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The Indian Express : Letters to the Editor


Saturday, September 01, 2001  

It’s an ugly mix

Sir: You are absolutely right when you say that the NDA government would not have come into being if it had not put the Ayodhya issue on the backburner (‘Speak up, PM’,IE, August 28). There are many pressing issues like education, employment, healthcare and the like, which need to be addressed on a war footing. In this context, Ayodhya is a non-issue. Bhukhe pet na bhajan Gopala (an empty stomach cannot sing bhajans). Religion is the food of fundamentalists. Unfortunately, in our country, religion and politics have become so mixed together that its exploitation through politics no longer raises eyebrows.

New Delhi


Sir: The column, ‘Letter & Spirit’ (IE, August 23) makes intriguing reading. The columnist, Manoj Mitta, agrees that there was much validity in Arundhati Roy’s critique of the Supreme Court judgment on Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP). He agrees that Roy may be justified in taking part in a demonstration against the judgment. He agrees that the Supreme Court erred in making elaborate remarks against her in its order in an earlier case of alleged contempt. And yet he goes on to find her erring. Because Roy objected to being given notice by the apex court on a matter that even a local police station refused to accept. Even the Supreme Court agrees (as was apparent in its hearing on August 2) that the contempt petition does not seem to have substance! The notice in the matter was thus clearly unjustifiable.

Mitta achieves this rather contradictory stance by refusing to see why Roy objects to the Court giving her notice. And his blinding faith in what he calls ‘‘routine incident of judicial process’’ without really going into the reasons as to when really the routine process should be invoked in fact takes him to even suspect the motives behind Roy’s remarks against the court! One would wish Mitta had made better use of the space in the newspaper in highlighting other substantive matters in the SSP, where even as the court wastes its precious time in deliberating some imaginary contempt, thousands of Adivasis in the Narmada Valley are facing the repercussions of the Court’s orders. A more clear case of contempt of people would be difficult find.

New Delhi

Honey trap

Sir: This refers to your editorial, ‘Degrees of entrapment’ (IE, August 23}. Wine, women and money have always been used by dubious characters to collect highly classified information information or to influence business deals.

Tehelka has only exposed how easily some of our people in authority, which includes defence officers, bureaucrats and politicians, could be purchased by interested parties.

Tehelka’s defence ‘‘that extraordinary circumstance demands extraordinary methods’’ deserves to endorsed by all right-thinking persons. Tehelka could not have achieved its objective without employing the same methods that are used by ‘‘the dubious characters peddling dubious wares’’ for the defence forces. There is nothing wrong in the deployment of women in the sting operation by Tehelka as it is one of the important methods, besides wine and money, to influence business deals with the government agencies.


Spoilt MLA

Sir: Your editorial, ‘A sacking as a sop’ (IE, August 13) has shown the dismissed energy minister of UP, Naresh Agarwal, in bad a light. You seem to be obsessed with his rise in politics. He comes from an affluent family. Politics runs in his veins. His grandfather and father have had the privilege of sitting in Parliament House and the UP Assembly.

Who introduced Naresh Agarwal to corruption? Is it not a fact that he was lured to desert the Congress party, along with his 19 fellow MLAs, through offers of ministerial berths and other blandishments. Once he perceived the advantages derived from unethical practices, he freely indulged in them. It’s a pity that an honest and promising leader has been spoilt by bad company.


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© 2001: Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd. All rights reserved throughout the world.