Expediency is of the essence
The Justice Vishnu Sahay Commission, inquiring into the Muzaffarnagar riots, has asked for an extension of its tenure and the UP government is considering giving it. The deadline was Monday, November 11, 2013. Apparently there is some justification in it. The commission has received 350 written statements and has visited Muzaffarnagar, Bagbhat, Meerut and Sahranpur districts, which were affected by the violence in September. However, time is of the essence. The one-man commission and the UP government should not appear to be dragging their feet.
The rehabilitation of the displaced people is nowhere complete and the situation is fast becoming Gujarat-like. If the refugees fear returning to their homes, lands and livelihood, the government must address the reasons. Restoration of the status quo ante, communal harmony and the sense of security among the riot-affected should be considered by the UP government as its own exigency.
Mookhi Amir Ali

Iron Man’s sterling contribution
I quite agree with Amulya Ganguli that there were many differences between Nehru and Patel , ‘Nehru-Patel divide can’t be ignored’ (November 10). Where I differ is on ‘secularism’. Luckily though, he has conceded that the Congress’s secularism was ‘of a warped variety’ because of its emphasis on preferential treatment of minorities. There is also no doubt that Patel was a much better administrator than Nehru. He brought about the merger of about 600 princely states into the Indian Union. The only state merger that was left to Nehru – the Kashmir state – is in a total mess even today! It was Nehru who gave a clean chit to the Muslim League after Independence. Sadly, Nehru’s lopsided secularism was continued by the Congress Party! Equally sad is the fact that the Iron Man was not given his due by the Nehru dynasty, as also the ‘secular’ media.
Shreeram Paranjpe

All eyes on Campa Cola
The populist moves by MPs Priya Dutt and Milind Deora, trying to gain mileage from the plight of Campa Cola residents is bound to misfire; they may gain a few hundred votes; but they are guaranteed to lose lakhs of votes; as the present atmosphere is surcharged with anti-corruption cries from the masses. Lakhs of people are going to take offence to any ordinance regulating the illegal Campa Cola construction, which is being minutely monitored by various activist groups.
In short, it will be suicidal for the Congress or any party to legalise an illegality, try your experiment, face the consequences.
Ashok Goswami

Matter for the CJI
This refers to the report of an intern affiliated with a Supreme Court judge (now retired), about her being harassing in a hotel-room. Such allegations are serious enough to be suo-moto enquired by Chief Justice of India to save the image of the Indian judiciary being tarnished by some elements having somehow found a place in higher judiciary. After all, judges also come from the same society as us, where there are good and bad elements. Even the President of India, as head of the nation, should personally take cognisance of the highly shameful allegations by the young girl associated as an intern with the said judge. All others concerned, including the Department of Justice, the Union Ministry for Women and Child Development and the National Commission for Women should look into the matter in their own capacity, apart from raising the issue with the Chief Justice of India.
The courage of the young girl in speaking about the matter should be appreciated, while in most such cases, ladies bear such harassment silently for fear of their honour. However, if the girl would have spoken about the matter soon after the notorious December 16, 2012 gang rape, when the concerned judge was not retired, it would have been timely.
Madhu Agrawal

Sachin stamp of elitism?
By issuing a postage stamp in honour of Sachin Tendulkar, acknowledged by many of his fans as a living legend, the government is making an exception only for a second time. The only time they released a 30p. stamp in 1980 was for Mother Teresa. Even Mahatma Gandhi did not qualify for the honour after India’s Independence. Stamps honouring Mahatma Gandhi were issued only after his death. It is difficult to understand government’s criteria for issuing stamps honouring great achievers. There is an advisory committee in the philatelic bureau of the postal department to decide on the suitability of issuing any stamp. Was its opinion taken to issue a stamp on Sachin Tendulkar? It looks politicians and those in power in the BCCI seem to have roadrollered the postal department into endorsing their decision.
Normally stamps issued honouring individuals are issued in the denomination of ordinary envelope rates, currently Rs 5. Why they are issuing two stamps, both in the denomination of Rs 20 is beyond one’s reasoning. Is it a deliberate
ploy to keep away his ordinary fans and cater
only the elite?
Countries like the UK issue stamps on Olympic gold medal winners. We never thought of honouring Abhinav Bindra, our only Olympic gold medallist to date. Even a country like Australia thought it appropriate and fit enough to issue a one-dollar stamp on Bindra after the Beijing Olympics. It also issued another two dollar stamp on Bindra during the Sydney Olympics in 2000, acknowledging the fact he was the youngest competitor in shooting at the age of 17. By comparison, doesn’t the world champion in chess, V Anand , deserve a stamp after bringing great laurels to the country?
As long as politicians and fixers decide on matters doling out favours, these aberrations will continue in our country. This is another instance of ‘All men are equal and some are more equal.’
K Venkataraman

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