Pachauri Should Keep Off TERI
THE appointment of Dr Rajendra K Pachauri as executive vice-chairman of the much respected The Energy and Research Institute is really unfortunate. The man has been embroiled in a sexual harassment case, which brings to the fore that justice delivery in India is multi-layered. We already know how politicians and celebrities manipulate judicial system to be off the hook: they sometime don’t even visit the court, or get the cases disposed of on the pretext of lack of evidence. Now, same practice is being adopted by the educated and enlightened ones. They try to claim innocence saying that that they cannot do any wrong and need to get on with their life, and the victim be damned. Pachauri after being accused of sexual harassment was given bail and then on several occasions he was allowed to go abroad. One ought to ask the judicial and law enforcement authorities as to why they have been lenient towards Pachauri when in other similar cases passports of the accused are impounded. As for Pachauri himself, if he has any self-respect he should have recused himself of the position and responsibilities at TERI until the case against him is settled. Any other person of his qualifications and achievements would have done this. That TERI has asked Pachauri to go on long leave is good for organisation, as otherwise it would have seriously affected its public image. The recent appointment of Pachauri as executive vice-chairman of TERI should be withdrawn. One must note that this is not the first time that Pachauri has been caught on the wrong side of the law. It was alleged a couple of years ago that he was misusing TERI vehicles for his personal use.
S KAMAT, ALTO ST CRUZ
Rajnath Capitalising on JNU Row
UNION Home Minister Rajnath Singh is trying to capitalise on the JNU sedition row by invoking Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed. His assertion that the agitation by students and teachers of the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University received “support” from Saeed, has not only pained the aam aadmi but stunned the political world. CPI-M general-secretary Sitaram Yechury, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah and others are absolutely right in demanding concrete evidence for buttressing Singh’s claim. Any institution cannot be branded as anti-national just like that. It is unfortunate that JNU Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar, son of an anganwadi worker from Bihar, has found himself at the receiving end of political game plans. Indians do not believe that if some people with different viewpoints protest then qualify to be branded as anti-national. The BJP and its fountainhead RSS must grow up so that our diverse nation becomes more and more strong retaining its diversity.
BIDYUT KUMAR CHATTERJEE, FARIDABAD
Women at Receiving End of Social Mores
THIS is with reference to the letter ‘No gender discrimination in Islam’ by Samir Khan (NT, February 15, 2016) as a rejoinder to what I had written earlier. He says that polygamy existed in all cultures and religions in the past. The fact is that presently in all religions as well as under the law polygamy, or polyandry as it was practised in some tribal societies, is prohibited and is also punishable. The difference in Islam is that polygamy is admissible and their own women have been protesting against it as it is prejudicial to their dignity. The writer has further tried to downplay the scourge saying that there may barely be 2 per cent of incidence of polygamy, whereas there are greater indulgences of promiscuity around. We cannot deny that pre- and extramarital relations occur all over the world cutting across all religious or cultural barriers but the aggrieved person always has the option to seek recourse to law, but if the religion itself decrees that a man can have as many as four living wives then the hapless woman is left with nothing to knock at. Is it not a fact that people have been taking advantage of such scriptures and even changing their religion to take advantage of such licentiousness? Have we forgotten the tale of a noted cine-star who changed his religion to marry a heroine during the subsistence of his first marriage? If that seems to be a thing of the past, what about the case of a sitting judge of a district court in Aligarh who divorced his wife last week through ‘triple talaq’ and the aggrieved wife made a petition to the Chief Justice of India? The writer further says that our Constitution is void of any spiritual guidance. It should be noted here that the Constitution is not a booklet of spiritual discourse but is a document that highlights the hopes and aspirations of the people in governing of the state with justice, liberty, equality and fraternity to all, irrespective of religion, race or sex, and hence it is supreme.
MICHAEL VAZ, MERCES