The reason the whole nation is talking about the brutal rape of the young paramedic, who is battling for her life is it took place in the national capital. What of the rape cases that go unreported, especially in villages? While the victims are treated like criminals by all, including the police, the accused are innocent until proved guilty. Even if the perpetrators are punished after long years of trial, society continues to blame the victim. Why did she have to do what she did? Why did she have to be so “independent”? Why did she have to take the bus? Why did she have to dress in the way she did? We might as well ask why she did not have a gun. The only thing the recent incident proves is that no matter what a woman wears, where she is, who she is with and at what time she is out, she is in danger. Nothing really makes any difference.

Sanchit Tosaria,

New Delhi

In a few days, the rapists will get bail; media headlines will become a footnote; political pressure will come into play after the case fades out of public memory; some honourable man will say girls should wear “proper” dresses, not venture out at night and so on; the rapists will have their faces covered in courts so that they are not exposed and shamed; and society will continue to treat the male child as god’s gift and hardly bother to teach him to respect girls.

May god give the victim’s family the physical, mental and financial strength to fight the case for the next 10-15 years. And may we hope that a watertight case will be made and the case treated as the “rarest of rare” cases.

N. Srikanth,

Hyderabad

The brutality with which the heinous act was perpetrated in a moving bus brings painful memories of similar incidents and the helplessness with which we tolerate them. I pray for the survival of the young woman and for the sins to visit upon the perpetrators with such vehemence that it will render all potential criminals incapable of even contemplating such an act.

Dhananjay Kumar,

Jamshedpur

Bankruptcy of moral values, lack of faith in and fear of god, and the absence of fear of the law are reasons for crimes against women. Add to this the free flow of liquor and we have the perfect setting for a barbaric crime.

Padma Prabha Rao,

Chennai

I request women to read the writing on the wall — you are not safe in your own country. The young woman and her friend should have tried to get down from the bus sensing the seriousness of the situation without reacting to the provocations by the men around them. Of course, it is easier said than done.

S.S.V. Ramana Rao,

Visakhapatnam

It’s in the mind

In a country where television serials and movies are popular, a change in society can be brought about through them. As a first step, the government should bring strict rules to certify films. It should not allow a movie that portrays women as objects of lust — as those who dance with heroes just to showcase their bodies — to be screened.

Similarly, advertisements for beauty products showing women as objects should be banned. They create an impression that a woman’s mission in life is to look beautiful. TV serials, movies and ads should portray women in a dignified manner.

B. Hemamalini,

Bangalore

Unbridled availability of pornography is the root cause of barbarism. Adults, youngsters, adolescents and even children are addicted to it. In the name of sex education, society has turned a blind eye to the irrational propagation of pornography. Capital punishment or castration will not help to end rape and other crimes against women. Perverted minds, stimulated by distorted sex literature, wait for the moment to satiate their wild desires.

P.D. Xavier,

New Delhi

I cannot agree more with Ratna Kapur’s analysis of the Indian male psyche in the article “Rape and the crisis of Indian masculinity” (Dec. 19). In a patriarchal, chauvinistic society it takes a long time for a man to come to terms with the space the woman is making for herself. It takes a prolonged period of education and adjustment for the reality to sink in. But until that happens, we need to have a stringent law in place. While it is true that a change in the mindset is important, one cannot wait until men learn to live decently.

Y.V.S. Prabhakar,

Hyderabad

Agreeing with Ms Kapur, I would like to add that today the visual media and movies are doing more harm than good for the psyche of the youth. They ought to be more responsible and concerned about what they broadcast. Their impact on perverted minds leads to catastrophic consequences.

Kala Chary,

Gurgaon

Quota politics

It is a fact that a person cannot give his best when those lower in seniority and merit become his bosses. In overruling the provision which states that the claims of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes should be balanced with maintaining efficiency in administration, political parties pushing for the amendment to the Constitution seem to have agreed that quota in promotions cannot ensure efficiency. How will the amendment improve the lives of the marginalised sections? It will only help those who have already climbed up the bureaucratic ladder.

M.S. Akhilesh,

New Delhi

The idea of reservation may not be flawed but the way it is being implemented has made it a disabler rather than enabler. What started as a temporary succour to bring the lagging communities into the mainstream after independence has become so deep-rooted that hardly any party dares to talk against it.

Merit and reservation can never be married. Why does the government want to provide crutches to some sections forever? Once in a job, it should be merit — and merit alone — that should decide who gets promoted.

Rahul Jain,

Kanpur

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