Saturday, October 20, 2001
M A I L  B O X

Stopping bloodshed in Kashmir

THIS refers to Ashwini Bhatnagar’s write-up "Can’t we stop this?" (October 6). The US government’s response to terrorism in the past has strangely been lackadaisical. While Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Cuba and North Korea had been branded sponsors of terrorism, Washington preferred to turn a Nelson’s eye to Pakistan’s export of terrorism to India.

It was because of the short-sighted policy followed by the USA that international terrorism became more widespread and the world’s most powerful country itself suffered in consequence.

But the fact of the matter is that both Britain and the USA seem to confine their fight against terrorism to Osama bin Laden and the Taliban. Worse, Washington’s seeking active assistance from a country like Pakistan which itself has been the progenitor of terrorism and sidelining India which has been the victim of terrorism for decades does not auger well. India’s remains a cry in the wilderness and its pleas fail to cut much ice. Consequently, it will have to deal with the scourge of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, as the author rightly puts it, without looking for outside assistance.

No agreement between Pakistan and India will succeed in ending violence unless Pakistan demonstrates that it can control the jehadis and the ISI. Were India to make any agreement with the Musharraf regime, it would find that it had once again made concessions in its anxiety to restore peace as it did after the 1965 and 1971 wars and gained nothing.


Female foeticide

Apropos of Rama Sharma’s article "Kanjak no longer revered in the Land of God" (October 6), isn’t it ironical that in India, where the woman is revered and worshipped as Durga and her incarnations, where girls are adored as kanjaks during navratras and where jagratas are held through out the year to seek the blessing of Mata Vaishno Devi and Mata Chintpurni, the woman still remains a not-to-be-seen-or-heard entity in all walks of life, one who finds herself at the end of all sorts of digs.

The malady of sex-determination tests and the subsequent abortion of female foetuses has become widely prevalent in almost all classes of society in India. The fault partially lies with the woman herself. She needs to realise that once upon a time she too was someone’s little girl, who was discriminated against, and therefore, when she gets her chance, she should try and rectify things by flatly refusing to undergo sex-determination tests.