Letters

Women officers

Talk of empowerment of women to enable them to live with a life of dignity, honour, equality, recognition and respect have been making waves in recent years (Page 1, “Women Army officers eligible for permanent commission: SC”, February 18). Gender bias based on physiological features is baffling in an environment where women continuously outperform men in various fields. Considering that woman officers constitute only a fraction of the total number of officers in the Indian Army, the Court order would be an incentive for more women to join the forces. The watershed judgment, by opening up new avenues for women, has dispelled the wrong notions about their ability to sparkle in an area earmarked specifically for men in the past.

V. Subramanian,

Chennai

One must be wary of drawing sweeping and unqualified conclusions from the Supreme Court’s verdict, ordering the provision of permanent commission to women army officers (Page 1 and Editorial, “Women-at-arms”, both February 18). The facts do not justify the construction of any moralising narrative about a tussle between a progressive judiciary and a patriarchal and misogynistic government. Having announced a policy to provide a permanent commission to women officers in 10 streams of the “Combat Support Arms” and “Services” sections, there was no reason for the government to convey the impression that it did not intend to walk the talk.

A judicial pronouncement is not merely about what it finally says. It should ideally involve a process of consultations with various stakeholders, either directly or through legal counsels, to ensure that justice is seen as done. More than the abstract notions and superior legal knowledge of judges, it is the mundane and first-hand knowledge of those working on the ground that should matter in approving changes in policies, especially those relating to battlefield conditions. The question is, did the court seek direct feedback from the Indian Army instead of merely relying on affidavits drafted by bureaucrats?

V.N. Mukundarajan,

Thiruvananthapuram

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 12:15:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/women-officers/article30855424.ece

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