LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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Include Rice In Mid-Day Meal 

THE  state  government has  granted its approval to provide moong, oil and jaggery to  students studying from Standard  I to Standard  VII in lieu of mid-day meals. The  decision will benefit over 1.58 lakh students.  In  the last six months, the mid-day meal was not provided to students as schools were shut due to the coronavirus pandemic. Food items will now be delivered to students at their homes. This provision has to be made with effect from the date of the lockdown, which is March 16. It is pertinent to note that rice is the staple food for Goans. In Goa it would be desirable to also include rice along with moong, oil and jaggery. In other states the staple food may be dal and roti, but in Goa children are used to eating rice every day. Hence rice also needs to be provided to the children as food item in lieu of the mid-day meal.

ADELMO FERNANDES, VASCO

‘Jihad’ On Personal Freedom

ONE is amused by the cacophony of the phrase ‘love jihad’, which has recently been popularised by certain Hindutva groups in the country. The phrase is coined to denote a communal conspiracy in which Muslim men   marry Hindu women after entrapping them in love affairs. There is nothing wrong if a Hindu woman decides to marry a Muslim man, or vice versa. But rightwing groups portray a case of a Muslim man marrying a Hindu woman as part of a larger conspiracy aimed at converting Hindus to Islam. This leads to  Hindu-Muslim polarisation, which the Hindutva groups take advantage of. On the other hand, some BJP-ruled states are trying to interfere in the personal freedom of individuals guaranteed in the Constitution. They are trying to solve a contrived problem with a bad  law  for political gains. This bill, if passed, will give outside parties a handle to interfere in other people’s personal affairs.

JUBEL D’CRUZ, MUMBAI

Centre Should Outlaw ‘Love Jihad’

THE UP government has approved an ordinance to check forced religious conversions. This is a good move by the UP government against ‘love jihad’.  Fanatics  lure   non-Muslim  women,  marry them and convert  them  to  Islam. This modus operandi has been denounced not only by   Hindu organisations  in   India, but also many international  Sikh and Christian organisations. Christian organisations from  Kerala raised their voice against this ‘strategy’: some young Christian women  from Kerala were sent to Syria for fighting along with Islamic State militants; these women  were entrapped through ‘love jihad’. It is good that some states are trying to criminalise ‘love jihad’.  There should be a law against ‘love jihad’ at the national level as well.

SHILPA NADKARNI, PONDA