Epic debate

Apart from all religions, most countries and their laws are anti-women and male-chauvinistic, possibly because of the predominance of men among religious prophets/heads and lawmakers (“Courts may not indict Ram for mistreating Sita – but the women of India already have”).

Gender prejudice is far more difficult to remove than ethnic, racial and religious prejudices, which seldom operate at the family level (with the exception of inter-racial/faith/ethnic marriages). At the family level, deep-seated traditions and the mindsets of even parents and close kith and kin have combined to work against girl children in many societies. Education and laws freeing women from prejudices, when implemented or enforced, can possibly change the situation over a generation or two. Chandra Shekhar AK


This is an eye-opener and I am willing to accept it. It’s a great new perspective. One should ponder, even if it hurts a man’s enlarged ego. Subodh Chandra


It is an interesting take on the character of Ram. But I would like to object to the generalisation which is taken for granted in the story. The usage of “the women” everywhere in the absolute sense makes one believe that Ram is a polarising god in terms of gender. But on the contrary, there are many more women that pray to Ram who don’t criticise him. So, it is just an opinion expressed by people regardless of gender, caste or locality.

This is the Hinduism practised in a land where people can approve or disapprove gods. In any case, there are too many versions of Ramayans biased in one way or the other. So Ram can be an ideal king and an unworthy husband at the same time. Mihir Trivedi

Sense and Siachen

The arguments provided about Indian control of Siachen are so flimsy and so casual (“Why Siachen is a purposeless world record for India to hold”). Yes, the cost of occupation there and the threat to the soldiers guarding those peaks is pretty big, but can’t anyone see that Pakistan is surreptitiously seeking control of the same place since losing it to us. They are supplementing their arguments regarding Siachen with Kashmir, Sir Creek water dispute and what not.

You foolishly say that the monitoring Siachen is not worth the cost. If India leaves the space, it will let go of all strategic and psychological control over monitoring on the passes there, which are the active channels between Pakistan and China. The entire Kashmir valley and Ladakh are so vulnerable that insurgency by Pakistan and the terrorists would be extremely easy. They would be so strategically and geographically well placed that it would be almost impossible to control their reach in the valley.

Even a fool can tell you that it requires a resistance or offence with great strength to dislodge an enemy sitting up there. Doesn’t anybody know the cost? Every stakeholder knows it but we would need to keep paying the same, probably indefinitely, because Pakistan hasn’t ever shown any sign of any compliance for a positive measure between the two countries. Vilas Kulkarni


This article does not go into the strategic reasons for maintaining a presence at the glacier. I don’t know what that that line of thought is but I would expect a reporter writing on the subject to dwell on it. Otherwise, it is easy to assume the writer thinks everyone who devised military strategy for the country over the last 30 years were blundering idiots who only cared about world records. Arun Kurian

AAP agenda

Arvind Kejriwal has every right to say what he wants about rival political parties (“The Arvind Kejriwal interview: Modi plays the politics of vengeance, not the politics of development”). But the real problem is his habit of creating anarchy regularly and finding new reasons to fight with the central government. The people of Delhi will end up paying a heavy price. Ramaiah Madineni


Yes, it has been evident what the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have been engineering to disrupt the smooth functioning of the Aam Aadmi Party. It’s a clear sign of fear and insecurity. The intolerant behaviour of BJP the will not serve them for long. AAP should not give up on its agenda. Surinder S Kalsi

Colonial habits

I very much agree with Anjali Mody’s view that “every act of violence against citizens is a repudiation of a government’s claim to being representative of the people” (“India’s colonial hangover: Why the police still resort to lathi-charges”).

As a British Overseas Citizen of India, I see many relics of colonialism here which are preserved better than in the UK. For instance, bureaucracy here is still in the literal “red tape” era. Customer service in banks and government offices is designed to keep the ‘masses’ at bay by a minority of officialdom, and is not at all service-oriented. Now the minority is Brahmin babudom - stealthy, steely and self-serving. A reader

Politics of convenience

It’s neither ignorance of history nor cynical disregard of it (“As right-wing BJP seeks to appropriate Bose, a reminder: Congress expelled him for being too left”). It’s a calculated disregard to the intellect of the right wing supporters. The BJP knows that its hardcore supporters are so possessed by their hatred for Muslims and by extension Jawaharlal Nehru, a leader seen to be accommodating of the concerns of Indian Muslims, that they can ride any wave that is seen opposed to Nehru for whatever reason. Syed Zia

Saving the girl child

In the context of frequent killings of the girl child, allowing pre-natal sex determination would lead to more such killings before birth, apart from endangering pregnant women (“Indian Medical Association supports Maneka Gandhi’s prenatal sex determination suggestion”). Hence, it is a retrograde step.

A government that cannot ensure a life free of prejudice, discrimination and violence to women of all ages should not add insult to injury by allowing pre-natal sex determination notwithstanding the increased prosperity that such a move will directly bring to the medical fraternity. Chandra Shekhar AK


This seems to be a good move. It might not be in the ideal direction, but it is nevertheless a nudge in the right direction. The male to female ratio in the country has possibly passed the tipping point of what could be termed as high risk.

There have been ideas in the past like the “silent observer device” that could be installed on all ultrasound machines linked with an Electronic Medical Records that tracked pregnancies. Most of these concepts have vast holes in them, but there should be a larger strategy to support the minister’s idea. She should use this momentum and drive the discussion. Making a move is more important than being silent. Thomas

Pointless perspective

This was a terrible article and should never have been written, let alone published (“No, you’re not ‘hardwired’ to stare at women’s breasts”). The author does not write from an objective point of view. How am I supposed to take this article seriously when it is simply a woman telling me what it is like to be male and have male sexual desires? I might as well tell her what it’s like to give birth. How would I know? In short, do a better job of screening what gets published. Parker Bromley


Yes, men are attracted to breasts and they stare and it becomes uncomfortable for women. But this is because women are socially taught and expected to desexualise themselves and hence looking at them as sexual beings is considered a threat.

If women want to have the same me freedom to be topless like men, then they will have to be as nonchalant about someone looking at their breasts, just as a man would when anyone looks at his well developed biceps or triceps. Men are taught to flaunt their sexual signals and not feel threatened when seen as a sexual being. Tariq Mahmood