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Letters to the Editor: Attire and sexism

I wish to highlight that society has normalized sexism to the extent that it sometimes serves as an opportunity to mentally harass people in the workplace.

Letters to the Editor

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  22 Sep 2022 3:15 AM GMT

Attire and sexism

I wish to highlight that society has normalized sexism to the extent that it sometimes serves as an opportunity to mentally harass people in the workplace. For long, we have abided by a dress code which has not been laid down in any rule book. We, the young women today, are capable and ambitious and want to be financially independent as soon as our formal education ends. For women straight out of their PG, colleges provide both the avenue and training, even in contractual capacities, to step into the academic world. Owing to this, we cater to the job demands of these colleges. I am sure I speak for many women when I say that I avail public transport or walk to the workplace. Would it be possible to ponder on the possibility of the dress code in colleges (of those in teaching positions) to be completely the individual's call? I love my traditional attire of 'mekhala chadar' and 'sarees, but that does not obviate the inconveniences of these drapes when we need to stick to routine, reach our destination at a specific time, and navigate the day's work in clothes clearly not comfortable during the sweltering heat.

Sophistication and subtlety are very subjective, but we can safely reach a consensus that a kurta and bottom wear would easily pass off as formal, comfortable, and affordable attire at the workplace. When we talk of 'breaking the bias'on women's day, I think we are channeling our innermost voices which demand to be heard. Is it fair that our administration is paying more attention to how we dress and not how we teach? Is it fair to be looked down upon and questioned due to the way we dress - the way of dressing that they assume is inappropriate for an educator? On a personal note, I believe one's appearance is an expression of oneself. Every individual, including educators, must have sole authority over how to present themselves. I believe that if the competent authority brings the issue to public discourse, and consequently supports women's choice to dress up according to their conveniences, the colleges (and their respective authorities) will follow suit.

Nilakshi Malakar,

Sonapur, Guwahati.

Mamata creates a stir

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee created a stir on Monday by saying that she does not believe Prime Minister Narendra Modi is asking federal agencies such as the CBI or the ED to use powers beyond their brief against the Trinamool Congress (TMC).

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders in West Bengal are using the agencies to serve their goals and Modi might not be aware of it, she said. "You are possibly not aware that these agencies are no longer under the Prime Minister's Office (PMO). They are now controlled by the Union Home Ministry," Banerjee told the state Assembly during a discussion on a resolution TMC had tabled, accusing federal agencies of indulging in excesses. Though it appeared that Banerjee was targeting Union Home Minister Amit Shah, she did not take his name. Instead, she said: "The Central government and a section of BJP leaders are behind this. BJP leaders here want the agencies to serve their political agenda. We will not let such excesses muzzle the voice of democracy."

The main attack of Opposition parties till now was that these agencies are being misused by Prime Minster Modi. However, the statement of Mamata Banerjee makes it clear that the PMO has nothing to do with such raids. The BJP will get the maximum benefit from this utterance in the coming Assembly elections in two states of Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat. Mamata Banerjee's comment may also adversely affect the Bharat Jodo Yatra which Rahul Gandhi is leading, as dampen the enthusiasm of Congress leaders who attack Modi for misuse of ED and CBI.

Yash Pal Ralhan,

Jalandhar 144003.

Mamata's U-turn

Believe it or not, but it is just like the Bengali proverb Bhooter mukey ram naam (ghost is preaching Ram Ram). Because Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee gave an exoneration of sorts to Prime Minister Narendra Modi misusing central investigative agencies, during a debate in the Assembly initiated by her party, Trinamool Congress (TMC), on central investigative agencies being "misused by the Centre". Though I just cannot understand how it can be called 'misuse', when every other day ED (Enforcement Directorate) and CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) are attaching hard cash and properties. Didi boldly said, "I believe Modi hasn't done this." But who forget it is the same Didi who was shouting from the rooftop that ED is encroaching on the privacy of 'honest politicians and that Narendra Modi should be removed from the PM's chair because he is misusing ED and the CBI. Looks like ED is going to unearth the hidden wealth of more such MLAs of TMC. Hence, instead of PM Modi, that blame, she said, should go to the "BJP leaders (who) are conspiring", pointing out that the CBI now reports to the Union Home Ministry, controlled by Union Home Minister Amit Shah. People wonder about trying to put Modi against Shah, her last attempt to drive a wedge between the two. Or she's playing the game, as she is totally afraid and playing positive to impress Modi to stop further investigation. But it is the courts and not the State Assembly (passing resolutions through brute majority) that will decide if malpractices, corruption, looting of public money has taken place during TMC rule in Bengal. If Mamata Banerjee wishes to be true to even 5 per cent of the morals she teaches to all the others, she should apologize to aam aadmi and quit the Chief Minister's post. But the aam aadmi knows that it's a distant dream.

Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee


Innovative breakfast scheme

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin deserves a pat for launching an innovative and the much-needed free breakfast scheme for students of classes I to V, studying in government schools. To the pride of Tamil Nadu, the scheme is the first of its kind in India, and in its first phase reportedly it will benefit over 1lakh students across the State. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially for young children. Studies indicate that a healthy breakfast with high intakes of proteins, vitamins and minerals leads to better concentration and improved performance in their studies, and will enhance their cognitive development. In a state where the mid-day meal scheme pioneered by the late and former chief minister K. Kamaraj has been popular for years, the breakfast scheme is yet another feather in its cap, and could be just the beginning of nutrition being added to the progressive and successful political path of Tamil Nadu under the able leadership of Stalin.

Ranganathan Sivakumar


Electrification of buses

This is with reference to electrifying India's buses. Electrification can be a clean source of energy provided it comes from renewable sources like solar or wind energy which are India's biggest renewable sources. But with India being the world's third largest consumer of electricity, meeting the demands to electrify public transport becomes difficult. The investment that has to be made is not only for the production of electric buses but to also set up clean power plants to generate the electricity required. If burning fossil fuel is the source to electrify buses then the purpose is lost. India is yet to harness tidal energy which can be beneficial given the geography. One other challenge the citizens could face is the increase in fare prices to combat the heavy investment.

Namitha Acharya


Daughters' Day

National Daughters' Day is celebrated on September 25 and it is a day to celebrate and cherish our daughters who bring in so much of love into our lives. Although we don't really need a reason to celebrate our children, it's nice to be given the opportunity to pay our daughters some extra attention and show them how much they are loved.

Daughters are often deemed as 'Lakshmi'. The day signifies the importance of females in society and how girls are no less than boys in any sphere of life. Daughters bring a certain kind of joy into our world. Like all children, they have their own personalities and strengths. The joy of raising a daughter into a fully-grown woman means a lot to parents, thereby showing that a girl child needs special treatment as the flower of the house.

Daughters' Day is celebrated to honour our daughters and to appreciate all that they do for the family. It is a special day set out to celebrate girls for being equal opportunity human beings.

Jubel D'Cruz


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