Letters to the editor

Readers’ comments: ‘State must ensure people can enjoy the right to privacy without any intrusions’

A selection of readers’ opinions.

Right to privacy

The Supreme Court’s decision recognising privacy as a fundamental right is a positive step towards full attainment of citizenship. It is important to note that all six judges unanimously declared the verdict (“‘Intrinsic to personal liberty’: Supreme Court rules that privacy is a fundamental right”). The government should accept the decision and ensure the citizen are able to enjoy the right to privacy without any intrusion or limitations by the state machinery. – Shailendra Awale

Triple talaq order

Even though triple talaq was held unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, some Muslim clerics have taken a defiant tone and are challenging the order as a violation of the freedom of religious practices (“‘Punish us if you want’: Islamic body says triple talaq will continue to remain valid in India”). It is agreed that instant triple talag is not found in Hadith, or the sayings of Prophet Muhammad, revered and received as a major source of religious law and moral guidance, second only to the Quran. Therefore, where is the locus for the defiance? Let’s see how the law catches up to the man who gave instantaneous triple talaq to his wife in Uttar Pradesh just hours after the Supreme Court order. – Somayajulu Cherukuri

***

I don’t know whether Farah Naqvi is welcoming the Supreme Court judgement or criticising it (“Oppressive personal laws aren’t the only thing standing between Muslim women and happy lives”). As a woman, she shouldn’t have been critical of the media for having made it a national issue and for wholeheartedly welcoming the judgement. The author’s attitude towards the judgement seems to be half-hearted. – Ashok Kambi

***

These are Farah Naqvi’s ideas and do not represent the voice of most of the Muslim women. The plight of Muslim women is directly related to the plight of the Muslim community in general. The real problems before the community, and for Muslim women also, are illiteracy, poverty, unemployment, widespread prejudice and consequent progressive social isolation. Education itself is perhaps the most important of these problems.

The urge for social reform must grow from within the community and must not be imposed from outside. It is interesting that they remember Muslim women only in matters of triple talaq but never when they are subjected to mass rapes and murders, or when they lose their husbands and children to communal riots that have taken the shape of ethnic genocide, or about poverty and ill health and related problems.
This writer has no idea of the real problems of the Muslim women. She is just an arm-chair intellectual. – Mohammad Mustahsan

India today

It’s true that we have a weak Opposition (“On a perilous path: India is being unmade, a lynching at a time”). The Congress has nothing to offer at the moment and is even more weak after Nitish Kumar’s ditched it to join hands with the BJP in Bihar. People’s movements are not strong either. While the “Not in My Name” protests in various cities did raise a flicker of hope, there is a sense that those believing in secularism and tolerance are outnumbered as even the educated masses get fooled by proxy concepts such as nationalism and the Supreme Court makes the playing of the national anthem at cinema halls mandatory. Indians, including the urban middle class, are far too subservient to authority and do not understand the concept of freedom. This is a huge and fundamental problem. If the middle classes understood how the nationalist ideology will impact them, we would be in a better position to counter the threat posed by Hindutva organisations. – Hemal Shringla

Something borrowed

The chief minister should go ahead and open more such canteens, irrespective of the cost (“Indira canteens are strikingly similar to Amma canteens, but will they work equally well?”). This can ensure his success in the coming state elections. The BJP has many tricks up it’s sleeves and the Congress needs to prepare for that. The chief minister should also be ready to deal with possible communal violence incidents in the state just before elections that could be aimed at polarising people on religious lines. This is a common strategy of the party. – Abdul Majeed Khan

***

The Karnataka Government should try to explore the possibility of of commercialising Indira Canteens while also making them affordable. Those who want food at concessional rates could have a separate queue and there could be express lines for those who will pay at market rates. This also helps affluent people get a feeling that they are supporting the government for a noble cause in helping needy people,who cannot afford to pay full price for the food they consume. – Shankar MK

Not in my name

I am happy to know that the fire of protest has not been extinguished (“Watch the evocative music video for the ‘Not in My Name’ campaign against mob lynching”). We must keep it burning. Even an occasional expression of our feelings will have a positive impact and deter those who are out to divide people in the name of religion. – Dinesh Shah

Hindu terror hoax

This book excerpt is essentially a work of fiction because everything the author says is derived from the charge sheet on the 2008 Malegaon blasts, which itself raises many questions (“How records linked Lt Col Shrikant Purohit (and Abhinav Bharat) with the Malegaon blast of 2008”).

The blasts at Malegaon happened on September 29 and the case was already cracked by Hemant Karkare of the Maharashtra ATS before his death in the 26/11 attacks. So why wasn’t the trial completed by early 2011 when it was handed over to the NIA?

The fact that he was booked under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime, which was subsequent overruled by the apex court in 2015 raises questions about the strength of the case against him. The unravelling of the other alleged Hindu terror cases, like the Samjautha Express blasts, also raises troubling questions about the motives of the then ruling dispensation.

Which are the other organisations of the so-called Hindu terror networks? What other incidents have been attributed to such networks? The author is take a stab in the dark and although nobody denies the existence of fringe groups in Hindu society, we must desist from giving them a larger-than-life image and attribute to them strength and popular support that they do not have. – P Raghavendra

***

Thank you for the detailed article. I was sceptical aboout the existence of Hindu terror, but this article proves that it does. The directive to NIA to go soft on the case definitely reeks of political interference.

I’d like to know more about what happened after the events on August 9 and 10, which is where the excerpt ends. – Chakra S

Garden dreams

This is an informative article with beautiful photography (“The silver bloom of night: How to create your own moonlight garden”). I will definitely visit these sights soon! – Aathil Chaturvedi

***

Selina Sen’s description of moonlight gardens is evocative of those serene spaces that surround the Taj Mahal. It’s been a while since I visited Agra and it was an absolute delight to relive those memories in my mind’s eye. These gardens are beautiful and have a calming influence. It must be a singular pleasure to have such a corner in one’s own backyard. – Vishwanath Menon

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