L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

Rape case verdict laudable

The judgement delivered by Chandigarh’s Additional District and Sessions Judge convicting the five accused to life imprisonment for abducting and raping the German girl is indeed laudable. The judgement has not only been speedy but also just. Heinous crimes like rape, sexual assault and molestation cannot be condoned. The crime was all the more unpardonable, since a foreign tourist was the victim. Such abominable crimes would not only discourage foreign tourists to visit India but also bring disgrace to the nation.

In the present case, awarding severe punishment to the five convicts for their barbarous act against the foreign tourist has upheld the faith of the people in our judiciary. Hopefully, the judgement will serve as a deterrent to other criminals. The courts must show equal alacrity in dealing and disposing of other pending cases, more so those involving crimes like rape.


Obstinate Pakistan

India should not fool itself by believing that Pakistan would hand it over the culprits of the Mumbai carnage. Peaceful diplomatic initiatives are undoubtedly logical steps, but these will not deter Pakistan. Nor will Pakistan ever change its mind or lose sleep over the killing of innocent persons in India.

Pakistan has its own inherent weaknesses and faults, which do not permit it to compete with India. The common man in Pakistan is a victim of the ISI, the military and political masters. In the absence of sound democratic values, secular principles and good governance, the foundation of a welfare state is missing in Pakistan.

It is clear that India must act independently. It is up to the Indian leadership to decide when and how to act in a befitting manner.

DAYA NAND, Charkhi Dadri, (Bhiwani)

India’s image

Many paeans are being sung in praise of the award-winning film Slumdog Millionaire. For Indians like us settled in the US, it appears that the movie has been produced with the purpose of tarnishing the image of ‘Shining India’, rather than telling the story of a genius. 

The way the story is filmed, the reality has been exaggerated beyond proportion. Americans wouldn’t know the truthfulness of the script or the reality of slums.

Certain sequences have been lengthened only to expose the goriness of slums, more than for any other purpose. The riot scene has been twisted beyond the requirement of the actual script, again to project India as a disturbed country.

I am surprised that A R Rehman and Anil Kapoor agreed to be part of the film. I wonder why author Vikas Swarup, on whose book the movie is based, did not object. It seems money makes the mare go.



Slumdog Millionare is undisputedly a fine film. However, it has denigrated Indians. Words like slumdog depict Indians in a bad light. Are we only confined to slums? We should show everyone that Indians have progressed immeasurably. So, stop underestimating us.


Virtual academy

The article “Virtual academy for teachers” (Jan 20) was interesting. The virtual academy perhaps will not be a substitute for the existing teachers training institutes. It is hoped that the virtual academy will provide information and skills more than what the teachers training institutes disseminate. The virtual academy should work as a distinct distance education programme to empower the teachers.

In the present scenario, it is also suggested that a centre for professional development in school education, especially in rural areas, as an ongoing in-service programme for teachers be established. The centre can launch a programme of faculty development, improvement, upgrading and updating for teachers. It would enable teachers to empower themselves with better technical knowhow.

DR S KUMAR, Panchkula,

Poll promises

It is clear that the new US President, Barack Obama suspended prosecution of prisoners of Guantanamo Bay prison to fulfil his poll promises. Our leaders should learn a lesson from him and keep promises they make while wooing voters. There have been many glaring examples when poll promises have not been fulfilled, to the utter dismay of voters.

PROF P K GUPTA, Bathinda

Gender equality is a mirage

The storming of a pub at Mangalore and misbehaving with girls there on ‘Girl Child’s Day’ by goons of Pramod Muthalik, Sri Ram Sene Chief was a disgraceful act. This episode has highlighted the need for gender equality, which is still a distant dream. We talk of women empowerment, but in reality are we not promoting a Taliban type of culture by beating, disgracing and assaulting women.

Women continue to bear the brunt of female foeticide, dowry, rape and assault. Both drinking and smoking can be injurious to human health but the opposition of Sri Ram Sene activists is misguided. Moreover, such addictions among men are never questioned. There is still a deep-rooted bias and prejudice against women. They suffer from double standards that society propagates.

Indeed, Indian culture epitomises non-violence, benevolence, kind-heartedness and nobility of thought and action. But this tradition is under constant threat from sectarian ways of Sri Ram Sene, the MNS and the likes. In fact it is an imitation of the Victorian repression and is thus colonial in inspiration, tone and tenor. The women in India must have the right and the freedom to make choices. We must give them space and respect in letter and spirit.




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