1. Anjali Deshpande and S.K. Pande: Three days of Mumbai terror reporting:
We support the call for restraint reporting, for terrorism has international and national linkages and is often used to destabilise countries. The initial role of some of the media was to grab the eyeballs rather than ask questions and reflect all facets of life as they unfold without adding to the tension strife and trauma in such situations. In some cases the ethics evolved over the years was thrown into the dustbin. Add to it all the fact, that when some restraint began more than a touch of jingoism took over.
If there is one thing the electronic media helped in particular to do in the last three days was to bolster the confidence of terrorists and to give them a sense of achievement far greater than their action may have provided them.
2. While we're on the disgraceful coverage of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai (particularly by our TV news channels), I should link to the critiques from Sevanti Ninan (in The Hindu) and Harini Calamur (who has a lot more on this issue on her blog).
3. Swaminathan Anklesaria Aiyar: Dangers of Bushspeak:
Many Indians, while sympathising with the US after 9/11, pointed out that 6,000 feared dead in the World Trade Centre wasn't a big number compared with 50,000 killed over a decade in Kashmir. The US was getting a small dose of the Islamic terrorism that had long devastated Kashmir, and was over-reacting. The US never equated Kashmiri terrorism with war, and always told India to be calm and not bomb terrorist training camps in Pakistan. But when the US itself got a taste of this at home, it went ballistic, declared it was at war with terrorism, and vowed to bomb and kill all those bad guys.
Cooler heads pointed out that "war on terror" was a meaningless phrase. Terror is simply a tactic used by certain groups, and you cannot wage war against a tactic. You can declare war on an enemy country, but not on an NGO (terrorists are exactly that - non-government organizations). When terrorism arises from an ideology or set of grievances, imaginary or otherwise, killing one bunch of ideologues may simply deepen the grievances and create thousands of fresh terrorists.
4. Shashi Tharoor: Time to improve relations between police & minorities:
We in India also need to recognize that if we want under-represented Muslims to compete effectively for police jobs, they need to feel the police is part of them, rather than an external entity. It's clear we need to: actively solicit applications from minorities for the police at all levels (including the Provincial Armed Constabulary and the Central Reserve Police); offer special catch-up courses open only to members of the minority communities that will prepare them for the entrance examinations; at the moment few feel qualified to take the exams, and fewer still pass; and require police officers to work with community organizations, mosques and madrasas to encourage minorities to apply.
In other words, instead of more "reservations", with the resentment that breeds, let us make it easier for minorities to join the police. But let's not stop with recruitment: we also need to focus on the retention and progression of minority officers. ...
5. The tension between India and Pakistan is so intense that the latter gets spooked by a hoax call:
Pakistani officials said Saturday that a bellicose phone call to President Asif Ali Zardari from India, purportedly placed by the Indian foreign minister, prompted Islamabad to put its air force on high alert before concluding the call was a hoax. [...]