| PICTURE SPEAK |
| "Airborne Indians", July 11 |
"We have reached a phase where every Indian can dream of air travel. The huge middle class segment will add wings to the aviation boom."
Debgiri Bhowmick, on e-mail
Reaching for the Sky
The advent of low-cost airlines is great news for people like me as I travel a lot and would definitely welcome ways to reduce travelling time ("Airborne Indians", July 11). But does "no frills" mean doing away with punctuality, efficiency and respect for the travelling public? These are practically non-existent even in services that are supposed to provide "frills".
Jonaki Bhattacharya, Pune
Though low-cost airlines have come as a boon for travellers, airports in India do not have the necessary infrastructure to support them. Before giving the go-ahead to any other new airline the Civil Aviation Ministry should focus on providing safety, security and infrastructure at all major airports.
Bal Govind, Bareilly
Poor logistical support and inadequate operational facilities are sure to cause turbulent weather for low-cost airlines. Merely operating an airline, with or without frills, is no guarantee of its stability. One can only hope they will last as we have already seen the arrival and departure from the scene of Modiluft, Damania and East West Airlines.
P.K. Srivastava, on e-mail
The new initiative, besides being a boon to average Indians, could help in the promotion of tourism, trade and industry. The competition could force the railways to improve too.
A. Jacob Sahayam, Thiruvananthapuram
In the frenzy to fly millions of passengers, do quick turnarounds and maintain their schedules, are these airlines compromising on aircraft safety and maintenance? Are the crew overworked? Are they trained well enough to handle the masses of first-time travellers? One also wonders about the stress levels of the air traffic controllers. Perhaps we have got so used to train mishaps happening every other day that we might turn a blind eye to safety issues here too.
Sangeet Augustine, Goa
No matter how cheap the air tickets, air travel cannot replace railways as its network is still not as wide. The railways connects almost every nook and corner of India.
Sankalp Dobhal, on e-mail
If the infrastructure at the airports is upgraded to keep pace with the growth of the aviation sector, it will give a huge boost to the country's economy.
Dhirendra Mishra, Allahabad
This boom is limited to the metros. How many small towns have these low-cost airlines put on the aviation map?
Bhadra Chowdhury, Bhubaneswar
With the entry of so many airlines, it will be interesting to see how many of them are able to sustain the low fares. Going by global trends, only the big players will survive in the long run.
Sameer Ahmad Hashmi, Bangalore
Condemning the Victim
The retrograde fatwa by the so-called Ulemas in the Imrana case will now make rape victims think twice before reporting the matter to the police ("Perverse Justice", July 11). By ruling that the victim is to become the wife of the accused, the Ulemas have decreed that the lusty father-in-law can now legally rape Imrana for the rest of her life.
Nishat Raza, Noida
Why don't the Ulemas publish the sections of the Quran on which they based their fatwa against Imrana? The entire community has become an object of ridicule because of the actions of a few religious bigots. How many Muslims, leave alone people from other communities, support the judgement that the victim be punished and the offender be allowed to go scot-free?
D. Manikyala Rao, Gudivada
The Congress party, which was so quick to attack the Madhya Pradesh Government on the issue of child marriages, has been strangely silent on Imrana's case. Does it have the courage to take a stand and say that she was wronged by society?
Nitin Deshpande, Indore
The Imrana case once again brings to the fore the archaic mindset of interpreters of the Shariat and the contradictions within Muslim bodies. Imrana should not be left to the mercy of individuals who subscribe to redundant laws. Nor should she be denied access to the laws of the land.
Arvind K. Pandey, Allahabad
What happened in Imrana's case is ridiculous. What should her children call their real father now that their grandfather is their mother's new husband?
Swapna Nair, Ahmedabad
The judgement by the Darul-Uloom shows that it is high time India adopted a uniform civil code. It is sad that politicians like Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav are reluctant to speak out against this retrograde step only because they want to maintain their support in this vote bank.
Tushar Das, on e-mail
Imrana's case is not an isolated one. There are instances of panchayats in Haryana, Rajasthan and other states treating women with similar disdain. Minor girls are sold off at prices cheaper than that of cattle. What is the use of talking about equality and women's liberation in such a scenario? Debates and discussions alone will not help. We need quick action on the ground to stop such injustice.
Madhu R.D. Singh, Ambala Cantonment
The fact that nobody is genuinely concerned about the woman who has been violated by a person she regarded as a father figure shows how insensitive our society has become. Religion seems to be more important than humanity and compassion.
Nupur Goyal, on e-mail
Forcing a woman to stay with her rapist is an act of violence not only against women but against humanity. How can a daughter live with her father as a wife? A uniform law should be formulated on the basis of the ethics, moral and cultural values of our country.
Chitra Shrivastav, Allahabad
| TALKING UP A STORM |
Going by the reaction to Yashwant Sinha's comments, BJP President L.K. Advani seems to have reached an age where he cannot accept any criticism ("Gagged for the Moment", July 11). As the leader of the largest opposition party as well as a very seasoned politician Advani should have been able to take the comments of a fellow party member in the right spirit. But his fear of losing his position seems to have made him incapable of rational thought.
Asha Gawri, on e-mail
The decision to remove Sinha as BJP spokesperson is surprising. The increasingly weak Advani seems to have chosen to make an example of Sinha in order to assert that he is no lameduck president.
J.S. Acharya, Hyderabad
Removing someone from a party post is hardly the way to resolve differences of opinion. The BJP should have sorted it out through a proper discussion
K.N. Sharma, Delhi
Courage of her Convictions
It is very heartening to note that even a poor and illiterate woman like Mukhtaran Mai had enough courage to fight injustice and the forces of feudal patriarchy ("Face of Fortitude", July 11). This incident throws light on some sociocultural realities in Pakistan that are as rigid and harsh as they are in our country. If and when Mai finally succeeds in getting justice, it would be a significant victory for feminine fortitude.
T.S. Pattabhi Raman, on e-mail
All claims about improvement of women's position in society are false. There might have been some superficial changes but on the ground, things are still the same. The only difference is that such incidents are highlighted more by the media now.
Soyna Katoch, on e-mail
Time to Move Away
People fail to understand that L.K. Advani could not have said anything uncomplimentary about M.A. Jinnah in Pakistan ("The Truth About Jinnah", June 27). It is time for the BJP to distance itself from outfits like the RSS if it wants to be regarded as a national party in a secular country.
G. Duraiikkannan, Ooty