Tuesday, June 27, 2000,
Chandigarh, India



J&K autonomy a non-issue

ALL kinds of central assistance to Jammu and Kashmir meant for development is rarely used. Welfare projects related to education, health care, roads, etc, are not being implemented sincerely, with the result unemployment, illiteracy, poverty and frustration are on the increase. People have lost faith in the government and have no sense of belonging to the state.

The question arises: who is responsible for this miserable life and sorry state of affairs? Who misruled all these years? The reply is very simple: who ruled most of the time. Their tactics to blackmail the successive governments at the Centre always succeeded.

Crores of rupees are spent every year without any development. Why can’t we, the tax-payers of India, raise our voice against this?

Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah has raised a non-issue of autonomy out of sheer frustration. He and his National Conference are responsible for most of the problems in the state, the poor state of the economy and breaking up of the social and communal fabric in the valley.



Legal protection must for aged

There are senior citizens who planned well for their old age and have their own resources to depend upon.There are those who did not plan their retired life and innocently passed on their valuable possessions to their children due to which they are now leading a wretched life. In many cases they live as strangers in their own houses.

Having bequeathed property worth lakhs, besides giving enough cash to their children, they are viewed as speed-breakers in the life of their married offspring. Yet, in many cases, the disrespect shown to parents has reached such serious dimensions that sons have started killing their own parents as a short-cut to getting money or property.

Thus the government should enact a law to entitle poor parents to secure their cost of maintenance from their children.

The government should also enact a law to ensure that children do not automatically inherit all the movable and immovable property of their parents, including cash, unless there is a clear will in this regard. This may prevent the murder of parents by their offspring, which is often reported in the papers.


Intelligence gathering

This has reference to the editorial “Shopping anti-terrorist kit” (June 21). This is a meaningful exercise, but Mr L.K. Advani, Union Home Minister, should have included in his team some top experts from the Army.

India, after Independence, saw for the first time armed insurgency backed by communists in the Telangana region of the present Andhra Pradesh. This was contained by the Army in a short time.

Since then insurgents and militants have travelled a long way in the field of intelligence, training, strategy and commitment to their “cause”.

In contrast, our armymen deployed to fight these militants have not had even elementary training for their new assignment.

Secondly, an effective intelligence network of a country can go a long way in containing militants’ activities. But our intelligence agencies have proved good for nothing on most occasions. Unless special battalions consisting of dedicated and motivated young volunteers are raised and trained by experts, nothing is going to change for the better.

Likewise, intelligence agencies should also be made accountable, because at present they perhaps feed the government after reading the newspapers only. Thirdly, we accuse the ISI even for the collapse of an old building. But what are we doing?


Loopholes in Rent Control Act

I want to point out the discriminatory application of the Rent Control Act. Due to this, the possession of rented premises cannot be taken on personal necessity grounds for the retirees, senior citizens and for their unemployed children.

In Punjab the rent of residential buildings are very meagre. Taking the advantage of the procedural hassle, tenants either don’t pay their rent in time or don’t pay at all. Even court summonses are evaded on different grounds for months. To collect the arrears of a meagre rent amount through the court, one has to spend more than the rent to be collected.

The tenants also change the name of the premises as well as its utility without bringing it to the knowledge of the owner. Sometimes they do not hesitate to alter or damage the premises. The law should be amended to ensure that the owner has the option either to charge the market rent, regularly adjusted, or get the premises vacated through simple administrative procedure.



Recently the deposed Pakistan Prime Minister, Mr Nawaz Sharif, said that the military ruler, General Pervez Musharraf, secretly masterminded the Kargil operation and he was not aware of it. After I read this the following lines came to my mind:

Sajan rey jhoot mat bolo
Khuda key paas jaana hai.



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