the fully loaded magazine
This refers to Speakout (Oct 15). Apart from such platforms, where are women allowed the space to speak their minds out? People are ok as long as the ladies can keep mum, but as soon as they open their mouth, everyone starts panicking.
Charu Shah, Surendranagar
The theme of women empowerment for the Outlook Speakout this year was quite inspiring. The contribution of highly accomplished and courageous women like Atishi, the AAP leader who has done exemplary work for the Delhi school education system is not as well known as it deserves to be. I wish all these women felicitated at Outlook’s event all the success in their endeavours. It is very important to tell society about such role models.
M.N. Bhartiya, Goa
Apropos of D.I.Y. Chandrachud (Oct 15), on matters of great bearing on the people, the nation also expects that the higher judiciary should respect the constitutional morality enshrined in the separation of powers and scrupulously desist from treading on the toes of the executive and the legislature. Except in rare cases, PILs should not be admitted in any such matter, and the court should advise the petitioner to approach the ministry concerned for redressal, or approach an MP/MLA/MLC to move a private member’s bill in Parliament or the state legislature. The torrent of PILs needs to be tamed into a trickle for optimum use of quality judicial time.
Nitin Majumdar, On E-Mail
Koka Subba Rao did not “retire” as Chief Justice of India as mentioned in your story. He resigned much before his retirement date, in order to contest the Presidential election.
P. Suryanarayana, On E-Mail
Speakout’s all good if accompanied by earnest attempts to ‘listen out’ by the menfolk.
Sneha Narayan, Bangalore
This refers to Predators! (Oct 15). As we all know, Bollywood works in various big camps—and until and unless the big shots stand up for this cause, nothing much will change at the grassroots level, and we will soon forget Tanushree Dutta’s allegations. Having said that, it would be foolish to jump the gun like this without hearing Nana Patekar and Vivek Agnihotri’s side of the story. And why did it take her eight years to make the accusation?
Bal Govind, Noida
Misogyny and patriarchy are deeply embedded in Indian society—and the film industry with its casting couches, and powerful directors and producers taking girls for granted, is even more misogynistic. In such a scenario, most women choose to remain silent; when someone like Tanushree Dutta dares to speak, all hell is loosed on her, asking why she remained silent for a decade. In the USA, the #MeToo movement has kept growing. Now it has been reported that since April 2017, more than 250 powerful people—celebrities, politicians, CEOs and others—have been facing sexual harassment, assault or other misconduct allegations. In India too, many gods have been found to have feet of clay, not just Nana, but many more in films, the media and the entertainment industry. This is definitely our #MeToo movement!
Rakesh Agarwal, Dehradun
The masculine gender seems to give its members so much overriding power that male actors are alleged to have sexually assaulted women directors, producers and writers. But, a misdemeanour is not the same as felony; similarly, lewd comments, obscene gestures or inappropriate touching are not the same as rape. They cannot be lumped together. One is not quite sure whether all #MeToo allegations can be taken at face value. We cannot say with any finality that no woman would make an allegation of sexual abuse to settle an old score. It is naive to imagine that sexual favours are never offered to curry favour with influential men. Still, the #MeToo movement deserves our full support as it is against sexual harassment and not against the joy of male-female companionship.
G. David Milton, Maruthancode
This refers to Predators! (October 15). Women of our country have started going hammer and tongs on men’s questionable behaviours. The onslaught has been rather sudden, catching the men off guard. Men have always taken for granted that flirting with women is their birthright. Looks like quite a few VIPs of all hues and colours have been taken by surprise that their casualness could cause them so much embarrassment and disgrace. It was high time men got out of their slumber and began acting gracefully.
T. Santhanam, On E-Mail
This refers to the diary by Sumita Paul, wife of the late Outlook editor-in-chief Vinod Mehta (Distaff Diary, Oct 15). After a very long time, I was happy and nostalgic reading some stuff written straight from the heart. As an old subscriber of your magazine, I, a 69-year-old, still miss Vinod Mehta’s forthright writing. He used to remind me of another great editor, Khushwant Singh. I hope Sumita Paul pens more such pieces, which appeal to people like me.
Sudhir Naik, Pune
Vinod Mehta has always been a quintessential prig. When every cricketing legend—Sachin, Dravid, Clive Lyod and Ricky Ponting—was rooting for the IPL, Vinod made a preposterous statement calling it an obscenity. He also didn’t care for the move to glam up the league by getting in cheerleaders. In TV talk shows, where participants routinely bark and howl at each other, I remember, many a time , the anchor had to “wake up” Vinod Mehta who would always be dreaming and dozing. I love the “Punjabi boy from Lucknow”.
Col (Retd.) C.V. Venugopalan, Palakkad
Last night I met Vinod Mehta in a dream. A drink in hand, he looked a bit sad. Surprised, I asked him why he looked so sad. He said: “I gave almost half my life to make Outlook group a great publishing house. The magazines we published found a special space in the crowded news, travel and financial space in India. But after I died, the subscription department is hell-bent to spoil the reputation. Now, an edition that hits the news stands on Friday is sent to its loyal subscribers on or after Tuesday. Sometimes it reaches them the next Friday. They don’t even care for complaints made through calls or mails. Nobody is bothered about this poor distribution network. They are taking the loyal subscribers for granted.” I was surprised that he knew every thing. I have been writing mails and calling the subscription department for months, but nothing helps. They always repeat the same line: “It won’t happen again. We’ve changed the courier agency.” A subscriber of Outlook magazines for more than 20 years, I didn’t know how to console Mr Mehta. And before I could say a word, he said: “See how long this lasts. I’m afraid everything I had put into it may end up going waste.” He left and I woke up in a haze, wondering whether it was indeed a dream?
Manoj Sachdeva, On E-Mail