Saturday, December 1, 2001
M A I L  B O X

Time to rethink traditions

AS rightly pointed out by Reeta Sharma in "Time to rethink traditions" (November 10) the festival of Karva Chauth is being glamorised by our TV serials and is being observed even in areas where it was never celebrated earlier. My eight-year-old daughter, after doing a neighbourhood survey, looked at me suspiciously and asked me why wasn’t I celebrating the festival. I had a tough time giving a convincing reply which her young mind could grasp.

I have always found the festival one-sided and biased. And what I have seen around me is no different from the escapades of Manisha Koirala in Lajja. I feel Indian men do not deserve the kind of adulation and devotion they get. Over the centuries the status of women has deteriorated. Such festivals further enhance such servile feelings.

To expect men to keep a similar fast for their wives would be too far-fetched but it would be worthwhile if they remembered this day before they cheated on their wives or abused them.



The writer has analysed customs, traditions and conventions prevalent in our society. It has rightly been observed that it is high time we reviewed the customs and traditions which have become obsolete with the passage of time. Customs that have lost their relevance must be discarded. Karva Chauth was observed because women of yore were fully dependent upon their husbands for food, shelter and their very survival. But today, a woman is capable of providing not only for herself but for her family as well. Certain debauch persons desert and betray their wives but still wished to be worshipped and pampered by them.



War clouds

Maj-Gen Himmat Singh Gill’s article "Are war clouds hovering over our horizon"? (November 10) was crisp and incisive. The Kargil-bitter General Musharraf is fully aware of the potential of the Indian Army. Yet, he raises war cries. He has to do this for his own survival.

India is a peace-loving country that would never like to opt for war with a neighbour. And Pakistan is unlikely ever to beat India in a conventional or even a nuclear war because of India’s strategic depth, greater economic and manpower strength with at least a one-and-a-half times better military capability. A good part of the Pak army is deployed on the Afghan-Pak border.

Prime Minister Vajpayee has categorically asserted that there can be no talks with Pakistan unless that country stops cross-border terrorism. And the USA, the UK and Russia appreciate this. Musharraf cannot, therefore, risk a war with the world’s largest democracy. India is a ‘natural ally’ of the USA while Pakistan is useful for some time. There will be no Indo-Pak war, and the clouds will evaporate shortly.

S.S. Jain


Down in the dumps

This refers to I.M. Soni’s write-up "Do you often remain down in the dumps?" (November 17). Everyone occasionally gets the blues or feels sad and down. These normal shifts in mood are the result of the lives we lead. This is a natural and normal reaction.

But when people suffer from a depressive illness for a longer time, feelings of sadness, helplessness, hopelessness, worthlessness and guilt arise. Such a negative attitude can invade every aspect of their existence. Then it becomes a matter of serious concern and needs immediate medical treatment.

In a sense nothing can bring you success but your own efforts, for success begins with an individual’s will. In essence, self-confidence recharges the mind and helps one develop a positive outlook towards life.