After the announcement of the general election, political parties are becoming hyperactive (“Another SP leader’s remarks spark outrage,” April 12). But in order to please the electorate and get their votes, leaders are now doing everything possible, including breaking the Model Code of Conduct. Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Maharashtra SP chief Abu Azmi are examples of leaders who are intent on creating schisms within the country. The Election Commission should take note of these aberrations and act firmly.

E. Sivasankaran,

Coimbatore

The remarks made by certain SP leaders show the attitude of our so-called “tall” political leaders. It has become a trend among politicians to make odd and controversial remarks in order to stay in the limelight and then retract them. It is high time that angry young voters of this country vote for people who respect our rights.

Javaid Sultan,

Ganderbal, Kashmir

It is sad to learn that even after so many cases of rape and assault of women, our political leaders still think rapists should not be punished as they have committed a “simple mistake.” Such leaders are not even worthy of being called “leaders.” If such leaders cannot understand the pain and suffering of not only the victim but also her family, and refuse to show respect toward the women of this country, how can one expect them to run our nation? The Election Commission should take serious action against such statements. Barring such leaders from contesting the election will send out the right message.

Akshi Bansal,

New Delhi

That the Samajwadi Party is a patriarchal organisation is no secret. It strongly opposed reservation of seats for women in Parliament and State Assemblies. Instead of focussing on the merits of the death sentence for repeat offenders, Mulayam Singh Yadav went too far in trivialising rape as a “mistake committed by boys.” A politician can air his views within the confines of his home but he has no business to publicly advocate leniency towards rapists, which is tantamount to encouraging sexual violence against women. Saying that rape is not a crime may not strictly be a crime in itself, but the underlying moral presumptions befitting only pre-civilisational existence must be resisted.

V.N. Mukundarajan,

Thiruvananthapuram

It is very easy to preach the virtue of mercy to others when the preacher is not personally affected. It was appropriate for the Delhi gang rape victim’s parents to respond to Mulayam Singh Yadav’s statements. If rape is not a crime, nor are thefts, bribes, etc., and the country can dispense with laws, the police and courts. Mr. Singh lives in the 21st century but his mindset belongs to the primitive age.

B.S. Jayaraman,

Coimbatore

It is a shame for Mulayam Singh Yadav to make such a statement, especially at a time when the security of women is becoming a serious topic for debate in the country. Also, his statement that if he came to power he would have the rape law amended to do away with the death penalty, and that women would also be punished, is shocking. If someone known to him was ever to be in a situation like this, would he support the accused or the rape victim?

Ajay S. Kumar,

Thiruvananthapuram

It is disappointing to read and hear such derogatory and offensive statements by senior political leaders in our country. It is shameful on Mulayam Singh Yadav’s part to make such chauvinistic remarks. This statement shows the incompetence and illiteracy of a leader who is unable to understand the seriousness of the issue and the consequences of his statement. Leaders like Mr. Singh should not be allowed to even contest elections. The Election Commission must take stringent steps to stop remarks like this.

Ankita Sharma,

New Delhi

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