Tuesday, November 28, 2000,
Chandigarh, India



Ramzan ceasefire: goodwill gesture

THIS refers to the editorial “Ramzan ceasefire” (Nov 21).

The Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee’s offer of ceasefire during the holy month of Ramzan is an extraordinary gesture of goodwill towards the Pakistan-backed terrorists to end bloodshed in Kashmir valley.

It was in the month of Ramzan that revelation of the Holy Quran commenced. The Sacred Book exhorts the votaries of Islam — which means submission to God — to shun violence, jealousy and injustice. Pious Muslims observe fasts and recite the Quran as much as possible to get spiritual enlightenment.

However, the Pak-trained terrorists have no regard for the sanctity of Ramzan. The various terrorist outfits, backed by it, have straightway rejected the ceasefire offer and threatened to step up violence in the valley.

Pakistan has no locus stand on Kashmir following its accession to the Indian Union. As mentioned in the editorial, no Pakistan regime — whether military or civilian — can remain in the saddle unless it keeps the Kashmir cauldron boiling.

It is high time Pakistan reciprocated positively to the ceasefire offer and stopped supporting and sustaining the terrorists operating in the valley to herald a new era of durable peace in the region.



MIXED RESPONSE: The initial reaction to Mr Vajpayee’s announcement has been met with mixed response with some groups informing that Muslims had fought the battle of Badr in this month. It is a rare gesture in the year of the massacre of innocent pilgrims of Amarnath yatra.

New Delhi

Water-table depletion alarming

This has reference to “Water table depletion alarming” (Nov 21). Shortage of water for tube-wells in Gurgaon is only the visible part of the tragedy of depleting water table. Its invisible one is even more serious; brackish water from the adjoining areas with higher water table can intrude into sweet water zones and cause an irreversible ecological disaster. There is not much of awareness about this hidden danger. Gurgaon is not the only place to have been the victim of this tragedy; several others in Punjab and Haryana are also in the same boat.

The most logical solution for this problem would have been to start injecting into ground all the surplus rainwater. This did not happen because rainwater, being silted, could not be injected unless de-silted and the technology for the same was not available. This stalemate has been continuing for more than two decades.

The Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana has now set up an experimental injecting station on Raipur Link drain near Ludhiana where an innovative method is to be used for de-silting. The initial results are encouraging and a breakthrough is in sight. The governments of Punjab and Haryana should see the writing on the wall and adopt such an injecting station to be their role model for controlling their depleting water table.

Ex-Engineer-in-Chief, Haryana

Change in West Bengal

This refers to the write-up ‘Change in West Bengal’ by Sunanda K. Datta-Ray (Nov 11).

The write-up is just another in the series quite often appearing in the print media to malign the Left in general and CPI (M) in particular.

It is wrong to say that 51 per cent of population is below poverty line in West Bengal. According to the figures of Human Resource Ministry and even the World Bank report 2000, West Bengal stands at the top among all states in poverty reduction. The decline in poverty per year stands at 4.2 per cent during the period 1978-1994.

The achievements in the crucial areas of land distribution and defence of secularism have been mentioned as passing references.

The successes or failures must be evaluated in comparison to other states ruled by non Left parties. West Bengal is undoubtedly a better administered state with least intraparty squabbles in the nine-party ruling coalition which stands in total contrast to other political conglomerations.




Memorials to Hindu kings

Apropos of the news “Shot in arm for Prithvi Raj Foundation” (Nov 2), one is happy to learn that attempts are being made to preserve and protect the palace of Emperor Prithvi Raj Chauhan.

There should be befitting memorials to the brave heroes that this country has produced from time to time. One of them is king Hem Chandra Vikramaditya who can be rightfully termed as the last (de facto) Hindu King of Delhi.


Education mafia

The write-up on ‘Education Mafia’ taking over (Nov 17), has provided a comprehensive study of the ills from which the current system of ‘entrance tests’ for various post-graduate courses and professional courses is suffering. The writer has very rightly highlighted the need for a review of the same.

One of the obvious reasons to introduce entrance tests for professional courses was to check and discourage rampant copying in board/university examinations.

The concept of ‘entrance tests’ was conceived as a way out so that the really deserving students for admission to professional courses do not suffer.


Anti-Hindu CM

It is interesting to read the interview of West Bengal’s Chief Minister, Mr Buddhadev Bhattacharya (Nov 22).

It is clear from his replies that he has contempt for everything related to Hinduism. How he is still retaining his name in Sanskrit language? Sanskrit is also the language of ancient Hindu India. He should better change his name, and adopt Chinese or Russian name, which happen to be spiritual homelands for communists.


Rathore must go

Your editorial (Nov 21) has been unfair to Mr S.P.S. Rathore, inasmuch as it has pronounced him guilty even while the case is pending in a court of law. In fact, Mr Rathore had already made public his version of the whole matter which was widely carried by the media.


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