Saturday, September 20, 2003
M A I L  B O X


Are corporates women-friendly?

THIS refers to Gitanjali Sharma’s article "Are corporates women-friendly?" (July 5). Take a look around and you find women everywhere — women who’ve taken on tough challenges in traditionally male-dominated fields. Ravina Raj Kohi is the President of Star News. Dr Indira Parikh is the first woman dean of the Indian Institute of Management. Women are doing better than men and do not need any reservations or concessions. They are quite capable of rising high on their own merit.

Every modern woman seeks a distinct identity for herself and does not feel contented with the role of a housewife all her life.

Onkar Chopra, New Delhi

II

I would like to point out that the law makes no discrimination between the sexes, yet, the gender bias prevails in an overt or covert from, and is a global phenomenon.

Gender discrimination cannot be justified, whether it is against women or for that matter against men. A World Bank country study on gender and poverty conducted in 1991 reports that "Market forces have great potential to...increase the perceived value of women". This is apparent in the examples of establishments such as Modern Bazaar and the Cottage Industries Emporium which have women employees for almost all jobs. But these examples also highlight a kind of discrimination where the victims are the men!

K.M. Vashisht, Mansa

 


Flames of caste

This refers to the article "Flames of caste" by Reeta Sharma (June 21).

It is sickening to hear cliches repeated ad nauseum by pseuds-intellectivals about Dalits and their ‘share in the socio-political structure’.

Nobody has any share in government jobs, political harrarchy and economic structure. One has to be qualified for a government job and compete with other candidates. It is a monstrous crime to ask for the alms of jobs merely on caste basis. It is a pity that despite continued bonanza since Independence, the Dalits have not demonstrated their capacity to earn jobs on merit.

Reservation is one of the most retrograde steps taken by our polity. The removal of discrimination was quite enough to enable the Dalits to carve out a respectable niche for themselves in society.

The Dalits as other poor people should ask only for job opportunities and not seek crtuches of any kind.

Chaman Lal Korpal, Amritsar

II

In Talhan village it was not a caste conflict but a majority vs minority question. As most of the Jat Sikhs have migrated to western countries the Dalit population has gained majority and being the majority community it wants control of the offerings made at its smadh-cum-gurdwara. This was the real cause of differences in the village. Then came in the Dalit leadership of another state government, strings were pulled and the differences turned into a full-fledged conflict.

Charag Husnul, Amritsar

Dowry-seekers

This refers to A.J. Philip’s article "Groomed for cash?" (June 14). The views of the writer are likely to appeal to some and antagonise others. In most cases bridegrooms do demand dowry. The parents of the brides are expected to compensate the amount of money the groom’s family has spent on his education. Even then the lust for dowry remains unfulfilled.

The practice of dowry has eaten away at the moral fabric of our society. Even people who undergone the traumatic experience of having to pay dowry on the marriages of their daughters, are keen on getting dowry on their sons’ marriage.

People flouting the provisions of the Dowry Prohibition Act should be dealt with severely. Apart from the girl’s kin, the police and NGOs should be allowed to lodge complaints against dowry seekers.

Tarsem S. Bumrah, Batala

II

A.J. Philip’s article "Groomed for cash" and Aruti Nayar’s article "Dowry demands zero tolerance" (June 14) have highlighted different aspects of the problem of dowry which has become a curse for our society. Even girls like Nisha Sharma of Noida and Shweta Bansal of Hissar, who backed off from marriage when demands for dowry were made, did not reject this system altogether but revolted against excessive demand. Only the degree and extent of dowry is being opposed. Parents continue to give dowry for the happiness of their daughters.

Although the solution offered by Philip is logical but it is very difficult to implement. Dowry will have to be tackled through the united efforts of NGOs, women organisations, political parties and religious bodies. Media must play a vital role in mobilising public opinion against this social evil. Steps should be taken to empower women. Above all, women’s education must be given top priority.

Neelam, Yamunanagar

This feature was published on July 19, 2003