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Monday, May 23, 2022

Letters to the Editor: Being Ready

The Indian government has responded promptly to the disaster in Nepal. However, no measure of speedy response can substitute for proactive safeguards.


Updated: May 2, 2015 12:01:02 am

Letter of the Week: 

The Indian government has responded promptly to the disaster in Nepal. However, no measure of speedy response can substitute for proactive safeguards. No Indian city has of late been struck by a severe quake. But, given the large populations that live in our cities and also our poor urban planning, preparing for disaster scenarios makes sense. Since the Latur earthquake, there has been greater emphasis on making buildings earthquake resistant. However, doubts persist as to whether town-planning officials ensure that builders follow official standards.

— Bhagwan Thadani, Lucknow

Race in America

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Apropos the editorial ‘Minority Report’ (IE, May 1), Freddie Gray’s death in police custody and Eric Garner’s death caused by New York cops exhibit the racial biases and institutionalised prejudices prevailing in the US. Blacks are frequently discriminated against. This affects economic prosperity, social health and the achievements of minorities. Sadly, racial discrimination couldn’t be eradicated even after Barack Obama’s two terms as president. The problem needs to be accorded priority by the US. Also, before rendering advice to India on religious inequality, the US must first put its own house in order.

— S.C. Vaid, Greater Noida

Ageing Vehicles

The decision to ban, in Delhi, petrol vehicles older than 15 years and diesel vehicles over 10 years old makes vehicle age the sole determinant of polluting ability. It is irrational, because two same-age vehicles may be very different, depending on how they are run and maintained. The decision also means that pollution checks motor vehicles must undergo, for which an extensive mechanism is in place, are meaningless.

— Mukul Dube, New Delhi

Marital Rape

It was wrong of Union Minister Haribhai Chaudhary to say that “the concept of marital rape, as understood internationally, cannot be suitably applied in the Indian context” because marriage is a “sacrament” here (‘Marriage sacred in India, so marital rape cannot be applied: Centre’, IE, April 30). We should be concerned that a minister had the audacity to make such an outrageous statement. We, the women of India, were responsible in a big way for the decisive mandate that Narendra Modi got. Women’s empowerment cannot be a hollow slogan. We expect the government to initiate tough laws to restore dignity and respect for women at home, as well as at the workplace.

— Usha Mohan, Mumbai

Silent Victims

Haribhai Chaudhary’s statement that the concept of marital rape cannot be applied to India is flawed and masks a grave problem in our society. It seems to suggest that marriage is unbridled licence to have sexual intercourse, where the consent of one’s spouse doesn’t matter. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that a large number of women have continued to suffer marital rape in India. For starters, the Union government should set up counselling centres that will offer advice and guidance to the silent victims of this menace.

 

— Ketan R. Meher, Virar

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