* MY comment on the Emergency at the Idea Exchange programme (If I have rubbed people the wrong way,I have also been rubbed the wrong way,IE,July 15) has been quoted partially. True,I said that I wished the Emergency had lasted longer,but I also added that the atrocities committed and sacrifices made during the period would have steeled us into a nation. Only those people who had the stamina to suffer would have survived. I gave the example of prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri,who said that India would have emerged as a nation from hostilities with China if we had not accepted the unilateral ceasefire.
* APROPOS Shoot me,the messenger (IE,July 14) by Shekhar Gupta,a free and properly functioning media is a strong pillar of democracy. The Indian media is at a critical juncture right now. It could decide to correct itself or let the malaise deepen,making it necessary for a regulatory law to be enacted. Such gagging measures will do more harm than good.
* THIS refers to Shoot me,the messenger. All media freedoms may not be drawn from a Rousseauian post-Emergency social contract. Moreover,introspection and self-regulation may not be enough to correct the ills that plague the media,especially when it seems to have lost sight of its original role. Perhaps external regulators are necessary.
Santosh K. Patra
* SEVERAL issues are raised in the article Shoot me,the messenger ownership and regulation of the media,for instance,and the problem of paid news. If politicians,bureaucrats and top-ranking army officers can come under the scanner,why cant mediapersons submit themselves to scrutiny? The media should remember that it is entrusted with the task of bringing out the legitimate grievances of people. Its enormous power should not be misused.
* FEW are better acquainted with the travails of the Congress in Gujarat than veteran politician Shankarsinh Vaghela (Standing still,IE,July 14). He has switched from the BJP to the Congress and,by his own admission,considered leaving the Congress as well. The Congress cuts a sorry figure in Gujarats electoral battles as the party leadership has no strategy to take on the BJPs Narendra Modi. Neither is the Congress prepared to throw its weight behind any of the regional parties. Perhaps it fears those regional leaders will become too powerful. The Congress should stop pussyfooting around a viable campaign strategy if it wants to reverse its political decline in Gujarat.
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