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Approach to Siachen issue wrong

Siachen, the glacier as such has no problem (Air Commodore Jasjit Singh (retd)’s article “Finding a solution to Siachen”, May 1). The problem is with the approach we have adopted towards this big mass of ice by turning it into a battlefield. The results are obvious in terms of human and financial loss, which sometimes assumes tragic proportions as is evident from what happened during the avalanche killing around 200 Pak army personnel. The human tragedy made Pak Army Chief see the problem from a higher pedestal and came to the right conclusion of finding a reasonable solution.

Vast majority of the people hardly understand the dynamics of problems and their solutions. Their approach is generally oversimplified, hence the reactions and the consequences, which in turn results in more problems.

Moved by the gravity of the situation, General Kayani said, “It is time to solve the Siachen problem”. The writer rightly suggests taking the public into confidence by publishing the said “Karachi Agreement” and the maps showing the actual positions of the armies so as to be transparent.



If we carefully sift through statements of Pakistan's generals and politicians it may be observed that there has been no change in their policy on Siachen. They claim that entire area between Indira Col and pt 24280 belongs to Pakistan and the line of control should be the line joining NJ 9842 straight to Karakoram pass. It means the entire Siachen glacier is supposed to be with them. Such a ground situation will never be agreed to by India. Siachen is a very strategic location and India should plan to keep control over it forever in view of security considerations.

Although very difficult, the Indian Army has equipped itself quite well to face the extreme cold climate conditions. DRDO has done well to provide logistical research and suitable provisions and support for survival of soldiers in the highest battlefield. Under no circumstances India should succumb to pressure tactics of China and Pakistan.

SC VAID, Greater Noida

No longer outcastes

Contrary to Kuldip Nayar’s views in his article, “Ignored cause of Dalit uplift” (April 25), I think Dalits face no discrimination or prejudice anymore. Nobody shows any disrespect to them. In fact, the reverse is more true.

Exploiting their Dalit tag, the younger lot among them often displays disrespectful behaviour towards others. If one happens to get into an argument with them, they use foul and filthy language. Shop-keepers down their shutters out of fear if a bandh call is given by the Dalits. They go to the extent of throwing filth and night soil in front of the “erring” shops.

They are far better off financially than many other weaker sections. Their children get admissions with 40 per cent marks when others with 90 per cent do not. Many of the Dalits are occupying high positions but their children continue to get preferential treatment. So, who is being discriminated against, they or others?

If people want to keep distance from them, it is not because they are untouchable but because of their rowdy behaviour. They need to change their mindset more than others. It is time they shun dependence on the reservation crutches and their Dalit tag and learn the virtue of hard work to come up in life.

Wg Cdr CL SEHGAL (retd), Jalandhar


The society has internalised injustice and high-handedness meted out to Dalits by usupring what legitimately belongs to them. To brand entire Hindu society guilty will be a travesty of the situation.

The caste system has thrown its dragnet around the vast multitude and all feel helplessly shackled. All attempts by social reformers and revolutionaries of the yore to rid mankind of this system were set at naught by a die-hard priestly class. Whatever may have been the origin of this system one thing is clear that it was the handiwork of those who directly benefited from this and who later developed a vested interest in its continuation. A divine theory was invented and tagged to the system. The evil has thus survived over the times.

Dr Ambedkar had improved over his predecessors in dealing with it. He struck at the root of the problem and by holding ‘shastras’ (scriptures) directly responsible for it prescribed the right recipe for its eradication. An opportunity had been offered by Dr Ambedkar to the Hindus to act on his advice and make society homogenous. Stray voices from some Hindu liberals to purge the ‘shastras’ of the derogatory references to the shudras and women are often met with stiff resistance.

The Dalits are forging ahead in all walks of life despite hurdles. Capable Dalits are apleny now. What is required is change in mindset. Change the outlook towards them and see the result.

Dr Ram Lal Jassi, via e-mail

Jat quota: U-turn by leaders

Prof D R Chaudhry, general secretary, Haryana Insaaf Society, had in a recent seminar condemned the Jat agitators lock, stock and barrel (news report "Consensus on no reservation to Jat Community", April 30).

The so-called perennial prosperity of the Jats is more of a myth than a reality. Majority of them own small land holdings which are gradually  becoming unviable due to the rising cost of cultivation. The youth killed in the recent Jat agitation was a factory worker. Nobody can defend the torching of public property and blocking of rail and bus traffic, yet we must acknowledge the reality that the Jat agitation is getting huge support in certain rural areas of Haryana because many Jats have now become vulnerable to both, poverty and unemployment. In his latest stance on this pastoral community, Prof Chaudhry has made a climb down from his earlier avowed support to their genuine grievances and problems in his well-known book "Haryana at crossroads".




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