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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 22 May 2024

Letters to the Editor: Onus on women to protect themselves

Readers write in from Calcutta, Kozhikode, Andhra Pradesh, New Delhi, Jamshedpur, Noida and Kanpur

The Editorial Board Published 06.04.23, 05:52 AM

Defending patriarchy

Sir — Girls in Uttar Pradesh will now receive self-defence training in schools. While none can deny the importance of teaching girls self-defence, especially in the light of rising cases of gender-based violence across the country, why must the onus of their safety fall squarely on women? In the name of empowering women and making them independent, they are given the responsibility of protecting themselves from predators. Why not start gender sensitisation classes in schools for the male students instead? The discourse on self-defence does little to address the root cause of gender-based violence: the licences given to men by patriarchy. In teaching girls self-defence, the State just assumes that boys will be boys.

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Snigdha Dhar,Calcutta

Tricky equations

Sir — The forthcoming assembly elections in Karnataka hold high stakes for both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party. The Janata Dal (Secular) will probably end up playing kingmaker, just as it did in the last election. The saffron party is banking on the polarisation of the electorate. The Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Act, 2020, the Karnataka protection of right to freedom of religion bill, 2021 and so on have been passed by the BJP government in the state to sow division among voters. But what will affect the BJP’s fortunes is the stench of corruption.

Haridasan Rajan,Kozhikode

Sir — An opinion poll has predicted a clear victory for the Congress in the Karnataka assembly polls. If this is indeed the case, not only will it be a shot in the arm for the Grand Old Party but it will also prove that Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra has been a success. Even a high voteshare might encourage the Congress to put up a tough fight for the general elections.

Soumya Saha,Calcutta

Intrusive presence

Sir — It is appalling that China has the audacity to rename 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh (“Ladakh-like status quo ploy seen in rename bid”, April 5). This is Beijing’s way of reiterating that it does not recognise the McMahon Line and treats Arunachal Pradesh as a part of China. China’s provocative activities along the border continue unabated. India has rightly condemned Beijing’s overzealousness.

D.V.G. Sankararao, Andhra Pradesh

Sir — India’s meek position on Chinese incursions is definitely emboldening Beijing. But too much attention need not be paid to its attempts to rename places in Arunachal Pradesh. There are more serious threats posed by China.

Tanvi Agrawal,New Delhi

Celebrate unity

Sir — In India, religious festivals have always been celebrated by all communities. This is no longer the case. Such festivals have become communal occasions that polarise society and increase hatred. This is because religion has been politicised to reap electoral benefits. Last year, the stone-pelting during Ram Navami celebrations had led to the demolition of the houses of many people in Khargone in Madhya Pradesh. This year, the violence in West Bengal is being projected as part of the Trinamul Congress’s anti-Hindu stance. Time-honoured sentiments and practices linked to festivals should not be misused and exploited for politics.

Shovanlal Chakraborty,Calcutta

In need of help

Sir — Unseasonal rains and freak weather events are becoming alarmingly common nowadays. Crop insurance has thus become all the more significant. But the lack of awareness about crop insurance means that small and marginalised farmers bear the brunt of climate change year after year. Both the Centre and the states are to blame for this tepid implementation of the scheme.

Further, farmers need to be given timely weather alerts and taught how to optimally use those alerts to ensure minimal crop damage. Farmers in India need some handholding to grapple with the sea changes taking place around them.

Bal Govind,Noida

Standard stance

Sir — It is not surprising that countries in the West took an unequivocal stance on Rahul Gandhi being disqualified from Parliament. These statements cannot be treated as an interference in India’s internal matters; they are part of foreign policy. The harsh statements by the external affairs minister in this context were unnecessary. He will not be able to scare the West into submission the way his government does with Indians.

Jang Bahadur Singh,Jamshedpur

Unhappy travel

Sir — The repeated incidents of airline passengers creating a nuisance on flights is cramping the travel experience for many people. A drunk Swedish passenger recently molested an IndiGo air hostess and assaulted a co-passenger. Such untoward behaviour is clearly the norm now. While budget airlines have made air travel viable for more people, adequate measures have not been taken to instill travel etiquettes among flyers. Strict action is needed to send out the message that such behaviour will not be tolerated.

Kirti Wadhawan,Kanpur

Double burden

Sir — In his article, “The fall guys” (March 29), Uddalak Mukherjee writes that stuntwomen bear the double burden of invisibility owing to their gender. This invisibility is layered. More and more actresses, be it Angelina Jolie and Gal Gadot or Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone, choose to perform their own stunts. This is because they feel pressured to prove the point that they are as physically capable as their male counterparts. They bear the load of patriarchy too, but they are lucky to have more visibility than stuntwomen.

Yashodhara Sen,Calcutta

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