Print edition : May 17, 2013

Supreme Court

THE Supreme Court is beyond the reach of the common man (Cover Story, May 3). The judiciary needs to be reformed. Interesting facts emerge when India’s judiciary is compared with Pakistan’s. Both do not telecast court proceedings live, as is done in the United States and Canada. In India, some judges disclose their assets on websites of the Supreme Court and High Courts, whereas in Pakistan they do not.

A code of conduct for judges is not in the public domain in India; whereas the website of the Supreme Court of Pakistan has a code of conduct. The Supreme Court of India does not have Benches in other cities of India, whereas Pakistan has Supreme Court registry in several cities. Information on the disposal of cases by judges in Pakistan is available in the public domain. In India, no such information is available in the public domain.

Deendayal M. Lulla


THE Cover Story on the Supreme Court of India was an eye-opener. I only hope that the sane opinions put forth in each of the articles are taken note of and that action is taken to redeem the institution.

K.K. Manu

Kozhikode, Kerala

THE Cover Story article “Supreme Court and the aam aadmi” was enlightening. Law, justice and the common man are like the wheels of a vehicle. When they work together, life runs normally. If any one of them stops functioning well, the whole nation suffers. Sadly, today money is the biggest power and sometimes even justice is being bought. People's faith in the judicial system is diminishing. The poor are unable to cope with the cost of litigation and prefer to face suffering and loss rather than go to the courts. Existing rules and laws need to be made more user-friendly for the common man and should also be implemented in letter and spirit. The basic question is: are the laws there to trouble people or to help them?

Siddhartha Shankar Mishra

Sambalpur, Odisha

Margaret Thatcher

NEITHER politicians nor statesmen have learnt any lesson from history, thus proving Voltaire’s dictum that great men commit great blunders (“Lamenting a legacy”, May 3). Because a nation like Britain with its parliamentary ethos tolerated a Prime Minister like Margaret Thatcher, one can believe that in the future too dictators can flourish.

Thomas Edmunds


WHILE one would prefer to desist from criticising the dead, the continuing impact of Margaret Thatcher’s skewed economic policies, unpopular social programmes, unwarranted military actions and biased diplomatic proposals compel one to place the truth on record. Political leaders should act for the general good of the nation and should think of the future impact of their actions.

What Margaret Thatcher did was to have her countrymen live under constant fear for their livelihood. No other political leader who passed away in recent times has invoked as many adverse reactions upon their death as Margaret Thatcher did. Her political legacy should not be bequeathed to any one!

B. Rajasekaran


DESPITE certain dark spots during Margaret Thatcher’s time in office, it cannot be denied that Britain has lost an illustrious leader. She was a true international leader and earned the goodwill and respect of leaders and people of various countries.

Her special relationship with India and the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, whom she mentioned in her memoirs, not only won her admiration from India but helped steady Britain’s relations with India. As no other British Prime Minister had such a long-lasting effect on the people as Margaret Thatcher, her legacy will continue to influence the politics of her country.

K.R. Srinivasan

Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh

THE obituary was a candid and critical analysis of Margaret Thatcher’s legacy. Although she was instrumental in pulling back the British economy from the brink, she was a controversial and divisive leader. Her ruthless crackdown on trade/labour unions stifled freedom of expression. Her support for the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and her unalloyed support for the apartheid regime in South Africa brought her into disrepute.

B. Suresh Kumar

Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu

North Korea

THE hue and cry over the nuclear tests and missile tests conducted by North Korea is unwarranted (“Cloud in the sun”, May 3). The nuclear powers have already accumulated enough of a nuclear arsenal to destroy the world at least 10 times over.

North Korea’s declaration of war is for domestic consumption and is a bluff. It cannot defeat U.S.-backed South Korea. However, the eagerness of small countries to acquire nuclear capability is understandable. The U.S., the world’s policeman, holds talks with those countries that have nuclear bombs and threatens those that do not. It is a bitter fact that there is no alternative to nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles if you are to live in security and with honour.

However, North Korea should bear in mind that it is economic strength and not nuclear weapons capability that will raise its status among the world community.

S. Raghunatha Prabhu

Alappuzha, Kerala


THE Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is bound to suffer the most in the coming Assembly elections in Karnataka (“High-stakes race”, May 3). But that does not mean that the Congress will gain at the BJP’s expense because B.S. Yeddyurappa has floated a new party and the Janata Dal (Secular) is also there to make matters worse for both the Congress and the BJP. Since no one has forged a pre-election alliance, one does not know who will go with whom and the result may be that no party will get a majority on its own. In that event, governance in the State might be the casualty.

Bal Govind

Noida, Uttar Pradesh

THE defeat of the BJP in the March 7 urban local body elections has increased the Congress’ hopes of capturing power in the May 5 Karnataka Assembly elections. It is time for Congress candidates to fight the election wholeheartedly by highlighting the ills plaguing the State. Those who have not got the party tickets should also cooperate with the official candidates in the greater interest of the party, forgetting their own agendas, as the party has got a chance to prove its worth after an eight-year hiatus.

Jayant Mukherjee



IT is unfortunate that whenever there is any violence or civil war or U.S.-sponsored aggression in the Arab countries—be it Iraq, Egypt and, of late Syria—the ancient Arab-Christian communities are at the receiving end (“Promoting war”, May 3). When Saddam Hussein (whose political mentor was the Arab Christian Michel Aflaq) was in power in Iraq, Iraqi Christians faced no discrimination, their ancient Chaldean churches were well patronised, Christian Iraqis were present in large numbers in the army, and their leader Tariq Aziz occupied the post of Deputy Prime Minister.

Many ancient Indian Christian groups (commonly referred to as Syrian Christians) have an ecclesiastical relationship with the churches of Damascus and Antioch, and the emptying of ancient Syrian towns of their Christian population is indeed a blow to Indian Syrian Christians too. During the anti-Mubarak uprising in Egypt, there were reports of large-scale violence against Egyptian Coptic Christians.

G. Anuplal



WHEN I went through the article “A paradise for endemic wildlife” (May 3), I was reminded of another excellent article that Frontline carried on Galapagos in the mid-1980s. The accompanying pictures then were spectacular and showed raw nature. The pictures now are more practical and reveal the present state of Galapagos.

A. Mohan


The media

THE article “Looking for money in news” (May 3) gives one a clear picture of the digital revolution. However, Newsweek editor Tina Brown’s comment about the print medium being outmoded seems more relevant to the Western world than to India. One wonders whether the Internet will ever replace the traditional print medium in India because people in India are not used to reading news online daily. The Internet does not have a wide reach in rural areas. In Maharashtra, many newspapers have started new editions in new towns. Many Marathi newspapers do not pay much attention to their digital presence. At least, the regional language press faces no apparent threat from the Internet or television as common people still love the print.

Ujwal S. Jagtap

Shelgaon Deshmukh, Maharashtra


HINA RABBANI KHAR, the former Foreign Minister of Pakistan, presents her opinions clearly and strongly on the normalisation of Pakistan’s relations with India, especially in terms of trade (Cover Story, April 19). Her remarks were very much in contrast to those made by Interior Minister Rehman Malik, which caused political sparks across India. She made a true attempt to establish her country as a friendly and peace-loving nation that promotes prosperity and the well-being of its neighbours.

Shrey Jha

Dhanbad, Jharkhand

IT is hard to believe that Pakistan will ever become a good neighbour and true friend of India. Besides waging wars against India, Pakistan helps India-based terrorists and also sends terrorists across the border to spread terror. This has resulted in the deaths of innocent people in India besides the loss of properties. Kashmir is a settled issue. It was settled long ago. Kashmir is an integral part of India. History has validated this reality. It is meaningless for Pakistan to keep on raising the Kashmir issue.

Maheswar Deka

Rangia, Assam

PAKISTAN’S National Assembly’s resolution condemning the execution of Afzal Guru and its demand that his body be returned to his family was an unwarranted interference in the internal affairs of India and an insidious attempt to provoke the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The Indian Parliament rightly rejected the National Assembly’s resolution and reiterated the fact that the entire State of Jammu and Kashmir, including the territory currently occupied by Pakistan, was an integral part of India.

It is well known that terrorists based in Pakistan carry out terror activities in India with the active connivance and support of that country’s various agencies, including the Inter-Services Intelligence. One fails to understand how peace talks or cordial relations are even thinkable under these circumstances. If India continues to act, Pakistan will continue to cock a snook at it. India must hit back by downgrading diplomatic ties and calling off all bilateral relations.

Mahesh Kumar

New Delhi

Sri Lanka

THE Tamil Nadu government has so far gone soft with the Centre with regard to the war crimes committed for decades by the Sri Lankan government against the Tamil people (“Tipping point”, April 19). I appreciate the fact that the DMK pulled out of the United Progressive Alliance after the brutal death of Prabakaran’s son was brought to light. The 12-year-old paid the price of the long cold war between India and Sri Lanka. I do not know whether for the sake of maintaining diplomatic relations, India should tolerate human sacrifices.

Pynshisha Hujon

Shillong, Meghalaya


THIS is with reference to the article “The other half” (March 22). It reinforced my long-held belief that Kerala has few competitors in this country when it comes to efficient governance. The fact that the State government commissioned a study on migrant labour demonstrates its commitment to tackling the issue.

A stark contrast can been observed in Assam and Meghalaya, where the issue of migrant labour has only given rise to cheap political opportunism, communal and cultural mobilisation to terrorise the migrants, frequent violent conflicts and a complete dehumanisation and demonisation of the migrant labour workforce.

Rajkamal Goswami

Tezpur, Assam

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