Protect and perish
Sir — After his gaffes, George W. Bush specializes in double standards. Pontificating on free trade and slapping huge tariffs on imports into the United States of America seem to be his latest pastime. He has already lost the battle with the European Union over the unfair tariffs imposed on steel exports into the US. The report, “China hits back at US with tariff hike” (Nov 21), shows how countries at the receiving end are now beginning to take retaliatory steps. Far from putting the flagging US economy back on track, Bush’s populist measures are signals of the storm clouds gathering over the global economy.
Arijit Mandal, Calcutta
Sir — The Safdar Hashmi and Naina Sahni cases, pending since 1995 and 1989 respectively, had to do with cold-blooded murder. The accused were also arrested in time. So why were the cases pending for so long' Justice delayed, it is said, is justice denied. But in a country like India, justice delayed is far better than justice denied. The judiciary should realize that cases like these ought to be dealt with swiftly. Only then can crimes of such a heinous nature be prevented.
N.S. Dua, Calcutta
Sir — The “tandoor killer”, Sushil Sharma, was given the death sentence by the additional sessions judge, G.P. Thareja (“Tandoor killer Sushil to hang”, Nov 8). Hopefully, this death sentence will act as a deterrent for such heinous crimes. It is now for the Delhi high court to confirm the judgment.
Saibal Basu, Calcutta
Sir — The accused in both the Naina Sahni and Safdar Hashmi cases deserved nothing less than the death sentence. While this was handed out to Sushil Sharma, the prime accused in the first case, Safdar Hashmi’s killers have only been given a life sentence. So there is little to exult really in justice being delivered finally.
Afsar Hosain, Calcutta
Sir — The photograph of “the world’s first and only orangutan boxing show” (Nov 18) is a slur on mankind. How could The Telegraph publish it, especially since it carried the article, “Hidden treasure”, (Oct 22), on animal rights' Animal rights is not about loving animals more than people, or about putting their needs ahead of our own. It is about protecting animals from cruel and unfair treatment, just as we expect to be protected. Animals have the right not to be tortured, or killed — except in self-defence — or imprisoned in zoos, circuses and parks to “amuse” humans.
Some people think that humans are superior to animals, who have no feelings or intelligence. Does this mean that intelligent individuals have greater rights than those who are intellectually impaired due to illness or accident'
Concerned individuals should write protest letters to the high commissioner of Thailand, so that the show may be banned immediately.
Radhika Bose and five others, Calcutta
Sir — Zoos in our country are in a very poor state as a result of the carelessness of the government. The elephants do not get enough drinking water and the condition of the other animals is not much better either. Zoos should be privatized in order to protect endangered animals in our country.
Soham Gupta, Calcutta
Sir — Newspaper reports often include quotes from “self-professed” animal activists who spew venom against cruelty to animals. But if their actions matched their words, Indian animals, both wild and domestic, would not have been in their present pitiable condition.
Arup Sen, Calcutta