Political parties will do well to consider several factors while selecting their candidates for future elections. Giving election tickets to women solely on the basis of their gender would be inimical to the interests of democracy and may prove counter-productive. Such selections would have to preclude factors like “winnability”, caste representation, popularity and other criteria. These days you find wives of debarred politicians becoming their proxy candidates in elections. Indiscriminate allotment of tickets without considering other factors will dampen the spirit of grassroots workers whose sweat and toil are like water and manure for any party to survive and thrive. Also, it would prevent women from fighting their way to the top.

For these reasons, the much talked about and much delayed Women’s Reservation Bill could not be tabled in Parliament. The more women join politics actively and prove their competence, the more they will get to be selected for fighting elections.

B. P. Mishra,

Narmada Smriti, Azad Lane, Chaudhary Tola, Patna – 800 006, Bihar.

A friendly court

The Delhi High Court’s recent decision quashing the practice of sending notices to the parents of prospective couples who have decided to get married under the Special Marriage Act, 1954, has come as a big relief to all those who fear the wrath of their parents in case their plans get known to them.

The Court has ruled that the practice is without the authority of law and an invasion of the privacy of the couples. Now the notices are only to be pasted outside the office of the Registrar of Marriages.

The Delhi High Court had upheld the marriage of a minor couple (Manish Singh Vs. State NCT of Delhi) in October 2005 ruling that such a marriage could not be nullified once a girl and a boy had attained the age of discretion and chosen a life partner themselves. In February 2007, the Delhi High Court once again ruled that there was no law prohibiting a girl below 18 years from falling in love while upholding a minor girl’s love marriage.

The Delhi High Court surely can claim to be the most lovers-friendly court in the country!

Hemant Kumar,

Advocate, House No. 414, Sector 7, Urban Estate, Ambala City (Haryana).

A tale of two seats

The Delhi Metro railway has revolutionised our lives. It has tried to make it comfortable for women, senior citizens and physically challenged people. It is a praiseworthy step given the harassment a woman has to go through while travelling in the Capital’s overcrowded buses. It is not important to get a seat every time; but travelling without the fear of eve-teasing or being pushed around by anybody with mal-intentions should be ensured for women.

Seeing signboards with ‘For Women Only’ and ‘For Old/Physically Challenged’ inside the Delhi Metro train compartments brought some relief. But here lies the irony. Turns out only two seats are, in fact, reserved for the women, senior citizens and the physically challenged, not the whole row of half a dozen seats below the signboard. It makes a mockery of the noble gesture.

The Delhi Metro authorities should either reserve one side of the seats for women, old and physically handicapped people, or remove the reservation over just two seats, for it does not serve the purpose.

Rishali Yadav,

Old Gupta Colony, Kingsway Camp, Delhi – 110 009.

Free tickets, please

As per service rules, Air India employees are entitled to two free and three concessionary passes for air travel depending on the length of their service. A few months ago, the airline directed that they would have to pay Rs.250 per coupon for a domestic journey and Rs.1,000 for an international journey against all tickets issued to them. To levy such charges on free tickets is a breach of service rules by the airline management.

Such acts of the management demoralise the staff and affect their zeal to give their best to the company. I request the management to reconsider its unjust and illegal decision and reverse it at once for their own as well as the staff’s benefit. J. Dayal,

C2B/41C, Janakpuri, New Delhi – 110 058.

Hello, BSNL..…

I am using a BSNL connection (No. 9416145994) for my mobile phone in Haryana Circle. When I call anyone from this number, the call does not mature but charges get deducted. At times it gets connected to any random number.

I have complained to the BSNL authorities many times, including their Chairman and Managing Director. The CMD has directed the CGMT, Haryana, to take appropriate action, but nothing has been done. I request the authorities to look into the matter afresh now and take appropriate action soonest. Himanshu Beri,

House No. 7D & 18D, Inderpuri, Ambala Cantt. (Haryana).