This refers to the editorial ‘A bitter inequity’ (IE, June 5). As Indians we should hang our heads in shame because of our inability to provide basic amenities to the women and children of this country. The lack of toilets has led to indescribable crimes. In the sixth month of the 14th year of the 21st century, we are unable to provide bathrooms and toilets to all our people. Not just in rural UP, right here in Mumbai too. Public toilets are no good. My domestic employee has to accompany her young adult daughter every time she needs to relieve herself. Forget Z-plus security, flyovers, metros and statues. Forget 2G, 3G and all other Gs. In the next budget, we need a tax to raise money to build toilets. We need a rashtriya toilet abhiyan.The government must create and implement a five year plan to provide toilets and running water to every house in the country.
— Suranga Date (Mumbai)
Crime and honour
This refers to the editorial ‘An ordinary crime’ (IE, May 31). It was correctly highlighted that some crimes are looked at only from the point of view of class affinities, thereby neglecting the caste-based vulnerabilities that many in rural India face. Additionally, there is also a need to change the ongoing public discourse in such cases, to de-link rape and sexual violence from the “honour” of women. Such a mentality amounts to secondary victimisation. It is unfortunately often propagated by our political class. The perpetrators of such heinous crimes and the people in power who do not take action against them must be viewed as dishonourable instead.
Minu Jain (Pune)
Only way out
This refers to ‘In need of stimulus’ by Yoginder K. Alagh (IE, June 6). It is worth noting that the 4,000-odd Census towns that Alagh has identified are not the only ones starved of roads, markets, agri-processing infrastructure, etc. The situation is no different in so-called megacities. The fact that the water, energy and communication sectors are underdeveloped, as Alagh pointed out, also feeds into the lack of civic planning and infrastructure. For instance, some towns in India have no energy to run sewage treatment plants. A balance of appropriate policies and good infrastructure seems to be the only way out.
— Krupa Bhandari (Mumbai)
This refers to ‘No phones, pens, this is the minister’s office’ (IE, June 6). The steps taken by the new MoS, agriculture, Sanjeev Balyan, to disallow visitors from carrying cell phones or pens inside his office out of fear of spying and sting operations are a matter of concern and indicative of the minister’s lack of self-confidence. What does he have to hide? The HRD minister, Smriti Irani, is also reluctant to allow cellphones inside her office. The prime minister must intervene. The rules issued by the ministers do not inspire confidence.
— Anil N. Laad (Panaji)