Sir — Indian women do not need Murli Manohar Joshi, of all people, to defend them (“Fair is foul for pious Joshi’s ‘mother sex’”, Jan 3). Joshi might think he is according women a rare respect by referring to them as the “mother” sex, but many would find the description as limiting and nearly as condescending as “fair sex”. After all, there is more to women than motherhood, much as it may shock our holier-than-thou minister. But perhaps it is only by seeing them in terms of their reproductive functions that chauvinists like Joshi can deal with the modern woman.
S.K. Bhattacharjee, Calcutta
Strike a chord
Sir — The lawyers’ strike in West Bengal is a glaring example of an artificial problem. The Supreme Court has already declared the strike illegal and said that all grievances must be settled in accordance with legal provisions. The lawyers’ plea that they are fighting to protect the interests of clients sounds like a cruel joke when one considers the number of poor litigants who have become bankrupt because of the advocate’s exorbitant fees and endless tarrying. It is a pity that there are no fixed rates for lawyers’ fees. It is also rumoured that public prosecutors, deputed to defend the government or fight cases for poor defendants sometimes even ask for money from their clients.
In short, lawyers have no moral locus standi to protest.
N.K. Ghosh, Purulia
Sir — Soli J. Sorabji’s call to set up an institution to go into the alleged misdemeanours of judges as well as check unprofessional practices like unpunctuality and needlessly dragging their feet over cases is a timely gesture. Serious cases of corruption and high-handedness have been levelled against judges in recent times. Ironically, litigants are fined for not complying with the orders of the court in time but there is no mechanism to penalize erring judges. As Sorabji recommends, there could be a national judicial commission with the prime minister, leader of the opposition and retired Supreme Court judges as nominees, which could be empowered to probe and punish erring judges based on complaints against them by the general public. This will ensure the legislature has some say in the appointment of judges and their functioning. Also all high court judges must be appointed from outside their home states in order to check nepotism and favouritism.
S.C. Agrawal, Delhi
Sir — Are the lawyers not afraid of offending the court that they continue to strike despite the apex court’s ruling against it'
Ronen Sen, Calcutta
Sir — Kamini Jaiswal may be a good and sincere advocate but she has no right to accuse all lawyers of mercenary instincts (“Strike the right balance”, Dec 21). All lawyers are not rich and hence are understandably worried about losing clients. They must explain to the apex court that they are fighting for a just cause. The government cannot just increase levies at random to make up for its own bad accounting.
S.S. Almal, Calcutta
Sir — Hunger strikes, like the ones undertaken by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, harmed no one except the one conducting it, but they managed to shake the British Empire. In contrast, the lawyers’ strike benefits no one but the lawyers themselves. No wonder Kamini Jaiswal is so upset with them.
C.R. Das, Calcutta
Change of face
Sir — Can we please have a break from photographs of Nilanjana Bhowmick, Pallabi Chatterjee and Moon Moon Sen and her two daughters' Readers are really tired of seeing their faces everyday in The Telegraph.
C. Chatterjee, Chandannagar
Sir — The Telegraph must publish a daily train reservation status as is done in every other major newspaper of the country.
R. Chatterjee, Calcutta