Sir — Necessity is the mother of invention. Indians often devise unique and quirky life hacks — known as jugaad in common parlance — to make everyday tasks easier. Recently, I was pleasantly surprised to see that a tea-seller has fixed a table fan near his earthen stove to avoid manually fanning the flame to control the heat. Be it kitchen hacks or workplace innovations, many such tactics are adopted by those who cannot afford sophisticated technology. Feats of creativity and engineering are not confined to elite institutions. Innovation can be found in the unlikeliest of corners.
Sir — The criminal procedure (identification) bill, 2022, which enables the collection and storage of a wide range of biometric data, raises serious concerns (“Deep marks”, Mar 31). It will allow the police to collect data without the approval of the magistrate. The wide scope and the ambiguities within the bill have led to apprehensions that the collected information could be used for politically-motivated arrests. But such measures should only be introduced if there is a strong data protection law in place. The bill should be referred to a standing committee for further scrutiny.
N. Sadhasiva Reddy,
Sir — The ambiguity in the criminal procedure (identification) bill, 2022, which allows for biometric data to be collected from “convicts and other persons” without defining who constitutes ‘other persons’ is alarming. It will enable the police to gather information about anyone they deem suspicious. The police are already prejudiced against people from certain communities — a 2019 Common Cause-CSDS survey found that the police believe that Muslims, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes are more likely to commit crimes. If this bill is passed, it will lead to further marginalization of these communities.
Mend the cracks
Sir — The Indian government has swiftly responded to crises brewing in two of its neighbours in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives and Sri Lanka (“Friend in deed”, Mar 30). New Delhi has promised financial assistance to Sri Lanka, which is facing its worst economic downturn in decades. But the situation in the Maldives is more complicated.
The former president of the Maldives, Abdulla Yameen, is leading an anti-India movement. The country should remember that India was among the first nations to recognize it after its independence in 1965. In 2014, when the Maldives was facing an acute water crisis, India sent a large consignment of water. India has always stood beside the Maldives in its hour of need.
Sir — It is unsurprising that the Uttar Pradesh government has not appealed for the cancellation of bail to Ashis Mishra, the main accused in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, in spite of a recommendation from Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain, who is overseeing the probe (“VIP son’s bail heat on UP”, Mar 31). As long as Ajay Mishra Teni, the father of the accused, remains in power — he is the minister of state in the Union home ministry — it will be futile to hope for justice. It is clear that the Uttar Pradesh government is not conducting the investigation fairly.
Sir — The Tamil Nadu chief of the Bharatiya Janata Party, K. Annamalai, has made baseless allegations against the chief minister and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam supremo, M.K. Stalin. The BJP senior leadership should warn Annamalai against such conduct before he loses credibility. The DMK is right to issue a legal notice demanding his unconditional public apology for defamation.
Tharcius S. Fernando,