Sir — Calcutta Police had made the wearing of helmets compulsory a little over two decades ago. The law was strictly adhered to for a number of years. A two-wheeler with a helmet-less driver or pillion rider was indeed a rare sight in the city. However, a certain laxity has been noticed in the last two or three years. A large number of bike riders do not wear helmets these days. In areas like Park Circus, their numbers are quite noticeable. One wonders whether bad policing or contempt for the law is the reason behind such collective impunity.
Imtiaz Chowdhry, Calcutta
Such a shame
Sir — There has been a sharp rise in the number of rape cases in different parts of India in recent times. Even West Bengal, which was long considered to be a relatively safer place for women, has witnessed a steady rise in crimes against women. This is a serious and disturbing issue and demands stricter measures. The perpetrators of such heinous crimes have no fear of the law. This is because there are a number of loopholes in the system that help them escape unscathed.
Very few victims have the courage to file a first information report. Those who file FIRs seldom see punishment being meted out to the culprits. Rape cases in India require speedy trials and strict punishment for the perpetrators.There can be nothing more shameful than a country’s failure to protect its women.
Women are worshiped as goddesses in religion. Men claim to be devout followers of the faith. Then how can they commit such atrocities on women? Men who commit crimes against women have no place in society as they are not human.
A. Pandey, Calcutta
Sir — I would like to reveal the condition of the railways in our country. India has been developing drastically. Yet the government has failed to provide the people with basic services and a better standard of living.
A few weeks back, during a train journey, I was witness to some undesirable sights. As the train started to move, some men entered the coach and slept near the door next to the toilet. This greatly inconvenienced the passengers who wanted to use the washrooms. The men were, presumably, travelling without tickets. Hence they slept on the passage. Moreover, around midnight, some people started shouting and banging on the door, demanding to be let in. This added to the nuisance.
What is demonstrated in this context is the railways’s ignorance of such facts. In recent times, there has been a lot of talk about the introduction of new trains. But can this be a solution to the problems faced by passengers? Will the introduction of new trains ensure an increase in the number of berths available so that incidents such as the ones that I witnessed will be stopped?
Dinesh Trivedi had to resign as the railways minister because he attempted to raise fares. The Trinamul Congress’s argument, however, is not practical. The budget hiked the prices of many commodities. So why not raise railway fares? A small increment could have given people access to better provisions. But why is the government unwilling to do so? Who should be held responsible for the situation? Should the people, travelling under difficult conditions, be blamed? Or does the fault lie with the government, which is against hiking train fares in the ‘people’s interest’, but also seems disinclined to change the situation?
Yours faithfully, Sunaina Agarwal, Calcutta