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Random check on Indian sensitivity

Eminent sociologist Ashis Nandy has termed corruption among the underprivileged classes as an equaliser in society and has highlighted a positive aspect of their urge for social mobility. As a sociologist, he knows better; it is his perception and just an idea. Nobody has any business to strangulate ideas, right or wrong. The matter should have been laid to rest once Nandy apologised if it had hurt sentiments of the segments of society he had referred to.

The chain of corruption in various forms, not necessarily associated with money exchanging hands, is constantly increasing and the common man finds himself helpless and powerless, accusing himself of being a non-performer.

Sometimes, upsurges like the JP movement, Anna movement, AAP, and many other at local levels appear to provide some respite.

SANTOSH SONI, Nagrota Bagwan


Literary conferences and seminars serve no purpose if participants are not allowed to speak their mind (editorial ‘Republic of intolerance’, January 29). Freedom of speech and expression means free flow of ideas and thoughts.

At the same time, we should also keep in mind what participants say on some subject or topic is not the final word. So if some people do not agree with the speaker’s point of view, they can disagree but nobody has any right to gag him. It is a pity that we are sensitive to innocuous remarks coming from fellow humans, but are not affected by inhuman activities happening around us.


Acid attack victims

The observation of the Punjab and Haryana Chief Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri’s that an acid attack is worse than murder (editorial ‘Maimed and scarred’ January 28) is apt. In the well-known Sonali  Mukherjee case, the offenders are roaming freely whereas the victim is hiding her face. The government is still silent on getting her skin reconstructive surgery done. Thanks to the KBC show who helped her with the support of actress Lara Datta to win some money. The court has done a good job by issuing directive to the Punjab government to frame a policy for relief and free treatment, among other steps.

The open sale of acid needs to be restricted as spending a mere Rs 50 on an acid bottle can ruin the life of a person. Amendment to the criminal law 2012 awarding harsh punishment and imposition of fine should not be delayed to avoid more incidents.

O P GARG, Patiala


Acid attacks are a reflection of the brutal male mentality. A mixture of psycho-social factors, like negative feelings, mental sickness and peer pressure could be the driving force behind the accused taking such extreme steps. The victims most of whom have to undergo expensive treatment and reconstructive surgery do need monetary help to get on with their life. They should be granted justice as well as financial aid. The police failure to effectively tackle such incidents is also responsible for the repeat of such attacks. The accused in such cases should be tried under stricter laws and punishment, too, must be exemplary. Easy availability of acid must be checked.

Dr SHRUTI K CHAWLA, Chandigarh

Right initiative

The Director-General, School Education (DGSE), has taken an initiative in the right direction by taking up the matter with SGPC to restrict the loudspeaker hours in gurdwaras (news report ‘After DGSE appeal, SGPC restricts loudspeaker hours in gurdwaras’, January 28).

The matter should also be taken up with other religious places. The gurdwaras must adhere to the "hukamnama" issued by Akal Takht instead of receiving repeated reminders from the government or society.

During ‘jagratas’ students and the general public are at the receiving end due to high-volume loudspeakers. Not self-regulation, but government or judicial stick alone acts as a deterrent to us Indians.


Peer pressure

Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal in his Republic Day address has called upon parents of the youth to take special care to keep them away from drugs. It’s a genuine concern of the parents and the state government. The fact is that as the child enters senior classes, the influence of the parents is replaced by peer pressure and that the parents are left with little role to play in the child’s life. That is the stage when the children must be kept focused to keep them away from harmful activities, initially started for thrill.


Time for change 

The old guard in the Congress party must give way to young leaders who are brimming with new ideas (Congress energised, January 22). Rahul Gandhi as the AICC vice-president would do well to promote as many youths from poor and weaker sections of India who have the ability, competence and vision to take the party and the country forward to ensure an equitable and egalitarian society for all Indians, especially those living in rural India. He should not hesitate to crack the whip on senior leaders who block his path to rejuvenate the party.

After exposing his soft side, he must now demonstrate to the world that when it comes to carrying out plans and ideas for India’s development, he can be as strong and tough as his grandmother Indira Gandhi, if and when the situations demand.

Rahul’s goal should not be limited to Congress victory in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Winning the trust, confidence and goodwill of the entire nation should be his first and foremost task.




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