Thursday, January 4, 2001,
Chandigarh, India



Making security foolproof

THERE has been a flurry of comments in the media in the wake of the “Red Fort attack”. These range from exposing the chinks in the security setup in high security areas to blaming the security forces for their lax attitude and exhorting them to be pro-active and alert at all times so as to prevent such incidents. Such comments lack balance, composure and objectivity and, therefore, fail to serve the purpose for which these are made. In the present case, they have spread a scare in the minds of the people that if high security areas like the Red Fort are not safe, then how safe their lives could be?

It is well known that no security setup can be made fully foolproof or impregnable for all times at all places. This can, however, be achieved if the public becomes highly security conscious. The security forces alone can never achieve it. The attacker always has the initial advantage. The strength of the security system lies in limiting the damage. Given the nature of the weapons like AK56 and grenades that the attackers had, the damage in this case could have been much more.

Such comments also put a pressure on the security forces to produce quick results, and once again they come under criticism for their no-holds-barred approach to produce results.


Advocating “pro-activity” on the part of the security forces is once again a dangerous thing. Intelligence gathering is the only pro-activity which the security forces should continue to do in a progressively improved manner, Their total pro-activity will mean loss of freedom for the common man.

Lt Col G. S. BEDI (retd)

Hrithik storm

This has reference to the editorial “Hrithik storm in Nepal cup” (Dec 29).

It is clear that the ISI and the Pakistani lobby are behind the disturbances. But why blame them? They are our enemies and foreigners for India as well as for Nepal. But the leftists are not foreigners. They belong to Nepal. They are the ones who are looting and burning Indians’ property. Culturally and geographically, India and Nepal are so close to each other as no other countries of the world are. Their interests are tied to each other. By their acts of destruction and loot, the leftists are harming both Nepal and India.


Deep conspiracy: The anti-Hrithik-turned-anti-India riots in Nepal clearly point to a deep conspiracy by powers inimical to India. The ISI is an acknowledged expert in spreading rumours and fomenting trouble of this type. Whereas Pakistan never misses an opportunity to drive a wedge between India and Nepal, there is ample ground to suspect Chinese hand in this affair. The leftist student unions are under the influence of Chinese communists and have in the past also tried to tarnish India’s image. China has always attempted to bring the Himalayan kingdom under its influence. To thwart such attempts, India’s public relations machinery ought to be super-active. Unfortunately, it has never been so. Apart from this, the role of RAW has been less than satisfactory. It seems it has taken relations with Nepal for granted. It has to be shaken out of its complacency, for the times have changed.




Vote power

This has reference to P. Raman's write-up on Dec 19. In spite of the fact that many fundamental rights are listed in the Constitution, the only right that the people of India have got is the right to vote. People who fight elections are nominated by political parties on considerations best known to them and that is why when elected, they never work for the people who vote them to power. That also is the reason why most of the problems of the people of India still remain unsolved.

But in spite of these shortcomings the people of India are on the right track and with the power of their vote, they have already rooted out family rule. With the same power they could oust party dictatorship. Now they have compelled the political parties to join in blocks and the result is the present government. Time is coming when the political groups will have to come together in one identified group. The churning that the present allies are facing will continue in the groups.

But in spite of all the churnings, the system of elections shall continue and time is coming when we shall compel the political groups to form identified political parties, the number of which will come down. If only those parties are recognised which can put up candidates for every constituency in India, the number of political parties will be reduced to two or three and that will be ideal for India.


Price of consumer goods

The enforcement of the Consumer Protection Act was a step to protect the interests of consumers vis-a-vis traders and manufacturers of consumer goods as well as professionals who render service on payment. There is another aspect which does not seem to have been taken into consideration while framing this law. The manufacturers of consumer goods are at liberty to fix the maximum retail price of the goods at will. The prices printed on the packages are often exorbitant and are fixed without taking into consideration the cost of manufacture and other overhead charges. Thus the consumer is fleeced in spite of the Consumer Protection Act.

This practice of fixing and printing exaggerated prices on packages amounts to daylight robbery under the nose of those who are expected to safeguard the interests of the consumers. Will the authorities concerned consider this aspect to stop this loot by evolving a suitable mechanism for fixing a reasonable maximum retail price after working out the cost of production and a reasonable profit. This will indeed be a great service to the consumers.

Salogra (HP)

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