February 4, 2015 11:55:18 pm
It is not surprising to see the continued hounding of author Perumal Murugan for exercising his fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression (‘Murugan, wife apply for transfer from college to avoid book row’, IE, February 4). His detractors are not satisfied with forcing him to stop writing. He is now being threatened with a social boycott. Did we ever dream that we would evolve into a society that has no place for thinkers? Amartya Sen immortalised the idea of “the argumentative Indian”. Why have we lost our ability to argue, to discuss, to debate, to tolerate and even relish dissent? I am with you, Mr Murugan, and with many others like you.
— Nivedita Dwivedi
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Apropos ‘No plaything’ (IE, February 4), Upendra Baxi urges legislators to uphold the basic structure of a secular, socialist Constitution. Yet, most legislators have probably never even glanced through the Constitution before taking office. Our Constitution attempts to sever the present from the oppressive legacies of the past, such as caste and religious orthodoxy. So when the Shiv Sena urges that the words “socialist” and “secular” be dropped from the Preamble and a member of the ruling party sees no harm in debating the issue, it is indeed an instance of political “hacktivism”. Needless to say, this has to be resisted. It is also necessary to revisit the constitutional idea of India. The Constitution-makers envisaged a social and political order that venerates plurality, restores dignity to the downtrodden, gives fair opportunities to those who have been discriminated against and ensures economic as well as political justice. All our enactments, policies and programmes must be directed to these ends.
— Dev Athawale Amravati
Numbers don’t count
This refers to ‘Deal with it’ (IE, February 4). I agree that the BJP, lacking numbers in the Rajya Sabha, must learn to acknowledge the Opposition and talk to it. After all, no democratically elected government can afford a continued logjam in Parliament. The “ordinance route” is no way to deal with political opposition. Since the present BJP government is unlikely to win the numbers game in the Rajya Sabha, a political way out of this mess will have to be found.
— S. Kumar
This refers to the editorial, ‘How to charm a dragon’ (IE, February 3). Despite the unresolved border dispute between India and China, India must develop a functional relationship with China that benefits both. The best way forward for India is to consolidate economic cooperation with China while trying to resolve the long-standing border dispute amicably.
— Devendra Khurana
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