Be responsible: Elon Musk contracts Covid-19
Sir — The tech entrepreneur, Elon Musk, has recently stated that he “most likely” has a moderate case of Covid-19 but has been getting varying results from different labs. Musk had initially played down the seriousness of the contagion. While it is understandable that Musk might be frustrated that the tests are yielding different results, to call the procedure “bogus” in the midst of a pandemic is irresponsible. Opinions of public figures hold disproportionate weight and such statements will only enable those denying the seriousness of Covid-19 to further flout precautionary measures.
Sir — The political situation in the United States of America continues to be turbulent even after the results of the historic election, held earlier this month, had decisively declared the Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, as the 46th president of the country. But there is still some time before the Biden administration takes over the reins in the White House, and the charges of fraudulent elections — the outgoing president, Donald Trump, continues to allege that the 2020 election was “stolen” from him — have made the transition incredibly challenging. The clashes between Democratic and Republican voters that had erupted on the streets of the US during the counting was unimaginable. This really has dented the democratic credentials of the country. Although this election was challenging in many ways — a record number of mail-in ballots were cast in view of the pandemic — it is hoped that future elections will be conducted smoothly.
Recently, thousands of Trump supporters marched in Washington, DC to back the president’s unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud. Reportedly violent skirmishes broke out as well. It seems that there is little chance of a peaceful transition. Like many countries around the world, America, too, is facing an unprecedented political crisis. It is now up to progressive and liberal individuals to remedy the situation.
P. Senthil Saravana Durai,
Sir — It is a matter of great concern that the outgoing president of the US, Donald Trump, is refusing to admit defeat in the 2020 presidential elections and extend cooperation to the president-elect, Joe Biden, and his staff. Biden is right to say that Trump’s behaviour is an “embarrassment”. He is not only further damaging his legacy but has also torn America’s vibrant democratic traditions to shreds.
The people of America have clearly shown through the ballot who they want to lead the country in these turbulent times. Trump continued to make false claims throughout the counting process and is now alleging “voter fraud” without any evidence. Now the administration is doing all it can to prevent Biden from assuming office in January. In spite of that, Biden has shown that he is up for the challenge and has already announced a coronavirus task force to combat the worsening situation. His transition team has continued to work in spite of the hurdles. It is this dedication to the service of the nation that sets this administration apart from its predecessor. It is time for Trump to gracefully bow out without causing any further damage to the dignity of the office he held for the last four years.
G. David Milton,
Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu
Sir — The decision of the Supreme Court to grant interim bail to Arnab Goswami rightly holds up the principle that bail is the rule, not the exception (“Liberty first”, Nov 16). The speed with which the hearing was conducted must be lauded. However, we also need to remember that several students, activists, lawyers and teachers, many of whom have been incarcerated without sufficient cause, continue to languish in jail for years. Varavara Rao, Sudha Bharadwaj and Stan Swamy — all suffering from ill health — have found bail to be elusive even when applied for on medical grounds. It is time that these cases, too, are heard urgently. It is only now that Rao will be shifted to Mumbai’s Nanavati Hospital for 15 days.
The judicial system in India has long suffered from a backlog and postponements in hearings. Along with that, in recent times, questions have been raised regarding the increasing invocation of the principle of scandalizing the court, which many believe can be detrimental to free speech. At a time when many countries around the world have done away with the provision, perhaps India should consider doing the same.
The Supreme Court’s fast handling of the case must act as an example of how the judicial system is expected to function at all levels. The courts must ensure that the personal liberty of citizens is ensured at all times without exception.