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Letters to the Editor

Sign of our times

I remember my mom telling me when I was a kid to count to 10, before taking any action, should I be angry. The time delay she said would help me cool down and distract my mind from mulling over what happened (“Chinese get a smashing way to vent their anger,” Jan.14, The Gulf Today).

But times have changed and we need more than ‘10’ these days to cool off. We need more arsenal in our system to fend off heated moments. Google anger management and you will come across thousands of sites offering advice and as your narrative states there is ‘anger room’, if all that does not work.

The surprising or not so surprising aspect of the room was that their target customers are between 20 and 35 years old. Sign of our times, I guess.
Kenneth Lester — By email

Political tint

The temple issue, I think, has gone beyond it being a question of faith and is now used as a platform by politicians to build their vote bank (“Ritual ‘purifies’ Sabarimala shrine,” Jan.5, The Gulf Today).

There is a tug-of-war among the various political parties with many Hindu groups vehemently opposing the Supreme Court ruling permitting women to enter the shrine, which was traditionally closed to women of menstruating age.

The Sabarimala custom has been followed for ages and so it is tradition at play. And in my opinion tradition cannot overrule the law of the land, more specifically the right to equality. Incidentally there are many temples in India which are exclusively for women.  And there is no hue and cry over it. The point I am trying to make is not that women should meekly accept the archaic rule favouring men, but caution is needed here, because it is being used by vested interests.

Of course there are contrasting viewpoints considering that there are two elements at play. The freedom to practice one’s own religion and the other of equality, both guaranteed by the constitution. And it is this aspect that political parties are twisting and turning, to what suits them best.

Early this month the entry of two women to the hilltop shrine led to violent protests and thousands were arrested. The pleas for the review of the Court verdict will come up for hearing. Let’s hope there is no escalation of violence until then.
Sunil Paranjpe — By email
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