THE murderous attack on JNU students was part of an attempt to ruin the intellectual atmosphere that prevails on the university campus (Cover Story, January 31). The Vice Chancellor’s ostrich-like attitude adds insult to injury.
Incidentally, JNU celebrated its golden jubilee last year.
Vellore, Tamil Nadu
INDIA should tread carefully and not just accept U.S. President Donald Trump’s assertion that Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani was not just an Iranian general but a dreaded terrorist (“Suicidal assassination”, January 31).
After the general was killed, Iran’s saying that it would take revenge against the U.S. is not the solution because it could lead to a war that would entail heavy casualties and an unprecedented destruction of property. Thankfully, the U.S. and Iran have decided against escalating the issue, which is a step in the right direction.
WHEN Iran fired a barrage of rockets on U.S. troops stationed in Iraq, it seemed as if war could break out at any moment in West Asia (“Looming war clouds”, January 31). But luckily, wiser counsel prevailed when the Democrats in the U.S. Congress insisted that Trump should seek Congress’ approval before conducting any campaign against Iran.
Iran has plenty of options to checkmate Trump in the run-up to the 2020 U.S. presidential election. It can block the movement of merchant oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz or launch surprise attacks on U.S. personnel in Afghanistan, Syria or Iraq. Iran can thus choose how it wants to embarrass Trump during an election year.
In his last election campaign, Trump promised Americans that he would reduce troops in West Asia. But ironically, thousands of American troops were deployed there after the assassination of Soleimani.
Kangayam R. Narasimhan
IN order to ensure world peace, the United Nations urgently needs to be democratised. Each state should be given one vote and the right of veto must be abolished. A foolproof system to maintain the balance of power between nations should be established under which measures must be taken to ensure that no state on its own or through strategic alliances is capable of threatening others.
The U.N. must have the capability to enforce all its resolutions, which should be made mandatory. It may seem impossible to achieve, but the determination of peace-loving people and nations can make it a reality. This is needed to avoid crises such as the current situation between the U.S. and Iran.
THAT Muslims in Delhi defied even the diktats of the imam of the Jama Masjid indicates the high level of resentment in the community (Cover Story, January 17).
The crackdowns in Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University, the reign of terror unleashed in Uttar Pradesh and Mangaluru and the repugnant attack on the students and teachers of JNU expose the Centre’s diabolical intent. Instead of attempting to defuse the situation, the authorities harbour the notion that protests will peter out and are continuing with their self-serving agenda.
THE t ragedy in India today is that Hindutva forces are at the helm of affairs in New Delhi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi got a second term in office even though he failed to fulfil his election promises to bring back black money allegedly stashed abroad by unscrupulous people and give each citizen Rs.15 lakh and provide employment to two crore people every year. When Amit Shah was questioned about these promises, he replied that these were “chunavi jumla”, or election gimmicks.
The Central Cabinet of Ministers is conspicuous by its absence when important policy decisions such as demonetisation are announced. This points to the authoritarian nature of the Modi-Shah regime.
The main task before the country is to defeat the dangerously divisive Hindutva forces and retrieve the nation from their clutches.
WHILE freedom of expression, which includes the right to stage demonstrations and protests against government policies, is guaranteed in a democracy, resorting to violence and destroying public property are totally unacceptable.
The police action against students not involved in the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) is reprehensible, but it needs to be understood that the police were forced to crack down on anti-social elements who in the garb of protesters were deliberately provoking them.
Regrettably, ever since the passage of the CAA, the mainstream media have been vying with one another to target the Central government. The Cover Story articles failed to highlight the fact that the CAA does not apply to Indian citizens but rather seeks to grant citizenship to the persecuted religious minorities of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan in consonance with the Nehru Liaquat Agreement of 1950.
B. Suresh Kumar
Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
Agitations for anything and everything have become the order of the day. Bandhs and strikes that disrupt normal life have become common. Many people say that the CAA is prima facie wrong and unconstitutional, while some others are in favour of it. It is a subject for debate, but holding the public to ransom and destroying public property are not right. The CAA may be tested in the courts.
The JNU incident is quite unfortunate. Peace has to prevail, and everybody should unite and strive for the restoration of normalcy. Wiser counsel should prevail and students need to be kept away from politics since it is sure to damage their future.
WHAT happens in the U.S. makes a difference to the international community (“Playing victim”, January 17). Different media houses give the so-called impeachment case against President Donald Trump different political colours. In fact, the stage is being set for Trump’s 2020 campaign activities.
It is time that all Americans took a stand to protect their country from the clutches of power and pelf.
P. Senthil Saravana Durai
A.G. Noorani’s passionate defence of a secular and humanitarian India is uncanny (“Savarkar & the BJP”, January 17). I hope against hope that his scholarship and indefatigable reiteration of truth (that is, Gandhi’s truth), his clinical analysis and optimism will infect the youth of this country, who have begun to speak up now, not from their memories or histories but from the ground realities they are experiencing.
H. Pattabhirama Somayaji
Crimes against women
THE gang rape and subsequent death of Nirbhaya in New Delhi on December 16, 2012, sent shock waves across the country and led to widespread protests (“Questions of justice”, January 17). Seven years after the incident, the Supreme Court dismissed the last review petition and confirmed the death sentence of the accused.
Although the legal process is over, the Indian judiciary’s record implies that Nirbhaya’s mother’s battle is likely to continue because out of 371 convicts sentenced to death from 1991 to 2017, only four have been hanged. The rest of the cases are pending.