Saturday, November 18, 2000,
Chandigarh, India



Ensuring liberty and human rights

THIS refers to your editorial, “Law of arrests” (Nov. 11). You have very correctly said that even those allegedly responsible for commission of non-cognisable offenses are harassed and put behind the bars by the police.

Under the law the policemen are not supposed to interfere in non-cognisable cases, for they do not have any jurisdiction.

New Delhi

US poll confusion

Confusion over the result of the presidential election in America brings to mind the 1824 election when the electoral college vote was so divided between Andrew Jackson (99), John Quincy Adams (84), Crawford (41), and Henry Clay (37) that none of them could claim absolute majority.

The issue was then decided by majority vote in the House of Representatives where Clay, as Speaker, exercised his influence in favour of Adams who was declared elected as the 6th President of the US.


Subsequent appointment of Henry Clay as Secretary of State gave birth to the talk of an “unholy alliance” and a “corrupt bargain”.

John Quincy Adams was son of the second President, John Adams. The 23rd President, Benjamin Harrison, was grandson of the 9th President, William Harrison. In the present Gore-Bush race for the White House Bush is son of the 41st President, George Bush. Adams and Harrison were Republicans. So also is Bush.

Prof R. S. CHEEMA,
P.E.S.I. (retd.)

Strange ways of PSEB

It was no surprise to read a report that the PSEB is taking loans from the banks to pay the salaries of its staff. From my calculation they should have gone bankrupt by now the way they are operating.

There should be other examples, but I give you my own. Earlier this year we changed our single phase electricity connection to three phase for our farm-house. I have visited our local area endless times, requesting to take the cables and posts away which are no longer being used, from previously single phase line, because this line goes through our orchards, and as the fruit trees are growing we have to cut them, to avoid touching the cables. I have also written couple of times regarding this.

I wrote to the PSEB to put a seal on our new three phase meter, and we have not received a bill for the last six months.

The cables and posts not in use in our fields could be used somewhere else. I am sure they always need them.


Spoken English

English is very widely used in India as a second language. It is also used as a medium of inter-state communication. It is the language commonly used in seminars and conferences. It is the language of business, science and technology. Considerable use of English is made on radio and TV.

Strangely, spoken English is not given its due place in our school and college curricula. Almost all our examinations, directly or indirectly, test the students’ ability to write the language.

Is it, therefore, any wonder that our students find it difficult to speak in English? We are all aware of the functional value of English. We also know that our children have to face interviews and group discussions later in life. The ability to speak well in English gives one an advantage in getting employment and further success in life. Those who choose teaching, salesmanship, and law as their careers require a particularly good command over English. Students who plan to go abroad for higher studies or for jobs know the importance of spoken English.

State Governments should take necessary steps to train students in spoken English so that they become adequately equipped to face the challenges of life.

Kajabalh (Mandi)Top



In the past couple of weeks, Anandgarh has again been in the news, this time it is the architectural competition in progress for the master plan of the proposed new city. It has been reported that only less than 50 per cent of the 10 short-listed architectural firms have submitted their entries and those not submitting include some of the internationally well-known Indian firms.

Obviously, there are some doubts about planning matters that have forced, at least Charles Correa to withdraw from the competition. Correa has withdrawn, as reported, because of a serious lack of socio-economic data and that the area of land to be under proposed urbanisation was not enough for the projected 10 lakh population.

Points such as raised by Correa needed to be addressed to before hand. I also suggest that a whole gambit of planning issues, including land environmental analysis and related planning concerns need to be addressed, early on, before any design can begin. Questions have also been raised in terms of the impact on Chandigarh of such a massive urbanisation and development right on its borders, which needed to be addressed to.


Ban cigarettes

Senior cardiologists favour a disciplined life-style to prevent heart attacks. The government must take some major decisions in this direction.

Smoking is amongst the biggest dangers causing cardiac problems apart from many other diseases. The government has to spend much more on smoke related diseases than it earns by revenue from sale of cigarettes. It must take short and long term measures to impose a total ban on manufacture and sale of cigarettes in the country.

Initially all direct and indirect advertisements of cigarettes may be totally banned fixing a time limit after which manufacture of cigarettes may be totally banned.



The letter under the heading, “Towards fewer holidays” (Nov. 8) should be considered seriously. We should revert to six-day week working, with second Saturday as holiday. Timing should be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with half hour lunch.


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