Sir — The editorial, “Wrong move” (Nov 27), made some good points in the context of the current developments in Egypt. Buoyed by the ceasefire that he brokered in the wake of the recent Israel-Palestine conflict, the president of Egypt, Mohammad Mursi, is now busy reinforcing his position at home. The decree that he has issued — it places his decisions above judicial scrutiny — might preserve his government in the short run. However, it may also prove to be detrimental to democracy. Mursi has made quite a few constitutional amendments that are purported to invest him with far-reaching powers. But they also have the potential to weaken parliamentary institutions. By making the president a law unto himself, he has effectively forestalled judicial intervention in the drafting of the constitution. If he turns into another dictator, the blood that was spilled for the sake of democracy would have been wasted.
Mursi is perhaps too acutely aware of an over-reach by the court in post-Mubarak Egypt. However, his dictatorial steps are unlikely to be supported by every citizen. Most Egyptians are against the strong Islamist slant of the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated government that seeks to strip the judiciary of the democratic credentials vested in it. Egypt needs a swift and complete transition to democracy.
P.B. Saha, Calcutta
Sir — The president of Egypt, Mohammad Mursi, has acted skilfully. He has positioned himself as a bridge between the West and the Middle East. His credibility is also stronger as compared to that of Hosni Mubarak, since Mursi’s government came to power after securing the approval of the people of the country. He has used his office to usher in a state of peace following the clash between Israel and the Hamas. His mediation was a crucial milestone in building confidence among the people in the strife-torn area. It has marked him as a man of reason.
If Mursi can steer his administration clear of any charges of irregularity and provide effective governance, then his credibility will be further boosted in the international community. He should also draw lessons from the fate of Mubarak. That should help him avoid making the same mistakes.
Ranajoy Sen, Calcutta
Sir — The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has indicted several reputed household brands for making misleading claims about their food products (“Shelf to street, scanner on daily habits”, Nov 27). Notices have been sent in 19 other cases in which companies have allegedly made dubious claims or released misleading information about their food products. While the action taken is laudable, it is not clear why it took such a long time to initiate it. These false claims have helped the companies reap huge profits.
S.B. Gupta, Calcutta
Sir — It was heartening to read the report about the action taken by the FSSAI against companies that have allegedly been misleading their customers. However, in such cases, an equal amount of media coverage is seldom given to the punishment meted out to the companies, if they are proved guilty. While one is assured that the authorities are taking action against the guilty parties, the penalty is often minor. Civic bodies should take steps against such a malaise. Hoardings should be erected to educate the public about such cases.
A.P. Paine, Calcutta
Sir — Some Metro railway stations have been renamed after famous Bengali personalities (“Much in a name”, Nov 29). The new names, such as Mahanayak Uttam Kumar or Kavi Subhash, are confusing passengers. Foreigners and people from outside the city face a lot of difficulty while trying to understand which name refers to their destination. Some passengers also confuse ‘Netaji Bhavan’ with ‘Netaji’. The stations should be named after the places or important landmarks close to them. If the new names are retained, the electronic voice should announce the erstwhile names of the stations along with the new names.
Soumya Bhattacharya, Calcutta