Thursday, August 25, 2011

Letter to Editor (The Hindu)

I wrote a letter to the Editor of The Hindu today. I don't know whether somebody in the editorial team of The Hindu will read it or not. Reproducing the letter here nonetheless.


This is with reference to the recent "Lead" articles published in The Hindu on 23rd and 24th Aug, 2011. Not only do I not agree with the analysis and arguments presented in the articles, but also I find these articles to be based on incomplete information.

Ms. Arundhati Roy's article "I'd rather not be Anna" has been refuted based on facts in the following article (not written by me):
I hope you would find the arguments in the above blog substantive and would give ample space to its fact-based analysis in your esteemed publication, so that the large readership, which your newspaper enjoys, does not remain misinformed.

Mr. Prabhat Patnaik's article "Messianism versus Democracy" is theoretically sound but makes grossly mistaken observations about the happenings at Ramlila Maidan. He claims that the "occasion is not used to enlighten the gathering" about "the differences between the Government's Lokpal Bill and the Jan Lokpal Bill". Nothing could be further from the truth, as not only the stage of Ramlila Maidan is used to educate the masses of the differences in provisions of both the bills, members of 'India against Corruption' movement have used print media (The Hindu also, at times), the electronic media, social networking (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube) and even printed pamphalets distributed to doorsteps by volunteers to explain their suggestions to a large section of the society. On the contrary, the 'democratically' elected government has not attempted to defend the provisions of its own bill by any such means and even on the floor of the Parliament. Apart from that, the stage of Ramlila Maidan is used to immediately impress upon the masses about the progress of dialogue with the Government, while the Government's representatives continue to make muffled statements about their stand on contentious issues.

The Hindu, particularly its editorial page, has a large number of followers which is respected for its non-partisan views on the matters of concern to the nation and the world. Due to the prestige associated with The Hindu, the articles published almost decisively transform public opinion on various issues. Therefore, I would like to request the editorial team of The Hindu to publish the articles only after adequate verification for factual correctness, and not based on just the esteem of the author. I am not advocating that various perspectives of an issue should not be brought into public knowledge, but the arguments in any debate must be based on truth and authentic facts, not misinformation or inadequate information.

I sincerely hope that The Hindu will continue to function as a responsible media house bringing quality news to its readers, and take corrective measures to prevent the few aberrations such as the ones pointed out above.

With best regards,

Vikas Prajapati
Dual Degree Student,
Dept of Computer Science and Engineering,
Indian Institute of Technology Delhi,
Hauz Khas, New Delhi - 16

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree with your views on AR's article but I have a few contradictions about Prabhat Patnaik's. No doubt his calling the common people who are coming out of their houses and supporting Anna by the non violent means as spectators is wrong, as it needs more than just being a spectator to show such zeal and vigor. But at the same time I agree with his view that most of the people here in India has an attitude of grovelling, which can very well be seen from the huge gathering even at the time of Baba Ram Dev movement, when most of his demands appeared so vague and point less and this is I believe is mainly due to illiteracy.What every person needs to have here is a sense of judging the condition and must have the ability to form their own views,which unfortunately is missing to some extent.


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