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Letters to the editor: Some sunlight

While BJP cadre has been engaged in vitiating the social space, its top leadership is still busy making promises of development.

By: Express News Service |
January 15, 2015 1:56:04 am

Letter of the Week Award
To encourage quality reader intervention The Indian Express offers the Letter of the Week Award. The letter adjudged the best for the week is published every Saturday. Letters may be e-mailed to editpage or sent to The Indian Express, 9&10, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi -110002.

Letter writers should mention their postal address and phone number. The winner receives books worth Rs 1,000.

Some sunlight
n THIS refers to the editorial ‘Offload this pettiness’ (IE, January 14). Greenpeace seems to have found certain irregularities in a purported gram sabha resolution affecting large industrial projects. Most of the villagers living around the Mahan Coal project area depend on forests for their livelihood. Implementing a project under dubious circumstances is a bad way to go about the laudable mission of development. People raising their voices against the alleged duplicity are being harassed for expressing dissent. It is astonishing to witness Narendra Modi’s open embrace of international investors at the Gujarat conclave, while the government maintains an ostrich-like attitude towards citizen awareness and activism. Without internal democracy and transparency, international investors will be reluctant to invest in India. If we desire real growth and social justice, let us not be afraid of disagreements, NGOs or citizen activism.
— Parthasarathy Sen
New Delhi

Defence of poetry
n MY HEART goes out to Perumal Murugan (‘Forced to withdraw novel, Tamil author announces his “death”’, IE, January 14). I feel distressed and ashamed to belong to a country in which hooligans rule and creative geniuses die unnatural deaths at their hands. It is because of such people that M.F. Hussain had to leave the country.
— Dinesh Shah

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All speak out
n THIS refers to ‘Limits of solidarité’ by Rakhshanda Jalil (IE, January 14). Jalil writes, “Charlie Hebdo was crossing that line repeatedly and doing so with impunity.” But to put things in perspective, one of Charlie Hebdo’s targets was the Catholic Church. It took the magazine to court several times; what stopped enlightened Muslims from doing the same? It is precisely the targeting of the magazine that has made it the high priest of free speech and increased its circulation. The author also seems to conflate anti-Semitism with the publication of obnoxious cartoons involving the Prophet, but they aren’t the same. People have a right to offend you as much as you have a right to look the other way, which most Muslims in France did. Tailoring comments to suit people’s taste is a slippery slope. Where do you draw the line?
— Indranil Chakraborty

The alternative
n Whatever the results of the Delhi elections, Pratap Bhanu Mehta’s ‘BJP and the AAPosition’ (IE, January 14), should prompt reflection.
The NDA no longer seems capable of realising the dreams it had once shown us. While the BJP cadre has been engaged in vitiating the cultural and social space, its top leadership is still busy making promises of development. In such a situation, we have no option but to begin a dialogue with an alternative politics where the voices of dissent are acknowledged.
— Dev Athawale

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