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

No gender justice

In the write-up “Ladies Sangeet in Chandigarh” (March 31) the author M.G. Devasahayam has narrated the messages pasted on Twitter by the three women contestants for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat Kirron Kher, Jannat Jahan and Gul Panag. I, as a woman, fail to understand why when men in similar situations, and even after getting into responsible and important positions in Parliament, communicate with each other using filthy and uncivilised language, both verbal and body language, it is never ascribed to their gender? It is a pity that today, when the whole world including India, has chalked out the agenda of gender justice and equality, women remain under a scanner and it is men who have a birthright to comment upon women.

It takes courage for women, especially when they have been completely apolitical, to jump into the election fray against powerful male contestants. Why use gendered language only for women and spare the men? When shall we learn to look at women as human beings first and then women as we do for men?

Whatever women do even in the 21st century is considered only to be a ‘good diversion’ (the last comment of the author). Nothing has changed for the better!

Dr Rajesh Gill, Chandigarh

Let girls vote, too

It is a matter of pity that in Jind district, out of 6.40 lakh women, only 3.83 lakh are enrolled as voters as parents discourage their unmarried daughters from doing so. By filling in just one form, the voters can be transferred from one place to another. Unmarried women are treated like goods left in the custody of parents till their rightful owner, the husband, claims them. The editorial “Voters only after marriage” (March 26) aptly points out that women do not have the freedom to move around or dress up as they wish to or make friends with men. Parents must give the same privileges to their daughters as their sons.

Subhash C Taneja, Gurgaon

Watershed plan essential

Reference news item “Declining water table: Central scheme to cover entire state” (March 21), integrated watershed management was introduced to check soil erosion, especially during the raining season in the kandi area. The flow of water is checked with the silt detention dams and the water thus detained is used for irrigation, especially by small and marginal farmers in the area. This scheme was introduced in Majri block of Ropar in 2005 with the involvement of local people, panchayats and self-help groups. But later, the projects were not attended to properly. The scheme can be successful only if it is controlled by some government departments like soil conservation department. Otherwise, all financial assistance will go waste.

The water table is going down and it is a serious problem. The government should introduce rainwater harvesting system in school buildings, hospitals and other government buildings and on panchayat lands to increase the water table level.

Raj Kumar Kapoor, Ropar

Importance of Modi

This refers to “Importance of being Modi” by S Nihal Singh (March 28). Like many other Modi bashers, he has held him responsible for the Godhra riots in Gujarat and blamed him for not apologising for the tragic incident. Firstly, the Gujarat riots were a reaction to the burning of innocent Hindus in a train coach by a Muslim mob. Nobody ever talks about the trigger. It has become an essential part of secularism as being practised by certain political groups to hide the sins and crimes of one community to target another.

One should not forget that Modi has not been held responsible by any court for these riots. Secondly, several Hindus too were killed by Muslims during the riots, something that has been kept hidden.

Anand Prakash, Panchkula

Modi has magic wand?

It is irksome to read or hear about the Modi wave because (a) we need to question as to from where finances are pouring in for the extravagant lotus/Modi poll campaign; (b) what magic wand is in possession of Narendra Modi that will provision, solve or obliterate all the ills of indecision, misgovernance, corruption, price rise, unemployment, non-development or weak leadership that he promises.

During the past decade, the BJP left no stone unturned to create hurdles in the smooth running of the elected government, yet it unabashadly accused the UPA-II of indecision and policy paralysis.

Lt-Col Bachittar Singh (retd), Mohali

Luring voters with drugs

The supply of drugs to a voter, in general, and an addict, in particular, during elections seems to have become the success mantra of politicians in Punjab. A large number of Punjabis are addicts and a good percentage of them resorts to illegal means to sustain the addiction. It is muscle or money power that decides who will win elections. The Election Commission should have teeth sharp enough to bite deeply into the distributors of drugs. The voters should reject these merchants of drugs.

Chaman Singla Bhucho, Bathinda

Populist journalism

Justice PS Sawant, former chairman of the Press Council of India, is reported to have observed that many large newspaper houses were falling prey to populist journalism by printing nude and semi-nude photographs, obscene advertisements, salacious reading material and generally trivialising news. And their focus seems only on increasing the circulation/profits and, in the process, giving a go-by to their social obligations and responsibility.

Tara Chand, Ambota (Una)

Give fellowship to poor

The RGNF (Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship) of the UGC is a ray of hope for the SC/ST candidates pursuing research in universities. But it would prove beneficial if granted to those candidates who are economically poor. The monthly amount of the fellowship is Rs 16,000 for the initial two years and Rs 19,000 for three years and it is more than sufficient amount for a researcher. It may encourage more research if the amount is re-planned and re-distributed effectively among more students. The budding scholars are hoping for these changes in the scheme.


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