In The price of half truths (IE,September 13),Pratap Bhanu Mehta has rightly observed the flaws in our economic policy. It is true that blaming bad global conditions for our slowdown is untenable. These conditions could probably have helped the Indian economy had we been smart enough to use them to our advantage. Using unproductive populist schemes to co-opt peoples anger has now started telling on our economy.
Learn a lesson
THE states treatment of cartoonist Aseem Trivedi is condemnable. The government,instead of considering it an act of sedition,should concentrate on the message that Trivedi tried to convey through his cartoons. It was a peaceful means of communicating public discontent against the government. Trivedi,too,has the right to participate in our democracy,even if the government does not like what he has to say.
THIS refers to Lines of Control (IE,September 12). No doubt,the press is that pillar of a democracy without which the word democracy is an empty slogan. But the doctrine of postponement propounded by the apex court with respect to the reporting of judicial proceedings is welcome. Regulation of the press must not be seen as an encroachment on its freedom. Careful observation shows that the court has basically widened the scope of the contempt law. The bench has clarified that the contempt law is not meant for punitive action but for preventing prejudice in the administration of justice,surely a laudable goal. The right of free speech must,after all,be balanced with the right to a fair trial,which cannot happen if the media conducts a parallel trial through its coverage. No specific rules or postulates have been laid down by the court,so the media always has the option to challenge it.
Caste in the mould
APROPOS Why it is necessary to extend the quota (IE,September 10),I completely disagree with Abdul Khaliq. He acknowledges that caste is ingrained in our collective consciousness. Therefore,we need to address that part of our sociological make-up. Reservation hasnt helped in realising the national dream of a casteless society. It has encouraged political expediency and created permanent lines of division between citizens. In this case,I agree with Pratap Bhanu Mehta (The quicksand of caste,IE,August 28) when he says that reservations are no longer about justice. Affirmative action cannot be a permanent solution to the inequalities existing in our society. The poor should be provided material and financial help,but reservations,especially in promotions,are not the best way to do it.
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