India: Then and Now

I am shocked at the inconsistencies in the article "Dishing It Out: India's Battle of the Airwaves," Feb. 24.

For instance, while talking about the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1984, the authors state, "The news of the event and her death went unreported because no one dared broadcast such important news without her approval." I wonder how they came to such a conclusion. There is a more logical reason why the news was delayed.

Once before, Indian TV (Doordarshan) blundered by reporting the death of the veteran Indian freedom fighter Jayaprakash Narayan when he was only hospitalized in serious condition.

The conditions under which Mrs. Gandhi was assassinated were very explosive. The late prime minister was assassinated by her Sikh body guards. This news would trigger communal violence between the Hindu majority and the Sikh minority, which would be difficult to control with no proper leadership at the center.

Eventually, when the news was released, there were communal riots in New Delhi and other parts of India resulting in many deaths. This is why the news media had to show restraint before breaking the news. Sudheer Marisetti, Tinton Falls, N.J.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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