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Need to register domestic workers

The editorial, “Insuring domestic workers: Sans spadework, new plan a mirage” (June 25), rightly says that it is difficult to estimate the number of domestic workers in India. The government alone cannot do much to help them. Families having maids should come forward and help them in getting their names registered. It is in the interest of both parties. Domestic workers belong to the unorganised sector and do not get the benefit of various social security schemes of the government. When a major problem arises, they are left at the mercy of their employers.

Most often they are thrown out without any compensation. If domestic workers receive the benefits of insurance and other schemes, they will also be able to provide better services to their employers. The government should also start with a comprehensive plan to register domestic workers in India. Students can be asked to assist government agencies in this work. An awareness campaign can be launched throughout the country in this regard.

ANURESH RANA, Chandigarh

Karnataka politics

This refers to the editorial, “Admission of guilt: Yeddyurappa must step down” (July 6). I fully agree with the views that if Ashok Chavan of the Congress had to quit as Chief Minister of Maharashtra just because three of his relatives were members of the Adarsh housing society, Yeddyurappa should also resign after his admission of favouritism to his relatives. What surprises us is that the BJP chooses to remain a silent spectator. Public figures have to set an example for others. Even if a person is not directly involved, he has to own moral responsibility when persons close to him are involved in acts of omission or commission. Here the situation is quite different.

Yeddyurappa has himself admitted that he favoured his relatives taking advantage of his official position. What else remains to be said or proved? There are many other charges against his government. It also seems that the level of politics has gone down considerably in Karnataka. This is sad for a state that has otherwise done extremely well in other areas. The question is, will Yeddyurappa have the courage to face the public? May be he expects that time will heal the wounds. As for the BJP, it is important that the party acts now to prove that it is against corruption. Mere slogans and statements by its leaders will not help the party’s cause.


Pure research

Developing knowledge society” (July 5) by RS Grewal, has laid stress on connecting industry with education. But this situation is not good for a developing society like ours. We still lag behind in research in the pure and social sciences. The author is in favour of application-oriented research, but lack of pure research in our society will make us more dependent on other nations in future.


National interest

The article, “Beginning of the endgame” (July 2) by H K Dua, has rightly pointed out that being a superpower is not enough to call the shots all the time. The US presence in Afghanistan and its continuation is going to be an extremely tricky issue. Now after eliminating Osama, President Obama, compelled by domestic politics, is trying to wriggle out of the Afghan mess. But US policymakers must be aware of the dire consequences of the withdrawal of troops.

The Sino-Pak nexus can displace the US from Central Asia and the Gulf. If the US leaves Afghanistan, there can be some initial struggle between Iran and Pakistan for strategic control over Afghanistan, but ultimately China and Pakistan will jointly take over the reins. India and the US should assess the implications of this situation and act accordingly. Strategic matters should not be decided by present economic and political conditions, but designed with a long-term nationalistic vision.


Popular culture

This refers to the article, “Casting women in stereotypical moulds” (June 27) by Rajesh Gill. There has been hardly any change in the way women are depicted by the media in India. It continues to show them as the victims of violence, rape and murder. They cannot strike back and have to put up with injustice. Men are portrayed as powerful, and they can dictate terms. Women occupy a subordinate position. They cannot argue even if they know they are right, and are often called upon to make sacrifices.

One must, however, remember that these TV serials and movies do not portray a true picture of Indian women. Indian women are now independent and tend to take their own decisions. While they still have to make sacrifices, they do not let others dictate terms. Some reality shows like “Ratan ka rishta” have tried to show that women can take decisions without getting influenced by others. But it is sad that popular culture has impaired gender empowerment by trivialising the whole issue for vested commercial interests. It may take time, but as things improve, the image of Indian women will definitely change.


A ‘healthy’ patriot

Fasting should not be used to put pressure on others (“On frugality of experience”, July 6, by Vandana Shukla). It loses its effectiveness when we start using it frequently to get our work done. One needs to go back in history and read about the famine-stricken days during the British Raj. Perhaps today we have the luxury to talk about not eating. But when nature strikes and there is nothing left to eat, one cannot think of such measures. I agree with the writer that fasting during a national calamity makes sense. One must first be healthy and then talk about patriotism. Even Swami Vivekanand says that it is a sin to talk about spirituality in front of a man suffering the pangs of hunger. Doctors also do not recommend fasting. Patriotism is a state of mind and has nothing to do with food. An objective assessment of the reality is required before resorting to any extreme step.

While Anna Hazare’s intentions are laudable, his technique is not right. If one wants to fight, first try out other methods. If they fail, go for the extreme step. Just imagine children threatening their parents at home that they will not eat unless they are allowed to do what they want to. What will the parents do? Do they have a choice? It is important for us to solve problems, and for that we must eat to remain healthy.

AJAY SHARMA, Chandigarh

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor, neatly hand-written or typed in double space, should not exceed the 150-word limit. These can be sent by post to the Letters Editor, The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh-160030. Letters can also be sent by e-mail to: Letters@tribuneindia.com

— Editor-in-Chief



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