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This refers to 'It was a random post, didn't mean to offend, say women in FB row' (IE, November 20). It is strange that acts of violence often go unpunished, while non-violent activities like drawing a cartoon, in the case of Aseem Trivedi, or posting on Facebook, in the case of Shaheen Dhada and Rinu Srinivasan, can land one in jail. Section 295 (A) of the IPC, which punishes "insults or attempts to insult the religion or the religious beliefs", was misused in the Facebook case. The law itself was made to serve a different purpose during British rule. During his visit to India in 2011, the British politician Anthony Lester suggested that this law be changed. He pointed out that the rulers of pre-Independence India were not very concerned with the law's adverse impact on the freedom of expression.
— Srinivasan Anand, Madipur
Time for debate
THIS refers to 'All in the House' (IE, November 20). With the winter session of Parliament about to commence, both the government and the opposition appear to be strategising and engaging in backroom diplomacy. While the Congress is reaching out to both allies and the opposition to build consensus and pass important legislation, the BJP is at its argumentative best, and might challenge the ruling party on controversial issues. With West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee leading the charge for a no-confidence motion, it seems this session will reveal Indian parliamentary democracy at its best.
— Vijai Pant
THE article 'Punjab cops guard religious leaders, industrialists...' (IE, November 20) reveals that police personnel are being used for frivolous duties. More than 5,000 cops are engaged in guarding about 350 VVIPs, and 1,900 personnel have been deployed to provide security for 740 individuals who are not government officials. This seems to compromise the primary responsibility of the police force, which is to maintain law and order in the state. Private individuals should hire their own security instead of relying on the state police.
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- Equality before law must be accompanied by equality in social practices
- Indian policymakers underestimate problems emanating from emerging economies