Women are still at the receiving end

APROPOS of Dr Rumina Sethi’s article “The price women will have to pay, if they want freedom” (Perspective, Nov 2), the biologically weaker woman has been the object of persecution by man since the inception of mankind. Sexual exploitation is the most potent weapon in the hands of man to subdue women. During wars, they suffer the most. Rani Padmini, the most beautiful queen of Chittoru preferred ‘Johar’ — burning alive — than falling into the hands of Allauddin Khilji, the Mughal king.

When the Hindu kings died, the queens committed “Sati” along with the female servants. What to talk of freedom, she always plays second fiddle to man who has invented, manipulated and formulated rules to rule over woman. Education, awareness and economic independence have given little respite to the oppressed class. The Amarmanis, Rathores and the likes of R.K. Sharma are wolves in man’s clothing. If ever they say no to drunkard sons of political high-ups, they are burnt in “tandoors”.

In villages and police stations, the women are stripped naked and panchayats pronounce verdict for forced gangrapes to dispense the so-called justice. In the male-dominated society, there seems no glitter of light across the tunnel.

KARNAIL SINGH, Ranjit Sagar Dam



Emulate Canada

This refers to Mr J.S. Toor’s article “Courts: How India can learn from Canada" (Perspective, Oct 5). I was amazed to read that Canada courts work so smoothly and in total transparency. There is no bungling at any stage. Whereas in our courts clients are put to hardship with continued adjournments. In Canada, dates are set when the case is to be closed for final hearing but in our court only God knows when the case will come up for hearing.

There is also a very simple procedure of registration in Canada’s courts. It is held right in the lawyers office itself. Both lawyers hook up their computer to the Registration office and feed the detail of deeds whereas one has to rush hither and thither for registration in our courts. The authorities concerned should learn lessons from Canada and reform our courts.


Sympathy for Jews

“When Israel was a distant dream” by Mr Khushwant Singh (Windows, Oct 18) was quite interesting and informative. Jews deserve both appreciation and sympathy as they have been victim of Arab/Muslim cruelty in the past. Muslim hatred against Jews can be gauged from the utterances of Jinnah, who used to compare Hindus with Jews, to express his hatred against Hindus.

Mr Khushwant Singh has stated that (during the Congress rule) India did not give diplomatic recognition to Israel as it did not want to displease Arab friends, where thousands of Indians are employed. In fact, this may be a minor factor. The real cause was to appease the Muslim vote bank inside India.

His experience with an American Jewish couple is also amusing. However, he has not clarified whether he was able to finally tell the Jewish couple as to what Sikhs are. Since Sikhs are a microscopic minority considering the world population, it is quite natural that many people would be unaware of their existence. The best way to give them some idea about Sikhs to such people is to explain to them that Sikhs are off-shoots of Hindus, who came into being in north western parts of India, as a result of Muslims’ cruelty against Hindus, to protect them.

Some Sikhs may not endorse such an explanation but any independent student of history would come to similar conclusion on the basis of historical facts and cultural and spiritual similarities.


Restoring the glory of Indian hockey

APROPOS of Mr Prabhjot Singh’s article “Is Indian hockey looking up?” (Spectrum, Oct 12), undoubtedly the Indian hockey, which had been at its nadir for quite a long time, has risen up magnificently. Our hockey team has dished out some creditable performances in the recent past in Australia and Germany.

After failing to perform well in the Champions Trophy, it allayed the fears of its detractors, who had heaped unprecedented criticism on it, by lifting the Asia Cup trouncing their arch rival Pakistan in the final. Its revival is remarkable.

The need of the hour is to keep up the momentum by marshalling all the resources needed to buttress its fledgling resurgence. At present, the Indian hockey has all the ingredients to attain its old place of pride in the world. To score field goals is a heartening feature of it. Its recent successes have aroused the interest of the present-day generation in the game and the hockey world has taken notice of the rapid strides the game has made. However, much remains to be done to help regain its lost glory. Here are a few points.

Synthetic surfaces should be provided to sustain hockey at least at those places where it is followed passionately. The youngsters should be groomed scientifically to step into the shoes of their seniors. The National Hockey Championship should be held every year on astro turfs only to spot talent. Players should be given incentives to bring laurels for the nation. There should be perfect rapport between the players and the coaches. There should be no blanket ban on the media to interact with the players.

Because of an encouraging media, Pillay, Jugraj, Deepak, Gagan Ajit and others have become household names. The corporate sector should come forward in a big way to aid Indian hockey in order to prop up its revival. Frequent shuffling and re-shuffling in the team should be avoided. International exposure must be given to the team. If all this is done, nothing can stop Indian hockey from capturing its pristine prestige, reputation and glory.


Real image of a city

Apropos of Dr A.K. Agarwal’s letter “Making Chandigarh a world class city” (Nov 2), in addition to his suggestions to improve the city, I would like to emphasise the need to improve some basic infrastructural facilities which the city is lacking at present.

These are, among others, easing traffic congestion and ensuring free flow of traffic, parking places at various commercial centres, removal of slums, better and assured public transport system, public facilities like clean drinking water and clean public toilets at public places, friendly police, and efficient garbage disposal system.

Toning down of VIP culture will also add to the grace of the city. While trying to reach the sky, let us keep our feet on the ground and not forget the basics which project the real image of the city.



Mohali Apt description

This has reference to Mr Khushwant Singh’s column “This above all” (Windows, Oct 25). His description of Coetzee's novel “Disgrace” is very apt. It is really very powerful and pregnant with meaning. But in saying that the protagonist prostitutes with an Indian woman, once a week, he is wrong.

Though woman, Soraya, is a Muslim, there is no mention of her being an Indian. She can be from an array of Muslim countries or even be a native South African Muslim. She is not necessarily an Indian, as mentioned by Mr Singh.

Mr Khushwant Singh should not have assumed a prostitute, whatever her motives, to be an Indian woman. It hurts Indian sentiments.

Dr G.B.S. MAHAL, Amritsar

Public schools

The Punjab government wants all “recognised” private schools to provide free education to children below poverty line. It wants that 20 per cent of the total strength of each public school should be reserved for poor children.

It is okay that the government wants to send poor deserving students to public schools. However, is there no meaning of “quality education” for the rest of the students who are studying in government-run schools?

Why does the government not focus on improving the quality of education imparted in its own schools?

CHARANJIT NOHRA, Nohra, (Patiala)

Lata’s golden voice

Reference Mr M.L. Dhawan’s article on Lata Mangeshkar “The girl with the golden voice at 75” (Windows, Oct 4). Most of the memorable songs in Hindi movies have been sung by Lata and for this she, in her own inimitable style and humility, gives all the credit to her music directors.

It is heartening to note that young composers are using Lata’s voice innovatively by designing songs which suit the present condition of her voice. For filmfans of my generation, in 1950s, one could not imagine and think of going to see a Hindi movie without Lata’s songs. In duet songs, how well and with what remarkable ease she adapted and harmonised her voice with the male singer’s voice Rafi, Mukesh, Talat, Manna Dey or Kishore Kumar?

Is it not remarkable that even at 75, she lends her voice as a playback singer for our young heroines of today? How I wish she had spared some time for grooming in her own image young talented singers aspiring and struggling for a break in the Bollywood?


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