Journey from village to city
IN a captivating narrative style Raman Mohan, in his "From Gori to Gal" (August 12), has focused attention on the discrepancy between women’s aspirations and their acceptability. While we educate women and allow them sufficient exposure to the modern world, we also wish to treat them as petty things to be bartered away in marriage.
While we need to give women a free hand in choosing their course of education and career, we must also enable them to distinguish between liberation and equality on the one hand and a blind aping of Western culture on the other. Little do we seem to realise what damage the cultural invasion from the West has done to our institution of family and the concept of real happiness. Male dominance and irrational orthodox, customs have crushed many a promising career and talented personalities.
VED GULIANI, Hisar
Ashwini Bhatnagar’s article "Chasing a shadow" (August 5), was packed with meaning for the dumb, and deaf. Phoolan Devi, born in a poor mallah family in UP, moved from one exploitative situation to another.
The Thakurs made Phoolan a dacoit. She shot dead 20 rapists in one go and took to the Chambal ravines. Tired of a dacoit’s life she surrendered and spent 11 years in Gwalior jail.
Phoolan’s life had been a life of struggle from cradle to grave. A college dropout Umed Singh married her - nay her wealth. It was her third marriage. Umed was an idler, an extravagant and a drunkard. She wanted to divorce him, but that was not to be. Phoolan was a battered, wronged woman. Even as MP she was a pawn in the hands of other politicians.
Phoolan has gone. But she has left behind a story of how women are treated in India. This is food for thought.
DURGA BHARDWAJ, Solan
As rightly held by the writer, "Phoolan Devi was media’a magnificent obsession for over two years". A popular view of Phoolan is that of a wronged woman who turned into a Durga to avenge her honour. The truth is that she was a deadly dacoit — even a shrewd manipulator. She was no symbol of piety. Then why talk of Durga in her context?
Mala Sen’s biography of Phoolan was based on painstaking research. She has neither romanticised her as a wronged woman nor demonised her as a blood-thirsty killer. One would expect that Sen’s book and Phoolan’s release from jail would have put a halt to the myth-building by the media. The opposite happened. The myth - churning industry received a big boost with Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen.
Phoolan has gone but the message in her death is clear: Rid politics of the role of money, crime and muscle power, if Indian democracy has to survive.
S.S. JAIN, Chandigarh
It is with reference to "Why do doctors need to advertise?" by Chanchal Sarkar on July 22. He has referred to nature cure doctors some sort of quacks. The author has made a reference to naturopathy as a kind of quackery.
Naturopathy is a science and it is also called natural hygiene. American allopathy doctor Isaac Jennings is the father of naturopathy, and it is far more rational and scientific than allopathy, homoeopathy and ayurveda. It does offer scientific solutions and complete healing of most sickness. Of course it does not advocate any kind of drug therapy. There are universities in our country which offer Bachelors in naturopathy and yogic science and postgraduation in naturopathy. So it is quite uncharitable to call naturopathy doctors quacks.
JOSEPH THOMAS, Dinanagar
This is in response to the article "Why do brides cry during their bidai?" by Roshni Johar (August 12).
Grief of separation at the time of departure makes a bride weep. Besides the bride, other family members too weep at the time of her departure. A bride spends a good part of her life with her family and this separation makes her cry.
KARNAIL SINGH, Ranjit
Sagar Dam Project