Cash for coverage
The cash-for-coverage issue is the biggest joke of the year (“Cash for coverage scandal takes the fizz out of Advani's yatra,” Page 1, Oct. 15). While the L.K. Advani yatra is against corruption and black money, his own partymen are indulging in bribery. It is anguishing to note that many journalists accepted the cash given by the BJP MP. They should be like soldiers. One saves the country from the enemies outside while the other saves it from the enemies inside by reporting the truth.
T. Anand Raj,
Let us not just laugh at how ridiculous the news of corruption in the management of a yatra , the very theme of which is anti-corruption, sounds. It is time the BJP stopped the ironic yatra and saved its image.
To those who know how many journalists behave when called for a press meet it will be clear that the fault lies with the media, too. It is often the associated “benefits” that make reporters attend press meets. There are even “agents” who, for a sizeable “remuneration,” can organise a “successful press meet” at short notice.
Review of RTI Act
The Prime Minister's stand on the Right to Information Act is nothing but an attempt to curtail information (“Need for critical look at RTI Act: Manmohan,” Oct. 15). Dr. Manmohan Singh and the Congress, who hailed the RTI Act as their greatest achievement, are having second thoughts now that it has opened a can of worms affecting the UPA. His reasoning that it discourages honest officials from articulating their views will cut no ice.
The Prime Minister's advice for a critical look at the RTI Act is quite reasonable and logical. Bits and pieces of information about routine departmental discussions received through the RTI Act may be misinterpreted and prove harmful. Minor modifications, without violating the essence of the Act, should not be construed as dilution.
The Congress party never missed an opportunity to remind the people that it gave them the most potent weapon to ensure good and transparent governance.
The party must now be ruing the day it passed the bill that is practically digging the grave of the UPA by exposing its shenanigans and corrupt practices. But instead of trying to mend its ways, the government is proposing to dilute the RTI Act. Right-thinking people should fight this move tooth and nail.
Hazare on Kashmir
Anna Hazare has said that he is prepared to give his life for Kashmir (“His Kashmir views rankle Anna but Bhushan to stay in Team,” Oct. 15). Does he not know that over the last 60 years many have given their lives but the problem is becoming more and more intractable?
Mr. Hazare can play a role in remedying the situation by weaning youth away from violence. Empty rhetoric promoting a right-wing agenda is not the answer.
Baikadi Suryanarayana Rao,
The editorial warning to Team Anna to be as watchful of right-wing ascendency as it is of corruption (“Dangerous culture of intolerance,” Oct. 14) has proved prophetic so quickly, evidenced by Anna Hazare's reactions to the savage assault on Prashant Bhushan.
Instead of unconditionally condemning the assault, Mr. Hazare was harsh on Mr. Bhushan for expressing his views.
Such reactions, taken along with his rushing to oppose the Congress in Hisar, confirm the doubts about his and some of his team's right-wing leanings.
Routine assurances from even the highest levels in the government will not work in the post-Fukushima era (editorial, Oct. 13). Even with our most ambitious nuclear power generation plan, we may be able to produce less than seven per cent of our requirement — now, it is only three per cent. Almost every reactor that met with an accident — at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl or Fukushima — was considered safe till the catastrophe. Also the real impact (economic, health, ecological, etc.) cannot be predicted. We have alternatives that are visible when we travel to Kudankulam — wind energy and windmills. And what about harnessing sea power? The advanced countries are now trying to tapping wave energy.
Dictators might inaugurate their own statues and shower them with petals, but a democratically-elected leader indulging in such wastage of public money and the democratic machinery remaining an onlooker invite a lot of criticism.
The purging of A.K. Ramanujan's essay on the Ramayana from the syllabus of the University of Delhi (Oct. 15) is reminiscent of last year's deletion of Rohinton Mistry's book, Such a Long Journey , from the syllabus by Bombay University. Education in the world's largest democracy should not succumb to right-wing pressure, which hinders the free dissemination of knowledge. The question is not what people will think today but what the next generation will get to read and study. Will we give the next generation the chance to think independently, or will they be the recipients of restricted and censored education?
My accolades for the cartoon on the Telangana issue (Cartoonscape, Oct. 15). It reminds me of emperor Nero fiddling while Rome burned.
The Centre does not seem to have felt the burn caused by the agitation in Andhra Pradesh that is causing innumerable hardships to the people. The government should reveal its mind on the issue, ending the people's, especially the students', misery.