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Focus on India: Your Comments

Kevin Anderson | 20:03 UK time, Wednesday, 8 March 2006

With several stories in India, we decided to devote the hour to issues in India and issues affecting South Asians around the world.

We talked about the murder case of Jessica Lal and how Indians are discovering 'people power'. We also took you to Varinasi, the site of twin bombings.

And we also talked about the practice of foeticide as Indian couples still feel pressure to have sons and not daughters.

With several stories in India, we decided to devote the hour to issues in India and issues affecting South Asians around the world.

We started talking about the case of Jessica Lal, a Delhi model murdered seven years ago.

The son of a prominent politician was just acquitted. We talked to Jessica’s sister and Sonia Singh, the managing editor of NDTV which led an SMS campaign to retry the case.
We received a lot of e-mails and text messages about the discussion:

Punit Modhgil from London wrote:

I think this is the tipping point. The 'don't care' attitude of the Delhi residents is finally changing, the tide is turning. And thanks to the recent Bollywood blockbuster 'Rang De Basanti' which seems to inspire this outburst, the voice of the people is being heard on the streets.

Kris sent us this text message:

Having lived in India in the 80s I saw wide corruption. I would have hoped that it would have started to clear up by now, but apparently that is not the case.

Manish, Georgia, USA

What we are seeing here is what we've been witnessing for decades. Until we get rid of rich people/poor people and strong people/weak people mentality, we are never going to make any progress on situations like this. When the entire system is corrupt, not only unknown people but popular figures like Ms. Lal are going to suffer.

We then moved on to discuss the twin bombings in the northern Indian city of Varanasi.

The bombings at a Hindu temple and the main rail station killed at least 15 people.

Here are just a few of the comments we received:

Jay, London, UK sent us this e-mail


I pray for the souls of those killed in the horrific blasts. The Indian Government has to do more to protect Hindus and their holy sites.
I hope peace is maintained, but I fear the patience Hindus are displaying against these numerous terrorist attacks will soon diminish.

Baqar in New Delhi had this to say:

I was born and brought up in Varanasi. My parents & family still live there. My Mother was coming back from the college before the attack. Fortunately she is safe. Terrorists don't belong to any religion. I hope everything will be better very soon.

Naseer, from Saudi Arabia sent us this e-mail:

Incidents like this are well thought out by the perpetrators to create chaos and animosity among the different religious societies of India. Being a Muslim, I strongly denounce such cowardly act on innocent civilians who have nothing to do with the perpetrators political vision.

We then moved on to discuss the practice of foeticide in an effort by some Indian couples to have sons rather than daughters.

BBC correspondent Rahul Tandon posed as a father looking to find out the sex of his child to a doctor in India, a practice which is banned there.

Rahul was shocked at how easy it was to find a doctor and how the doctor said she could perform an abortion that afternoon if he found out that the foetus was a girl.

We received this text message from Jan in Colorado:

In a male dominated world, I wouldn't want a male child. Who wants a spoiled brat who can't really even respect his own mother?

B. Joshua in Uganda sent us this text message:

Both boys & girls have similar rights life. Mine is the Christian view that it is a shame to abort a female foetus because you want a boy.

Mahat Khalif in Mandera Kenya sent us this text message:

Parents prefer baby boys because girls don’t play a role in family lineage. They are taken as a member born with a destination elsewhere, but boys are assets.

Titus Odoyiri from the Jigawa State of Nigeria had this to say:

It's very much a disaster to reject or abort any child, since no one can tell what hope the future holds for the child.

Bobo sent us this text:

Why girls? Is the process not performed by women? How do they feel destroying their own gender? Please, let the GIRLS live!

But not everyone appreciated our focus on India.

Paritosh in Uganda sent us this message:

Today's three topics you have selected show negative side of India. I hope next time you will discuss the positive side of India: The economic power of India.

Thanks for those comments. If there is something that you want to talk about tomorrow, e-mail us or leave a comment here.

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