Voice of the People


Articles and letters may be edited for the purposes of clarity and space. They are published in good faith with a view to enlightening all the stakeholders. However, the contents of these writings may not necessarily match the views of the newspaper.

Give justice to Bilkis Bano

THE Gujarat Govt has granted remission to 11 individuals convicted of raping Bilkis Bano and murdering fourteen members of her family during the 2002 Godhra/Gujarat anti-Muslim riots. The discharge of those convicted is disheartening and PM Modi is answerable for this.

The crimes dedicated within the wake of the 2002 Godhra/Gujarat riots have shocked not just India but the entire world. Those responsible of such heinous crimes should not have been released before time. One wonders if the meeting elections in Gujarat scheduled for the end of the year performed a component within decision-making process.

It’s been more than 20 years of injustice to Bilkis Bano and the entire Muslim community. Not just Bilkis Bano, but there are thousands of Muslim women and families who are still living in camps, and thousands of those, whose stories are still unheard of and unreported.

Bilkis Bano was just 21 years old when she was brutally gang-raped in 2002 during the communal violence that followed the Godhra train-burning incident in Gujarat. She was five months pregnant at that time but in spite of this, the rapists did not spare her or her family members. The injustice meted out to Bilkis Bano is an indelible blot, one that will make the entire nation hang its head in shame. And, as is his wont (customary behaviour), PM Narendra Modi keeps a stoic silence.

There is no safety for women in India. Many cases of rape and murder are reported everyday and the culprits are freed soon after their arrest because they are known or belong to some political party. Even the police are not trained and sensitised to handle sexual crimes in our country. In most cases, whenever the victims approach the police station for filing a complaint, they (the police) are reluctant to register an FIR.

In India, if you rape a hundred women or commit a thousand murders, you are rarely arrested and put behind bars. Women in India are treated like sex objects for men to play with. Don’t they have a mother or a sister at home? What if they were to get raped? How would they feel then?


Mumbai, India

We never learn from the past

We only respond to disasters and that too in an amateur and inept manner. The recent floods have wiped out thousands of houses and commercial buildings in various parts of Pakistan, thousands have lost their lives and millions are displaced— living under open sky in makeshift camps without food, water and other amenities.

Floods are a calamity indeed, but they are also an outcome of mismanagement, corruption and poor planning. Successive Governments have spent billions on mega projects but none of them ever prioritized protecting us from natural disasters.

Experts had been warning since long that the country is among those few which are the most vulnerable to the havoc that climate change may wreak. But these warnings, as usual, have fallen on deaf ears and those at the helm of affairs have once again demonstrated that they are not prepared to leave their cozy surroundings to discharge their responsibilities.

It goes without saying that climate, globally, is changing rapidly. Extreme weather conditions are causing catastrophes in parts of the world; yet, the indifference of our authorities towards this conspicuous reality is bewildering.

Lack of preparedness is manifested each time. Like previous similar events, the nature of damage is the same: lives lost; infrastructure destroyed; people displaced and normal life badly affected. Not surprisingly, this time too, the state response is not dissimilar to the previous ones: visits of our rulers to the affected areas, taking aerial views, making a show of distributing food among the affected people, issuing statements and indulging in the usual blame game.

Each time, promises are made about enhancing our capabilities to mitigate the negative effects of future calamities, but nothing is done practically. Once we are under the clouds, we are unabashedly told that it is the will of God to make us suffer and the authorities are absolutely innocent.


Digri, Mirpurkhas

Afghanistan players attitude

Wins and losses are part of the game, but teams are made by attitude, not by big or small performance. The way the Afghanistan cricket team shows malice and hatred against the Pakistan Cricket team and the behaviour of the Afghan spectators in the stadium is reflective of low mentality.

The small team will remain, no matter who wins the match in the future. Today they will probably lose against India too, but we will see their attitude there. Overall disappointed. ICC should take immediate notice of the misconduct of their players. And well done Naseem Shah, knocking out two countries in two sixes is also amazing!


Kallar Syedan


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