L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

Security to whistleblowers a right step

The recent policy of the Haryana government to provide security to whistleblowers and RTI activists is a step taken in the right direction (State moots security for whistleblowers, September 10). As we all know that corruption is rampant in the country. RTI activists do a great service of invigorating the machinery of the State through their activism. Many cases of corruption would not have come to light if these activists had not made efforts.

But we find that RTI activists and whistleblowers are facing threat to their lives. One of the RTI activists in the country was killed recently. Such killings may dampen the spirits of activists and whistleblowers. The very purpose for which the RTI Act was implemented would be lost if more and more people did not feel the need to make use of it to seek information that was not readily available. Therefore, adequate security should be given to civil society activists and whistleblowers. Other states should also provide security to RTI activists and whistleblowers.


Jobs for the young

The Haryana Civil Medical Services Association (HCMSA) has opposed the practice of re-employing retired officers on key posts (HCMSA opposes reinduction of retired docs, September 10). Similarly, banks have been appointing their retired officials as “facilitators” in various branches. The Chandigarh administration is also appointing its retired officials as managers for e-Sampark centres.

Being a housewife and mother, I wonder when our children will be offered jobs in these institutions. Even after acquiring good academic degrees they are underemployed. Why should we not give a chance to the youth? Without any prejudice, I want to say that retired officials (from any institution) are at least well-off, and they are also entitled to pension. In this scenario of widespread unemployment, we should give jobs to youngsters and train them in the desired work. I am sure with the passage of time, and experience, they will also do well in their work.

KAMAL WASON, Chandigarh

Indo-Bangla accord

The article, PM’s visit to Bangladesh by B.Z. Khasru (September 10), has aptly said that regional leaders often forget that they are Indians first. India and Bangladesh have three main issues between them— the boundary issue, the water issue and the issue of Chakma refugees. All these issues have been discussed numerous times, and now the time has come to resolve them. The The Farakka barrage issue lingered on for years because of indecision and so is the Tin Bigha issue. Now, Manmohan Singh and Sheikh Hasina have decided to enhance mutual trust by signing some fruitful accords. The Indo- Bangla friendship will not only solve some problems of law and order and terrorism, but also enhance India’s prestige as a regional superpower.



This refers to your editorial, Delhi-Dhaka Pacts (September 9).   I wish to add that West Bengal Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee’s decision not to join Prime Minister’s group of officials to Bangladesh is a step in the right direction.  As the Chief Minister of her state, she is the custodian of her state and must safeguard its (West Bengal’s) interests. It should have been the duty of the Centre to take her into confidence before finalizing the trip to Bangladesh. Her not joining the Prime Minister has not only embarrassed him but also lowered the prestige of India internationally. Had there been some agreement between India and Bangladesh without the participation of the Chief Minister of West Bengal, there might have been some problems at a later stage, because it is the state of West Bengal which is directly affected by this agreement.  As a matter of principle, the Centre should always take into confidence the Chief Minister of a state before finalizing any international agreement, particularly if the agreement pertained to that state’s interests and was likely to affect its people. 

UJAGAR SINGH, Chandigarh

Callous attitude

It is shocking to read that a woman delivers a baby in a tempo(Shunned by docs, woman delivers in tempo, September 10). Such is the insensitivity of our society that hospitals do not consider the plight of a woman in labour pains. Of course, such cases are not rare in this country. Incidents like this one are reported by the media and are later forgotten by one and all. Our civil society must also take up these issues and fight against a system that does not care for its members.

The woman should have been directed to the right place if the Civil Hospital did not have the requisite expertise to deal with complications. How can a pregnant woman be made to move from one hospital to another?

RAJNI VERMA, Jalandhar

Govt grades

The honourable Human Resource Development Minister Mr Kapil Sibal has genuinely tried to reform Indian education. However, there are some problems that need to be addressed, a major one being that of schools seeking affiliation with the CBSE/CISCE.

I believe the affiliated schools, which already have the infrastructure and are well-established, have been allowed three years to give their teachers government grades, while schools seeking affiliation that actually need more time are being told by the affiliating bodies to give government grades before they get affiliation. This is likely to discourage people who have a dream but less money — a dream to provide good education to children.

I appreciate the idea of giving government grades to teachers, but the schools seeking affiliation are already much burdened, trying to fulfil the numerous requirements of infrastructure and other formalities.

In my opinion, schools within municipal limits seeking affiliation need to be given a minimum of five years to give government grades to their staff. To safeguard teachers’ interests and to ensure they are not exploited, it can be made mandatory for such schools to give 1.5 times the per capita income of the country as the minimum salary to a teacher. This, I believe, would be very reasonable keeping in view the fact that the Punjab government offers new teachers on contract a fixed amount of Rs 6,500. The rural schools could be instructed to give the equivalent of 1.25 times the per capita income of the country as the minimum salary, which could increase to 1.5 times after affiliation.

I most humbly request the honourable Human Resource Minister to kindly look into the matter and resolve this problem at the earliest.

D I SINGH, Mohali

The politician

The middle, Corruption non-practising allowance (September 10), though satirical and humorous in tone, is a very apt one. It carries the message of how politicians forget their mission in life. A politician has political ambition. This is not bad at all, provided that ambition does not, in any way, harm the interests of the people. If politics is to be treated as a profession, it must, like all other professions, serve the society, directly or indirectly. The image of politicians is tarnished to such an extent that we associate politics with corruption. This is not true. Politics has nothing to do with corrupt practices. It is, no doubt, associated with power. But that power comes from the people the politician offers to serve.

The people of our country must also stop thinking of politicians in general as corrupt. This country has witnessed some great politicians and statesmen.




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