I am a lecturer in a college in Assam and presently I am in Texas as a visiting professor at the University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio. I am also working for the cause of the displaced groups in Northeast India.
Last week I gave a presentation on human rights violations in India at the university and had to touch on the Gujarat violence. The response was great, but the people here are not much aware of happenings in India. Kavita Trivedi’s article on Gujarat (“From the Ashes,” IC November 2003) is indeed an eye opener for many, and will, I’m sure, serve the human cause in India.
Lopita Nath, via the Internet
It was indeed heartening to read that religious comity is gradually but surely returning to Ahmedabad (“From the Ashes,” IC November 2003). Kavita Trivedi should be commended for her article in highlighting the compassionate work of Ahmedabad Women’s Action Group (AWAG) in bringing back the sanity that was lost in the short, impulsive behavior by many including the chief minister. Wasn’t it Gandhiji who wrote that an eye for an eye will make the world go blind? Wasn’t it he who practiced and preached religious brotherhood from his ashram on the bank of Sabarmati river in Ahmedabad? I pray that Gandhiji’s message will resonate to all in their quiet reflection.
Now, would you please provide us the address of AWAG so that we may support such visionary work.
Niranjan Shah, El Cerrito, CA
Here it is: Ahmedabad Women’s Action Group, Dr. Ila Pathak, 5, Professors’ Colony, Navrang-pura, Ahmedabad 380009, Gujarat, India. Phone: 91-79-6442466.Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. —Editor
Interesting things are happening in Pakistan and not a peep from the world’s largest democracy. Instead of offering pointless sops to the Pakistanis and trying to get them to change their jaundiced view on Jammu and Kashmir and militancy, India should rather concentrate on getting democracy restored in Pakistan. It should immediately recognize Alliance for Restoration of Democracy (ARD) as the true representative of Pakistan, just like they do with Hurriyat in Kashmir, and invite it to a composite dialogue to be started at our convenience.
That will deliver a death blow to Musharraf and highlight yet again that Pakistan is a dictatorship and reply in kind for their proposals to the so called “rape victims” of Kashmir.
Sunil Ganu, Santa Clara CA
GROPERS HIDE IN CROWDS
One of the issues in Suchi Rudra’s short story “Fresh Air” (IC November, 2003) is a type of male behavior in city crowds in India. In crowded city buses, trains, stairs, temple festivals, and in any other place where you can expect a mixed crowd of strangers, this ugly behavior is exhibited by a good number of men. The perpetrator can be almost anybody who will, in the normal course, be gauged as a gentleman: from elite-class elder or middle-aged white-collar babu to hot-blooded unripe youngster.
The reason for this behavior is that “modern” education took away the age-old level approach towards sex but failed to implant the liberal, Western way of mutual regard; most eve teasers are propelled by a wide range of motivations—from undigested ugly curiosity of a youngster to the dissatisfied, suppressed, vulgarized angular mind of an older man. A microscopic minority is criminal or mentally unbalanced that should be treated separately and appropriately. The vast majority of the teasers would become decent and normal once the sufferers take the time and courage to warn the unbridled nasty immoral fingers that try to experiment.
If an aggrieved can collect a group for self-defense, it would be better. The best way out will be a liberal, taboo-free understanding of sex and empowerment of the abused.
Kadangode V. Raghunathan, Sunnyvale, CA
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Suresh Vasandani, Northridge, CA