The situation on November 21 indicates that the City of Joy is fast losing its reputation. Law and order went for a toss and people were subjected to harassment. Even children were not let off this time. When there are pressing issues like global warming to worry about, such acts of violence can be interpreted as a planned way to indulge in lawlessness. It is not possible to feel safe under such circumstances.
Calcutta has been known for its cosmopolitan culture, developed by love, compassion, harmony and synthesis of more than 100 years of coexistence of Hindus and Muslims. But today Calcuttans don’t feel safe, specially children who are not even acquainted with a word like curfew. A sense of insecurity has made society very tense. People now think twice before leaving the safety of their homes.
KAUSHIK KANSA BANIK,
Yes. I do feel safe in Calcutta even after November 21. It was an accident. We cannot say that the city is unsafe just for that day.
Yes. The nuisance on November 21 was created by some hooligans and did not reflect the true emotion of people. I congratulate the police for not opening fire even after the mob’s extreme provocation. Antisocial activities should not cause panic among us.
The term safety can be applied in two contexts — physical safety and individual liberty. Calcutta is not new to violence. In the past, it has seen many lives being lost and huge damage to property caused. But the matter now is more significant since our cherished democratic right, freedom of expression, is at stake. It is being rendered meaningless by hooliganism in the cultural capital of India. If democratic temper is allowed to be sacrificed in this manner, the whole edifice of democracy becomes vulnerable. We would not feel safe at all if we have to succumb slavishly to the “spontaneous outbursts” of fanatics.
SACHINDRA NATH MITRA,
Calcutta has always been famous for being a secular city. The incident that took place on November 21 was an exception. Hence there is no question why we should not feel safe here.
One cannot say that Calcutta is not a safe place because of one incident of violence. We need to sort out the political problems which are causing such a situation. However, I think bandhs should be totally banned since it is a problem crippling the city.