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Sunday, December 15, 2002

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Shackled to communalism

THIS refers to "Shackled to communalism" by A. N. Wadehra and Randeep Wadehra (December 1). It is an illusion that Indians are morally superior to others. The harsh truth is that all these years we have pursued the mirage of secularism and tried to show, in vain, to the world that we have attained a stage of perfect social understanding and harmony between different castes and communities.

The truth is that our political leadership, for its vested personal gain, has inflamed communal passions and created an atmosphere of suspicion and hatred in the country. Unless the common man sees through the dubious designs of politicians and learns to introspect rationally, there would be little hope of mutual tolerance and peaceful coexistence.

Ved Guliani, Hisar

II

The article prompts me to remark that if the brains of the citizens do not think in the same way and if their hearts do not feel the same things, then their hands will not work in unison and their feet will not march in step.

Feuds between Catholics and Protestants, Muslims and Christians, Hindus and Muslims and other such sects now turn the politics of some states into a perpetual boxing match, in which no rules of honour are observed.

AVTAR NARAIN CHOPRA, Kurukshetra

 


Crimes against women

Reicha Tanwar in "Crimes against women" (December 1) threw a can of shame on menís face. In 1999, 15, 468 women were raped this points out. The number rose to 16,494 in 2000, a jump of 6.6 per cent. Rape isnít the only sexual crime against women. Outrage of modesty by touching, pinching or pulling at clothes and attempt to rape are some of the other crimes that women are commonly subjected to.

Ads use the womenís body to sell anythingófrom cars to soaps. Print media and TV must not show women in a semi-naked condition. Sometimes, with only two most sensitive parts covered, women are shown totally naked from head to foot. All this has an impact on social behaviour.

We should have special fast-track courts to try cases of crimes against women. In rape cases the maximum punishment prescribed in Section 376 of the IPC is seven years rigorous imprisonment (10 years for minorsí rape) should be awarded by courts.

Womenís organisations too have to educate women. Delhi Police Commissioner R.S. Gupta, is perhaps not wrong in saying that "crimes against women will halve if they are careful about what they wear and know their limits". Herein lies the rub.

S.S. JAIN, Chandigarh

Breaching wall of silence

This refers to Geeta Seshuís "Breaching the wall of silence to ask for justice" (December 1). Absence of justice has forced the rape victims to remain silent and bear the brunt, despite the fact it is no fault of theirs. Lack of evidence further aggravates the situation. The present-day scenario of rape-victims shows their inability to speak to avoid the public harassment. Rape victims are already at the brink of disaster: fear, mistrust, poverty, shame further adds to their misery. They suffer at the hands of their own protectors.

A raped woman is an ill-starred individual fighting the inevitable lonely battle against insurmountable odds. On the highway of life, she suffers under natureís law. "Once a victim, always a victim". Women who are the victims of rape or the other sex crimes, quick justice should be given to justice delayed is justice denied to a woman who has lost everything.

It is no one but the Indian woman who can live under the constraints for no fault of hers. If ever, she is at fault then that is because of her being a woman. If we canít protect the respect, dignity and honour of our creator, we canít protect anything else.

SUMIT SABHARWAL, Hoshiarpur

Wrong words

This refers to R. K. Murthiís article "Words donít live in dictionaries, they live in the mind!". (December 1). I am surprised at the word negro being used in the article while the writer claims that "shock waves of anger run through him when a wrong word is used.

Anupama/Devender Verma, e-mail.

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