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Letters to The Editor — April 7, 2023

Verdict, fettered media

The Supreme Court of India has struck a decisive blow for the protection of free speech and media freedom in its lifting the telecast ban on Malayalam channel Media One and also criticising the use of “sealed covers in courts to outsmart citizens’ rights” (Page 1, “SC says critical views on govt. policies not anti-establishment”, April 6). The press, which is called the fourth pillar of democracy, has a duty to speak truth to power and present citizens with hard facts, enabling them to make choices that propel democracy in the right direction.

P. Sooryanarayana,

Kochi, Kerala

The verdict is a shot in the arm for the freedom of speech and also the press, which is shying away from writing anything against the ruling dispensation lest they be blacklisted and have cases filed against them. The first blow to the freedom of speech was when journalists, activists and even ordinary citizens began to be called ‘‘anti-national’‘ and ‘‘urban naxals’‘ and had sedition charges slapped against them. The government should ponder over the Court’s observation that having divergent views or criticising government policies do not amount to being anti-establishment.

Prabhu Raj R.,

Bengaluru

It is indeed unfortunate that, time and again, the Supreme Court of India has to sensitise the Union government to the fact that an independent media is vital for the country and that homogenised views on socio-economic and cultural issues are an affront to democracy. It is hoped that, henceforth, good sense will prevail over the Union and State governments which seek many ways to throttle the fourth estate.

K.S. Sundaram,

Coimbatore

Threat to delta region

This is with reference to the report, “Coal block auctioning in delta region runs into stiff opposition from farmers” (Inside pages, April 5).

Occurrences of controversial issues — mining in the Cauvery delta region is an example — have become a common feature under the ruling dispensation at the Centre. The Coal Ministry could have averted the present controversy had it perceived the nature of protests by the farmers. Endangering the agriculturally fertile delta region will have terrible consequences.

Manoharan M.,

Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu

Lessons from history

The write-up, “Understanding the Mughals: there are lessons to be learned from every king” (‘Text and Context’ page, April 6), affirms the fact that one can learn things from the past that would help facing challenges; forget the sarcastic statement of the former Prime Minister of England, Benjamin Disraeli, who said history is the endless repetition of wrongdoing. The conclusion of the article, enlisting the benefits from a reading of history, is a case in point.

E.S. Chandrasekaran,

Chennai

#Letters #Editor #April

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