The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Letters to Editor

Improper conduct

Sir — What do the Indian authorities hope to gain by their appalling behaving to Zakir Hussain Syed, the Pakistani national appointed development manager by the Asian Cricket Council (“Delhi not game for anything Pakistani”, Dec 25)' After all, Pakistan was quite ready to issue visas to Roger Binny and Vece Paes. Such petulance and gratuitous bad behaviour do not achieve anything — they only portray India in a bad light and are the reason why Pakistan manages to outwit India every time in the diplomatic arena. Why don’t the Indians concentrate instead on catching criminals like Anees Ibrahim'

Yours faithfully,
Dev Dutt, Calcutta

Harassed and hurt

Sir — The report, “Road Romeos aim too high” (Dec 24), proves for the umpteenth time that politicians are a privileged class in Indian society. The speed and efficiency put on display by the Calcutta Police while catching the youth who had allegedly misbehaved with the chief minister’s daughter are of a rare kind. Ordinary citizens, particularly women in the city, continue to be the target of lewd gestures and comments by eve-teasers. Anyone who has lodged a complaint against eve-teasers knows how they merely gather dust in the files of the police stations. Behind the non-cooperation of the police is the belief that women, in some way, provoke such behaviour in men. Is it surprising then that most women find it useless to lodge complaints'

It is, of course, good news that the police have acted on an oral complaint made by the security guards at Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s residence, in this case. But not all victims have chief ministers for their fathers.

Yours faithfully,
Richa Biswas, Calcutta

Sir — One can only hope that the alleged eve-teasing of Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s daughter, Suchetana, will make Calcutta Police more aware of the need to come down heavily on eve-teasers. The police could, for example, introduce the practice of patrolling the city streets after dusk as is done in some countries in the West. Or follow up on complaints against known miscreants. What is needed in view of the sharp rise in the number of eve-teasing cases over the last few years is a draconian law and its strict implementation.

Yours faithfully,
M. Gupta, Calcutta

Sir — Catching the men who allegedly harassed Buddha- deb Bhattacharjee’s daughter is not enough for the people of Calcutta to repose faith in the workings of Calcutta Police. The sharp rise in eve-teasing in recent times is the inevitable result of the influence of Hindi movies on the youth. Most Indian mainstream films portray the modern woman as easy and available, instead of focussing on their achievements. Advertisements too demean women by turning them into sex objects. The initiative of the information and broadcasting minister, Sushma Swaraj, to monitor the content of television programmes could thus be the first step in stemming violence against women.

Yours faithfully,
T.R. Anand, Calcutta

Spot the saint

Sir — It is difficult to share The Telegraph’s enthusiasm about the beatification of Mother Teresa (“Pope’s stamp on Mother miracle”, Dec 21). A Catholic saint is created in accordance with the criteria laid down by the Roman Catholic church. While Christians all over the world may consider Mother Teresa a saint, it is doubtful whether people from other religions will accept her saintliness. Pope John Paul II has beatified over 1,000 people, many of them of dubious credentials. The prediction that Calcutta will now become a destination for Christian pilgrims is typically naive. Mother Teresa has transformed Calcutta from a city into a metaphor. In the West, the mention of this city invokes the horrors of dying people, lepers and beggars. Mother Teresa’s beatification will immortalize these images and drive away potential investors from this city.

Yours faithfully
Sharmila Ghosh, Calcutta

Sir — It is ironic that on the one hand we talk about helping people overcome their superstitions and on the other, we believe in miracles. It should not matter whether Mother Teresa is a saint or not. Her work for the uplift of Calcutta’s poor should be enough to earn her the respect of people in different parts of the world.

Yours faithfully,
N. Mandal, Kharagpur

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