The author does not seem to have fully taken into account the relevance and importance of national security and public order in “SMS block as threat to free speech” (Business Line, September 1). The freedom enshrined in the Constitution can be enjoyed only if national security and law and order are maintained. Placing temporary restrictions on this in the national interest cannot be termed excessive use of authority.
If the intelligence agencies had acted when the Assam violence broke out, the uncalled-for mass movement of Indian citizens from various parts of the country and the resultant threat to the very integrity of the country could have been avoided. Coming to curtailment of freedom to disseminate information in times of national crisis, it may be recalled that the live telecast of the 26/11 events in Mumbai enabled the perpetrators to issue precise directions to the criminals to commit the crime, unhindered.
If the telecast and mobile telephony had been curtailed for a while, the loss of precious lives and property and the national honour could have been less. The power to take these measures as well as decisions to handle the situation should vest with duly empowered local authorities, and not with distant powers not in the know of local situations.
P. S. Pandyan
This is with reference to “Far from convincing” (Business Line, August 29). The drama unfolding in Parliament on coal block allocation and the subsequent silence of the Prime Minister have strengthened the suspicion in the minds of the public about the large-scale corruption that might have taken place in the allocation.
The huge amount of money lost by the exchequer in these scams could have helped the country build excellent infrastructure.