LETTERS Letters

Letters to the Editor — February 16, 2021

Arrest of an activist

It is bizarre that a 22-year-old activist, Disha Ravi, is in police custody for editing the ‘toolkit’ tweeted by climate activist Greta Thunberg (“22-year-old activist sent to Delhi police custody”, Feb. 15). Faith in our police is already low; this act by the Delhi Police, that too allegedly done without following due process, will only worsen it. The Centre seems to be sending a strong signal that it will not spare anyone who is against it or who is a dissenter, be it 83-year-old activist Stan Swamy or 22-year-old Disha Ravi. Only people’s power can save Indian democracy.

Melwyn Pinto,

Mangalore

The government seems to be under the illusion that making an example of Disha Ravi will have some chilling effect on prospective dissenters and protesters. But it is unlikely to act as a deterrent to those who are inclined to champion the causes they believe in. People are made of sterner stuff than the ruling elites think. Democracy cannot exist without the basic right of voicing opinions. But the government seems to be averse to contrary opinions. It has perfected the art of equating anything it does not agree with with sedition. It is our duty as citizens to ensure India’s continued existence as a robust democracy with space for the exercise of constitutionally guaranteed rights without the fear of being arrested and jailed.

G. David Milton,

Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu

Showcasing J&K

This is the third official visit by foreign diplomats after the dilution of Article 370 in J&K (“After lifting 4G ban, Centre plans trip of envoys to J&K,” Feb. 15). Previous trips of diplomats were described as “personal”. The visitors were not allowed to meet political and local leaders as they were under house arrest. Now, again, NC president Farooq Abdullah and vice-president Omar Abdullah have been placed under house arrest. Unlike the previous trips, the Centre should ensure that the visiting dignitaries have the freedom to meet political and local leaders as well as the people freely, without the government’s intervention, so that they are able to make their own assessment of the situation.

D. Sethuraman,

Chennai

Dangerous precedent

The acquittal of the former U.S. President sets a dangerous precedent (“Senate acquits Trump of incitement,” Feb. 15). It shows that even an authoritarian leader can escape punishment if he has considerable support and bullies his party into backing him. There’s no denying that Mr. Trump had put out a stream of falsehoods on losing the presidential polls, and had openly urged his supporters to march to Capitol Hill, endangering his own Vice-President, lawmakers in both parties, and scores of police officers in the process. The failure to convict him highlights not only the dilemma within the Republican Party, but also how divided the U.S. remains. The U.S., which boasts of being the oldest democracy and preaches lessons to other countries on democratic rights, has not only lost its moral right to do so, but has also emboldened dictators across the globe.

N. Sadhasiva Reddy,

Bengaluru

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Printable version | Apr 23, 2021 3:18:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/letters-to-the-editor-february-16-2021/article33844110.ece

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