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Thursday, May 15, 2003

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Symbols of peace

Sir, — The distribution of tridents by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad has become a controversial issue with the Rajasthan Government banning it and Maharashtra proposing to follow suit.

The media has in general taken umbrage at the "trishul diksha" initiation ceremony.

It may not be proper to oppose the distribution or carrying of the trident which is a religious symbol. The Constitution itself, for instance, has provided for the carrying of "kirpans" by Sikhs.

It is, however, a different matter if any object, when "trishul," "lathi," "kirpan" or a gun is sought to be misused for inflicting harm. The misuse of any object, religious or otherwise, needs to be dealt with a firm hand.

K. Ramachandra Rao,

Mysore, Karnataka

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