Sir — Researchers have found that women who drink alcohol are judged more harshly than men who do the same. The former are perceived to be “less human” and more “sexually available” than their male counterparts. It is shocking that even in this day and age when women have proved their worth in almost every field, prejudiced minds continue to cast aspersions on those who choose to live by the rules they set for themselves. It is said that the modern world is progressive. The research findings, unfortunately, do not support such a contention.
Sir — The Bharatiya Janata Party candidate from the Bhopal Lok Sabha seat, Pragya Singh Thakur — an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blasts case — has asserted that Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin, Nathuram Godse, was a patriot and will remain so forever (“Patriot Godse, found by BJP’s prize catch”, May 17). By praising Godse, Thakur has, indirectly, justified the assassination of the Father of the Nation. She should be punished for supporting a criminal activity.
The BJP should be ashamed of Thakur for her patronage of a cold-blooded murderer. Indeed, why was a terror-accused nominated in the first place, was there a dearth of worthy candidates in Bhopal? If the saffron party is truly as nationalistic as it claims to be, it should take Thakur to task. Such a person should not be allowed to be a member of parliament.
Sir — It is atrocious that Pragya Singh Thakur has praised Nathuram Godse, the cold-blooded killer of Mahatma Gandhi, by calling him a patriot. But what else can be expected of Thakur, who is herself a terror-accused? Unfortunately, it seems like she is the kind of person the BJP wants to promote, by rewarding her behaviour with a ticket to fight elections. Her entry into the hallowed halls of Parliament will tarnish the institution.
Tharcius S. Fernando,
On the edge
Sir — The editorial, “Damage report” (May 13), is timely. A wide variety of species across the planet are slowly moving towards extinction. Our short-sightedness and temptation to make short-term economic gains prevent us from paying attention to the long-term damage to the ecosystem caused by our actions. Both developed and developing nations are equally guilty of wreaking havoc on biodiversity.
The lack of awareness about and insensitivity towards the ecosystem are the primary factors behind this situation. Further, the paucity of economic opportunities, political instability, high rates of unemployment, socio-economic tensions, mass human migration, overpopulation, unchecked expansion of agriculture and industry and illegal trade in animals are some of the other factors responsible for the rapid erosion of biodiversity.
Saikat Kumar Basu,
Sir — It is despairing to know that around one million species of plants and animals are now threatened with extinction. Uncontrolled human activities are taking a huge toll on the lives of several organisms. While trying to fulfil our selfish needs, we forget that without plants and animals we will soon perish. If proper measures are not taken in this regard, then the doomsday is not far away.
Sir — The letter endorsed by over 150 veterans regarding the politicization of the armed forces by political parties which was sent to the president, Ram Nath Kovind, in early April has not yet been acknowledged. This has caused the former navy chief, Admiral L. Ramdas, much anguish and forced him to write another letter to the president, enquiring about the silence (“Admiral to President: Why the silence?”, May 3). The uncharacteristic remark of the defence minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, calling the previous letter fake — probably fearing that it might upset the applecart — was as insulting as the present silence. The silence of the supreme commander of the armed forces will have a demoralizing effect on the defence establishment.
It is relevant to mention here that the government has not responded to any of the 15 open letters written to Narendra Modi by retired bureaucrats who are concerned about the threat to core values of democracy.
Strikingly, the Election Commission’s marked inaction in implementing the model code of conduct during the recently-concluded Lok Sabha elections is also a matter of some concern. Perhaps no other election in the history of the country has witnessed such repeated, anguished calls to guard the principles of democracy in India.