Saturday, January 25, 2003
M A I L  B O X

Radio: Making waves

THIS refers to Hardeep Singh Chandpuri’s "Radio.....some one still loves you" (January 4). Remember the 1950s and ‘60s when a radio set was a much-sought-after item for the house. Family members sat huddled around it, fiddling with the knob to strike the right chord. They spent hours either listening to the news or, better still, the lilting melodies from the golden era of Hindi film music.

Times changed when in the ‘80s the teeny-boppers began to watch MTV with images of western rock stars. The generation had no time to tune in to the radio.

But sample the scenario now: college students clad in jeans, smoking cigarettes, zipping around in their Marutis are tuning in to, guess what, the radio. The upper middle class, the nouveau rich, yuppies are going ga-ga over the radio, which is the in-thing today. Proving all media mandarins wrong, radio has not only survived but grown.

Besides the FM, this medium will be creating waves with cable radio, sky radio, radio paging serve and, probably, private radio stations in the future.



Maltreatment of women

Apropos of Khushwant Singh’s ‘Who is responsible for the plight of our daughters? (January 11), no doubt the menace of bride burning, dowry deaths and torture of women at the hands of their husbands and in-laws must be curbed and eradicated with strong and collective efforts of the government and social organisations, yet any lasting solution to the problem can be attained only through education and not by the force of law. Subhadra Butalia’s "Encounters" with the cream of our civil services is a clear pointer that the malaise has seeped into the very vitals of our social texture. When the future heads of the law-enforcement machinery are themselves gangrenously afflicted with the disease, what hope can society sustain for our women?

For a woman’s maltreatment at the hands of her in-laws, her parents too are responsible as many of them in their enthusiasm of ensuring a good match for their daughter boast of their pseudo-wealthy status and even hint at future plans of gifting their daughter with huge amounts of money or property. Once such expectations are raised, the in-laws grow impatient and the result is strained marital relations. Secondly, modern lifestyle has made every family a segregated island in the vast ocean of society, with no possibility of interaction, suggestion or advice. It is only when the situation reaches bursting point that others are asked to use their influence or become legal witnesses. Naturally, at such a time people grow indifferent for fear of inviting socio-legal problems.

Any solution to this grave problem must begin with an initiative from the victimised woman. It must also be kept in mind that the law can only punish the guilty but cannot change a ravenous beast into a gentle and civilised human being, for which emotions of love and sympathy are required.