Sir, — I refer to the incident in which a nine-year-old class IV student burnt herself to death in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. Reason: her teacher scolded her for regular late attendance. Why do the young take recourse to such extreme steps?

We, who have lived through a strict academic regimen of corporal punishment at school, are bewildered by such incidents. Were people of the earlier generation less sensitive to slights and humiliation?

R.M.V.N. Ramakantha Rao,

Visakhapatnam, A.P.