I was astonished on reading the article “The temptation of anarchy” by Harish Khare (Dec 26). If the gang rape of the hapless 23-year-old was unfortunate, so was the insensitive and callous attitude of authorities towards the protesters. By using the phrase “connoisseurs of chaos,” Mr. Khare has denounced the protesters in profound language, rather than trying to understand the frustration and anger of the youth.

Nor has Mr. Khare said why Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was silent for a full week. The democratic aspirations of people, in Egypt or India, are paramount. Those in power are answerable to the man in the street.

Chukka Ramaiah, Member, Legislative Council, Andhra Pradesh

There would have been no ‘anarchy’ had the government played a responsible role in the first instance. Had the Prime Minister issued his statement in time and assured people of safety, the protests would have subsided. What took him more than a week to speak to his own people?

Rajender Prasad, Mahendergarh

The protesters were clearly looking to create political will. That some elements resorted to disruption and hooliganism will not and must not overshadow the crucial message the peaceful protesters were seeking to send — the dire need for responsible monitoring and enforcement of laws to protect women.

Somya Seth, New Delhi

Which country is Mr. Khare talking about? A country where a privileged few do not know what it is to depend on public transport? The truth is that the ‘rule of law’ is a fragile concept in our country, especially for women who feel unsafe in villages and cities.

Anjali Lal Gupta, Hyderabad

The political consciousness and social concern that drove the protesters to demand justice for the Delhi rape victim are certainly a good sign of an emerging new India. Sporadic violence by some should not be projected as the only content of the protests. It need not be treated as a symptom of anarchy — as if one has to create an anarchical condition in an inexistent democracy. “New laws” may not “be secured on the streets,” but every law enacted by the “specialists in ruling” (to borrow Lenin’s usage) should get the people’s nod — that is democracy.

Arjune Kannan, Noida

What exactly does Mr. Khare mean when he says Abdul Kalam was perhaps thinking of Amitabh Bachchan when he administered an oath to a few policemen? Over centuries, great leaders have inspired citizens through their speeches and writings. I wonder what he has to say about the speech given by Dr. Singh after seven days of unrest in the city he lives in. Was that inspiring and motivational?

Jaidev, Bangalore

I know street justice is not healthy. But if we are free today, it is because the likes of Gandhiji and Bhagat Singh defied the system. The Ministers and the police get a salary from the government to serve, not rule. We don’t want a policeman in every street corner, but we want policemen to be sensitive.

Are our sisters and mothers protesting on the streets to pass time? How can we have faith in a system in which the law is implemented differently for different people, passing a bill in Parliament is reduced to a drama, and many criminals are politicians? We still stand by the system in the hope that some day, it may become citizen friendly.

Manish Kumar, New Delhi

There is a deep sense of outrage that the political class has remained wholly unresponsive to the man in the street on issues of corruption, law and order, etc. While this is not to suggest that situations like the death of a policeman can be condoned, it is important to realise that the common Indian feels that unless loud noise is made, the political class will just shrug it off.

Sriram Damaraju, Hyderabad

In a media sphere dominated by a single line of thought, it was heartening to see a piece that looked at the other side of the issue. It is the “allurement of anarchy” that encouraged movements like the Arab Spring, and we all know the state of affairs there now. In a country of so vast a population, enabled with the power of the social media, any movement, with the best of intention, can easily get disrupted to the detriment of the whole nation. This is an issue in itself, the solution to which will remain elusive for some time to come.

G.K. Anil Vishnu, Bangalore

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