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MyVoice: Views of our readers 10th March 2021
The editorial page piece by Madhubhushi Sridhar Acharyulu has correctly highlighted that sedition law is more often misused by the powers that be to settle political scores despite the conviction rate is negligible so far since independence
Dissent cannot be stifled
The editorial page piece by Madhubhushi Sridhar Acharyulu has correctly highlighted that sedition law is more often misused by the powers that be to settle political scores despite the conviction rate is negligible so far since independence. The quote from Rig Veda is appropriate inasmuch that the arrest of poet Varavara Rao and climate activist Disha Ravi invoking draconian sedition law by police was prima facie partisan with an intention to make political bosses trigger-happy.
As it is seen, recent trend shows that more often the party in power have been invoking sedition law extensively to criminalise dissent against particular person/persons only with an intent to get him/her arrested by hook or crook even when the whole matter is not seditious at all. In short, the law literally becoming a tool in the hands of government who often try to misuse to quieten disquiet a person who vary with the government's style of functioning or policies or make statements is a clear pointer and a sign of erosion of democracy.
Overall, as there is no evidence to connect the toolkit or violence on Republic Day with IPJ spells danger to the nation or to the government is only a figment of imagination. It is an accepted fact that maintaining order in society always is a necessity and paramount but not at the cost of stifling dissent which is part of democratic process in any civilised nation. Time has come to take a critical view of the sedition law because sedition cases rarely leading to conviction has only a chilling effect on persons who dare to question policies of the government and populist leaders.
K R Srinivasan, Secunderabad
Use technology for public benefit
It is really delightful to know that in the rural areas of Wisconsin school district in the US where internet accessibility is poor the authorities concerned have come out with a project with the help of startups to connect users, especially school children - using drones as a way to access flawless internet connectivity. The drones will be equipped with cell phone devices that can let students and others to go online. The Wisconsin district is one such where issues regarding internet access is very poor. The drone will work on latest technology and will be able to remain aloft for weeks.
The same technology if it is implemented in our own country it would benefit thousands of students and citizens residing in remote areas and localities where net connection is very low. During the lock down months when online studies were fully relied upon there were heavy complaints regarding the poor internet connectivity in many parts of India. Using such novel technology can definitely benefit people . Our internet providers with the help of startups can come out with such projects.
M Pradyu, Kannur
Implement reservation for women in legislatures
Formality of celebrating International Women Day is fulfilled every year on March 8 but without any attitude-change towards women which though being 50-per cent of population, get only a minute representation in law-making system. Many political parties cry for reservation on man-made aspects like religion and caste evidently for vote-bank politics, but oppose reservation to women which still remain dominated section of society created by nature in our male-dominated political system. Even Islamic world including Pakistan and many other democratic countries have adopted reservation for women in legislature.
Election Commission formula to make it compulsory for every political party to give at least 33 per cent party tickets to women may be immediately enforced as an interim measure, till Indian women get their legitimate right for 33 per cent state-wise reservation in legislature. Moreover to prevent wives or other relations being misused as proxy of male politicians, there should be a system whereby name or photo of husband or any other relation may not be permitted in election-campaigns of women candidates. At a time when women-quota in panchayats and local bodies is being increased to 50-per cent from earlier 33-percent, it is meaningless to resist 33-percent reservation to women in legislature. Rather there should be uniform 33-perecent reservation for women at all stages from civic bodies to Parliament.
Madhu Agrawal, Delhi
Sasikala's smart move
Eating a humble pie, Sasikala declaring her disinterest to be active in politics for upcoming assembly elections of Tamil Nadu is tactically a good move for AIADMK party. Her active involvement would have lead a disintegration of supporting base, further weakening the ruling party's stake at hustings. Then it would have helped rival DMK party to sail through. Now the opposing camps are looking equal forces, with a slight tilt of winning probability towards DMK camp.
Dr D V G Sankararao, Nellimarla