Letter of the Week
This refers to ‘Government servants’ kids must go to government primary school: HC’ (August 20). The Allahabad High Court judgment is truly epoch-making. A hundred objections are bound to be raised by vested interests, including legal luminaries. What ultimately happens is anybody’s guess. All the same, there is no denying the fact that the judgment is going to create ripples in the minds of public servants. I would go to the extent of suggesting that public servants should also be made to avail of medical services only from state-run hospitals.
– P.M. Pillai, New Delhi
Unite Against IS
The Aligarh Historians Society joins archaeologists and historians all over the world in denouncing as a most barbarous crime the gruesome murder of the eminent Syrian archaeologist, Khaled al-Asaad, an expert on Palmyra, one of the great World Heritage sites.The society hopes that the perpetrators of the crime, belonging to the so-called Islamic State, will one day be brought to justice, along with those who have directed or colluded with them. Civilised people, irrespective of country or religion, must unite in their support for all political and military measures designed to achieve this end, especially those being made by the governments of Syria and Iraq.
– Irfan Habib, I.A. Khan, Shireen Moosvi, Ishrat Alam and Rakesh Batabyal, by email
Scrap Section 309
This refers to ‘Death and the sovereign’ by Pratap Bhanu Mehta (August 19). At the outset, I wish to state that I am a supporter of the right to euthanasia. The writer has strongly dissented against the judgment passed by the Rajasthan High Court for failing to distinguish between sallekhana and suicide. Suicide is the action or act of intentionally killing oneself. Mehta sought to emphasise the distinction on the basis of the essence of subduing desire in Jainism. He distinguished suicide from the conquest of passions and ahimsa. But the definition of suicide and its abetment in the IPC must be construed in accordance with meanings commonly and fairly understood by the courts and the people. Exceptions to meanings cannot be made on the basis of the nuances of different religions or languages. This would be totally antithetical to the implementation of the IPC. A practice such as this would open the floodgates to interpretations based on class, sex, urbanism and power and money. We need to debate the removal of Section 309 from the IPC in totality.
– Naheed Carrimjee, Mumbai
Hoarders Did It
People are shocked at the sky-rocketing prices of onions. The tall claims of the government importing onions to improve supplies and curbing exports are meaningless as hoarders are up to their old dirty tricks. Crackdowns on hoarders are never prompt in India.
– S.K. Khosla, Chandigarh