* Apropos ‘Ordinance effect’ (IE, February 5), the clamour for more just and equal rights for women after the horrific Delhi gangrape has rightly generated a closer scrutiny of issues like the patriarchal nature of our society. But the debate should not be directed by popular frenzy. For instance, the demand for the death penalty for rape comes at a time when countries across the world are banning it and even eminent jurists here are examining the fallacies of various judgments, such as the one in the Bachan Singh case. When sensitive issues are hijacked by crowd sentiment, it creates a culture where there is no discussion and everything is decided by street justice. Some of the recommendations of the Verma committee were long overdue. But issues like marital rape and exemptions under the AFSPA require detailed discussion by the various political stakeholders. Indian society is so heterogeneous that a single pill cannot cure all its problems.
— Manish Sharma
* THIS refers to ‘Looking through UP’ (IE, February 6). It seems that UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has not been able to break with the old guard of the Samajwadi Party, and Mulayam Singh Yadav is averse to giving his son free rein. As a result, the unchecked party cadre have probably done the SP more harm than even the opposition. An early general election would perhaps be a good rallying cry for the party and the best remedy for its current problems. Meanwhile, the SP should not underestimate Mayawati, who has no doubt been shoring up her votebanks in the state.
— R. Narayanan
* THE UP government seems to have neglected the development of the state because of the ruling SP’s anxiety to secure a place at the Centre in the approaching general elections (‘Looking through UP’). Among other things, the state government seems to have no coherent policy to improve education and address the problems of its universities. Rather than distribute laptops, the government would do well to revamp the state education board. Only when the ruling party ensures the basic necessities for people in UP will it be ready to play a national role.
— Pathikrit Chakraborty
* A year after Gopal Subramaniam resigned as solicitor general, Rohinton F. Nariman quit the same post, allegedly because of serious differences with the government (‘SG Nariman resigns, second one to go in as many years’, IE, February 5). The government has lost yet another honest and competent legal advisor. UPA II holds the dubious distinction of running into trouble with almost every statutory body or post, whether it is the CAG, the SG or the CVC. It reflects a degree of arrogance on the government’s part. Parliament should probe the circumstances under which Nariman resigned.