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

Give capital punishment to rapists

The editorial, “Safety and dignity — these are every woman’s right” (June 20), has rightly highlighted that India has earned the dubious distinction of being the fourth most dangerous place for women in the world. Of the other serious crimes, such as female foeticide, domestic violence etc, rape is showing an alarmingly upward trend in India. The figures released by the National Crime Record Bureau show that every hour as many as 18 women fall prey to this heinous crime. The number of rape cases has increased nearly 700 per cent since 1971. It has grown from seven rapes a day to 53. These are just the figures of the reported incidents of rape. Several cases go unreported because of the stigma attached with it.

It is also shameful that convictions in cases of rape have always remained low, because certain cases remain unregistered. Also, in such cases the lengthy and cumbersome judicial process does little to help the cause of rape victims. In view of the gravity of the problem, Section 376 of the IPC, which provides seven-year rigorous imprisonment for rape, needs to be amended. It is only death to the rapist, which may not bring relief to the victims, but may act as a deterrent for others.

 SK Khosla, Chandigarh


This refers to the editorial, “Safety and dignity — these are every woman’s right” (June 20). Violence against women is a heinous crime as they are the real architects of humanity. We think of women as commodities, and treat them shabbily. What is it that makes one attack women? The answer lies in lust and a loss of conscience. Everyday newspapers are full of incidents of violence, particularly against women. We have enacted laws to protect them against exploitation, created administrative structures to provide them a fair deal, and done a host of other things, but to no avail.

The fact is domestic violence occurs in families across class, race and culture. There are reasons why women do not quit their homes despite provocation. They may be afraid of further violence if they try to leave or seek help elsewhere. There may be concerns regarding financial support to raise their children.

The roles that men and women play in society are not biologically but socially determined. Men and women must cooperate at all levels to build a happy and successful family.

Harish K Monga, Ferozepur

Vote judiciously

The article, “No Short-Cuts in Democracy” (June 17) by Manpreet Singh Badal, analyses our political system, though not in detail. It focuses on the role played by citizens (voters) in a democracy. He quotes Plato in the beginning of the article to highlight the role played by wise men in a democracy and the punishment they have to suffer if they ignore the call to serve the nation. It was also Plato who said, “A man, who does not take interest in the affairs of the state, is not just a harmless man, but a useless man.” We, the citizens of India, have to come out of our “what to me attitude” to save our democracy. Corruption in India cannot be wiped out by legislation only. We will have to weed out the corrupt politicians by using our right to vote judiciously.

Prof Lakha Singh, Taran Tarn

Panchayat polls in J&K

The article, “Kashmir’s Angels of Change”, June 20 (Centrestage), has aptly hailed the recently concluded Panchayat elections in J&K as “historic” and its winners as “Angels of Change”. Now it is up to the state and the Centre to allow these elected representatives to work for the development of their respective constituencies, as also to monitor the work of state government departments.

Looking at the election results, it is extremely heartening to find that in the true spirit of democracy and in the well-known tradition of “Kashmiriyat”, the voters turned out in large numbers to vote for their most eligible candidates irrespective of the usual narrow considerations of gender, caste, religion etc. The election of Asha, a Kashmiri Pandit, from a predominantly Muslim village, is exemplary even for the rest of India.

In fact, the people of the state and those responsible for the conduct of the election, despite receiving constant threats from militants and other anti-social elements, deserve to be complimented. This augurs well for the restoration of normalcy and stability in J&K. Besides, it sends a befitting reply to the separatists, terrorists and critics of India’s Kashmir policy.

Govind Singh Khimta, Shimla

Defy old age

This refers to the editorial “Venerable, also vulnerable” (June 16). If children are bad, elders are no better. If there were no nagging mother-in-law, there would be no oppressive daughter-in-law. If there were no overly strict father, there would be no rebellious son. Love begets love.

We hate old age, but are in a hurry to get into the category of senior citizens just for the sake of monetary gains. Our clamour for reducing the official old-age limit from 65 to 60 years was thoughtless. This has, overnight, increased the number of ‘old men’, and added to the list of ‘uncared’ elders. The limit, instead, should have moved upwards. Even well past seventy, most of us remain hale and hearty. More than the age, it is our thinking that makes us feel old. Let us muster will power and defy old age.

Wg-Cdr C L Sehgal (retd), Jalandhar

God in human flesh

The middle, “A prayer to the doctor” (June 20) by Ravia Gupta, was apt and interesting. A few decades ago, doctors enjoyed the unrivalled status of nothing less than God, but not now. We all know it well why it is so.

My wife was afflicted with cancer in 2001(now, a cancer survivor). I had once remarked to the oncologist treating her, “Sir, it is generally said that ‘dukh vi auh denda hai te sukh vi auhi denda hai’, which roughly means God is the dispenser of both pain and pleasure. But, a good doctor, with emphasis on ‘good’ (who is kind, considerate, compassionate, and not greedy), he alone cares for and cures his patients without inflicting pain on them. Who then is worth worshipping? The good oncologist, in all humility, kept mum. I still believe in a human god.

BM Singh, Amritsar 



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