Published : Sep 24, 2004 00:00 IST

Apropos the Cover Story "Manipur on fire" (September 10) although insurgency prone areas makes a strong case for giving the army special powers, abuse of such extra-judicial powers could lead to a situation more frightening than insurgency. The Central government turning a blind eye to the plight of Manipur implies its support to the Army's actions. The government must understand that a befitting response to militancy would be to take special efforts to develop the north-eastern region, rather than grant special powers to the armed forces.

Siddhartha Raj Guha,Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh.

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One really appreciates the sacrifice the Army and the paramilitary forces make in ensuring that the citizens of this country lead a secure, peaceful life. But the authorities' reluctance to cooperate with the judicial commission going into the Manorama case is not a good sign.

The Director-General of Assam Rifles Lt. Gen. Bhupinder Singh was too quick to exonerate his men, giving an impression that Armymen are above human fallibility and frailty. He dismissed the allegation of torture and rape as false and asked the people of Manipur to accept his version of truth before the inquiry commission could come out with its findings. It is very disturbing to note that an unarmed woman was shot several times to prevent her from fleeing from the custody of the Army.

The authorities in the armed forces must realise that they cannot cover up human rights violations in the name of safeguarding the morale of the forces. It will only discourage intelligent and courageous young men from joining the forces. People are not baying for the blood of the armed forces. They only want the Army to accept that such aberrations do take place and that it is willing to follow the law of the land and punish the guilty and ensure that the AFSPA is not misused under the pretext of fighting secessionism.

T.P. Devasiachan,Thykkottamputhanpura, Kerala

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Kudos to your perfect Cover Story. The root cause of the problem is the lack of understanding of the feelings, problems and sentiments of the Manipuris on the part of the Centre and the State.

The rulers at the Centre and the State should not put their egos above the sentiments of the Manipuris and should do their best to not only save Manipur from the clutches of militancy, but also remove the Manipuris' sense of alienation.

Akhil KumarDelhi

Jet trainer

I read with great interest the article "Waiting for the Hawk" (September 10). It does make a strong case for the purchase of Hawk AJT.

But, for the sake of argument, is India acquiring the best AJT available? As a layman I would like to know the parameters that go into aircraft selection. Is it the overall cost or the operational capability that matters?

Apurv RelanReceived on e-mail

Triple talaq

The article, "The divorce debate" (September 10) had some inaccuracies.

It was the Working Committee of the All India Muslim Personal Law, not the Board itself, which met in Kanpur. The draft Nikahnama was not on the agenda. During the discussion, the question of triple talaq came up as a theme for the social reform campaign. The draft Nikahnama was circulated among the members and comments were received from some of them. It was briefly mentioned at the fag end of the session and decision thereon was deferred to the Board's next session to be held in Kochi.

The meeting in October 2003 at Phulwari Sharif, Patna, was also that of the Working Committee. No talaqnama was considered or approved and the Board has only 200 members, not 400 as reported.

On a policy matter, the decision-making body is the Board, not the Working Committee. In my personal opinion, the draft Nikahnama is inadequate. It should incorporate the proper procedure for talaq and the post-talaq rights and obligations of the former husband and former wife. It should also provide for Talaq-e-Tafweed (not Tawfid) and prescribe conditions precedent for bigamy, as well as monetary penalties on any husband resorting to instantaneous triple talaq.

Syed ShahabuddinReceived on e-mail

Documentary films

This has reference to "Censoring Freedom" (August 27). Documentary films in India have so far been within the control of a few elite, privileged classes. For its healthy growth, it is not just the government, the technology or the lack of it that ought to be blamed.

We need an institutional infrastructure and unconditional funds that support films for their "own sake" rather than for advocating "a cause". Unless a healthy creative environment among the filmmaking community with a vision is encouraged, the tendency will always be to blame it on one another.

Creative/artistic/political expression almost always finds patronage. However, it is a sad reality that the documentary movement in India never befriended its own community adequately. An artistic liaison between, say, the Bressons and the Renoirs, is somehow missing in the Indian film culture.

The biggest film-making and film watching community lives in India and yet we do not have a single theatre that shows documentaries on a regular basis or for that matter a television channel that would show documentaries from across the world.

Links between "Bollywood" and the "underprivileged" but elite "art" or documentary world are weak. Let Ram Gopal Verma, Subhash Ghai or for that matter Pritish Nandy's production house extend its support to individual filmmakers and movements such as "Films for Freedom". And let the boundaries defining different genres of films and video merge towards making us better "human beings" and creating better films.

Jharana JhaveriReceived on e-mail

Correction: In the article "An electrifying discovery" (September 10) the sentence referring to the gas law should be read as follows, and not as published: "Gas law, the second physical principle at work, states that pressure changes and temperature changes in a gas (at constant volume) have a direct relationship. So, a fall in pressure results in a decrease in the temperature of the gas. The temperature change in the gas induces a temperature change in the solid surface in the direction of the gas flow. That is, there is a decrease in temperature from the leading edge to its far edge."In the illustration accompanying the article the last sentence in (b) should be replaced with the following: "Voltage generated is of the order of hundreds of microvolts and current is of the order of tens of microamperes. The power generated, therefore, is about tens of nanowatts."

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