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Through the telly, crookedly

Sir — Why are the saas and bahu seen as intrinsically opposed to each other (“Saas & bahu share platform, wisdom”, Jan 17)' Modern women could not go out to work if mothers-in-law had not pitched in at the kitchen, in the care of grandchildren and in home-making. Daughters-in-law too are sensitive, caring and giving. The modern family is not a perfect world, but not as nasty as serials like Kyon Ki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi make it out to be. And this sharing of responsibilities is not typical of modernity. Even earlier, there has been no dearth of feeling mothers and daughters-in-law. Let’s stop looking at them through the crooked glass of our boob tubes.

Yours faithfully,
N. Sehgal, Calcutta


Street legal

Sir — The idea of having a road safety week is itself a hilarious idea. Instead, a week should be designated each month to teach drivers of private buses, taxis and autos how to drive safely. It would be even better if the police themselves decide to come down heavily, without fear or favour, on those who break traffic rules a week every month. This is important because political compulsions often force them to overlook certain gross violations of rules.

The police could deploy plainclothes traffic sergeants who would have the responsibility of booking all drivers who break the traffic legislation. Bus operators become ideal citizens the moment they see sergeants in uniform. Second, all pavements should be kept free of all sorts of encroachment and hawkers, and be made available to pedestrians, for whom they are meant anyway.

It is important to teach pedestrians traffic rules, organize exhibitions and caution people through the public address system. But that is not enough. The most important factor is that the police should be above reproach. The sight of policemen accepting bribe openly is a all too common. This has to stop. Otherwise, no amount of coaxing will force the public to respect traffic rules or the police who enforce them.

Yours faithfully,
Diptimoy Ghosh,


Calcutta

Sir — The report, “Tragedy in safety week” (Jan 16) shows what a farce the road safety week has been. Have we not had enough of accidents' Is it not time for the government to make rules and regulations that will force bus drivers to be more disciplined on the roads' No one is discounting the fact that rash driving is the cause of most accidents, but the traffic department should see to it that a strict vigil is maintained so that errant drivers are brought to book. It should be also impressed upon political parties that their Brigade rallies at the drop of a hat and show of power on the city’s streets are often responsible for accidents. After being held up interminably, there is a mad rush on the part of both the drivers and passengers to get going. Last, but not the least, strict legislation has to be supplemented by the cooperation of the public. It is only if both the authorities and the people act in tandem that accidents can be averted.

Yours faithfully,
Bijoy Ranjan Dey,


Tinsukia

Sir — “Tragedy in safety week” was disturbing news. Overtaking among buses has to stop as a rule. Unless that is done, deaths will continue to occur. It is abysmal that seven people should have died on the third day of the road safety week. Traffic rules and discipline in crossing roads should be strictly enforced and fines imposed as it is done in other states like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and, above all, Tamil Nadu. Why has not the traffic police thought of imposing fines on the erring public' Most important, minibus operators have to be dealt with an iron hand.

Yours faithfully,
T.R. Anand, Calcutta


Parting shot

Sir — The ministry of education in the states, principals of colleges and universities and teachers have a major role to play in the anti-smoking crusade that the Union health minister, Shatrughan Sinha, is hoping to initiate. They should encourage students, especially girls (some of whom still believe smoking is a fashion statement) to give up the habit.

Yours faithfully,
S. Bose, Calcutta


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