Repeat offender

Repeat offender

Most cases of sexual harassment in workplaces go unreported. Phaneesh Murthy has invited trouble for not coming clean on his relationships.

*This refers to the editorial ‘The Murthy takeaway’ (IE,May 23). Most cases of sexual harassment in workplaces go unreported. Phaneesh Murthy has invited trouble for not coming clean on his relationships. Usually,a position of power induces a sense of self-confidence in the perpetrator. However,a line has to be drawn between genuine cases and false accusations. Lively conversations or official interactions between colleagues may invite exaggerated comments,and painted differently later on. A boss-subordinate relation between individuals of opposite sexes is the most likely to be misunderstood and misconstrued. Murthy’s is an example of not learning from past mistakes. All organisations would do well to check past records of their potential employees. It is,however,debatable whether bottom-level offices will go through the bill on sexual harassment. Therefore,the government should compel employers to study the bill

and ensure compulsory

follow-up action.

— Ganapathi Bhat Akola

* It’s sad and shocking that Phaneesh Murthy has been fired from his job for the second time in a case of sexual harassment. This clearly proves that whatever laws you make for workplaces,a man in the habit of sexually abusing women will commit the blunder time and again. Companies must put in place the sexual harassment law and take immediate action by dismissing those found guilty. But then,most victims of sexual assault,who work in shops and small offices,do not complain,as the victimisers are often the owners themselves. The victim does not want to lose her job and be humiliated in the workplace and neighbourhood. Women need to be bold enough to complain.

— R.K. Kapoor Chandigarh

Not a palace

* This refers to ‘Pratibha Patil gets keys to new bungalow’ (IE,May 23). The earlier controversy over Patil being allotted army land in Pune for a sprawling residence and the revelation that Rs 2 crore might have been spent on renovation and reconstruction of the current bungalow beg a question: why do former presidents,who presumably were not homeless before becoming president,deserve this luxury paid from the public exchequer? Such an exorbitant waste of funds is not rational. We do not live in a royal or feudal state but a democracy. If there are security issues,those could be addressed at their former residences,but giving former presidents palatial post-retirement residences is a practice that should stop.

— Suren Abreu Mumbai

Performance scan

* With the UPA celebrating its completion of nine years,its achievements are being highlighted in eulogistic terms. Similarly,its failures are being exposed by the opposition. Lok Sabha elections are not far off. What requires attention is that voters analyse the performance of the party in power and also the capabilities of the party that wants to take charge.

— C.G. Sivakumaran New Delhi