The functioning of democratic institutions between 1952 to 1966 negates the conclusion of Dr. Amartya Sen that such institutions in this democracy are no guarantee for success. No Chief Minister would even think of recommending action against a party worker for having committed a crime.

A solution to this lies in placing the entire police force under an independent central police commission, on the lines of the Central Election Commission. Reforming campaign finances will no doubt help eliminate money power but not muscle power. Another solution can be the temporary suspension of the electoral process, which is the root cause of all these problems, for a period of five years, impose President’s rule and then have a central police commission clean things up.

J.F. Dawson,

Chennai

India’s pro-rich policies since 1991 have ruined even the concept of equal opportunity. Corporate servile policies have pauperised sustainable village economies and pushed a large number of underprivileged youth into becoming anti-social elements. If the Supreme Court has observed that 90 per cent of rape cases end in acquittal it means that there is something terribly wrong with our justice system as far as sexual violence is concerned. In a civilised world, the sex ratio is 940 females to 1,000 males. The ratio among the “uncivilised” Dongriya Kondh tribal people is 1,352 females to 1,000 males, and there is no sexual violence among them.

C.V. Sukumaran,

Palakkad

Attributing crimes against women to the poor underclass is egregious. Portraying them as mindless instruments in the hands of the political class is not only insulting but also unjustifiable. That rape as an atrocity committed by the poor against the middle class and the elite is a kind of stereotyping that cannot be allowed.

Crimes such as these cannot be pinned to a particular class or social background. These crimes are committed by men who see women as a mere sexual object or by someone who never respects women as equals. Such a mentality is created by our so-called culture and this patriarchal society.

Bipin T.V.,

Payyannur

Painting our political leaders as the primary reason behind all violence seems a little exaggerated. It is true that irrespective of the party, some politicians try to reap dividends out of the disenfranchised and unemployed underclass. The creation of independent institutions and equal opportunities are good solutions. The writer seems to forget that politicians are also a cross-section or representation of our society.

Anuroop Sunny,

Hyderabad

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