Buck stops with Modi
Vir Sanghvi in The Hindu Fuehrer, a prisoner of his image (Counterpoint, March 14) rightly argued that despite being an able administrator, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi cannot absolve himself of his involvement in the
2002 riots. Only by accepting responsibility for the devastating violence that killed hundreds of innocents can Modi redeem himself and his party. The 2002 Gujarat riots convinced a vast majority of Indians that the BJP no longer deserved the label of a moderate right-wing political outfit. This was confirmed in subsequent parliamentary election results.
Alok Kumar, Delhi
One must check facts before tarnishing reputations
Last Sunday, I was both baffled and amused to read Nitin Sen’s letter in which he accused me of plagiarising from an article on the internet (How To Win An Oscar, March 7). Strangely, Sen didn’t mention the source of the original article from where I’ve supposedly lifted points. I ran a check on the internet to confirm the basis of such an allegation and I can say that the examples I’ve used may seem to be the ‘same’ to Sen, but that was because I couldn’t have conjured up a ‘different’ list of winners and nominees from those selected by the Academy. I would request Sen to do a background check before tarnishing people’s reputation.
Rajiv Masand, via email
Three men on women
Kudos to Indrajit Hazra, Karan Thapar and Manas Chakravarty for providing food for thought to the readers through their columns (March 14). The passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill in the Rajya Sabha has stirred up an amusing debate, thereby diverting people’s mind from the issues of rising inflation, unbridled corruption and continued threats of terror attacks. It is interesting to observe the common man make sense of the clauses of the Bill, while our politicians do their flip flops, as is their wont.
Piyush C. Sharma, Bhopal
It’s the men who’ve been helping women
Indrajit Hazra’s argument in Watching the ladies (Red Herring, 14), that more women MPs are needed for women’s emancipation is lame given the fact that the first steps towards empowering women in Indian society were taken by great men like Raja Ram Mohun Roy and Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar and not by fellow women. If reservation of 33 per cent of the seats in Parliament is for the sake of mere representation of a certain gender, then why not reserve seats for homosexuals and transgender individuals as they face more discrimination than women today?
Somi Das, Delhi
The passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill in the Rajya Sabha seems like an attempt to suppress the symptoms of an ailment rather than trying to cure it. As Hazra points out, if just by increasing the number of seats in Parliament and assemblies would have solved problems, many existing issues wouldn’t have been there to solve. Let’s hope an increase in the number of women in Parliament improves the lot for all women, and especially for those who need affirmative action the most.
Nishit Patel, Bombay
An unequal milieu
I agree with Karan Thapar’s views in The quota cop-out (Sunday Sentiments, March 14) that quotas cause offence as they amount to discrimination. The Women’s Bill comes across as discriminatory by which women will be given more representation in Parliament to compensate for the lack of say in nation-building. That women are still not considered equal to men remains. However, given the massive social and economic transformation Indian society has gone through the Bill becomes necessary for the uplift of oppressed women.
R.K. Kapoor, Chandigarh
Credibility is the key
Manas Chakravarty in Wanted: Women (Loose Canon, March 14) rightly pointed out that the Women’s Reservation Bill will not serve any purpose if the necessary amendments are not carried out in the eligibility criteria of the elected members. Unless the candidates meet the required standards of credibility, reserving seats alone wouldn’t bring about any change in society.
Kiran Sabharwal, via email
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