x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Readers comment on Indian hunger strikes and Emirati social issues

Readers respond to The National's coverage of Dubai's parks and Manny Pacquiao

It's absurd to suggest that just going on hunger strikes has always forced the Indian government to concede to demands, (Indian activist's hunger strike sparks ethics debate, April 10).

The best examples to the contrary include the activist Irom Sharmila and protesters from Telangana, India, that haven't had their demands met.

How can a hunger strike be blackmail in these cases? How the government deals with its problems depends on the context. It's a test of its nature.

When a person really dies from fasting, it is equivalent to self immolation. And the ongoing tradition of it only goes to show how deeply rooted personal revolt is against the state of affairs in India. To make it known is no crime.

It is every individual's right to protest against what he or she deems unjust. We don't need the intelligentsia to dole out prescriptions about morality and what is appropriate. In India, that is "unconstitutional".

The examples about two Gandhians going on competing hunger strikes is improperly based on an assumption that scores are being settled now, hence the strikes. It also assumes that the government is incapable of handling it, which is factually incorrect and absurd.

Gubbi Hidi, India

Challenges ahead for Emirati families

The National has raised a serious social issue that affects the very survival of the UAE in years to come (More Emirati women marrying foreigners, April 10).

Reports show that women outpace the percentage of men in higher education in the UAE. As a result, suitable matches between spouses are now tougher to arrange. But no one can reverse the trend of women's education, just for the sake of marriage.

A growing challenge is a widening communication gap between couples with regard to outlook and the management of family matters.

Communication gaps can drive men into reckless behaviour, extra-marital relationships and frequent physical or mental abuse of women.

The natural outcomes of such complications are the alarming rate of divorce, a decline of birth rates and an increasing number of neglected children.

Furthermore, the nation's women want to make use of their potential and find a suitable place in society. They want not only physical companions, but intellectual, professional and spiritual companions - and real partners in all walks of life.

Unless society addresses these very complex social issues soon, it may have to pay a price. Without happy wives and husbands, the very integrity and survival of the society will be challenged. Those most affected by such changes are, of course, the children.

Dr Raju M Mathew, Al Ain

A walk in the park - or around it

Dubai branching out with green plan for 11 more parks (April 8) is great news, but as is highlighted within the article, the parks need to be accessible.

Safa Park, for example, covers a wide area and is an immaculately manicured, beautiful green space. But it is completely fenced in with usually only two of its four gates open for entering or exiting. One is forced to visit the park by car or bus or otherwise walk over a kilometre around the perimeter of the park just to reach an entrance.

Upon leaving the park, one must return to one of the far-flung gates and again hike a kilometre or more to get back to where one started. That might force us to exercise, but I'd rather hike the two kilometres inside rather than outside the park.

Bruce Dauphin, Dubai

Pacquiao finds favour with UAE

I just wanted to say I'm a huge Manny Pacquiao fan In Mannyland: inside Manny Pacquiao's training camp for Shane Mosley bout, (April 9). This whole segment that The National has published on him is great.

It brings me immense joy to see that my own hometown newspaper has such a deep interest in this star. The whole phenomenon surrounding Pacquiao has been depicted wonderfully here. In addition, the articles and videos are amazing.

Thank you for taking such a keen interest in such a wonderful human being. If I may say on behalf of all the UAE based boxing fans, keep it coming - we love it!

Nabil Alsajwani, Dubai

Just to think that 17 years ago, Manny Pacquiao was just an uneducated, hungry, terrified 14-year-old child who left home, looking for food for his starving family.

Who would have thought that a starving street urchin who slept on sidewalks on cold dark nights would end up like this?

He's now a world-renowned celebrity, the face of boxing, an actor, singer, investor, multimillionaire, philanthropist and more. Who could have thought this was possible?

Roberto Pentason, Dubai