MyVoice: Views of our readers 17th November 2021
It is really laudable that the Supreme Court is forced to view the air pollution problem in Delhi seriously expressing its utter displeasure on the administration in handling the pollution crisis
Banning of books, a pointless act
Madabhushi Sridhar has written a relevant and thought-provoking article (THI, 16th November, 2021) regarding the right to read books. Book banning has a long and illustrious career in India and it is ironically one of the best ways to increase the readership of a book. In the present times, book banning is, in fact, extremely irrelevant too. A book is easily available online in most cases. Access to the readers is never a problem and banning increases only the publicity. Beyond that, it does not make sense. Anyway, reading habits also appear to have gone down considerably with attention spans of the upcoming generations fit only to read social media messages and reflect on them.
Few have the time and energy to read books of some length. Most book bans concern hurting religions, but it is the maturity of the society to allow books to come into the market without resistance. India has a great tradition of 'vada' or debate and the best way to counter intellectual violence is by intellectual responses. Wendy Doniger wrote a (in)famous book 'Hindus: An Alternative History' where she applied discredited Freudian theories to many Indian stories, legends, and gods.
Vishal Agrawal wrote a book countering Wendy's book page to page and paragraph to paragraph showing that her book was more of an alternative for history. The Freudian theories were perhaps more applicable to the author herself as Vishal shows. That is indeed the proper way to address intellectual violence instead of indulging in physical attacks like in the case of Taslima Nasreen. Whatever be the intentions or the level of scholarship of the authors, banning a book is never a solution and neither is physical violence of any kind.
Dr Pingali Gopal, Warangal
It is really laudable that the Supreme Court is forced to view the air pollution problem in Delhi seriously expressing its utter displeasure on the administration in handling the pollution crisis. Very unfortunately, it is to be realised that wherever courts acted on different issues, then only the respective administrations acted swiftly for resolving the crisis and the administrations never found time to identify such problems in the budding stage until pointed out by the court.
All along, the Delhi administration was stating that the stubble burning in nearby states of Haryana, Chandigarh U P, Punjab must be one of the main causes for causing air pollution in Delhi avoiding rectifying the problem which is far from the truth. Ultimately the Centre admitted that enormous house construction activities, tremendous vehicle usage, industries and dust etc are the real culprits that are causing dangerous air pollution in the political capital of the country. The Kejriwal government of course has rightly regulated earlier the traffic movement of the vehicles through the odd - even dates of plying of the vehicles in the capital which too has literally not served the best purpose anticipated.
The Delhi administration should immediately implement a total ban on construction activities, vehicular restrictions etc for a long time in the capital to at least sustain life in the capital let alone allowing any other economic activity.
Katuru Durga Prasad Rao, Hyderabad
There has been a string of coincidences in the semis and the finals of this year's edition of the T20 World Cup. Besides the obvious one of the teams batting second winning the match, it is curious that in all three matches those who batted first lost four wickets, and then lost the match in the 19th over. Remarkably this was done in the last ball of the 19th over in the semis and just one ball earlier in the finals. Anyway congrats to team Australia who went to win the Cup after a string of losses to many countries including Bangladesh. David Warner also made a stunning comeback after being sidelined in the IPL.
Anthony Henriques, Mumbai