Wednesday, January 16, 2008

An open letter to The Hindu

Respected Editor,
The purpose of this e-mail is to express my deep disappointment over the prejudiced views expressed by The Hindu against men citing the unfortunate and detestable "Mumbai molestation" incident on the New Year's eve in the article "An assault on dignity" - The Hindu Magazine dated 13th January 2008

Quote from the article

"The real issue that we must grapple with when such incidents occur has a name; it is "patriarchy". It includes the inability of men to accept that women have rights, that they are human beings, that they should be left alone, that they have a right tooccupy space in the public arena."

To say that all men are unable to consider women as human beings reflects a narrow-minded and prejudiced outlook of the author against men. I don't deny that social malices like dowry system still exists and are perpetrated solely against women. But on what basis does Ms. Kalpana come to a conclusion that such crimes are committed only by men? I do agree to the fact that women are always the victims in rape and I do empathize with them. At the same time there are also numerous cases in which women place false molestation charges against men and get away with it riding on the benefit of the "sympathy factor". What is the intention of Ms. Kalpana? To get justice for women or to get even with men for all the crimes committed against women (by both men and women)?

A sizable number of terrorism-related incidents can be attributed to Islamic terrorists, Indians or otherwise. I am sure The Hindu would not publish an article that implies that all muslims are terrorists. Why then does it publish an article that aims at blaming and defaming men because crimes are committed against women (by both men and women)? Articles such as these helps no good cause, but can flame up male and female egoism.

Ms. Kalpana is entitled to her opinion, however prejudiced, shallow and shameful they are. But the fact that this article made it to the front page of The Magazine (due to lapse in editing or conscious endorsement by the editorial team) is a clear indicator of the fast declining standards of journalism The Hindu. I believe, just like how money problems can't be solved my money, gender issues can't be solved by only one gender or pitching one gender against the other.

The only ways are
1. consensus between the two genders by sensitizing both of them of problems faced by one another,
2. strict *enforcement* of the law to deter perpetration of such crimes (this includes accessibility and transparency of law enforcement agencies)


Badhrinath J
303, Patnivilla Apartments,
Rasoolpura, Begumpet,
Hyderabad - 500016

PS: I am also in total disagreement with the following views of the author

"Laws have never succeeded in changing mindsets. The death penalty has not reduced the number of murders. The Dowry Act has not stopped the custom of giving and taking dowries. Stronger laws dealing with crimes against women, although essential, have not reduced the incidence of crime"

These views seem to lack supporting evidence. Was there a time in India when the death penalty was abolished and the rate of murder increased or remained the same? Further, this analysis also depends on how well the laws are enforced, and how easy was it to make complaints when crimes are committed.


KK said...

Dei, did you get any response back from Hindu

Badhri said...

Nope! Don't expect one! :)