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Letter to the Editor: Ban happy

Trying to sweep them under the carpet is no solution.

By: Express News Service |
Updated: March 14, 2015 12:08:34 am

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, Mumbai

Law is blind
Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s march to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s residence along with top party leaders in order to show solidarity with him is touching (‘Congress rallies behind Manmohan’, IE, March 13). Manmohan Singh’s integrity is beyond doubt. It is unbelievable that he could have misused his authority for personal benefit or conspired in the coal block allotments. But he was a rather helpless prime minister and his hands were tied for most of his tenure. Number 10 Janpath, and that extra-constitutional super cabinet, the National Advisory Council, played a vital role in decisionmaking. The summons to Manmohan Singh seem to have scared the Congress. However, street marches and protests won’t help. — M.C. Joshi ,Lucknow

Rights and noses
This refers to the editorial, ‘Tide of illiberalism’ (IE, March 13). There can be no two opinions about the necessity of the freedom of expression. This is a right that has been given to us by our Constitution, is part of its basic structure and cannot be taken away. But at the same time, this right does not confer on one the freedom to wound the feelings and sentiments of others. I have a right to swing my hand. But that right expires where your nose starts. We have the freedom to express ourselves through art and writing. But should we be allowed to draw profane images and hurt the religious sentiments of others? — N.R. Ramachandran, Chennai

A time for restraint
This refers to ‘Media and the accused’ by Anuj Bhuwania (IE, March 12). The writer expounded on the rights of the accused to publicise their views through the media. I disagree with Bhuwania that the press should act as a channel for a convicted rapist to disseminate his odious opinions. It could easily be misused to further a hidden agenda and garner sympathy in the court of public opinion. There is no space for public sentiment in the judicial process. Discretion and restraint are the need of the hour. The media must recognise the damage it can do in today’s times — as we saw in the recent Dimapur lynching. — Gurjant Pannu, Chandigarh

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