This is in response to the opinion article ‘Modesty of dress and Indian culture' by Suchi Govindarajan (March 11). As per the Agama Shastras , a Hindu priest is not expected to cover the upper part of his body while doing puja. In many temples in Kerala, male devotees wearing shirts are not allowed inside. We go to the temple only to worship god. Modesty is applicable to both men and women. Finding fault with others without looking at ourselves will not serve any purpose.

V. Anand Kumar,


The article underlines the skewed standards of morality for men and women. The argument that priests and boys be made to conform to dress codes may appear funny but it strikes at the root of the problem.

Perpetuation of a wrong attitude by tracing its origin to our culture is a greater wrong. We must realise that culture is not static. Our efforts must be directed at weeding out gender inequalities and discrimination, and incorporating tolerance and mutual respect.

Prathit Charan Misra,


The writer should visit temples with bhakti in her heart, nothing else. Her remark that Indian boys should play only those games in which they don't have to reveal their legs (not wear shorts) is like saying women should go out wearing only a sari, covering their heads and faces.

S.N. Ramanath,


I work for a reputed multinational company, where a dress code is enforced strictly for men, mostly by men who have a leadership role, although dress codes are meant for both men and women. Women are not forced to wear shoes and are not restricted to the pants-shirt norm. They are given options like saris, salwar-kameez, unspecified other outfits which include a choice of some groovy dress colours, whereas it is not the case with men. But, somehow, it is not seen as bias or discrimination. When undue privileges are offered to women, most of them accept them, which is nothing but duplicity.

P.S. Sriram,


Priests are observing the dress code as prescribed in the Vedas and the Puranas. No priest in a temple will talk to women in a vulgar language. If at all the devotees are known to him, he will simply enquire about the welfare of the family members. Regarding the dress code for swimmers and tennis players, they wear the dress that does not hinder their performance.

Regarding men answering nature's call on roadside, I fully agree with her but what to do? Our public lavatories are simply the worst. They are not maintained properly.

T.S.N. Rao,

Palakol, A.P.

A male can be termed handsome, while a female is beautiful. A He “can be affable while a “She” can be sexy. These are the nomenclatures we are used to. Never has man been termed “sexy.” But, of late, we hear some women remarking that some “men are sexy.” Against this background, it is quite proper that male priests should perform their rituals with their upper bodies covered enough, not caring two hoots for any norms laid down in the Agamas to the contrary and thus avoid the risk of a man being sexually assaulted.

Seshagiri Row Karry


Why this kolaveri?

Although many may dismiss the views expressed in the article “Why this kolaveri, folks?” (March 11) as being preposterous, the following came to my mind when I read it. I had just entered class 10 and I found many of my fellow students filling their schedules with tuitions from 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. On the first day, this is how my teacher addressed the class: “This is not the year for you to gain knowledge; this is the year for you to score marks.”

I was not surprised to finds parents and students flocking to the temple but I was quite amused on seeing a parent ask the priest to perform a puja on their child's hall ticket and pen. We should surely give importance to class 10 exams, but is it necessary to go over the top?

Abhirami Nayar,


One thing Gerleo Nimalan says is significant. Competition should be among students, not parents. Let parents leave their wards alone — they will surely get good results.

Narayanan Kizhumundayur,


Nimalan has rightly pointed to the state of school and college students who are pressured by their parents. The irony is, it is mostly literate parents — I do not want to say ‘educated parents' — who bring mindless pressure and foster unhealthy competition in their children's minds.

When I was a student, my parents did not even know what books I read or how many marks I scored. I studied in the local municipal school, and in a government college. In fact, my father would console me in my times of failure and that gave me the greatest moral support.

Ch. Manmadha Rao,


Nimalan's article was interesting but unbelievable! Of course, class 10 and 12 are important in school education — they determine a student's career and realise a parent's dream. They are a teacher's challenge, the management's awe and, indeed, society's expectation!

It depends on the student whether to learn or not. Whether to blame someone or not. Whether or not to listen to advice. Gerleo needs to have a positive approach, than beg for a break.

Usha Ramesh,