Indian food is varied and delicious
Sir — The Twitter comment made by Tom Nichols, a professor based in the United States of America — he said that ‘Indian food is terrible’ — highlights the deep ignorance in the West, even among ‘scholars’, about South Asian cuisines. Thankfully, the prejudiced comment received widespread criticism. Indian food is varied and delicious, with many regional cuisines having nothing in common. Moreover, I have eaten at a number of ‘Indian’ restaurants in the US: the food items are inauthentic and greatly inferior versions of the original dishes. People around the world should base their opinions of ‘foreign’ cuisines only after having consumed authentic preparations.
Farzana Hussain, Calcutta
Sir — It was shocking to read about the heinous gang-rape and murder of a young veterinary doctor near Hyderabad. The crime must be condemned unequivocally, and the culprits given the harshest punishment under the law. The manner in which they tricked the victim was especially blood-curdling. Do women in India have no hope of leading lives that are free of danger from men? The number of crimes in India against women is spiking with each passing day.
It seems as though laws are no deterrent for those who wish to commit crimes against women. The lackadaisical attitude of law-enforcement agencies and the tardy pace of justice delivery in India are to blame for this. In certain countries, rape and murder trials are completed speedily and the most severe penalties given to the culprits. In India, however, such a trial takes many years. Over a lakh of rape cases are pending in our courts at present. This sparks hope among the guilty that they can escape the clutches of the law.
The family of the victim of the gruesome Delhi gang rape case of 2012 is yet to get justice. One of the culprits is a free citizen now as he was a juvenile at the time of the crime. The ward attendant who raped a nurse in Mumbai in 1973 also walks free now; he spent only seven years in jail while she spent 42 years in a coma and passed away thereafter. There is something deeply wrong with our society if its youth, especially the men, are increasingly turning out to be perpetrators of such violent crimes.
Strict laws, law enforcement and severe punishment alone can curb crimes against women. Girls perhaps should also be taught martial arts in school and college. Night patrolling along Indian streets should be tighter.
Sravana Ramachandran, Chennai
Sir — The brutal gang rape and murder of a young vet near Hyderabad must attract the most stringent punishment for the accused. This crime has proved that the law and order situation has not improved even after the harrowing Delhi gang rape of 2012; women are still unsafe. In this incident, the tyre of the young woman’s scooter was reportedly punctured by the accused with the aim of luring her away so that the crime could be committed. The home minister of Telangana, Mohammed Mahmood Ali, should be condemned for his statement blaming the victim for calling her sister and not the police.
The law enforcement and justice delivery system in the country requires an urgent overhaul. It is a system under which potential criminals feel emboldened to commit the most violent acts, believing that they can get away with this. This is one of the biggest reasons why the number of such crimes keeps increasing.
Given that all four of the accused have been arrested, the trial should be conducted efficiently and speedily.
Madhu Agrawal, Delhi
Sir — The plight of the young veterinary doctor near Hyderabad should make the men of the nation hang their heads in shame. It is clear that no lessons were learnt from the Delhi gang rape case seven years ago. It is high time that male citizens started taking responsibility for their actions and made it their duty to educate their fellow men about the safety and dignity of life that women in this country are entitled to.
Abhimanyu Roy, Calcutta
Return to the past
Sir — It is worth visiting Serampore during a holiday weekend to see the historical buildings and churches made by the Danish people who lived, traded and worked there a long time ago. There is restoration work being done in collaboration with the National Museum of Denmark and the state government. One hopes that the ruins will be restored to their original splendour. I learnt that the restoration of the Denmark Tavern was done by skilful artisans from Murshidabad. The first floor has been reserved for overnight stays, and rooms with verandahs in the front are being made ready with furniture from Denmark.
However, there is a lack of cleanliness around the building compound. The whole area needs to be cleaned up and preserved properly to make it a worthy tourist destination. Moreover, there should ideally be a way to approach the Denmark Tavern from the Ganga, instead of having to endure a bone-rattling ride by road from Calcutta. Then, upon reaching Serampore after the road journey, there ought to be prominent signboards directing visitors on the right way to reach the riverfront house. Other heritage structures such as the Serampore Court, the William Carey Museum and the Serampore College, along with the riverfront, must be beautified and maintained in order to attract tourists.
B.K. Nundee, Calcutta