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Easy come, easy go

Sir — One is not sure which of the two is more shocking — that the Mumbai police do not have Anees Ibrahim’s fingerprints or that they have lost them (“Fingerprint hole in Anees mission”, Dec 11). Either way, the goof-up demonstrates the incompetence of the Mumbai police and the Central Bureau of Investigation and betray their casual attitude towards a crucial investigation. Surely, the CBI does not expect the United Arab Emirates authorities to meekly hand over Ibrahim without even asking for proof of the latter’s identity' Or does the CBI believe the UAE authorities are as unprofessional as their Indian counterparts'

Yours faithfully,
Miriam Dhanerawala, Calcutta


For humanity’s sake

Sir— Ghazala Wahab’s article, “For God’s sake!”(Dec 7), raises an important question — has minority bashing become the favourite sport of most Indians' If recent events are any indication, it would certainly seem so. Hindu fundamentalism has existed alongside Muslim fundamentalism for a long time. There were also people who believed that Muslims have no place in India, but they comprised a negligible minority. It is the sangh parivar that brought this minority to the fore and converted the feeling into a majority sentiment. The rath yatra and Ayodhya fed this sentiment. But the greatest damage to Indian society was caused by the Gujarat pogrom and Narendra Modi’s anti-minority rhetoric since.

A basic disaffection among the Indian middle classes has furthered the sangh’s agenda. With the terrorist strike in the United States of America, this anti-Muslim rhetoric in India has gained more currency, even among liberal Hindus. The only way to combat the growing fundamentalism, both Hindu and Muslim, would be to organize an alternative campaign to remind the people of this country of India’s great secular tradition and the cherished ideal of amity between communities that is enshrined in the Indian Constitution.

Yours faithfully,
Mita Deb, Calcutta


Sir — “For God’s sake!” made for interesting reading. Although the article suggests that most of the ideas held by the majority community against Muslims are a myth, there are some points that need reiteration. One, religion invariably crops up in every issue associated with Muslims. This is partly because Muslims, as a religious community, have been shamelessly exploited by political parties. Two, it is difficult to understand the rigidity of the community regarding its personal law, and its reluctance to go in for secular education. This tendency, together with the current trend of world terrorism that has seen largescale Muslim involvement, has further marginalized the community. Today, Muslims all over the world are viewed with suspicion.

Muslims in India could take the initiative to opt for a more secular education. A more liberal and open-minded approach of the community heads might salvage the situation for them.

Yours faithfully,
Yashpal Singh Patwal, Ghaziabad


Improved telephony

Sir — The self-advertisement the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited indulges in from time to time as evidence of improving service is risible. Telephone bills still do not reach subscribers on time and the latter have to pay a surcharge for the delay. The postmen entrusted with the responsibility of delivering the bills to individual households often dump them in one letter box. Since it is the inefficiency of both the postal and telephone departments that is often responsible for the delay in payment, it is unfair to ask subscribers to pay an additional charge. Telephone bills should carry useful information such as the working hours of the cash offices of the telephone department.

Yours faithfully,
Kenneth Abreu, Calcutta


Sir — Reliance Infocom Limited’s announcement that it is going to launch wireless in local-loop services all over the country from December 28 is good news. Reliance is supposed to provide telephone services at Rs 14,500 for three years, during which all incoming calls of the subscriber will be free of charge.

To give a fillip to telecommunications, all private telecom companies should be asked to give 10 per cent of their revenue to a national telecom and information services development fund. Its proceeds could help set up rural telephone booths.

Yours faithfully,
T.H. Chowdary, Hyderabad


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