I lost my three-year-old daughter, Lineshya, and my husband in April this year outside my house. A bus driving on the wrong side of the road drove over her and my husband. To add insult to injury, the driver was freed on bail while I was being treated in hospital for shock. I later found out that he did not even have a proper licence. Every day, 20 children in India die due to road accidents. Yet, we have continued with the same, archaic laws, rules and regulations. The driver who killed my daughter and husband would have faced a few years in jail, after which he could be back on the road as a driver. There are currently no provisions for cancelling licences. The government has taken some progressive strides by drafting a new road transport and safety bill. However, it is facing opposition from states and industry due to cost and jurisdiction issues. The same industry that was allowed to manufacture unsafe vehicles and took advantage of the lack of regulations. I hope lobbies and factions will not be allowed to come in the way of the bill, which must be introduced and passed immediately.
— Jyoti Gupta
Sense of doubt
This refers to ‘The state did it’ by Warisha Farasat (IE, November 12). Indian Muslims are more confused about their future today than during the general elections. One reason is the continuing downfall of the secular parties. The pro-development image of PM Narendra Modi is still intact. From rickshaw-pullers to industrialists, everyone is looking towards him with great hope. After all the scams of the UPA, like their fellow Indians, Muslims also want to keep faith in the new government. Unfortunately, Modi has still not made any attempt to build confidence among Muslims. This lack of initiative has created a sense of doubt.
— Arfat Quadri
Nehru on board
Nehru took passage on board INS Delhi to Indonesia in 1954 and wrote in the ship’s visitors book: “As I gaze at the receding coastline of India and think back centuries ago to the times when India was invaded from the north but never enslaved, and how when the Englishmen came from the sea, they made us into a colony. Sea power is central to the survival of India as a free nation.”
— Mukund B. Kunte
This refers to ‘Plan gone wrong’ (IE, November 13). The government’s family planning programme can easily be made more effective and safe. Rather than sterilisation “camps”, it would be preferable to open permanent medical centres in each district. Part of the reason for the tragedy was because the administration was trying to conduct as many tubectomies as possible in the one-off camp.
— Ravi Dutt Sharma