Letters to the Editor

Print edition : December 09, 2016

Encounter deaths

THE killing of eight SIMI undertrial prisoners who were lodged in the high security Central Jail in Bhopal raises more questions than answers (Cover Story, November 25). It reads like a script for a Bollywood thriller. The jail officials’ explanation that the prisoners used toothbrushes, aprons, spoons and bed sheets to escape from the prison cell and then to scale the 35-foot prison wall sounds ridiculous. It is baffling that all the CCTV cameras in the jail premises were inoperative at the time of the escape and that none of the guards in the watchtower saw the prisoners escaping. It is tragic that all the prisoners were killed, though none of them were carrying firearms, as eyewitnesses testified. An impartial inquiry by a sitting Supreme Court judge will reveal the truth behind this grisly episode. Meanwhile, we can see that a police raj is spreading its tentacles rapidly in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.

N.C. Sreedharan, Kannur Kerala

Tata crisis

THE article on the crisis in the Tata group (“A coup in the House of Tatas”, November 25) shed light on the murky complexities, the managerial inadequacies, the traditional traps, the organisational manoeuvres, the invisible resistance to change, the wars for functional supremacy, and the hidden hands at the power levers in the organisation. Cyrus Mistry, the former chairman of Tata Sons, is accused of trying to prop up the bottom line by shedding unproductive ventures, though it is not perceived as the Tata’s traditional way of doing business. It is forgotten that the decision-making right is with Mistry as per the norms of corporate governance. Functional authority and organisational decisions are a CEO’s right and he cannot work properly under the constant threat of interference from the “family”.

B. Rajasekaran, Bengaluru

It is indeed the first time in the Tata group’s history that dirty linen has been washed in public. Though the blame game will continue, the least the board could have done was to have given Mistry a fair chance to present his case before deciding his fate. After all, he was appointed by Ratan Tata himself, and if nothing else, it is a clear case of ineffective succession planning. Though Mistry was officially at the helm, it seems Ratan Tata was still controlling the group from behind the scenes. It is very difficult to let go of power, more so when one has created and built an institution like the Tata group through blood and sweat. Ideally, after an initial period of hand-holding, Ratan Tata should have given complete control to Mistry. Now, considering how Mistry has been treated, it will be vey difficult to find a successor. There is no doubt that this episode has dented the Tata group’s reputation, which has been blemishless so far, barring the Radia tapes controversy.

Bal Govind, Noida, Uttar Pradesh

THE allegations Mistry levelled against Ratan Tata and the Tata Board are serious in nature and cannot be brushed under the carpet as the emotional outburst of a disgruntled individual sacked by the board. He must be given a chance to defend himself and prove his integrity to the board. Mistry’s removal has not only shocked the corporate world but also the stakeholders, who believe that they were kept in the dark over the goings-on in all the companies in the group. It is therefore imperative that a thorough investigation is carried out by outside experts on all the questions Mistry raised in his five-page mail so that the functioning and governance of the group known for honesty and integrity do not suffer.

K.R. Srinivasan, Secunderabad, Telangana

Uniform civil code

LAST year, the Supreme Court asked the government to consider the idea of introducing a uniform civil code (“Dubious moves”, November 11). Indian Muslim women are speaking up against the practice of triple talaq and the injustices inherent in Muslim personal law. When members of the Indian Muslim community ask for justice, it is erroneous on the part of the leaders of the community to dismiss their demands as misplaced or accuse them of being the lackeys of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh. Such an approach aligns the Indian Muslim leadership against justice for the members of its own community. Laws that originated 1,400 or 2,000 years ago for a group of people may not be just in today’s changed context. Regardless of one’s faith, the law should be the same for all. Indian Muslims are a small part of the larger Indian state in which many communities are fighting for justice and against historical inequities.

H.N. Ramakrishna, Bengaluru

Death of a child

The death of Aradhana Samdariya, a Class VIII girl in Hyderabad, after a strenuous fast lasting 68 days can only be termed as a case of brutal murder (“Child rights and faith”, November 11). What is more pathetic is that the parents were asked not to mourn her death but celebrate it. It is a strange to justify the death on religious grounds when Jainism stresses that life is precious. No scripture recommends such a severe penance. Such practices should be condemned and prevented from happening again.

A.J. Rangarajan, Chennai

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