Letters

Letters to the Editor — June 8, 2021

Minister on IT rules

The argument that the new IT rules are meant to serve the interests of the people using social media is clearly specious (Inside pages, Interview with IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, June 7) The government does not inspire confidence owing to its recent actions of selective targeting of activists and dissenters for their social media comments. Its aggressive weakening of legal powers of the citizens like the right to information contradicts its “concern” for transparency. It would be better to leave it to the courts to ask for any such tracing of the ‘original’ post in the context of a legal complaint, rather than adding to the increasingly unaccountable powers of a partisan executive. The Union Minister’s reading of privacy as covering one’s ‘relationships, medical records’ etc. is just an attempt to sanitise social media communication and turn socially engaged citizens into apolitical zombies. Of course, there should be legal mechanisms to protect people’s privacy and trace and prosecute offenders, but the claim of drawing a connection between a message and subsequent violence or ‘law and order’ situation is itself prejudicial and likely to be abused to further criminalise protest and harass those not in the good books of the government.

Firoz Ahmad,

New Delhi

Work from home issues

It is not just women techies who are under tremendous pressure (Kerala, “WFH leaves women techies guilt-ridden”, June 7) but also women teachers all over Kerala, and possibly India. Most are reeling under the triple burden of having to prepare teaching materials differently for online classes, cook and clean for more hours, and compelled to attend online meetings outside working hours including Sundays. The assumption is that online teaching is easy. It is not so. The older generation of teachers has had to re-learn their teaching methodology and make classrooms more online friendly. Online meetings tend to run on for hours, eating into precious time meant for recharging, preparation for classes and quality time with family members. Additionally, teacher-parents with young children have to sit with them for the children’s classes. The only silver lining for the teaching community has been a saving of commute time — now been taken over by meetings and training sessions. This is also a gender issue that is not being addressed at all because in a majority of the cases, the scheduling is being done by men or corporate entities.

Teena Antony,

Kochi, Kerala

No Roger

Roger Federer calling a halt to his campaign at Roland-Garros is a disappointment (‘Sport’ page, June 7). His marathon match against Dominik Koepfer appears to have taken its toll. We do understand his desire though to focus on Wimbledon.

N.J. Ravi Chander,

Bengaluru


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