Ramachandra Guha’s article Cracking the code (December 14) holds a mirror to all the political parties that have neglected their duty towards Muslim women in India by not demanding that the common civil code be implemented. But shouldn’t educated Muslims themselves lead the campaign? Unless this happens, the overriding impression will be that of a community that does not care for such a change. And which politician will risk losing votes by forcing it down their throats?
Guha’s analysis was informative. The progressive leaders of our nation managed to reform the Hindu personal law. Yet, Muslim women did not get the same opportunity to flourish in a free and fair environment. If our leaders do not rise above vote-bank politics, these women will remain in the clutches of religious bigotry.
Apropos of the report 45 tree species in India almost extinct (December 15), the 2007 IUCN report shows that the number of threatened plant species is increasing. Nature conservation programmes cannot be successful as long as poverty plagues the country. Efforts should be made to mobilise local people to conserve areas of high biodiversity and improve the natural resource assets of rural populations. The communication gap between botanists and forest conservators should also be filled for effective plant conservation.
More and more plant and animal species are in danger due to the apathy of the authorities. The Wildlife Protection Act bans the capture and trade of all 1,200 varieties of birds found in India. But about 300 bird species are openly sold in markets. Sadly, birds imprisoned for long can’t survive in the wild and can be rehabilitated only under the supervision of an expert.