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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

On Traffic Sentinel Scheme

The traffic sentinel scheme by itself is a good measure, which has since its inception been able to reduce traffic offences to a certain extent as evidenced by the recent reports of the traffic cell. Citizens are aware that besides the police there are individuals, who can now report traffic offences that can result in penal action being taken against them for violating traffic rules. Being a traffic sentinel myself, I feel that only the traffic police should be authorised to penalise citizens for non-wearing of helmet, as it can result in personal injury solely to the rider of the vehicle. Other traffic offences can be within the purview of traffic sentinels since these offences can risk the lives of other road users. Also a re-think may be required for the mandatory wearing of helmet in certain pockets of cities and villages.

ALLWYN M D’SA, Miramar

 

Sacrifices Made For The Cause Of Humanity

This refers to the article ‘Gandhi’s ideals more relevant today’ by Anil K Rajvanshi (NT, January 30). Suffering and death of Jesus on the cross on Good Friday was not for his own personal interest, nor was it for the interest of his relatives. It was a sacrifice for the interest of our evolution so that we could become more conscious. The execution of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a church leader, who had to sacrifice his life for opposing Hitler, was another such ‘crucifixion’ for the same cause.  Interestingly, January 30, 1948, was indeed a Friday. This day is observed as Martyrs’ Day in our country. Nevertheless, it is another Good Friday. On January 28, 1948, Mahatma Gandhi had said, “If I am to die by the bullet of a mad man, I must do so smiling. God must be in my heart and on my lips. And if anything happens, you are not to shed a single tear.” On the day of Mahatma’s ‘crucifixion’, he walked up to a prayer mandap. At that time, a man came before Gandhiji. The man offered pranam by bending his body at a distance of less than two yards. Gandhiji returned the salute. The man remarked, “You are late today for the prayer.” Gandhiji smiled and replied, “Yes, I am.” But at that moment the man pulled out a revolver and fired three shots from point-blank range. The bullets pierced the frail body of the great leader just below the heart and stomach. Gandhiji collapsed. The assassin was seized by the people who had come to attend the prayer.  Thus, another ‘crucifixion’ was staged on another Friday. This Good Friday of January 30, 1948, was necessary to halt the juggernaut of religious fanaticism, as it made people realise the inherent danger of it. As a matter of fact, we had many Good Fridays that made our ongoing evolution from brutality to humanity possible. We still have miles to go.

SUJIT DE, Kolkata

 

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