Letters to the Editor: During war, beware of disinformation
Ring side view
Sir — Communication is vital during a crisis. While the radio formed the eyes and ears of the masses during the two World Wars, television brought the battle in Vietnam into American living rooms. Similarly, TikTok has emerged as the most important storytelling platform in the Ukraine conflict, with citizens capturing the war from the frontlines. These digital creators have not only provided us with striking videos of the invasion, but also helped shape the global narrative against Russia. However, we must remain careful about disinformation, which can be fatal amidst a war.
Sir — In a historic move, Punjab has placed its trust on the Aam Aadmi Party, a relatively young political outfit. The AAP won in Punjab not because of one charismatic leader but because people are hoping for good governance. Several of the newly sworn-in members of the legislative assembly, including the chief minister, Bhagwant Mann, hail from ordinary backgrounds. Such humble origins are bound to resonate with the masses.
Sir — Only time will tell if the AAP under Bhagwant Mann can live up to the expectations of the people of Punjab. The government will have to be prudent — it must implement austerity measures — if it is to fulfill all its poll promises. In this respect, the expensive victory rally undertaken by Mann seems to have been a mistake.
Sir — The University Grants Commission is planning to introduce a post of professor of practice to which industry experts can be recruited directly even if they lack a doctoral degree (“PhD-minus plan sparks Nagpur backdoor entry fear”, Mar 17). This is a welcome move. While research must be encouraged, obtaining a PhD is often not possible for many people. Given the abysmal teacher-student ratio at present, such fears might be misplaced.
Sir — The UGC must not use the post of professor of practice to fill universities with undeserving lackeys of the party in power at the Centre. Educational institutions must remain autonomous.
Sir — On March 15, the US Senate unanimously condemned the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, as a war criminal for killing thousands of Ukrainians. Since Russia invaded Ukraine, many Western nations have imposed sanctions against the former. More than 400 global brands have withdrawn their businesses from Russia. However, India has been reluctant to undertake a similar course of action. While India has the right to put its citizens first and not get caught up between two warring factions, it must consider the plight of Ukrainians before taking any decision.
Sir — India has neither supported the Russian invasion nor joined other countries in condemning it. This stance may have been criticized but remaining neutral is the smartest choice that India can make as far as the Ukraine crisis is concerned.
Sir — The International Court of Justice has ordered Russia to cease hostilities in Ukraine. But Russia is unlikely to comply. Such orders have been passed before and countries that refuse to abide by them are referred to the United Nations Security Council, where Russia holds veto power. The question that arises then is this: what power does the UN, which is responsible for global peacekeeping, have in curbing unprovoked aggressions, especially by the five permanent members of the Security Council?
Jang Bahadur Singh,