Sir — I completely disagree with the last statement of Amit Roy’s report, “Mother cleared of murder rap” (June 13). Roy asks why an innocent woman, Trupti Patel, who had already suffered three tragedies, was subjected to further torture by trial' He responds to it by suggesting “Was it because she was Indian'” The statement is completely unwarranted and is not based on the facts of this case or those of other related cases. Take the case of Sally Clarke, a British citizen, who was convicted on charges of killing two of her children in similar circumstances. The verdict was overturned on an appeal only after she had already spent 3 years in jail. She was released earlier this year. Why was Clarke, innocent and already suffering for the two tragedies that had taken place in her life, subjected to further torture by making her spend three years in jail' Surely, the question of race or country would not have arisen in this case.
Deepak Jalan, Sussex, UK
Theatre of the absurd
Sir — The proxy war between the mayor of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation and the members of the mayor-in-council, all of whom belong to the same party, had been going on for some time. It is unfortunate that the seven members targetted the municipal commissioner to settle their score with the mayor (“Mayor purge after assault”, June 10). What followed was a comic play. The members, already suspended from the council, were picked up by the police on the basis of a first information report lodged by the municipal commissioner with the mayor’s explicit consent. All this apparently had the tacit support of Mamata Banerjee, who had given the mayor the permission to dissolve the council. Yet in a complete turnaround in court the next day, the Trinamool Congress supremo not only had the members reinstated, but forced the mayor to capitulate on Som. As the party put it, “We would expect him to address the Som issue in the light of the party’s sentiments”. There is no doubt that Subrata Mukherjee changed his stance fearing the loss of his gaddi.
To me the worst culprit in this episode is Banerjee. She always proclaims herself to be the country’s only “value-based” politician. Politicians like L.K. Advani, Ajit Panja, Sudip Bandopadhyay, George Fernandes, Nitish Kumar are all supposed to be corrupt. By calling Debasis Som an agent of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Banerjee has dangerously veered on the side of lunacy. Mukherjee’s abject surrender to the whims of Banerjee make him an object of ridicule. Posts in the CMC were once held by giants like C.R. Das, Subhas Chandra Bose and B.C. Roy . One can perhaps only marvel at the decline of political standards.
Tapan Das Gupta, Calcutta
Sir — Trust the Trinamool Congress for staging a tamasha like the one that hogged headlines early last week. Only Mamata Banerjee could have egged on her mayor to sack his councillors and then forced him to take them back the next day. Does this mean Banerjee has won the war of wits with her once political mentor, Subrata Mukherjee' There can be differences of opinion among leaders of a party. But does this mean the Trinamool Congress has to wash its dirty linen in public every time didi feels threatened by her own party members' Given its squabbling, how can the party even dream of shaking the foundations of the left in the state'
T.R. Anand, Calcutta
Sir — The assault on the municipal commissioner by the Trinamool Congress councillors was abominable. It was right on the part of the mayor to dissolve the mayor-in-council. Why did Subrata Mukherjee have to go back on his word of having a new council' All fingers point to Mamata Banerjee, who staged the drama to settle a purely personal score. Her interference in the corporation episode is deplorable (“Mamata rules, mayor retreats”, June 11). How long will the people of West Bengal have to put up with the silly histrionics of Banerjee' Her flip-flop politics has already made her an object of ridicule at the Centre where she has set a record in resigning and rejecting ministries for some reason or the other. Now she has made the corporation imbroglio risible by appearing in a lawyer’s robe, which is an insult to the judiciary.
The remarks of the councillor, Pradip Ghosh, that he had “shown many a ‘Haridas Pal’” administrator and police officer his place shows the desperation that has overtaken Banerjee’s acolytes in the corporation for failing to have the show run entirely her way. Ghosh needs to be reminded that he is just a neta, shouting from street corners. Neither he, nor his leader, have the calibre to have ever become an Indian administrative service officer.
Kalyan Ghosh, Calcutta
Fuel for thought
Sir — I cannot but take G.S. Mudur’s report on “Professor’s dream ride” (June 8) with a pinch of salt. The claim to an alternate fuel seems more like sales talk. Millions of dollars are being spent on research abroad for a cheap fuel source and hydrogen fuel cells are already a priority on that list. But it is one thing to use a honeycomb metal block to store hydrogen cells and another to make it run an engine for a long duration.
We have seen petrol being made from water by a chemist from Chennai and from fruits. No doubt claims like these make our industry distrustful of our scientific community. How can we expect them as partners in upgrading the products.
Bijit K. Sarkar, Calcutta