Change the mindset

Published on Nov 25, 2006 12:10 AM IST

Zoya Hasan in Glaring blind spots (November 18), blames the political and administrative establishments for the socio-economic backwardness of Muslims.

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Zoya Hasan in Glaring blind spots (November 18), blames the political and administrative establishments for the socio-economic backwardness of Muslims and brushes aside the need for social and religious introspection by the community as mere frenzied debate. She should accept that the insular attitude of Muslims is the main reason for their backwardness.

Rashmi Kumari Sinha, Delhi

II

It is a fact that the Muslim community requires some preferential treatment for bridging the developmental gap. But if any benefit given is based on religion or caste, the elite will usurp them. So let us not repeat the mistake we made in the case of the SC/ST and ensure that the benefits go to the needy among Muslims.

Naval Langa, Ahmedabad

III

Zoya hasan’s attempt to blame the government for all the ills plaguing the Muslim community is sheer escapism. What has she to say to the community’s opposition to any social or educational reforms initiated by the government, be it in the madrasa system of schooling or their personal laws? Can she provide a rational argument for the rejection of polio drops by many Muslims?

Amit Rahul, via e-mail

IV

Hasan should know the drawbacks of a society mired in religious fundamentalism and taboos. These hinder its growth.  No amount of governmental aid for education and health can succeed unless an individual wishes to take advantage of them. Educated Muslims should spread awareness in their community for the uplift of the disadvantaged. Education, other than what is provided in the madrasas, should be paramount.

Dinesh Chandra, Delhi

V

The leadership of the community is responsible for its sorry state. Muslims allowed themselves to be exploited by political parties for cheap favours without developing a long-term vision. It suited the leadership to raise religious passions and neglect education. Muslims remain isolated from others, identifying themselves only with their religion and not with the society that they live in. Those who managed to break free have always done well.

RV Raman, Suratgarh

Crush the enemies

Home Minister Shivraj Patil’s revelations that India’s atomic power plants, oil installations, defence, communications and IT sectors are on the hit list of terrorists is shameful news (Shore up on security, November 24). There is no point in dragging on a fruitless peace process. If we want peace, our security forces should be given a free hand to thwart our enemies.

Varinder Singh, Delhi

Women and property

This refers to the editorial Mother’s lib (November 23). Married women in India are still treated as ‘outsiders’ in their in-laws’ houses. This psyche can and should be changed by amending rules for automatic rights to be conferred on women in their husbands’ residential and ancestral properties on their marriage. It will be in the interest of the family, too, because then it will be impossible for a husband to mortgage or sell the property for his personal use without the consent of his wife. However, in case of the death of the wife, the property from the husband’s family should go to the children, and not to anyone from her parent’s families.

Simultaneously, married women would lose their right to property from their parents unless the parents specifically bequeath it to their married daughters. The exception would be in the case of widows who do not have residential property from their husbands.

Madhu Agrawal, Mumbai

Cricket fiasco

After our humiliating performance in Durban, I wonder whether we need a coach like Greg Chappell to guide our team (Nightmare on game street, November 23). Why do we need a coach at all when each team member was supposed to have been properly trained by the coach of the club of which he is a member and the team is managed by a seasoned cricketer?

KP Rajan, Mumbai

Save our national park

It was shocking to read that a road and a bridge may be constructed by the NCP inside the last vestige of forest in and around Mumbai — the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (Greens see red over forest road, November 23). How callous and insensitive can our politicians be towards the need to maintain the flora and fauna of the national park.

Such steps will hasten the degradation of a park that is already encroached upon. Politicians would be well advised to leave the park alone as it would be in violation of the Wildlife Protection Act and the Forest Conservation Act. The Conservator of Forests should take cognisance of this disastrous proposal.

GR Vora, Mumbai

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