THIS refers to Pratap Bhanu Mehta’s article ‘Losing the plots’ (IE, March 12). The current debate over land acquisition seems to establish that the Narendra Modi government, in its attempt to encourage the corporate sector, has undermined the concerns of landholders. In India, the average size of landholdings is three acres, and even these often lack clear title. This probably led the government to believe that, as the losers would be scattered, there would not be much resistance. It is the duty of the government to understand the moral import of the arguments against the amendments and take into account the concerns of those affected. The Opposition, too, will have to craft a political strategy that can check the government, remove anomalies and deficiencies in the proposed law.
— Dev Athawale
The article, ‘Losing the plots’, is silent on the urban part of the problem. If most future acquisitions are to be of urban lands, it is not prudent to make consent a necessity, at the cost of speed. Rich city dwellers often see land as an investment, an asset or a legacy for their heirs. They cannot be expected to act in the public interest. A credible government may perhaps make judicious use of the doctrine of “eminent domain”.
— Shashank Jain
THIS refers to the editorial, ‘Shame’ (IE, March 12). The government restrained the telecast of the documentary as it felt that it would damage India’s image abroad. But that very logic has worked against it. India is now seen as a country where freedom of speech and expression is restricted. Every society has criminals. Trying to sweep them under the carpet is no solution. In the age of the internet, half the world has already seen the documentary. The half that was not aware of it has now taken notice, after we shouted about a ban, and wants to watch it. The world will not look askance at us because of the lack of women’s safety; it will mock us for what we are doing in the name of women’s security. The Indian government needs to grow up,
stop treating people as gullible and stupid.
— Ashok Goswami
THE “banning” mentality has taken very deep root in Indian society. All sorts of proscriptions are announced in the name of public order, morality and national interest. The executive has continually used the shield of maintaining law and order to gag voices and actions. The voices of reason that warn against the dangers of this mentality have been drowned out by a fear psychosis. How much longer are the citizens of a democracy ready to tolerate such a dictatorial mindset?
— Nivedita Dwivedi