Trial too harsh
Sir — The editorial, “Hard test” (April 3), focusses on a matter of great importance. Can the court order a medical examination to decide on a divorce suit, especially if this requires the woman to undergo a medical test to prove the husband’s allegation' Will that not actually try a woman’s sense of self-respect' Is it not an intrusion into her privacy' Such humiliation can even lead to her suicide, especially if such “examination” makes her the butt of social ridicule. The apex court has ruled that the right to privacy in certain cases cannot be regarded as an absolute right. But should we not keep in mind that that there is every possibility that the discretionary powers that rest with the courts can be misused' India is a country where the woman was once forced to immolate herself on the pyre of her husband. We have an atrocious history of women’s rights being abused and thus need to be more careful about preventing a miscarriage of justice to them.
Tarakdas Majumdar, Calcutta
Win some, lose some
Sir — Although it might sound selfish, the ouster of Saddam Hussein will be of immense benefit to India. Iraq is the second largest producer of oil after Saudi Arabia but its oil production has been controlled by the UN sanctions for the last 12 years. It is allowed to draw out only a tiny amount of its oil for the food for oil programme. The sanctions could never have been withdrawn so long as Saddam Hussein remained in power. Once the dictator goes, Iraq will be able to sell its oil for its reconstruction and future development. If such a huge stock of oil comes to the market, one can only imagine what it would do to the oil prices. It could even touch $ 15 to $ 20 per barrel. This will force other oil-producing nations like Saudi Arabia to increase its production in order to maintain their gross domestic product. The increase in oil production will have a ripple effect and bring oil prices down.
India stands to gain as a result. The oil import bills will go down and bring relief to the people who have been hard hit by the increasing oil prices. The fall in oil prices will also boost the world economy. It however goes without saying that the United States of America will be the biggest beneficiary of the war in Iraq. By cutting its oil import bills by half in six months, it will recover most of its war expenditure. It is not without reason that the US suffers the return of the body bags from Iraq. George W. Bush realizes that the fruits of the war will help people the world over forget the US aggression. The only other thing he needs to remember is that some of the oil proceeds should also go into rebuilding the lives of the Iraqis who have suffered the most because of the depredations.
Govind Das Dujari, Calcutta
Sir — The report, “Fish market-turned upscale, shopping mall hit by missile” (March 31), makes evident that the coalition army will once again have to face up to world criticism for such obvious slips. If it hopes to win the so-called war of liberation in Iraq, it cannot afford such mishaps. Iraqi civilians have to be alive to rejoice the post-war Iraq minus Saddam Hussein. Right, George W. Bush'
Bijoy Ranjan Dey, Tinsukia
Sir — The US has embarked on a crazy war with Iraq. George W. Bush is actually powerless, since he cannot break the back of Iraqis. But the US should have gauged the tolerance and endurance of the Iraqis before it chose to dig in its heels outside Baghdad. I hope the US in the end gets vilified by the world for killing the people of Iraq. I also pray that this war will unleash a world revolution against the superpower.
Mohammed Rafi, Calcutta
Sir — The strong have the peculiar ability to catch history by her ears and make her its slave. The weak are thus never heard, nor served. The might of the US is so overpowering that the United Nations has been rendered impotent and the security council been made a mute spectator to a cataclysm. It is so ruthless that it has not even bent to public criticism, even to that within its own borders. Even before it has got away with dropping an atom bomb, killing millions in Vietnam, Lebanon and Afghanistan. It has dictated North Korea, Iran, Pakistan and China, all in the name of maintaining world peace. And now for the same reason it strides on in Iraq. Does it know how many Osama bin Ladens are being created in the process'
Md. Nasruddin, Calcutta
Sir — The US feels that the regime change in Iraq will allow them to control Iraqi wealth and oil. But surprisingly, the people who are fighting for Iraq are not members of the army of Saddam Hussein. These people are jihadi warriors from many countries who have had no liking for the Hussein regime. America may well turn a secular Iraq into a fundamentalist hub and unleash the same terror that is now scorching Israel.
Iftakhar Latif, Guwahati
Sir — The report, “Lawyer who risked all for Jessica”(April 5), was indeed a much needed news from the battlefield. It makes obvious that there is no lack of feelings on either side. One can well imagine how prisoners of war would be treated in Iraq. Jessica Lynch should thereby consider herself immensely lucky to have been saved from the fedayeen. The US should think over the incident. Civilians in Iraq are being killed for no reason. It is only a handful of supporters of the Saddam Hussein regime who are holding out. No civilian should be harmed in this rather personal battle of George W. Bush on Saddam Hussein.
Sumant Poddar, Calcutta
Sir — The vandalism in the name of anti-war protests is typical of the destructive mentality that has been cultivated by politicians in West Bengal (“Window-dressed protest over Iraq”, April 3). Anti-war protests are going on all over the world, including the coalition countries. But such vandalism has not been reported from anywhere. It is ridiculous that some of the vandals at the showroom in Calcutta asked the Indian employees to “quit India”. Probably they had no idea of what they were protesting against. In any case, protestors either in India or abroad still have no answer to what other method could have been used against a tyrant like Saddam Hussein.
Kalyan Ghosh, Calcutta