Sir — On this day, 69 years ago, was born the veteran musician and a champion of the idea of the free world, Bruce Springsteen. He has run into some trouble for criticizing the president of the United States of America, Donald Trump, at one of his shows recently. Springsteen called the Trump dispensation’s immigration policies “inhumane”. I think it is encouraging for the masses to see one of their heroes stand up for what he has advocated through his lyrics. Springsteen followed his statement up with the song, “The Ghost of Tom Joad”, which best captures what he was trying to say.
Haste makes waste
Sir — I mostly agree with the steps that the Bharatiya Janata Party has taken for the uplift of the country since it came to power. But I think the ordinance to make instant triple talaq punishable was passed in haste. It will become a tool to harass both Muslim men and women.
A three-year jail term with little scope for bail is too harsh a punishment. This opens the door for misuse of the law by people.
Sir — The decision of the BJP to bring an ordinance that makes instant triple talaq a punishable offence is an ill-thought-out one. The matter is sensitive and any decision on it should be taken only after careful deliberations. As it stands, the punitive measures associated with instant triple talaq will do more harm than good. Moreover, there are sentiments — religious and otherwise — that can be hurt by such sweeping laws.
Sir — The government should have waited for the winter session of Parliament to take a call on whether the pronouncement of instant triple talaq should be made a punishable crime. This would have ensured that the terms of the bill were well-discussed by both Houses and, as such, in the best interests of the nation.
There is no denying that declaring instant triple talaq as legally void was long overdue. Political motives have always stopped this from happening. Now too, the Congress is opposing the bill in the Upper House in order to try and appease the minorities. But is not BJP doing the same thing by passing this hasty ordinance?
Sir — The BJP government and the prime minister must be lauded for passing an ordinance making instant triple talaq a punishable offence. This, it is believed, will bring justice to Muslim women. But one must ask what this justice entails. Instant triple talaq is no longer legal. So a man who could sort out problems with his wife will now have to spend three years in prison. Is any kind of reconciliation possible after this? Moreover, how will an imprisoned man provide for his wife and family. Imprisoning the husband will leave women as vulnerable as the practice of instant triple talaq was doing. There is no doubt that a strong law is needed against instant triple talaq, but it should be more balanced.
Sir — The article, “Keep the curiosity alive” (Sept 19), by Devi Kar, was instructive. As a teacher, I always tried to ensure that students learn more than what was taught in textbooks. Most parents who meet me insist that I prepare their wards to score high marks in examinations. To this my reply has always been that I have no magic wand.
I agree with Kar that the desire to progress at any cost hinders intellectual growth, which can facilitate an easy assimilation of ideas. Fortunately, some of my students understand that an intuitive understanding of subjects is necessary to gather true knowledge. Therefore, along with teaching school subjects, I read to my students from various newspapers and other useful books by eminent writers. In the process, I explain implications and nuances of new words and phrases. Kar is right that once the culture of thinking takes root, children will be accustomed to think about what they read.