The Karnataka governments move to initiate media censorship through a government appointed ombudsman is clearly an attempt to gag the media (Post-Mangalore,Karnataka plans media ombudsman,IE,February 10). This will be an assault on freedom of expression. The Karnataka home minister needs to offer an explanation as to what necessitated such an idea. His logic,meanwhile,appears to be that what one doesnt see on TV and doesnt read about in the newspaper will simply cease to exist. Karnatakas civil society shouldnt allow their government to implement this plan.
India needs to articulate the ever-present threat to global peace from the Pakistani-backed Taliban (Bidens world,IE,February 9). Pakistan has officially refused to own up to the 26/11 Mumbai attacks despite the FBIs conviction. It was the US initiative along with international pressure that shut down the LeT. The US now needs to impose further pressure and sanctions against Pakistan. Its civil administration is deeply dependent on the ISI,and the ISI is the root of the problem.
Parimal Y. Mehta
Enduring failures,empty rhetoric and the lack of will power have taken the flavour out of Indias ritual democratic exercise (Polls apart,IE,February 9). With multiple cleavages of castes,religions and ideologies throwing up fractured mandates,parties are perplexed on what to offer. In the absence of good track records,they attempt all sorts of pre-poll alliances through clandestine channels. The frequency with which such alliances appear and disappear not only erodes public faith in the polity but also drives us into a vicious trap where voting is no longer a matter of choice but of acquiescence.
Tug of war
Regional parties like the BSP and the SP will use all possible tricks before and after the general elections to become indispensable to the nascent government (Polls apart,IE,February 9). On the other side,in order to avoid being blackmailed and betrayed by regional players,both the major national parties will try to create electoral alliances only on their own terms and conditions. But given their own vulnerability and declining fortunes,neither the Congress nor the BJP will be able to make parties like the SP or BSP subordinate their vested interests to the larger interests of a Central coalition.
Satwant Kaur Mahilpur
This refers to Mulayam defends Kalyan (IE,February 9). Despite resentment within the Samajwadi Party,Mulayam Singh was compelled to defend Kalyan Singh with eyes firmly set on the forthcoming elections. It is unfortunate for Kalyan; but he has changed colours numerous times. If he is indeed remorseful about the Babri demolition,he should quit politics.