Letters to The EDITOR
The opposition’s call to censure the BBC in the Assam assembly for their documentary regarding our PM and the Godhra riots is simply a pointer in this direction.
BBC gospel of truth
The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) was once the most reliable source of global news. The whole world believed whatever they reported from anywhere due to their precise and timely reporting. But with the passage of time, things have started to change as the BBC has started losing its quality of honest and unbiased reporting. Even in some countries, they are banned, as happened in India during the emergency.
Unfortunately, in Assam, it seems, especially the oppositions, are still suffering from old BBC hangovers. The opposition’s call to censure the BBC in the Assam assembly for their documentary regarding our PM and the Godhra riots is simply a pointer in this direction, even though Modi was given a clean chit by the SC. Opposition bodies, namely Akhil Gogoi and Debabrata Saikia, still believe that whatever the BBC says is the gospel of truth and above the SC. The opposition always seems to stoop to conquer, even at the cost of the nation’s interests, as they believe and put the interests of their parties above those of the nation.
Lanu Dutt Chowdhury,
Plight of undertrials
India has the third highest undertrial population in Asia. The courts in the country are so overburdened that the undertrials have nothing but their own luck to curse for the long wait for justice. Sadly, some undertrials’ waiting time in jails has exceeded the maximum number of years of imprisonment they would have undergone if convicted. In the USA, 20 per cent of the prisoners are undertrials compared to a whopping 60 per cent in India. The Supreme Court order to set free undertrials that had served half their terms in jails, had the potential to be a game changer for the criminal justice system in India. In 2014, the court asked the district judges of the country to visit the undertrials in the district jails and assess the situation. However, was the order of the highest court implemented in letter and spirit?
Looking at things, the answer is an emphatic “no”. Though section 436 of the CrPC was amended long ago to incorporate 436-A, which provided for the release of undertrials who have served half the term of their maximum sentence on personal bond with or without sureties, undertrials continue to suffer for no fault of their own. Lack of legal knowledge and little legal assistance from the government compounded their misery. Lawyers assisting the undertrials under the legal aid programme should be properly briefed and compensated. A computer database has to be set up to smooth the process. Financially disabled prisoners, who cannot procure bail, surety, or even personal bond money, stand to gain if the top court judgements are scrupulously followed.
Dr Ganapathi Bhat,
Call a spade a spade
Us watching Rahul’s case in Indian courts: State Department widely circulated in the print media on March 29. The official statement of America per se is a brazen interference in our internal affairs and raises questions about the independent functioning of our courts and the sovereign authority of our parliament, which is highly reprehensible. I hope India will be ready with a strong rebuttal to America at the right time of its own choosing. The world, in general, and India, in particular, has been familiar for a long time with the history of American pretence about democratic values. That country has no qualms about heavily arming a theocratic state and promoting and prolonging the rule of military dictators on our western borders, i.e., Pakistan. Pakistan has fought four wars with India with American arms (battle tanks, war jets, etc.) and lost each time. Internally, its own citizens’ lives are endangered by gun violence. Gun deaths in the USA have become a sort of record. According to the latest report, there have been a record more than 130 gun shootings so far in 2023, in which casualties have included children and teens. The latest in the series of gun shootings occurred on March 27, when a woman wielding two assault-style rifles and a pistol entered a Christian school and killed three nine-year-old children and three teens. The US administration’s hypocrisy should be called a spade a spade. Internally, however, our administrations should remain alert and vigilant against homegrown traitors.
Chinese spy ships
China regularly sends its navy ships to the Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean, and Arabian Sea in order to capitalize on these seas and oceans in the future. A Chinese “spy ship,” Hai Yang Shi You, was spotted close to the Indian coast, nearly 150 nautical miles off the coast of Paradip in Orissa last week, which clearly appears to be a highly suspicious one. The ship was found roughly northeast of the port of Paradip and is now in the Bay of Bengal. Even though the “research vessel” was tasked with gathering surface-level information such as depth and salinity in parts of the Bay of Bengal, one can easily say that it is closely monitoring the Indian navy’s and other activities. Therefore, India’s defence and regime have to swiftly take the necessary actions to regulate these miscreant activities carried out by Chinese in the name of research in the seas and oceans.
Vijaykumar H K,
Don’t get fooled on April 1
The first day of the month of April is called ‘All Fools’ Day’ or ‘April Fool’s Day’. On this day, people take delight in playing practical jokes on each other. The custom started in Rome when King Leopold of Belgium, who was married in Rome, was made a fool of by his sister-in-law when he went to his father-in-law’s palace on the first of April by mistake as he had been invited there on the first of May.
Today, several centuries later, April fool is played on people on a large scale. Students and employees alike play it in schools and colleges as well as in workplaces with coworkers. It is also played at home with neighbours and family members. So be alert, and don’t get April fooled this year. However, instead of playing jokes on people on April Fool’s Day, I suggest you plant at least one sapling in your surroundings to make it an April Cool Day. This small campaign of yours may help make this earth cool and a better place to live in.
Vizag - 14th venue of G20 Summit
This year, India is hosting the G20 Summit, as everyone is aware of. The government of India is not leaving any stone unturned to make the summit a grand success. So far, conventions have been conducted in 13 places. Now Vizag is the 14th venue. It may be around 50 summits in all, the last one being the final one at New Delhi in September 2023 (anticipating air pollution from October onwards). Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh is becoming popular these days for hosting international conventions. In March, it hosted a global investment summit at the instance of Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy. Now it is hosting the G20 India Presidency, starting on March 28, for a couple of days. Topics such as environment, fighting corruption, infrastructure development, trade, international tax, public health, etc. are discussed at length.
The delegates from G20 countries and representatives from international organizations such as the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the International Labour Organizations, and World Health Organization etc. attended the convention. The welfare activities of the Andhra Pradesh government, related to education and health care, etc., were appreciated by world health organization and United Nations organizations. It was suggested that the schemes may be emulated by other states. Conducting G20 conventions should lead to better interaction among all political parties in Parliament proceedings. The theme is that the world is one family.
Kantamsetti Lakshman Rao,