Sunday, Nov 09, 2003
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Letters to the Editor
Sir, The Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly's decision to "punish" The Hindu for breach of privilege has come in for a lot of flak around the country, and rightly so.
As is clear from William Randolph Hearst's famous dictum that news is "something somebody doesn't want you to print", a newspaper has a difficult, but an important, role to play in a civil society. Without freedom of the Press, we cannot hope to get an uninterrupted flow of information and comment.
G. David Milton,
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Sir, The Tamil Nadu Government, with the legislative numbers brutally tilted in its favour, has arrogated to itself the power to silence any criticism. This has to be viewed as a direct attack on the democratic fabric of India and has to be condemned unequivocally. N. Ram's remark that "the entire episode might lead to some good" deserves special attention.
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Sir, I take this opportunity to express my solidarity and support to you. We, the Opposition members of the Tamil Nadu Assembly, raised strong protests in the House, over the punishment meted out to reputed journalists. I condemn the high-handedness of the present Government and the manner in which the Government machinery is being persistently misused. This outrageous act curtails not merely freedom of speech and expression but the very tenets of democracy. Those responsible will certainly pay a heavy price for this misadventure.
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Sir, The Assembly has revealed its narrow outlook by giving a verdict against the media, thereby reversing the process that started with `The Right to Information Act ' which expanded the scope of `Right of Press'/ `Right to Know'' under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution. It appears that a nodal agency of democracy has taken a toll on democracy itself.
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Sir, The present Tamil Nadu Government has proved yet again that it has little respect for
the Constitution and its values. The entire nation is with you in the fight for the freedom of expression.
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