Saturday, September 30, 2000
M A I L  B O X

Women have always got a raw deal

This refers to the article: "Why does the mother-in-law occupy such a huge mindspace in the Indian psyche"(September 23). Aruti Nayar has explored the subject in depth, however I would like to make a few additions. Women in India since ages have always been given a raw deal. It isn’t surprising if a woman returns to the system the same bitterness that she has felt since childhood. The substandard treatment that she receives as a child in her paternal home makes her submissive and bitter. She is thus groomed to accept a humiliating and secondary existence in her in-laws’ house without a murmur. The elder women in her in-laws’ house too see to it that all the insults they were subjected to in their lives are passed on to the new entrant in the scene. Her husband also may have little time for her, as he may be busy with his career. The woman silently tolerates it all.

When she has a son, she dotes on him, spoils him and ensures that he remains under her control. When he grows up, it is her time to take charge. Her husband, who is old by now, depends heavily upon her for his needs. She has a list of all the torments he had inflicted on her to make him shut-up in case he tries to assert himself. She sure is a dangerous creature now and on who else can she unleash the negative emotions piled up inside her but her vulnerable daughter-in-law, and so the cycle goes on. The mother exploits the control over her son. In extreme cases she can create severe irreparable rifts in his married life, go to the extent of ‘bride burning’ or even tacitly push her son towards adultery to reduce the importance of her daughter-in-law in her son’s life.



Superstar models

This refers to the article: "Superstar models or model superstars?" by Vimla Patil (September 16). The all-time high popularity of film stars with advertisers is due to their ability to sell a product better than any model. Our young sport stars, mainly cricket heroes, are not lagging behind on film stars on this score. These modelling assignments disturb and adversely effect their dedication and devotion to their main profession. Professional codes must restrain these stars from acting as brand ambassadors at the cost of their professions which demands their whole hearted and single-minded concentration. National cricket stars, when not playing matches, should concentrate on their net practice instead of modelling. The same goes for film stars.

New Delhi


Apropos of Jeet Malhotra’s "Development without damnation" (September 9), the beauty, fragrance and greenery once associated with the city have all but disappeared.

Le Corbusier planned Chandigarh for a population of 5 lakh, a figure which has since crossed the 8 lakh mark. Nearly 2 lakh people have migrated from UP and Bihar to Chandigarh in search of a living. The city is fast losing its sheen. The healthcare system leaves a lot to be desired. The doctor-patient ratio in the city’s two hospitals is dismal. Laboratory tests in the General Hospital are undependable.

Sanitation has vanished and garbage bins overflow. Crimes against women are on the rise. Thefts, robberies, murders and road accidents have increased. The reason: The police is mostly deployed as bodyguards for politicians and bureaucrats.

Two lakh people in jhuggis have to live in dismal condition. They don’t even have access to safe drinking water. Roads inside the sectors are broken and cattle roam freely.

Hopefully, the Chandigarh Administration will build public toilets and provide mobile dispensaries for jhuggi-dwellers.