Letters

Letters to the Editor — June 7, 2021

Court on sedition

While complimenting the Supreme Court of India for having quashed the sedition charges against a senior journalist, it should be said that the reasons given by the Court are good enough to strike down the section as arbitrary and in violation of the freedom of expression guaranteed under Article19(1)(a) of the Constitution. Despite the Kedar Nath Singh judgment, Section 124A has been abused in prosecuting among others, journalists, writers, civil rights activists and even students. The Court has done well in stating that criticising the acts of the Government is not seditious. More importantly, it has acknowledged that there has been a recent trend of governments using the section vindictively to stifle criticism. Honest criticism of the polarising nature of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act or the Union government’s actions in Kashmir do not amount to sedition.

Therefore, going by experience and the clear expression of the Supreme Court, there are good enough reasons for the Supreme Court to strike down this anachronistic law at the earliest so that citizens are able to breathe freely. In the interregnum, the Court could have done well by suspending all the pending sedition cases with one stroke of the pen.

N.G.R. Prasad,

Chennai

‘No Malayalam’ order

It is totally uncalled for and the height of linguistic chauvinism that the Govind Ballabh Pant Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, one of the largest government-run hospitals of Delhi, banned its nursing staff from speaking in Malayalam in the hospital and even warned of serious action; the ban has since been revoked. Considering that the nurses have been burning the midnight oil and risking their lives in the pandemic fight, it is inexcusable that they are not allowed to even relax by conversing between themselves in their mother tongue, especially when there are about 300-350 Malayali nurses in the hospital.

Hindi and other North Indian languages are equally alien to most people of Kerala, but in keeping with the spirit of national integration, not even the migrant labour force from North India in Kerala is barred from speaking their languages.

Nalini Vijayaraghavan,

Thiruvananthapuram

This was nothing but intolerance in a country where people talk in different languages depending on the circumstances. If such things persist, there may be a day where there are orders objecting to people talking to each other in their mother tongue in public places.

V.N. Subramanyam,

Bengaluru

Safety and research

Increased incidences of new zoonotic transmission emerging are of grave concern (‘FAQ’ page, June 6). Paucity in research funding into communicable diseases and diversion of funds for non-communicable diseases (much more lucrative for private funding agencies, and pharmaceutical companies in the developed countries) have been echoed by experts.

With the Wuhan laboratory leak theory gaining greater credibility, health monitoring organisations must ensure safer microbial research.

Dr. Biju C. Mathew,

Thiruvananthapuram


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Printable version | Jul 31, 2021 11:54:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/letters-to-the-editor-june-7-2021/article34746608.ece

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