Letters

Sabarimala entry

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The Kerala government has rightly said that it would await the Supreme Court judgment of the review petition pertaining to the entry of women of a certain age in the Sabarimala temple, knowing full well the interplay of religion and politics in today’s context. The Left government faced a lot of difficulty in enforcing the verdict last year when right-wing forces tried to disrupt the peaceful atmosphere. The review has to be seen in the context of such forces wanting to consolidate communal politics. It should be said that there cannot be any compromise on the emancipation of women but such emancipation cannot be secured solely by entry of women of a particular age into temples. In taking this decision to send the review petition to a larger Bench, the Supreme Court perhaps saw the writing on the wall.

N.G.R. Prasad,

Chennai

Quality of tap water

The report on the quality of tap water taken at major urban centres across the country is stark reminder of deteriorating water standards, which have a direct impact on the health standards (Editorial, “Quality on tap,” Nov. 18). The country is already reeling under water crisis with poor management of water and an uncertainty in supply due to complex climatic phenomenon. Creating more water filtering capacity facilities at grid connecting every locations, deploying more people to do the testing at frequent intervals and collaboration with people for effective water supply are the immediate measures in dealing the crisis. The Jal Shakti, flagship programme of this government, need vigorous implementation.

N. Vijai,

Coimbatore

It is unfortunate that the students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) were prevented from going on a march peacefully; playing music from campus to the Parliament House to present their grievances to the country’s elected representatives. The government should have tried to handle the situation without arresting students and beating them up and lathicharging them. In true democratic spirit, student representatives could have been allowed to meet the Prime Minister or the Human Resources Development Minister to persuade him the rightness of their demand to roll back the steep fee hike and the wrongness of making education unaffordable.

The protest marches by the students brought the issue to the attention of the nation. Now the HRD Ministry and the university administration cannot be totally insensitive to their demand and succeed in imposing ‘financial burdens’ on students. Even ABVP, BJP’s student wing, is up in arms with its demand over the fee hike. Two facts must be appreciated before trying to find fault with the students. If there is no roll-back of the fee, as many as 40% of the students in the JNU will have to drop out of the university. The HRD Ministry and the university administration must pause to think if it is right to deny the bright students from poor families their right to pursue higher education in a university like the JNU set up to provide quality education to all, including students from impoverished families.

A democratic government is obliged to provide free or subsidised education to students from low income groups. A government so generous to corporates should show a semblance of generosity towards students too at least considering the fact that investing in them is part of nation building which it is all out to do. Remember, most of the poor students belong to lower castes. Ideologically, the JNU is not on the BJP’s wavelength; but it is not good enough reason to deny its students free or subsidised education. Unfortunately, one prominent BJP leader has called for the shutdown of JNU, betraying his visceral hostility for ideological diversity. The government must seize the opportunity to show that it is indeed pro-poor by a complete rollback of the fee hike.

G. David Milton,

Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 6:31:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/sabarimala-entry/article30010434.ece

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