The changes proposed by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) in disclosure norms, giving listed firms the option to present consolidated financial statements under the International Financial Reporting Standards, are a welcome move (Mint, 11 November). Since this is optional, there won’t be any confusion, and it’s beneficial from the investors’ point of view. Sebi is mulling more proposals, such as presenting balance sheet along with quarterly results. In this volatile world, governance and risk management go together, and timely information is vital.
— K.N.V.S. Subrahmanyam
I do not agree with your premise that India is a soft state (“A soft state called India”, Mint, 26 October). I think India is a brutal, unintelligent and totally unprepared state as far as dealing with crime and terror is concerned.
Your article also switches between unrelated issues and gives a false sense of reality. As far as hostages are concerned, the prime function of any authority is to ensure the safe return of its own people, whether civilians or serving officers. The ideal way to do this would be to mount a rescue operation which would minimize the risks for the hostages and cause maximum damage to the hostage takers.
India is pathetically unprepared to mount such rescue attempts. Our equipment is substandard and the level of training and preparedness of our agencies is far below optimal. In such a scenario, giving in to the terrorists’ demands appears to be the only way to secure the release of civilians and serving personnel. I do not know of any police force which can boast of a fit and ready team of officers.
Instead, our police force is known for all the wrong things. Our police force is known for custody deaths, encounter killings. The state of Maharashtra has a terrible record of custody deaths—the killing of Khwaja Yunus is still unresolved and no one has been punished for this. Gujarat has been pulled up by the honourable Supreme Court for the encounter of Ishrat Jahan.
So what we have is a brutal, unskilled police force which wreaks havoc on its own citizens, yet is helpless against organized crime and terror.
The Maulana Masood Azhar case is a typical example of delayed procedures. He should have been tried, sentenced and executed in the shortest possible time to ensure that he was not released. We need faster trials, better prosecutions and forensic skills which can be used to convict criminals.
Finally, terror and counter-terror are like a chess game, they should not be an expression of testosterone and muscle. We need the knowledge, the equipment and the skills to deal with terror.
The best way to prevent terror is to ensure that we do not push people to the point where they are willing to sacrifice their lives for a real or even imaginary grievance or cause.
No sir, India is not a soft state; India is a brutal, repressive state unable to deal with increasingly better-trained and more motivated terrorists.
— Raj Khalid