Editorial 1 / General shriek
Editorial 2 / Price of power
Planning for war
Fifth Column / Cinema for the young
About a gender bias
Document / Development as express service
Letters to the editor

The Pakistan president’s address to his nation on Monday has predictably generated deep disappointment in India. Not only did Mr Pervez Musharraf’s speech seem like an exercise in political posturing, but his bellicose style will also undoubtedly worsen relations between New Delhi and Islamabad. There were several aspects of Mr Musharraf’s address that were profoundly disturbing. His claims that infiltration into Jammu and Kashmir had ended and that Pakistan was not allowing its territory to be used by terrorists will not be taken seriously even by allies of Islamabad. There is significant evidence, collected not just by India, to suggest that terrorist camps continue to exist in Pakistan, and that Pakistan’s army and intelligence agencies continue to sponsor many of the jihadi outfits. It is also clear that Mr Musharraf was attempting to turn the tide of international public opinion against India. By demanding that the international community pressurize New Delhi to de-escalate and resume the bilateral dialogue, he was seeking to put India on the defensive. Mr Musharraf is hoping that liberal opinion internationally will respond to his appeal for access of human rights and media organizations into Jammu and Kashmir. Worse still, Mr Musharraf made the outrageous suggestion that “Hindu terrorists” were targetting Muslims and other minorities in India.

The Indian external affairs minister, Mr Jaswant Singh, addressing a press conference, echoed a widely prevalent sentiment that Mr Musharraf’s televised address was “disappointing and dangerous”. Disappointing because it contained mere repetition of some earlier assurances which remained unfulfilled. And dangerous, because Pakistan had not taken firm steps to stop “the lethal export of terrorism” and because the speech involved belligerent posturing which has led to “tensions being raised and not reduced”. Mr Singh was also right in referring to Pakistan as the “epicentre of terrorism”, and in asserting that terrorists targetting India and other countries have received support from the state structure of Pakistan.

It is clear that the ongoing war against terrorism would not be won decisively unless the base camps in Pakistan are closed permanently. Indeed, it is not easy to find a rationale for Mr Musharraf’s belligerent speech. It could well be that by making this extreme and deeply provocative speech for essentially a domestic audience, he is creating an environment in which he will finally act against terrorists and all those who are sponsoring terrorism against India. On present evidence and past experience, however, there seem to be few signs that Mr Musharraf is indeed willing to act. In the next few days, India will have to carefully evaluate its options and decide on a clear policy after considered reflection of the costs and benefits of each move. New Delhi must also systematically gather fresh evidence of Pakistan’s complicity in acts of terrorism and present it before the stream of foreign officials who will be visiting the subcontinent.


In India, ten years of liberalization notwithstanding, the distributor of power in an area enjoys a monopoly. As electricity is a public utility it is crucial that the price of power be established in a transparent manner. To ensure this, regulatory bodies were set up. But it now appears that the awards of these state electricity regulatory commissions are being hobbled by adverse court verdicts. In West Bengal, a division bench of the Calcutta high court struck down the orders of the state electricity regulatory commission. These recommendations had been challenged in court by CESC Limited. The high court bench went one step forward by ruling that a body like the CESC was free to hike tariffs without the prior permission of any agency including the SERC. The CESC would only be tied down by the provisions of the Electricity Act, 1910. This, not to put too fine a point on it, is the death-knell of the SERC. This verdict and its background bring into public debate two issues: the role of regulatory bodies like the SERC and the powers of the courts over regulatory bodies.

The second issue is perhaps more easily dealt with. The judiciary, by definition, is concerned with upholding the laws of the land and penalizing those who violate the laws. It is not clear what laws the SERC had violated. It was set up as a quasi-judicial body to fix the price of power in West Bengal. This is exactly what it proceeded to do. Its tariff-structure may not have met with the approval of the people concerned but that does not constitute an illegality. The high court not only struck down the recommended tariff but also suggested a tariff-structure of its own. This raises a query about the position and function of the SERC. All doubts about who fixes power tariffs should be removed after a review of the statute under which the state power regulators were established. It seems logical to assume that there should be strict limits on the right to seek judicial review of the orders passed by a regulatory body. Such reviews should perhaps be left in the hands of the country’s highest court of appeal. A tariff order may be found to be unacceptable according to the laws of the land, but that should not justify a complete negation of the principle on which the regulatory bodies were set up.


The sky is dark with birds, birds of ill omen, or bringing good tidings, but all of them of only two species — hawks and doves. We are today being exhorted to realize that if we want to remain a self-respecting nation we must go to war — “retaliate” is the word used, actually, we are being told enough is enough, we’ve taken enough casualties already, force must be met with force. We’re also being told just as vehemently that war will get us nowhere, that it will mean heavy expenditure which we cannot afford, and of a level which is not commensurate with any kind of return, that even if we took military action terrorist attacks will not stop.

It’s even been suggested that, while Pakistan can launch its nuclear missile, we haven’t yet got the ability to launch a counter-attack with nuclear weapons before the Pakistani missiles actually hit targets within India. Just how this nugget of wisdom came to the expert analyst who made it is beyond one’s comprehension, since it’s not likely that those in the defence forces who are responsible for any nuclear response we may make (irrespective of any statement by George Fernandes that we will never make a nuclear strike) will share their plans with any correspondent.

But whatever be the arguments for and against some kind of military strike — and there are, on both sides, formidable arguments indeed — we can safely leave them to expert analysts and commentators whose sharpness of perception and cool, rational thinking are very impressive. They will doubtless tell us what we should think. What is of concern in this essay is not the validity or otherwise of these arguments. It is what military action will necessarily involve.

First, we need to remember that military action does not involve contingents of soldiers and artillery and other hardware. Not only. It also involves hundreds and thousands of people, most of whom will be the less well-to-do and the poor, and all of whom will be frightened and therefore not people who can be relied on to act rationally. Their irrational behaviour may hinder military action, and in some cases may even jeopardize it. Take just one example. If a large scale military action is taken then the transport network will be needed to move soldiers and weapons to the front and bring back used material for replacement. Hordes of panic-stricken people climbing into trains or into trucks and buses will not make things easier.

This is only a part of what may happen, and a very minor part. Of greater importance is the shortages that will follow as a result of a war: As the transport networks get taken over as a part of the war effort, goods such as foodgrains, vegetables, cooking oil and other essentials will move much more slowly, resulting in shortages, and the inevitable rise in prices.

Another effect that military action will have will be on medical and educational institutions. Apart from deaths and injuries, the infrastructure needed to maintain these will be affected; schools, colleges and other specialized and professional institutions may well be closed, which will have an effect on civil society for many years to come. In other ways, the day-to-day functioning of services, whether water, power or anything else, all may be affected to a greater or lesser degree.

This is the issue that the government must think out clearly. There is a time-honoured manual for such events, the war book, first put together during World War II, and, while it has been periodically brought up to date, it remains an antiquated manual, which does not contain answers to the thousands of problems that administrators are going to face. It would be well worth the effort to carry out exercises to determine what can go wrong, what is needed to face specific situations and then to provide for them. This can’t be done in a day, or a week; nor can it be expected from administrators once military action starts, unless they’ve been part of an exercise before.

The defence forces have their war games; we all know about them — tanks and soldiers are moved around in simulated battle conditions, aircraft fly sorties against the enemy, even naval ships take part in these games. And these are not done just once; exercises are planned and held regularly, because, quite rightly, that’s how the forces will be kept fighting fit and alert, able to face an attack (or launch one if necessary).

But has a single exercise been done to find out what large scale military action will do to the people in cities and towns? How many times has the effect of war games been the focus of simulated exercises in the Central and state government ministries and their offices? It’s no use sending officers off for “orientation training”, which is what is done by the ministry of personnel and that too in a manner that is far too inadequate for a major eventuality of the kind we’re talking about. They usually send the officers they can spare; but has anyone ever even begun to conceive of a whole administrative network being put through a simulated exercise on what would happen should there be a war, with different levels of destruction? The answer is no, a resounding no. It’s never been done.

You would have thought that, given the kind of disasters that happen with unfailing regularity — cyclones, earthquakes, riots — such simulated exercises would be a vital part of administration; it is not. And then the politicians have the gall to “take erring officials to task” to use the jargon so favoured by our babus in their dog-eared files. Do you send untrained soldiers to fight? No. Then why do you expect that an untrained administrative official will — in some kind of miraculous manner — be able to tackle the consequences of an earthquake? Or, as in this case, of military action, of war?

But they are trained, some Uncle Toms will chorus. The IAS in their academy in Mussoorie, the IPS in Mount Abu, and the officers of other services in their training institutions. They are, but what the Uncle Toms will slyly not tell you, is that they are not trained for such eventualities. Neither in their training academies nor anywhere else. Soldiers are trained in various training institutions, and then keep taking part in exercises on a regular basis. Granted that administrative officials can’t be yanked out lock stock and barrel from time to time for exercises, they can at least once a year. The governance of this country will not suffer overmuch if they were.

Is anyone bothered with this, now that the rhetoric on war has turned purple and passionate ? Of course not. But let war start, let the consequences begin to be felt in day-to-day life, let shortages and prices mount, destroyed roads and bridges not be rebuilt quickly, let medicine stocks run out, examinations be postponed indefinitely, and then a new hunt will begin - for scapegoats.

The author is former secretary,ministry of information and broadcasting


Recent films like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Dil Chahta Hai and Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham have attracted an audience composed mainly of the eloquent and assertive youth, especially in the cities. The actions of the protagonist in this genre of popular cinema are “realistic” — not superhumanly heroic. No wonder today’s generation, which thrives on a diet of coke and designer clothes, on the one hand, and traditional values and patriotism, on the other, identifies with these films. But what has led to the rise of this mode of cinema and why is it so popular?

Mainstream Hindi cinema has developed new narrative strategies in the Nineties, a decade of much socio-economic change which followed economic liberalization. Gone were the crusades against the underworld and social injustices. The relationship between the sexes began to take centre stage instead.

The image of women too changed. Wives were no longer the sari clad idol of passivity. In films like Pyar Tune Kya Kiya and Raaz, they were intelligent, dynamic and fashionable. Kya Kehna and Filhaal look at motherhood in a completely new way. There were also the smart career women of films like Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar and Kasoor, who do not hesitate to bed a co-worker. This is the new woman of the Indian screen — a seemingly happy combination of modernity and tradition.

Adultery sells

Of late, adultery has become quite a selling point. Many films have been made in recent times, in which one partner, usually the husband, is shown as having an extra-marital affair. But note the difference in treatment between the two sexes. In Raaz the hero has an affair on the sly. But the main thread of the story deals with how his wife saves him from the clutches of his lover’s ghost, in true Savitri style. Shifting the focus to the supernatural helps the film elide the tricky issues of infidelity and the wife’s trauma.

Take Dil Kya Kare in which the hero’s momentary attraction results in a sexual encounter on a train. For the hapless woman, the act of love gets swamped under the trauma of motherhood. This is a familiar Bollywood territory — remember Aradhana? — of “punishing” every act of premarital sex with motherhood. In the end of course, the understanding wife forgives the errant husband so that the family can live happily ever after — a resolution that leaves behind a residue of dissatisfaction.

In many ways, Ajnabee’s upwardly mobile couples are representative of the audience the film caters to. The film works under the notion that while the husband can peek at his sexy neighbour, the wife cannot be shown frolicking with her male friend. In case the latter is a diegetic necessity, it must be realized in a “dream sequence”, never in actuality.

Male bias

Judaai, was another film that depicted an “unusual” marriage: the middle class hero is “forced” to take a rich second wife by his first wife. No eyebrows were raised because this was only in keeping with the popular belief that if the male sexual drive is denied a legitimate outlet, it will find gratification elsewhere.

The pan masala chewing urban audience is yet to acquire modernity of the mind. Superficial modernity — lavish homes, exotic foreign locales, imported cars, glamorous dresses, glitzy parties — is all that this upwardly mobile class comprehends.

Interestingly, few recent films go into the taboo topic of female adultery, with the exception of Astitva perhaps. But, even here male deviance is shown as being overlooked while female deviance is punished : the film ends with the much-maligned wife being made to leave home, though not before she mouths a fiery speech.

Mainstream cinema has not really changed at all. Despite all the glamour, notions of shame and honour, purity and pollution associated with women’s behaviour remain the same. The underlying assumption in these films is that while it is not important for a man to control his sexuality, it is imperative for a woman to do so to protect the integrity of the family, caste, race, and finally, the nation. Such assumptions of sexuality, which individuals learn to accept as “common sense”, when magnified through a compelling cultural medium as cinema, leads to enormous distortions which are almost impossible to challenge.


There is something obscene about a minister who heads the department of women and children unabashedly blaming her own gender for “inviting” sexual harassment. Sumitra Mahajan however seems impervious to any such observation. In a recent television programme she came up with a gem. Women who abide by “propriety and modesty” are never sexually harassed, said the minister. “There are women who want to take short cuts to fame in their career, while there are others who are sincere and ready to slog it out”. She heaped her scorn on the first kind. There were no words of reprimand for lecherous men. Mahajan seemed almost ready to lay down a code of conduct for women in general.

Mahajan’s statements take one’s breath away. Did she actually believe whatever she said or was she mouthing the sangh parivar’s views on gender? Mahajan, junior minister in the human resources department ministry run by Murli Manohar Joshi, is known for shooting her mouth off at the most inopportune moments. But it would be difficult to write off Mahajan for being “foolish” in this instance? Surely, she is less proficient in the use of words than Joshi. Which is all the more reason to believe that she would be less able to camouflage the parivar’s views on gender.

Whatever it be, there is no doubt that Mahajan was not airing her personal views on TV that night. Her view on gender was that of the parivar which hates feminism for being an “anarchic” philosophy borrowed from the West where families are falling apart and divorce rates are rising. For Mahajan and her saffron family, there is a sharp line dividing “women like us” and “women like them”. The “immodestly clad”, “loosely behaved, socially promiscuous” women of the West in the last category are joined by women from the netherworld of Islam.

No wonder then that recent reports of violence against Muslim women in Gujarat evoked so little sympathy, and sometime sniggers, from the rank and file of the Bharatiya Janata Party and from ministers. If the defence minister, George Fernandes, came up with his famous statement — “What’s new about women getting raped in riots?” — Mahajan quipped, “Obviously, pregnant women in the camps in Gujarat cannot expect the best of conditions”. Uma Bharti added, “What about the women in Godhra ?”

The nation-state led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government is on a rampage. It wants to squeeze all diversity into what it believes to be the best nationalist straitjacket. The Mahajans are just part of the process. So, expectedly, they have a deep distrust of single women, single parents or divorced women, the fallout of Westernization in India.

If one extends the logic, it will be easy to see why the government’s draft bill against domestic violence sounds like a defence of age-old patriarchy that wants to tighten its hold over all institutions that have kept women under its command. So instead of protecting the battered woman, the government is more interested in protecting the institution of family. Therefore, counselling is mandatory for both the battered woman and her assaulter. Hence it assures the right of the husband to turn his partner out in case she damages his property in a rage. Thus reconciliation between the two is seen as the only “honourable” way out.

Sati-Savitri continues to be touted as the role model for Indian women. Mahajan often cites her own example — as the long-suffering woman who made it despite heavy odds — for others to follow. The deviants naturally have to be tossed into the garbage can. Which is why Mahajan wants journalists to probe the underbelly of Delhi where night clubs are hosting strip-shows by men.

What next? Launch a massive “clean-up society” drive? This seems obvious. If you cannot bring down the incidence of rape, molestation and crimes against women you start attacking the “deviants”. The process is the same as that started by the radical reformists of the late 19th century when an attempt was made to revive the pristine image of a “lost civilization”. The revival of every practice detrimental to women — from child marriage to widow-remarriage and sati — became the nationalist response to the raj.

Now it has become the sangh parivar’s weapon to fight every strand of liberal opinion in the country. Every deformity that becomes evident in society is routed to the West’s evil influence and our lack of pride in Indian culture. So child abuse within families is written off, as is wife-bashing. Even the rape of women, in case they are Muslim, can be dismissed as nothing new because they are the others.

In 1992, the sangh parivar stunned the world by drawing out a large number of women out of their homes to join their male compatriots in an act of destruction. Subsequent riots in Mumbai also saw women turning ruthless and donning a face that hardly resembled the face of Sati-Savitri. But the sangh parivar does not seem to mind women leaving their homes to redeem a “religious sin”.

Let us face a basic truth about this parivar which survives on fanatical passions, obscurantist campaigns and most essentially, on a devastating philosophy of intolerance. Our minister for women’s welfare, when she raises a finger at the “other” women, reeks of the same intolerance that her party so typifies.

One question for Sumitra Mahajan. Who is it that she wants to empower and why? For the stree shakti that her parivar will grant women will deny them all identities other than that of a wife and a mother. The other thing to remember is that when women like Mahajan use the power at their command, they do it to subvert the very notion of women’s empowerment.


Projects relating to bypasses, bridges and four-laning of existing sections of the national highways that are financially viable and bankable would be taken up through private sector participation. Eleven projects involving an investment of about $120 million have already been initiated under the build-own-lease-transfer schemes... The national highway authority of India has been given considerable flexibility to financially collaborate with the private or the public sectors and projects which are not viable on the basis of traffic density will be provided equity/loan support from NHAI. Several other ROB/bypass projects have been proposed under the BOT scheme through state governments. In addition to the projects taken up through private sector participation under the programme of NHAI, some investment would be available under privatization programmes for non-NHAI roads. Thus, given the risk profile of toll road projects and the relative under-development of Indian long-term debt market, private investment in roads is expected to be modest. Therefore, the budgetary support will continue to have a large and crucial role to play in road development .

An overview of availability/accessibility is as following: the railways in India provide the principal mode of transportation for freight and passengers. It brings together people from the farthest corners of the country and makes possible the conduct of business, sightseeing, pilgrimage and education. Indian Railways has been a great integrating force during the last hundred years. It has bound the economic life of the country and helped in accelerating the development of industry and agriculture. From a very modest beginning in 1853, when the first train steamed off from Bombay to Thane, a distance of 34 kilometres, Indian Railways has grown into a vast network of 7,068 stations spread over a route length of 62,495 km with a fleet of 7,206 locomotives, 34,728 passenger service vehicles, 5,302 other coaching vehicles and 2,63,981 wagons as on March 31, 1998. The growth of Indian Railways in the 145 years of its existence is thus phenomenal. It has played a vital role in the economic, industrial and social development of the country. The network runs multigauge operations extending over a 62,495 route kilometre. The gauge-wise route and track lengths of the system as on March 31, 1998 were as under: gauge route km, running track km, total track km — broad gauge (1,676 mm) 43,083 60,550 83,073; metre gauge (1,000 mm) 15,804 16,682 20,343; narrow gauge (762 mm and 610 mm) 3,608 3,676 4,027; total 62,495 80,908 1,07,445 .

About 22 per cent of the route kilometre, 30 per cent of running track kilometre and 29 per cent of total track kilometre is electrified. The network is divided into nine zones and further sub-divided into divisions.

To be concluded



Charity begins at home

Little Miss Charity

Sir — Angelina Jolie, actress and wannabe social activist, recently wished to adopt yet another child, and this time too, as it turned out, the little one was not from the United States of America (“Baby beckons Jolie again”, May 20). As Jolie put it, she wanted a child from “wherever there is a need” and it supposedly made perfect sense “to go to an orphanage and find a child that needs a home”. Why such an orphanage had to be found in a third world country alone is not entirely clear. But Jolie’s effort is truly exemplary. However, Jolie herself seems to be following a trend set by other celebrities — just take a look at Mia Farrow and her brood. While this altruistic trait is commendable, maybe these celebrities need to realize that if they looked around for children to help in the US itself, they would be able to serve the dual purpose of not only providing some of them a home but also help decrease the ever-increasing number of children in US orphanages.

Yours faithfully,
Jauhar Ghosh, Jamshedpur

On sticky wicket

Sir — The recently concluded test series between India and the West Indies has brought to the fore a few serious problems facing Indian cricket. The most serious is the problem of openers. Since the retirement of Navjot Singh Sidhu, the Board of Control for Cricket in India has experimented with at least 10 openers. None of them has successfully stuck for not one possessed the technique and footwork required to negotiate the new ball. As a result, when Sachin Tendulkar comes to bat at number four, only 18 to 20 runs are on the board with two batsmen already back in the pavilion. The pressure on Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and V.V.S. Laxman can only be imagined.

Second comes the problem of the wicketkeeper. Every other country seems to find a wicketkeeper who is a good bat: Adam Gilchrist of Australia, Mark Boucher of South Africa are just two examples. Why not India? Nayan Mongia, who is the best wicketkeeper-batsman available right now, has been sidelined.

India’s long tail has been a sticky area for about a decade now. Fifteen years back, even the number 11 could chip in when the team was in a tight spot. Allrounders of the calibre of Kapil Dev, or even Ravi Shastri, Madan Lal, Roger Binny, Karsan Ghavri or Syed Kirmani are no longer found. Unless the faction-ridden BCCI addresses these problems, even a battalion of foreign coaches will not be able to deliver the goods.

Yours faithfully,
Tapan Das Gupta, Calcutta

Sir — The Indian cricket team has been extremely consistent of late, but only in losing test series abroad. The recent test series in West Indies was lost on the first day of the third test in Port of Spain, Trinidad, when India were bowled out for 101. Although India went on to win the test by 37 runs, it was almost accidental, and the team lost lost the initiative in the next test at Barbados.

The only bright spot of the series has been Sourav Ganguly’s captaincy. He has proved his maturity as a captain. His performance with the bat was not insignificant either. The selection of the final eleven also left much to be desired. Why was a talented opener like Dinesh Mongia not even considered for the five tests? He could have easily replaced Shiv Sunder Das for the fourth and fifth tests. With Wasim Jaffer, he would have made an ideal left hander-right hander combination. And why aren’t players like Ajit Agarkar, who happens to be the only attacking pace bowler in the country now, considered for test matches? What is the use of carrying passengers like Tinu Yohannan if they are never going to be used?

If Daniel Vettori can take six wickets against the mighty Australians in Perth, and if Sri Lanka, deprived of the services of Mutthiah Muralitharan, can make England follow-on at Lords, why can’t India, full of star batsmen, defeat a depleted West Indies in West Indies?

Yours faithfully,
Rahul Dutt, Calcutta

Sir — Once again the Indian batting collapsed against a below-average West Indian team. While the Indian bowlers did a splendid job of restricting the home team to a low score in the second innings of the Jamaica test, the batsmen failed to match it, resulting in the loss of the test and the series. The Indian selectors must make hard decisions now. Opening batsmen who fail to perform in test after test have to be dropped and the middle order has to quit depending on Sachin Tendulkar. A captain cannot be retained only on the strength of his leadership qualities, there have to be runs and wickets against his name.

Yours faithfully,
Richard Saviel, Perth

Sir — The total absence of team effort has, as usual, resulted in India’s loss of the last test series to the West Indies. The much-touted presence of young players could not end the 16-year drought in winning an overseas test series. While there were flashes of brilliance from Mervyn Dillon, Carl Hooper, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Cameron Cuffy, for India, only V.V.S. Laxman could live up to his mark somewhat. The Indian press cannot abdicate its responsibility for creating too much hype around the team and making the players over-confident.

Yours faithfully,
Ashiwani K. Singh, Durgapur

Sir — What on earth prompted Sunil Gavaskar to predict that India would win the test series against the West Indies? The unnecessarily blown up rivalry between Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara also made the Indians feel that Tendulkar would win the series for them. Did the experts bother to consider that not even a third of Tendulkar’s test centuries have won matches for India? Perhaps we need to wake up to the fact that our cricketers always fail to deliver in crunch situations.

Yours faithfully,
Amber Warsi, Calcutta

Face the music

Sir — Cultural policing has always been one of the biggest weapons wielded by fundamentalists, religious or otherwise. The ban on two international music channels, MTV and Channel V, in Bangladesh is definitely a step toward the “talibanization” of the country. It is hilarious to see politicians suddenly assume the authority to decide what is “alien” to a country’s culture. The sangh parivar has been doing the same thing in India by banning Valentine’s Day and announcing dress codes for girls in educational institutions. As the editorial, “Freedom song” (May 24), points out, the Khaleda Zia government of Bangladesh is known for its anti-India stance. For a government that routinely indulges in India-bashing, isn’t it queer that it should follow in the lines of an Indian religious family?

The Marxists in West Bengal too had once decided to do away with English as a subject in government-run primary schools. Underlying this policy was the grand political design to keep the state’s rural population sheltered from the decadence associated with Western civilization and education. It seemed of little consequence that the same Marxist leaders who endorsed the policy sent their own children to the best English-medium schools. This shows that all forms of culture policing breed curious double standards. However, Bangladesh has a strong force of intellectuals. It will not be easy to cower them.

Yours faithfully,
Ranjan Chowdhury, Edmonton, Canada

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