TAMIL NADU

No right this

Sir, — Your stand against the Calcutta High Court ban on bandhs during weekdays was surprising ("Muzzling democratic expression", Oct. 8). While the workers have every right to protest, they have no right to hold the entire city/town to ransom.

Ratish Nair,

Thiruvananthapuram

* * *

Sir, — The rights and privileges given to the trade unions, associations, etc., have been grossly misused since the late 1960s, causing untold suffering to the public. There is enough justification for withdrawing them and that is what the court has done.

T. Balachandra Kurup,

Chennai

* * *

Sir, — The verdict comes as a welcome relief to the common man. Earlier, the apex court decreed that Government employees have no right to strike work. Surely, these are the pointers towards better governance.

Karri. Rama Rao,

Visakhapatnam, A.P.

* * *

Sir, — In these days of irresponsible leadership, uncontrollable cadres, numerous parties and factions, your soft-pedalling of the serious issue of massive disruptions is curious. Your sweeping use of the phrase "middle class perceptions" is objectionable. The so-called democratic practice of a few self-serving leaders has rightly been curtailed by the Judiciary.

Y. Balakrishnan,

Chennai

* * *

Sir, — The perception that bandhs are disruptive is not middle class. The worst affected are, in fact, the daily wagers and those in the unorganised sector.

Ramesh Dorairaj,

Bangalore

* * *

Sir, — We are living in a democracy where roads are not for commuting but are meant for holding processions; platforms are not for walking, they are for the hawkers; Government employees are not for serving the public but for striking work. The majority is a mere spectator to the tamasha.

Santhana Krishnan,

Chennai

* * *

Sir, — The verdict is another instance of increasing judicial interference in our basic rights. The limits to judicial authority ought to be defined and an impartial commission should re-examine contentious judgments.

Prasanth R.K.,

Palakkad

* * *

Sir, — It is true that political parties have made strikes the means to show their muscle power, causing inconvenience to those who are not part of them. But claiming that a blanket ban on rallies is justified amounts to surrendering the citizens' right to express dissent.

One should instead demand more responsible behaviour from those holding rallies.

Prasenjit Sen,

Raleigh NC, U.S.