Massacres we inflicted

ABOUT a thousand innocent Indians were killed and about 1,500 injured in the Jallianwala Bagh massacre that the British had enacted mercilessly a century ago. These days befitting tributes are being offered to condemn this ghastly inhuman act. Both in 1984 and 2002, a much higher number of innocents than the above tragedy were butchered, not by the British, but shamefully enough, by our own people. Would one have to wait for hundred years or more to witness the condemnation of these tragedies on such a large scale?

Balvinder, by mail

But for them, we’d starve

The growing number of suicides by farmers is a serious matter. Drought and floods have caused extensive damage to crops in large parts of the country. In Punjab and Haryana, white flies have destroyed cotton crop. Defective seeds given to farmers have also been responsible for crop failure. Farmers have become bankrupt. In the past year, more than 5,000 farmers have committed suicide. The government must provide immediate relief to farmers. We all will starve if farmers are forced to give up farming. 

Harjot S ‘Chauhan’, Anandpur Sahib

Another googly?  

The editorial ‘Imran’s flip-flop’ (April 12) explains his position as Prime Minister. He talks peace with India to restart talks — an issue he raises internationally — but never talks about his intentions to tame terrorists. The government in Pakistan is under the de-facto control of its army, which is indulging in subversive activities in India, Afganistan and Balochistan, through its ISI. So what he utters about Indian elections and leadership may only give some political ammunition to parties to target one another to garner sympathy and votes. India has made it clear that firm action against terror groups is a precondition to talks. There is no logic to what Imran says.

RL Bansal, Kurukshetra

Imran’s U-turn 

Pakistan PM Imran Khan has emerged as the first world leader who has openly endorsed PM Modi’s return to power. His siding with the topmost BJP leader was quite unexpected. It appears as if Pakistan has been hired to campaign for Modi. Some time back, Modi had said in a rally that terrorists and their supporters across the border were praying for his defeat. Imran Khan is playing a good and bad cop to his own and international galleries. 

PL Singh, by mail

Photocopy is not proof

Reference to the editorial ‘Resurrection of Rafale’ (April 12); the SC has admitted ‘stolen’ papers in the review plea, but as per the prevalent practice, photocopy of documents is not accepted as evidence under the Indian Evidence Act, unless the original documents are shown in the court.  Secondly, ‘stolen’ documents are never submitted in court, nor are they accepted by it. It is a normal procedure for all courts in India. If such a practice is adopted, it will open the floodgates in the judicial system to encourage ‘criminal’ mindsets who may adopt such practices to jeopardising the free and fair judicial system.  People may steal sensitive documents from government offices through bribe and other temptations, causing serious damage to our democracy. 


Secrecy clause 

The SC has rightly dismissed the government’s concerns (‘Resurrection of Rafale’; April 12). It will stop the blatant misuse of the secrecy clause. This will also make it legally clear that the Official Secrets Act (OSA) cannot be invoked to escape legal scrutiny on matters involving public money. The primacy of right to information over the OSA reaffirms a citizen’s right to know. What falls under ‘official secrecy’ in a democracy needs a review. 

Mona Singh, Amritsar

Tantalising twist 

Apropos the editorial ‘Resurrection of Rafale’ (April 12), upholding the freedom of the press to publish documents marked ‘secret’, the SC has rejected the government’s case of seeking privilege and will hear the review petition. That could lead to a tantalising turn in the Rafale case. These developments have brought the regime’s self-righteous self-certification on being the best guardian of the country’s security interest, and on probity, under serious examination.

SS Paul, Nadia

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