Time to treat women as equals

Usha Rai’s article “An occasion to mourn: There is little to celebrate Women’s Day” (March 8) is timely and thought provoking. Declining female sex ratio, rape, dowry deaths, female foeticide, Sati, prejudiced treatment given to women for coveted posts, vulgar exposure in some music videos, cheap commercial TV ads are some examples that prove emptiness of the functions organised to celebrate Women’s Day every year.

If we want to elevate woman’s status in society, there has to be a drastic change in the mindset of both men and women. Mothers, sisters and wives should be treated equally like sons, brothers and husbands.

There is a perceptible change in society when we hear cases of girls refusing to get married to greedy boys or showing them the door and handing them over to police. But we still have a long way to go. Let us all do our bit by treating sons and daughters as equals with both adjusting for a comfortable family life.





The article overlooks an important aspect of female foeticide predominant in Punjab and Haryana. It is not only the rich and the elite that indulge in this crime. This practice is also rampant in the rural areas of the two states. The connivance of half-educated midwives results in the death of the mother too.

Female infanticide is rampant in the villages. Most cruel methods of killing infant girls are followed such as stuffing their mouths with salt, gagging, strangulating, suffocating the infant with a wet cloth or simply throwing them alive into canals, rivers, ponds etc. The sex ratio in some pockets of Punjab is abysmal.



We have no right to celebrate Women’s Day. We kill women before birth, we do not accept a bride without dowry. We do not give due share to the daughter in properties and assets. We do not give proper education and vocational training to our daughters. We do not give them proper work. The girl child has to go to another house as a bride where she is not given proper love, affection and honour and is treated like a domestic servant.

In all, 20 out of 1,000 women are literate. At times women are sold and resold and in case of marriage the parents do not seek her consent. Amazingly, most Indians cannot accept that a woman could be intelligent. They are not even consulted in solving the family problems.

DALIP SINGH WASAN, Advocate, Patiala


At a time when atrocities on women are mounting, there is need to empower them by increasing their strength in Parliament, State assemblies and other representative institutions. This will help improve their social status. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has rightly reminded the international community that promoting gender equality is not just the responsibility of women. It is the responsibility of everybody”. But our politicians have failed to help women. So, it is the turn of UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi to promote gender equality. Let’s see whether she would succeed.


Prevent peacock poaching

The ever-increasing poaching of wildlife is a matter of concern (“Poachers attack Peahen, leave it bleeding", March 16). Peacock poaching in rampant because of its meat, fat and feathers. Peacock fat is reportedly exported to countries like Malaysia.

The Union Commerce Ministry has banned export of peacock feathers. In 1999, a man was caught while trying to board a flight to Hong Kong with 83 kg of feathers. The traders know that peacock is a creature of habit. They strangle it and pluck out all the feathers. These feathers are then sold to the tourists and for religious purposes.

People who can lay their hands on peacocks slaughter them to relish their meat. India is an active partner in the global illegal trade in wildlife and plants. Wildlife crime needs to be prevented because many species are on the brink of extinction. In fact, 80 per cent of the country’s wildlife including the National Bird peacock are endangered. The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act should be enforced strictly.


Deplorable roads

Punjab’s roads are in a deplorable condition. The government talks of infrastructure all the time, but road infrastructure is left to rot. The government earns crores of rupees from the registration of vehicles which can be used for the upgradation of the road network.

It is all the more important because vehicle population has increased by leaps and bounds. All-out efforts are needed for bringing down the accident rate in the state. Road modernisation is urgently called for.

Dr ARUN PURI, Govt Medical College, Faridkot

PM’s image

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is a person of honesty and integrity. When the Leader of the Opposition, Mr L.K. Advani accused him of being an “invisible” Prime Minister, Dr Singh replied that he was with the people, when they were in distress along with the UPA Chairperson, Mrs Sonia Gandhi. He did not show any countenance of evasiveness, but confirmed his visibility with his party Supremo. This indeed is commendable.

B.K. CHAUDHARI, Bromsgrove (UK)

Another acronym

Priyanka Singh’s middle “Very important problems” reminds me of another acronym for VIPs as “Very Inconvenient Persons’’, especially when they visit public places or on the move.

Times have changed. The old days cannot come back when many of us, in our younger years, could get near our leaders, shake hands with them, exchange pleasantries, often receive a pat, a fond paternal kiss or a garland in return or even obtain their autographs to be preserved as treasures. Happy memories of good old days can only linger as long as one lives.


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |