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The 'Curbed' Reich

Your say

The 'Curbed' Reich

Your cover story about the role of brahmacharya (September 24) was interesting. Whether brahmacharya can help one reach 'a higher stage' has long been a bone of contention here. This has always been contested by doctors, rationalists and psychologists. While Sigmund Freud, who greatly valued the role of sex, chose to remain celibate (because of his belief in the sublimation of sexual urges to higher pursuits), his disciple Wilhelm Reich came up with an interesting thesis about the origins of fascism. He linked it to the cultural suppression of sexual instincts among the peoples of Germany and Italy in the 1920's and 30's.

K S Sundaram, via email

Some chaste writing?

In your cover story package last week, 'Cut to the Chaste' (September 24), I find that you have used the words 'celibacy', 'chastity' and 'abstinence' interchangeably, several times, in virtually every article that makes up the package. While this might be fine in many circumstances, it isn't here. Strictly speaking, a 'celibate' is a person who remains unmarried, particularly in deference to religious compulsions. A married person may be chaste, but cannot be celibate. So only the Dalai Lama, from the many examples listed, may then be called celibate. The others are chaste, or abstinent. Careful writing is good writing.

Shiv Mathur, via email

Poor judgment

With reference to 'Cap them, forget them' (Comment, September 24), It must be said that the government needs to reiterate its idea of what 'poor' is. The UN clearly states that a poor person is one who cannot get 2400 Kcal per day, and who also has no access to basic services like medicine and education. It is therefore ridiculous to say that a person earning above Rs. 25 per day could get any of those facilities, even in rural India. The centre must recognise its failures and not shirk its responsibilities here. It must aim for a more efficient PDS system and arrive at better definitions.

Umair Khan, via email

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