When Cochin was matriarchal

Apropos to the news item, ‘SC notice to states, UTs on pleas for mother’s name on documents,’ (July 17), readers’ attention is invited to the history of the erstwhile Kingdom of Cochin, now part of the present-day Kerala state, where only the mother’s name was used in land, educational and other government records/documents by the members of the Nair community, who followed the matriarchal family system. In such a system, the beneficiaries were women, as they were the heirs to the family property.  The fact that such a practice was prevalent in this country about half-a-century ago may be a matter of surprise to the present generation, especially when we are flooded with lectures on women’s rights and the empowerment of women by all and sundry on a daily basis in print and electronic media.

 P P Vijayakumar Nair

Bid for Indian unity

M V Kamath is 100 per cent right in saying that it was Gandhi’s mistake to make the Turkish Caliphate issue a Congress issue(July 17), but we must understand that it was meant to forge Indian unity against the British, but unfortunately, it didn’t work and culminated in more bitterness and violence. M A Jinnah-the secular nationalist of this period — was against this mingling of religious issues with politics, but Gandhi’s rise sealed the issue and Jinnah’s voice got lost in the wilderness.

Later on in history, when Jinnah and the Muslim League were demanding Pakistan, the other great leader of Modern Turkey, Kemal Pasha Ataturk, was on a totally different track, giving Turkey a new shape by de-Islamising and de-Arabising it.

Our misfortune was that our great leaders – Gandhi,Jinnah,Nehru, Bose, Savarkar  and Ambedkar failed to come on a united platform against the British.

S R Wakankar 

Disappointing ‘Yudh’ so far

Having watched the first few episodes of ‘Yudh’, it is pathetic to see megastar Amitabh Bachchan’s acting prowess being wasted in this much-touted serial.

Basically, the serial does not have a gripping story.  The viewer is waiting for something to happen but nothing happens really! The frequent appearance of a clown in Amitabh’s imagination and his dreams is inexplicable and unconvincing.  We must wait and see how it unfolds.

K V Satyamurty

Water wars

The Kerala Government, for years, has been defying the orders of the apex court to raise the height of the Mullaiperiyar Dam to 142 feet to facilitate irrrigation in two lakh acres of Tamil Nadu land.  Kerala’s outrageous denial is letting 2,313 million cubic feet of water go unutilised into the sea, of which a mere 217 mcf is required by Tamil Nadu. This attitude of denial deprives the nation of irrigation in two lakh acres of potential land, apart from wasting precious water.

The centre, when appealed to, has looked the other way. Next, the apex court has ordered the Karnataka Government to release 192 tmc of water per year from the Cauvery to TN, published in the Gazette, 2013.

Also, the Gazette Order stipulated the formation of a Cauvery Water Board to monitor the release of the water by the Karnataka to TN.  Karnataka is deliberately said to be violating even the Gazette Order, by not forming the Cauvery Water Board.  The diligent CM of TN is said to have appealed to the PM in person, as well as through a letter, but there seems to be no response from Modi, though he is reportedly keen on raising the level of the Narmada Dam to benefit his home state Gujarat.  As an adverse consequence of this impasse, 17.66 hectares of potential Cauvery Delta Land for irrigation has been converted to real estate land in about ten years. Neither the BJP nor the Congress have reacted to address these alarming issues of national interest.

 T M Uday Shankar

For Brazil to bounce back

Reference Brazil’s 3-0 loss to Holland. Brazil, which was one of the finest and fearsome teams in the world of yesteryears, has been pulverised to a mediocre, non-performing side.

Brazil needs to review the performance of its coach, captain who specialises in collecting yellow cards and the entire squad. It may need

to rebuild a new team from scratch. Unless it makes these changes, Brazilians fans may not want to wear the canary yellow T-shirt again.

It is not easy for me to write this. I write with pain. After living in Brazil, I moved wherever I could to make a living, but my heart and soul have remained there.

It is time Brazilian players stopped praying, shedding tears in public and hit the training grounds. Looking at the skies beseechingly for help will not help. However, using the feet adroitly could help. Even God helps those who help themselves.

Rajendra K Aneja

Thrashing out a delicate topic

The Supreme Court has sought the views of all states and Union Territories on the subject of euthanasia in eight weeks.

Agreed ‘euthanasia’ is such a sensitive matter that no amount of debate will help the case, nor will any law offer a satisfactory solution. I lost my elder sister,84, recently.  She was in a vegetative state and had been so since 2011.

All of a sudden she was critical (as per the medical reports, except for her ‘heart’ everything was totally damaged) and admitted to a nursing home.

A few days later, the doctor requested her children’s consent to take her off life support as she was clinically dead, but they both refused. Which made me conclude that this very sensitive issue, involving individual faith and religious beliefs, should be left to individuals.

Central and state governments, along with other NGOs, need to consider the misery of the living dead from all angles before reaching any conclusion.

Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee

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