Need For Robust Data Protection Law
Our records and data are not safe anywhere and this is a worrying factor as the serious implication of data leak on common man dawned on me. The attempts by political parties in the country to snoop and cash in on voters’ vulnerabilities were outrageous. Facebook and other social media giants should refrain from cajoling us into something with the help of outside agencies. Without a robust law for data protection, our rights to privacy will remain a mirage. George Bernard Shaw famously said, “Science never solves a problem without creating ten more.”
DIOMEDES PEREIRA, Corlim
Death Penalty For Rape of Minors May Prove Disastrous
Pushed to the wall following national outrage at the horrific Kathua rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl and a string of near-similar crimes, the Union cabinet approved an ordinance prescribing death penalty for rape of minors below 12 years of age and enhanced punishment for all other rape crimes. While the stringent measures proposed by the ordinance are a move in the right direction and appreciated by all, the death penalty (which the Church does not approve) will make it more difficult for children to come out and disclose sexual abuse. (According to studies by research scholars, about 94 per cent of the offenders, registered under POCSO, are either relatives or otherwise known to the victim). Hence, it is necessary to sensitise schoolchildren in a big way to the dangers of this evil lurking in their environs. Children should be taught to distinguish between good and bad ‘uncles’ among neighbours, relatives and in school/school buses. Primary schoolteachers who are idolised by children can be of great help. Government should allocate sufficient funds for training of existing schoolteachers to enable them to double up as child psychologists so that no child suffers in silence out of ignorance or fear. Personally, as an educationist and also a grandfather of school-going children, I would like to see primary schoolteachers spending ten minutes a day interacting with an individual student on a one-to-one basis.
ROBERT CASTELLINO, Calangute