What about the common man?

The manner in which news reporter Gautam Dheer was arrested by the Punjab police raises concern. And it is not because the police dared to lay its hands on a journalist but because the incident shows the contempt with which the police hold the procedure of law.

If this is the way they treated a journalist, one is alarmed to think what lengths they can go with ordinary people, who don’t usually find a platform to voice their grievances.

The correspondent could be bailed out only when the entire journalistic fraternity came out in his support. The Congress government would least want a direct confrontation with the press. But what about the common man?

The press should stand for ordinary people and voice their concerns the way it did for Mr Dheer.





Apropos of the editorial “Rule of law violated: Punjab is not a banana republic” (August 31), the Punjab police acted in a highly reprehensible manner in illegally apprehending a scribe. The high-handedness was compounded by the fact that the arrest was made in a neighbouring state without informing the local police.

RAJIV BHALLA, Chandigarh


The unconstitutional arrest of a journalist is an attack on the fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression. It seems the colonial days have come back.

This incident highlights two things — One, the media is united come rain or shine. And second, the police and people in power try to influence or terrify the media to hide their wrongdoings.

If people responsible for maintaining law and order have scant respect for law, how will democracy survive? It seems the government has no control over police officers. Hopefully the probe ordered in this case will throw some light on the matter.

KARANBIR SHAH, Qadian, distt: Gurdaspur


The Tribune deserves accolades for the editorial “Rule of law violated” (Aug 31). The rule of law, a basic feature of the Constitution, cannot be destroyed even by amending the Constitution. In Romesh Thapar vs State of Madras, Patanjali Sastri rightly observed that “freedom of speech and of the Press lay at the foundation of all democratic organisations, for without free political discussion no public education, so essential for the proper functioning of the process of popular government, is possible”.

S.S. JAIN, Chandigarh

Discourage pill-popping

Certain segments of the pharmaceutical industry, in order to mint money, are playing with the health of society. First, they convince healthy people that they are sick, then offer quick-fix solutions by encouraging them to take so-called wonder pills.

In other words, the whole business thrives on negativity — more the number of sick, better the business.

I feel yoga is the answer to counter all these unscrupulous wonder-pill producers, and the right recourse for gullible pill-poppers.

Madhu R.D. Singh, Ambala Cantt

England’s victory

The English cricket team headed by Michel Vaughan deserves heartiest congratulations for their remarkable performance against the world champions Australia to get ahead in the Ashes series 2-1. Whatever be the outcome of the final match, where Australia has a chance to draw level and retain the Ashes cup, Vaughan’s team has made Ricky Ponting and co bite the dust.

Ponting will have to pay a heavy price for this poor performance. His captaincy is at stake. It has been proved that pride hath a fall. The Australian team has never respected the opposition. In fact, they have never played like good sportsmen. Now perhaps, good sense will prevail.


River links are necessary

This refers to the news item “UP, MP sign pact on river-linking” and “Medha flays MoU on rivers” (August 20). The signing of an MoU for connecting the Ken and Betwa rivers between the Centre, and UP and MP is truly a landmark event and a big leap forward in the history of utilisation of river waters. It was followed by another one between MP and Rajasthan for linking Parbati-Kali Sindhu-Chambal rivers.

Parts of our country are facing acute shortage of water. Water is not available even for drinking in many places. So far, we have been able to create a storage capacity of only 30 per cent of the total precipitation we receive during a single year. The rest goes to the sea or is wasted. Water is an elixir. We must make optimum use of available water within the country. Medha Patkar and others of her ilk must understand the spirit behind such ambitious projects. They should stop creating unnecessary hurdles. 

Puran Singh, Haryana Institute of Rural Development, Nilokheri, Karnal

Bus shelter needed

A bus shelter is desperately needed in Nangal Township at the entrance of the main market on the main road leading to Bhakra Dam. Bus passengers have to stand in the open, in the rain or hot sun. Repeated requests to the concerned department have been of no account.

Arvind Kumar Nangal Township


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