to the Editor


Justice to All There should be no regret if Kasab is faced severe punishment for what he had committed – as Islam prohibits killing of even a single living being without any reason. But the acquittal of Indian duo Fahim Ansari and Sababuddin Ahmed raises serious questions on the accountability of police personnel, who handled the case. The Honourable Judges found the map, accessed from their possession, confusing rather than helping someone to reach from one place to another in the metro. The testimony of a witness, Jeevan Kulabkar, was also rejected because he was a made-up witness, etc. Now it is a high time the courts deliver justice to all. Shafaque Alam, New Delhi   Sunanda Pushkar and IPL controversy Amidst all the immense noise of the IPL controversy, away from public view, a woman has been confronted with a deeply personal crisis. She can no longer recognize herself. A massive juggernaut has rolled over her, crushed her out of shape, and moved on without a backward glance. She has been left to cope with the painful out-of-body experience of watching the mangled remains of who she used to be. Left to muse, in private bewilderment, why her image and the person she knew herself to be no longer matched. Sunanda Pushkar, was not hit by some unheeding truck. She was hit by the media. This is not the first time it’s happened. As Talwars in Arushi’s case too were the victims of the same gamble. In its feeding frenzy for 24 /7 excitement, the media has developed a curious way of turning fathers into murderers; women into vamps. Facts, evidence, the line between public and private, all the good, old-fashioned gears of journalism no longer have any place. Rash allegations are enough. The rear-view mirrors are gone. You can now recklessly ride over people and not look back. That’s how the Media industry has embarked. Farzana Z Khan, Nagpur   Blame game in Indo- Pak relations A TOI news report on Pak sources blaming a vested interests group within Congress can not be brushed aside as an attempt to sow division in our ranks, as Pak exploitation of division within Congress rank is too obvious and clear to blame Pak for the divisions within Congress ranks. There is clear indication that while one group tries its very best to come to terms with the stark fact that the sub-continent cannot always remain divided and at dagger drawn on each other without our people being sucked into negative social and economic vortex that is increasingly sapping our positive energies; another group is dead set to use all its dirty tricks to sabotage every rapprochement opportunity whenever the two neighbouring nations find ways to project common interests of peace and economic cooperation. There is no doubt that Indian National Congress is populated by diverse groups with independent views and agenda that they try to inject in the general policy and this has been its historical strength as well as its monumental weakness. With some quarks of event now, a degree of distance seems to be placing Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi at extreme ends of the common space in the party. Every initiative that is proffered in the name of government is immediately thrown into a tug of war situation. Sonia’s balancing act is increasingly viewed as a desperate attempt to hold the party together. While Congress announces that ‘national sentiment is against talks’, it is actually hiding behind a fig leaf, to project the devious agenda of those in its own rank that thrive on stoking communal fires all over the country. Those elements are not for peace. They are for perpetual war. It is time for both PM and Sonia Gandhi to put their heads together and expose and eject such warmongering elements from their midst, so that the nation can open up to peace moves. Valuable time was lost by arbitrarily prolonging the 26/11 carnage as the linch-pin of our relations with Pak, even though it is widely believed that US agencies had a hand in infiltrating terror groups and ordering terror attacks on demand. People cannot be fooled to believe that Headley was working alone and did not have US agencies behind him. The sad fact is emerging that US lobby in India in general and in Congress in particular, is shielding the US over such a ghastly event that has shattered India’s complacency over its own defense. The motive was to impose further defense collaborations in India by first destabilizing it. We kept asking for Hafiz Saeed’s head without realising that in Pakistan, he has the same clout as Bal Thackeray has in India. Even though there is no comparison between the Indian government and Pak government, as far as their hold on their respective nation’s governance, can India haul up Bal Thackeray for alleged crimes committed by him in Bombay riots? Indian government is fully aware of the futility of focusing on Hafiz Saeed and still it is forced to justify its boycott of talks with Pak on enormous internal pressures which it is routinely and falsely projecting as national sentiments. In fact time and again the most vocal anti-Pak politicians and intellectuals have gone on record, vehemently rooting for an opening with Pak. This proves that Congress will have to clean up its own stables for the common good of the people, not only of India, but the entire SAARC nations. India should lead in ushering peace and normalization in the subcontinent and Congress has sole responsibility to lead, if national sentiment has any real meaning for its divided leadership. Ghulam Muhammed,Mumbai   Sareshwala's remarks unwarranted Congrates to Dr JS Bandukwala for expressing sorrow on behalf of the Muslims of Gujarat so far as remarks of Mr. Sareshwala are concerned. It seems after reading the remarks of Mr. Sareshwala that he must have been compelled by higher ups to issue such statements. (Vide Indian Express Ahmedabad Edition dated 25 and 26 April 2010). I condemn Mr. Sareshwala and his ulema friends in the strongest possible terms for strengthening the anti-Muslim forces and demoralising the Muslims. Such stooges are weakening the case of sufferers of 2002. I am also sending a memorandum to the German Ambassador in New Delhi that paper organisations like The United Force for Peace and Harmony do not represent the Muslims of Gujarat at all and that weightless persons like Sareshwala and co. should not be taken seriously. These paper tigers represent none but themselves, which may please be noted by all concerned. Farooq Abdul Gaffar Bawani, Gujarat   Operation Green Hunt a flawed strategy For weeks we saw the deployment of security forces in Maoist-affected areas -- trucks, fatigues, AK-47 and Choppers. Operation Green Hunt unfolded like a badly-made action film. Then 75 soldiers were gunned down in Dantewada. The public response was shrill. Union Home Minister P Chidamabaram was right when he observed that something had gone wrong. Except that happened long ago and it was with us at large. When India's tribal people and hill dwellers cite alienation, they speak the truth. In the first few decades of independence our struggle was finding resources to integrate remote locations. In the years after that, while economic growth produced the required resources, our struggle has been to find people for the job. The teachers, doctors and other representatives of the mainstream, who ought to be at their posts in wilderness, are often absent. A posting to the wilderness has no social standing unless it is a civil servant or army officer. This is a story familiar to anyone who has lived away from cities and the fewer who explored the wilderness. Decades ago, there would have been some revered political figure taking the initiative to end the bloodbath, park oneself at the trouble spot and encourage talks. It hasn't happened. Perhaps the era of such leaders has ended or the approach is way too fringe for mainstream interest. Today we have the market and its proxy warriors. So the government takes the Maoists head on, hopefully targeting ideologue and not tribal, in a fight for governance of the land. This is a valid fight for Maoism advocates subversion of India's democracy. It also justifies violence as means. Should such war be the case, then one hope that the government's approach, strategy and commitment would be different from the homesick huddles currently going into battle? Mohd Ziyaullah Khan, Nagpur   Gujarat and Gadkari "Gujarat riots were unfortunate. But when riots take place in other states, why aren't governments and chief ministers blamed for that?" so said the BJP president Nitin Gadkari. Sounds strange. Nobody should know better than him that the Gujarat riots have been acknowledged as extraordinary by the whole world. The anti-Muslim violence of 2002 and Delhi’s 1984 anti-Sikh violence will always be remembered together. Gujarat Chief Minister has avoided many questions pertaining to the events of February/March 2002. The BJP should admit that in the horrendous things which happened in Gujarat in 2002 the role of the Chief Minister was nothing like Raj Dharma. Dr Mookhi Amir Ali,Santacruz, Mumbai   Custodian deaths Can the gruesome graph of custodial deaths not come down if crime detection measures of investigation are made at least visible, if not audible for observation by justice-loving concerned citizens?! “Wide Eyed Citizen” SAU Patel, Khanpur Deh   Merchant of death  The arrest of Gujarat's Super cop Abhay Chudasama in connection with Sohrabuddin encounter speaks the volumes of  dirty and filthy intention of  just to please Modi.Nerendra Modi talks of development and showcases his ,SwarnimGujarat' to the world. Well, point taken Mr Modi but development at what cost? Bumping off people in the name of religion and polarising society on religious lines has been your forte. There is something called inclusive growth but alas, that is not in his lexicon.  Well, what can be said about a CM who is so shameless that he claims everything is fine and refers to the refugee camps spread throughout his state as entertainment camps. Narendra Modi threatens democracy. Instead of restoring confidence and maintaining the dignity of all citizens - regardless of their religion, Modi presided over a pogrom and ethnic cleansing of Muslims. And yes, Modi's 'Vibrant Gujarat' doesn't believe in providing relief and rehabilitation to those who suffered because of him. Not sacking Narendra Modi and kicking him out has been former PM Atal Behari Vajpayee's biggest regret. History will remember Vajpayee with this blot on an otherwise glorious political career. Forget about taking concrete actions, Narendra Modi is not even apologetic. He shows no remorse. History will remember Narendra Modi as a man who connived to kill minorities in Gujarat and did nothing while they were burnt alive?  And mind you, history spares none. We are equally culpable for our failure in ousting this 'Merchant of Death'. AH Lakhani,Ahmedabad   Comments on the futile furore over IPL scam So now its the IPL drama that is currently being played out in the media. The next big one occurs and the IPL drama will fizzle out. Public memory is too short and everyone including the media, the govt, the judiciary, etc will forget about. This is just what the corrupt people in India expect and take advantage of. If some ignoramuses think that any one will actually get punished in this IPL scam and jailed then they are still ignorant about India or they are hoping against hope that the culprits will be brought to book. Lalit Modi is rich and well connected. Both, Lalit Modi and Shashi Tharoor will be back after sometime. Lalu Prasad, Jayalalitha, Mayawati, and many other big politicians have many corruption cases against them but they are still active in politics. Sanjay Dutt, in spite of being convicted under arms act still continues to roam freely and earn millions of rupees. The culprits in riot cases are enjoying their freedom. The Indian judiciary does nothing about this nor will do anything in future. What happened to the previous match fixing scam? Azharuddin is an MP now and Ajay Jadeja is enjoying his stint as expert commentator on TV channels. Some would point out that the Telgi, Harshad Mehta, Ketan Parikh, etc were put behind bars. But what these people forget is that they were just pawns in the hands of the politicians, who are never punished. Scam of such a big magnitude cannot happen without support of politicians. The joint parliamentary committee would not yield any result as everything will be swept under the carpet. Those politicians who are objecting to IPL are the ones who could not lay their hands on this golden goose called IPL. How does one explain that the agricultural minister Sharad Pawar gets intimately involved with cricket when thousands of farmers commit suicide every year and it is the backbone of our very existence as a nation? We have no sympathy for Modi. But the manner in which he was hounded out by BCCI, who pretend to be innocent, raises suspicion. There seems to be concerted effort to fix all blame on Modi so that some bigger crooks escape. The whole process of ousting Modi without a proper hearing, show that BCCI has a lot more to hide than reveal. If Modi is guilty, then how can BCCI & IPL Gov Council be innocent? Sack them all - lock stock & barrel. Amjad K Maruf,Thane, Maharashtra   Watching TV most of the time is damaging Today, Television defines teen culture. It’s tough to escape peer pressure when your friends keep talking about the clothes, the music and the stars. With its barrage of alluring advertisements and captivating shows, it tells you what is cool and what is ‘in’ and ‘out’. Let our moral values, not the media, decide our dress code. One can try doing the following to get rid from the menace of TV and transcend with a quality life. 1. Stick to “clean” and useful TV programs. 2. Remove TV from your room because having a TV set in your own room encourages you to watch it more. Keep the TV in the main room, where it won’t distract you. 3. Limit your viewing time. Plan the number of hours per week and stick to your time limit. 4. To resist the urge to watch TV, step outside and do something to keep you occupied. 5. Keep the TV set off when you are eating dinner, doing your homework, or reading a magazine etc.  Use a PVR to screen programs. Fast-forward dubious content, blitz through commercials, and stick with what’s good and useful program. 6. Have a TV free get-together with friends. Make a rule in the family that no one will watch TV or movies in the living room. If you want to go further, make it a point that the topic of conversation in the family will not revolve around TV serials. Instead play basketball, go for a walk, and do not be a couch potato. Farzana Z Khan, Nagpur   Vocational education The TVTC (The General Organization for Technical and Vocational Training) in Saudi Arabia is doing an excellent job in training the Saudis by running 200 institutes, but it has to increase its visibility. Many employers find the lack of availability of Saudi's for the jobs which they have. In-order to overcome this both the employer and the employee should know and adapt to the popular concepts of "dignity of labour" and "labour rights". Islam as a religion had laid down much wider rules for this concept even before this came into being. All should endeavour to make sure that it is followed in right perspective. Since most of the vocational trainings help a trainee to gain the technical qualities of self-employment. An additional entrepreneurial course should be added to help the trainee gain the confidence of taking up the self employment avenues. Mohammed Sadullah Khan, Riyadh   Role of CBI in Ketan Desai arrest The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has done a commendable job by arresting Medical Council of India (MCI) President Ketan Desai on charges of corruption. Our country is not weak. It is corruption that has made it feeble. Almost every one of us is caught in the cesspool of corruption. That is why 25 per cent of the population is still living below the poverty line even after 61 years of Independence. Corruption is an impediment to development and progress of the country. It is also the gravest threat to our national security, unity and integrity. Union Government must take stern action against Ketan Desai. Besides we should also try our level best to make our society corruption-free so that an atmosphere of peace and amity may prevail throughout the country. Obaidur Rahman Nadwi, Lucknow   Need to analyse foreign policies The governments and the people of India and Pakistan have been longing for good and amiable relation since Independence. But it is an irony that when we call a meet to discuss the issues of common concern, some untoward incidents take place and the dialogue hangs in the midst. These two nations are not the first once who were separated. There are so many countries in the world which had faced the similar fate but now they are not facing such a severe challenge as we are. There is hardly a problem in the world without a solution. So there is an immediate need to analyse the foreign policies of such separated neighbouring countries in the world which are now free from fear and terror attacks. Shafaque Aam,New Delhi   Afghanistan is victim of western terrorism After destroying Iraq, killing thousands of Iraqis including Saddam Hussain, capturing oil fields and wells, the greatest terrorist America along with its NATO allies, have invaded minerals rich Afghanistan. This barbaric air/ground invasion has devastated urban and rural areas of Afghanistan. Is it justified to bombard and enslave poor small nations for suspected crimes of individuals? The American-led state terrorism is thousands times more disastrous, heinous and condemnable than individual terrorism. World community and UNO must stop this genocide and gross violation of UN Charter of Human Rights by America and its NATO allies. Afghanistan had whole-heartedly supported India’s freedom struggle. India’s Govt. in exile was established in Afghanistan with Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh, as President and Maulana Barkatullah Bhopali, Prime Minister. Two Afghans had escorted Netaji Subash Bose from Calcutta to Kabul and kept him in a mosque. After some days they escorted Netaji to Berlin (Germany). Afghanistan was a staunch supporter of Nehru’s Non-Aligned movement. Therefore, India’s foreign policy should be pro-Afghanistan and not pro-western imperialists led by America.  G. Hasnain Kaif, Bhandara