OPINION

Intolerance



This is to compliment The Hindu on its forthright editorial "Dangerous intolerance" (Dec. 23) condemning the Andhra Pradesh Government's blatant persecution of the Eenadu group for its aggressive investigation of the land-grab operations by Chief Minister Rajasekhara Reddy and his family. The scale of the land-grab boggles the mind, but suppression of the media by using government machinery poses a far greater danger to freedom.

This assault on media freedom by the Andhra Pradesh Government is by no means an isolated case. Not so long ago, Om Prakash Agarwal of Sudarshan TV was arbitrarily arrested for filming some activities at Tirupati, which the Government did not want the public to know. He is still in custody. Whatever their individual differences, all freedom loving entities, individuals, and organisations, should come together to nip this tendency in the bud. Freedom cannot be selective: either everyone is free or no one is free.

N.S. Rajaram,
Bangalore

This is not the first time Eenadu has found itself on the hitlist of an intolerant Congress Government. When the popular Telugu daily fearlessly exposed the machinations of the Congress Government at the Centre in 1984 to unseat the democratically elected TDP Government led by N.T. Rama Rao, it earned the wrath of the Congress. Ultimately, democracy triumphed and Eenadu's stand was vindicated.

Krishna Vattam,
Mysore

Mr. Reddy promised during his election campaign that he would usher in `Indiramma Rajyam' if voted to power. He was perhaps referring to her crackdown on the press during the Emergency.

D.V.G. Sankara Rao,
Vizianagaram

Do the business transactions of a media baron enjoy immunity from the laws of the land? Do a few queries from the authorities concerned on alleged violations constitute an attack on media freedom? Italians did not consider the debate on the conflict of interests between the office held by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and his private media ownership as an assault on press freedom. There is nothing wrong in Margadarsi replying to a few questions.

M. Shravani,
Hyderabad

The Margadarsi issue and press freedom are two separate issues. Eenadu's aggressive investigative journalism the editorial refers to stops the moment the TDP comes to power in Andhra Pradesh.

D. Manikyala Rao,
Gudivada



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