* This refers to Our helpless women political leaders by Jyoti Malhotra (IE,December 4). Most of Indias women political leaders (if you include the less famous ones) come from political families,or from the better-off sections of society. They are successful in politics because of the tremendous support they get from their families. Because they owe so much to the extant power structures,they naturally defend them rather than blaze new trails. They prefer going with the flow rather than resisting it. They are equally responsible for the status quo.
* The lenient sentence awarded to the minor in the December 16 gangrape case had triggered protests throughout the country (Retribution is not justice,IE,December 4). It is argued that juveniles should be tried under criminal law as adults if they commit certain heinous crimes. If we are to accept this argument,India will have to scrap its Juvenile Justice Act. In doing so,it will be disrespecting its international commitments. Juvenile crime cannot be addressed through convenient and escapist measures such as lowering the juvenile age or punishing minors especially harshly. The focus should be on giving the offender a chance to reform instead of tinkering with the present law. We must make juvenile detentions work better and towards their stated objectives of reforming offenders.
Making giants sweat
* The way the AAP,a fledgling political party,has shaken up the old order will certainly go down in Indias electoral history as a moment of important change (The reckoning,IE,December 4). Whatever the election results may be,the AAPs entry into the fray has been dramatic and unprecedented. Several polls have already indicated that the party may capture a sizable number of votes and seats. It has already succeeded in making the Congress and BJP sweat. It is wonderful the way the AAP has made corruption and local governance the focal points of its agenda. The party seems to be genuine in its intentions,given the fact that it only fielded candidates with clean images.
* Apparently ,a lot of autorickshaw drivers are rooting for the AAP. Everyone likes an underdog. Sheila Dikshit is disadvantaged simply because she is the incumbent of 15 years,and the choice of Harsh Vardhan as the BJPs chief ministerial candidate surprised many. The outcome of the Delhi election is tough to predict.